Category: child slavery


My stomach is still churning as I just put down my phone.  As I am nearing 3.5 years of living in Haiti, there are some things that will never get easier…never be less raw and heartbreaking….

~

As I answered the phone, I heard a familiar voice on the other line start asking questions about registering for school.  As he began talking I realized that he was calling on someone else’s behalf.  I began by asking my first question I always start with, “Has the child ever been to school?” ….Yes, I heard the other side of the phone peep out hesitantly.  Then I asked what grade the child was and how old…as he struggled to ask the questions, he explained that he was actually not sure if the child had been to school ever and was in fact calling because someone else asked him  to see if there was space in our school.

He began explaining the situation and my heart skipped a beat as I heard him say, “Well he is borrowing this child.”

Borrowing this child?  I so badly wanted to go on a rant about how awful what he said just was, but then again I remembered he was calling for someone else, and regardless I still needed the information about the child.

My heartbeat sped up as I mulled this over in my head.  Call it whatever you want, keeping a child for a while…being “given” a child…borrowing a child.

Whatever you call it, It’s still slavery.

Whatever you call it, It’s still servitude.

Whatever you call it, this sweet girl is still a restavek.

As I pushed down all of my righteous anger and frustration.  I answered back as composed as I could, Yes we have space.

I asked him to send me the child’s name, age and where she lives. He agreed to do so quickly.

I hung up the phone and slunk to the ground.

This never get’s easier. Fighting for children, ALL children…borrowed or not….to go to school is exhausting.  Fighting for Haitians to realize that a child NOT going to school and fetching water all day, doing laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning…is child Slavery, Domestic Servitude.

But Praise GOD that He has given us all of the courage, strength and persistence we need for this.  Praise GOD that He began Respire Haiti Christian School and that because of His vision for Gressier and Bellevue Mountain that HUNDREDS of children like this are being educated but most importantly learning that they are WORTH being fed, loved and cared for.

Please keep praying for us as we continue organizing things for the upcoming school year.

I can’t believe it has been 9 months since I’ve written about all that God has done (and is doing) here in Gressier.

LOTS has happened…and my mind, heart and spirit are looking forward to begin blogging again.

I’ve spent the last 7+ months writing a book about the last 3 years….

When I was first approached by Thomas Nelson Publishing to write about my journey in Gressier, I was extremely hesitant, and nervous…but as I prayed more about everything I realized, GOD’s story needs to be shared.

He has done MIRACLES here on a small hilltop in Haiti..and To HIM be the Glory.

Please see Barnes and Noble for more information!

 

 

 

 

See Amazon for more information.

 

Excited to begin blogging again 🙂

Faith and Family Multiplied

I have wanted to write about this for weeks, but it seems like the words couldn’t come out.  My sentences were incoherent and my thoughts were spinning…

 

People who have visited here always make comments about how they can see how easy it would be to all of a sudden have a house full of 20 children.  Our kids we work with come from a multitude of mostly terrible situations…restaveks, orphans, abusive situations…and after these peoples comments about having a houseful of children, I normally smile and chuckle a bit and then say my prayer of NOT wanting that…my mind spins with the amount of therapy, healing, prayer etc went into two children…

 

Having two children from restavek backgrounds has been a challenge enough, and we seem to have arrived in a beautiful moment where their past is their past, and God has grown these two girls into beautiful, healing and blossoming children.

 

But God knows OUR stories and OUR journeys WAY before we do.

 

A little over a year ago I received a call from a Pastor we work with saying that he was really worried about some people that had just moved near him.  In his words, “These people are VERY poor and they have nothing, can you come see if you can help them.”  As I got off of the phone with this pastor who lived in between a tent and a hurricane broken house, my mind spun with his comments.  I felt like I was in the MIDST of poverty already, so for someone to call me who already LIVES in poverty and express that they were worried about someone in poverty, I couldn’t imagine how it was.

 

As I arrived at the place where these people were, I saw two incredibly thin children with oversized t-shirts living under a tarp.  Their mother and father were dead and they were living with some “relatives.”

 

God knew that meeting these two children would only be the beginning.

 

As Respire enrolled them in school since they had never been before, I knew that I would be able to watch and monitor them more…but I had no idea what kind of relationship HE was starting.

 

Over the next 6 months we grew in relationship with not only the children but also the people “taking care” of them.

 

It wasn’t until a knock on the door in January changed everything.  You can read the whole story in a previous blog as it was fresh in my mind here.  But basically the 12 year old girl was kidnapped and brought to a Voodoo Temple.  Her 10 year old brother divinely led us to her.

 

As she began living in one of Respire’s houses, a few weeks later the 10 year old boy, her brother,  went missing.

 

Our hearts broke as we had only a faint idea of where he might be.  Josh and I prayed daily for his return and then as ONLY God can do….He rescued this precious boy.  You can read more about that story here.

 

With both of these precious children living on Respire Grounds we began praying fervently about these children.

 

After much prayer and support, we have…God has, grown our family.

I am so blessed to have a mother that is so supportive and encouraging, and friends and family who trust what Christ is doing in our lives here in Haiti.

And most importantly, I am beyond blessed to have an incredible husband who is a natural parent and is such a good Daddy to so many.   In his words, “6 months of marriage and we aren’t adding kids we’re multiplying :)”

 

The healing that needs to happen is huge.  We can definitely use your prayer.  Although their bodies are free, their minds are still in a battle that ONLY God can heal.  Please pray with us for protection, courage and healing.  Voodoo, oppression and demons are VERY real here.  It is a long process to understand and work through the things that our children have seen, heard and experienced.  We have been HONORED to see that God has already made remarkable changes and can only imagine the incredible plans that God has for these beautiful siblings.

 

 

 Johanne (JoJo) 12

JoJo

 Saintil, 10.

Saintil

CrazyBeachKids

Fam

And then there were 6 (or 7 if you count the horse on Josh’s shoulder)

“The enemy’s purpose on earth is to kill, steal and destroy. And often times it feels like he is succeeding, like we are fighting a losing battle. But then I remember, the war has already been won…”

Read the rest of this blog on SheLovesMagazine.  Blessed to have the opportunity to share what God is teaching me in Haiti and through   Will Reagan’s awesome song Take Back.

 

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