[Follow up to God Knows the Ending.]
No one slept all weekend. Everyone thought, prayed and cried for Sarah. The Lord had TRULY burdened our hearts for her…this precious child of God that we could NOT stop thinking about.
Phone calls on the weekend were to no avail. No one was working, Haitian Flag Day was Saturday so I think the whole country shut down.
After our team meeting this morning, I received a phone call from an organization saying that if we had not found a place for Sarah that they would like to take her. Excited, I decided to try my luck calling the Police Station again. I had another Inspector from the BPM (Police for Minors in Haiti) and wanted to try to reach him. As someone answered the phone after the first ring my heart dropped…I closed my eyes and let the words flow asking about Sarah, briefly explaining her situation and then paused.
Hoping that he would respond and not just say “I don’t know and hang up.” He spoke slowly, “I think I have heard about her, hold on.” As I waited for a few dreadful seconds he told me he would call back. Praying that he actually WOULD call me back, a few minutes later my phone rang, he said that they in fact took her to IBESR (Social Services). I asked if he had a number to the person he left Sarah with, again he said he’d call me back. As the phone rang again he gave me the phone number. After writing it down I asked for the person who I should ask to speak with…as soon as his words hit my ears I could feel my stomach lurch. I asked him to repeat the name again. He did. I said thank you, got off the phone and sank to the ground.
The same IBESR agent who refused to help close Son of God orphanage, who knew me, who disliked me, was the person I needed to call.
Sitting on the ground for a second I composed myself enough to pray. I could hardly dial the numbers through my tear-filled eyes and my shaking fingers. I heard a voice answer on the other end. As I repeated the same story I told the Inspector, the IBESR agent said yes, stating they knew where Sarah was. The person paused for a minute suspicious (rightfully so)….I explained again who I was, how I know Sarah, and that we had a place to bring her.
The IBESR agent then told me how Sarah had been brought to the Psychiatric Hospital of Port au Prince.
Baffled and frustrated, I asked what we could do?
I explained that we could come today, right now and get Sarah.
Pausing, the voice on the other end sounded a little astounded. “Today? You will come get her and bring her there?”
I repeated, “Yes, we can come to IBESR, pick up an agent or whoever needs to come, pick up Sarah and bring her, today. Right now.”
Again taken aback the voice on the other line stated, “Yes, please come. I will go with you.”
GO WITH ME? My mind FREAKED out.
I muddled out the words, “Okay, I will call when we are closer.” Then thanked the agent and hung up.
Full of fear, terrible memories and shaking I felt like I was going to vomit.
I walked out of our office, and explained the situation to everyone. Being nearly 10:30am, we needed to gather our stuff and go fast to make it all happen today. We ran to the car….Josh ambitiously driving, Mark shotgun, Sharon and I hunkering down in the back seat..
Getting to IBESR in record time, we were received surprisingly quick. As the Agent came forward, my heart lurched in to my chest. I prayed HARD the IBESR agent would not recognize me. The agent looked at me and said, “Who did I speak with on the phone?” As I answered, I was asked to follow the agent into a room.
Walking into this tiny, bare office, I sat in a chair in front of a notebook. The IBESR agents explained they needed my information and phone number and what I knew about Sarah. I agreed to write. Asking for a pen to borrow, I suddenly had 3 different men shoving pens in my face. Writing down all the information I knew, the Agent continued to question how I knew Sarah, where were we going and even asking why we were doing this at one point.
Shocked, nervous and ready to find Sarah I answered the questions and then we were finished.
We headed out the door for the car, Josh, Mark, Sharon and I along with two IBESR agents. As the agent I had battled with so many times sat in the front seat I stared cattyccorner at their face. My heart was still in my throat and I had to keep swallowing hard not to vomit. I couldn’t believe how many times I had looked at this person and BEGGED them to do something about Son of God Orphanage. I couldn’t BELIEVE the frustration I felt when I asked this person why nothing had been done to close Son of God orphanage yet and the answer was, “The files are too high, I can’t reach them.” The months of agonizing frustration, tears and anger were sitting in my FRONT SEAT. The person who was keeping me from Gabriel was sitting 5 feet from me.
I closed my eyes tightly and prayed, tears welling up in my eyes. Suddenly the Lord filled me with something so immediate I couldn’t believe it.
I thought of how we are ALL able to be REDEEMED. Transformed. Changed.
I breathed out and Josh and I began talking with the two agents.
We headed to the Psychiatric Hospital.
The Psychiatric Hospital in Port au Prince.
As the Agent got out of the car to ask about Sarah, Sharon and I looked at each other holding our breath. Coming outside again after a few minutes, No Sarah. The Agent passed in front of us headed to another office. Again came out heading back inside. It felt like ping pong watching the IBESR agent walk back and forth and every time the agent passed my heart tightened. PRAYING it was not hopeless, we all closed our eyes to beg for freedom.
Finally after what seemed like forever, a bright orange shirt walked swiftly out of the doors and sat on the step. Without thinking I ran out of the car. Hugging her, Sharon came out and sat on the steps. We could NOT believe we were seeing her. Sarah smiled and recognized us.
The she saw Mark. She waved at him and she ran into his arms. Josh followed shortly as she jumped into his arms.
Mark holding Sarah!
Continuing on into the car. Sarah rotated between my lap and Sharon’s. We noticed the marks on her wrist from restraining her.
Sarah’s wrists with marks from being tied over the weekend.
Our hearts broke with what happened to her while she was here.
As we headed to Neply, to bring her to My Life Speaks we felt excited, and finally let out a long sigh of relief. Even if we were right here HOLDING IBESR’s HAND through it all at least we MADE them do their job! Most of the car ride was spent with the Agent trying to take care of Sarah’s paperwork on the phone and calling the doctor from the Psychiatric Ward. The agent briefly stated that she was thankful we did something today, because the Psychiatric Hospital said they were not going to let her stay there more than 3 or 4 days.
Not wanting to think of where Sarah would be if she were “released” from the hospital, we watched her sleep peacefully.
After record time from Port au Prince to Gressier, we arrived near Leogane. Entering in to My Life Speaks Campus I saw Katie who had helped us so much during this whole process. My heart was filled, relieved and Thankful for the Beauty of the Body of Christ.
Sharon and I stayed a bit with Sarah to make sure she was okay and after a few minutes of paperwork, the two IBESR agents hopped back into the car with Josh driving and Mark accompanying him.
Josh and Mark not only had some amazing conversations with the Agents about life, God and Haiti, but the two workers also expressed how they would love to come to Respire and My Life Speaks again. They exchanged personal information and vowed to keep in contact.
The one person who was hindering us from closing SOG for so long was the only one willing to help us this time. Thankful God can do the impossible and change hearts :)
Our hearts are at peace, our minds are at rest and Sarah is safe.
Sarah when we left her with My Life Speaks.
Thank you for your prayers, thank you for your emails and messages and thank you My Life Speaks for helping us rescue a child and give a child a chance at LIFE and FAMILY!