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“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.

 

[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.

Silence.

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?

Silence.

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.

Peace.

Forgiveness.

Grace.

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.

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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.

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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

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.

Redemption.

Forgiveness.

 

Grace.

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.

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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!

God Knows the Ending

Thursday morning, walking down the road away from the Respire Haiti Café I heard a scream and some yelling.  I turned around and saw the typical scene of a few discombobulated Haitians yelling about something.  Then I saw her jetting across the busy street towards me.  No shoes, ripped clothing, face in a panic, and eyes FILLED with fear.

As I told the Haitians throwing rocks at her to calm down, they yelled out, “She’s a crazy person.”  Again, I insisted they calm down and I began to walk toward her.  Wringing her hands together she looked at me and without saying a word she grabbed my hand.

Asking her questions, her eyes hit the floor and she wouldn’t respond to anything.  People continued to yell at her.  I asked if they knew her and they all said, “No, she’s a crazy person.” so I just gave them the evil eye and turned around.

We began walking toward my house having every other person stop, stare and continue to yell out, “Megan, she’s a crazy person.”

After about the 5th person to stop and yell this out…I turned around and yelled out….”She’s a CHILD, A CHILD, A CHILD of God….Do you see that?” and then further mumbled”Stop staring, if you’re not going to help, keep walking.”  Okay, maybe not one of my most gentle moments, but with just those 5 minutes of people yelling and throwing rocks I had about had it.

When we finally got to the house, I stood outside the gate…the staring continued and people literally stopped and gawked at the “Crazy person”…Precious FiFi who works at our house came outside and stated clearly, “She’s a Zombie.”  I looked at Fifi and told her, “Fifi, she’s a child, and if you don’t have anything nice to say, go inside.”  Fifi covered up her mouth, said sorry and stayed put.

As the gawking continued, I brought her inside of our gate.  Darline  gave her a peanut butter sandwich and some water and she proceeded to scarf this down and drink every bit of water.  She then proceeded to start running around outside, touching and grabbing everything.

My first instinct was to pray.  I had no idea where she had come from, where she had been, how she got here.

I sent out a mass text to our staff and within minutes everyone arrived (Shout out to Mark Langham who ran down the mountain in a record time of 3 minutes).

As everyone arrived we began praying for her, she sat down and was miraculously quiet and willing to pray with us.

Not knowing what to do next, but knowing that it is quite illegal to just keep a child with us, Bernard and some of the team headed to the police station.  As Bernard drove, he was put on a wild goose chase, going to the Gressier Police Station to only be directed to the Leogane Police Station and then to a “Child Officer” in Leogane who then ironically said the only one who could help was a woman officer in Gressier, who after calling her, was actually the first officer at the Gressier Police Station that said she couldn’t do anything.

Yes, confusion and mission NOT accomplished.

Talking with a few other friends we thought that we might have some information about her family.  As we waited a few hours for this information, it never came.

As evening came, Sharon, Stephanie and I (yes it took 3 people), began to bathe this precious 12 year old.  Covered in filth and dirt, she got a glance of herself in the bathroom mirror.  “SARAH!” she exclaimed.

After putting on clean clothes, we made a bed for her and all huddled in a room downstairs watching her and playing with her.  She looked again at another mirror on a cabinet, opened the cabinet looking behind it, and closed it again and tapped on the mirror.  She smiled.

Sitting on her bed, she began picking at her feet, as we took a closer look we saw she had tons of splinters, cuts and stuff in her feet,  from walking around without shoes on.  As Sharon huddled near her foot she tried her best to take out whatever was bothering her in her foot.

As we sang some Will Regan (love his music), Sarah began to calm down and slowly gave in to sleep.

All exhausted, we discussed who would stay with her, as Mark said he would, we all left and showered and tried to get some sleep.

As I laid down, my mind was spinning and the thoughts came flying out….”Why will no one help us?”  “What are we supposed to do?”  “It SO easy to just turn the other way, she’s a CHILD, how can they not see that?”

No one slept.

Sarah slept for over 12 hours and awoke in a tizzy, our new intern Andre who just arrived a few days earlier, was sitting in her room reading and watching her sleep.  He said she literally popped right up and started running around, I glanced over the balcony and saw him using his few Creole words, running behind her and trying to get her not to touch everything.

Making a few more phone calls we were told that we should not have her without any information or paperwork, yet no one in Gressier could help us with this.  Our friend suggested we go to IBESR, basically Social Services, (my worst nightmare) in Port au Prince.

What happened next is only how it’s been told to me, I know Sharon will write about it when she can and explain the difficulties.  Sharon and Bernard then proceeded to try and figure things out, but basically it was the same run around.  Arriving at IBESR, they took one look and said, we can’t take any child without paperwork.  And didn’t give her a second thought.  In fact one of the awesomely kind workers at IBESR, looked at her and stated, “This is an office.  Get THAT out of here.”

All I can say is thank God that I wasn’t there…I might have puffed up my feathers and punched somebody :)

Finally, we were told to bring her to BCPJ (Basically the children’s police station), they said that they were the ones who were going to write up paperwork, and bring her back to IBESR where then she could be placed somewhere.

I had already drawn up a list of every Special Needs Orphanage, Home or Organization I knew of with matching contact numbers, hoping to do as MUCH of the police and IBESR’s job as possible, knowing that they wouldn’t 1- know what to do and 2- actually do it.

The officers at BCPJ looked at Sarah and literally did not know what to do.  As I called the Inspector again trying to explain that if they write up paperwork that they can call these places to place her, he seemed generally confused.  Simultaneously all of these places were telling me that they couldn’t take a child without paperwork (understandably) and the only division with authority to give paperwork was IBESR (but IBESR couldn’t take a child without paperwork…hmmm…)

Our brains spinning, our team split between Port au Prince and Gressier, we were exhausted.

Who knows what the right thing to do was?  The Gressier Police were telling us that we are NOT able to keep her with us without papers.  But then no one would take her or direct us.

The day ended with Sarah staying at the Port au Prince Children’s Police Division, and some of our tired, saddened team headed back to Gressier, with our Gressier team simultaneously praying, crying and frustrated at how broken and disgusting this world can be.

The endless circles and games of Haiti can be so discouraging, so challenging.  The broken systems, exhausting.

We are PRAYING for Sarah, our hearts broken, our minds asking questions of what we should have or could have done.  We are PRAYING that the police were able to take her to one of the places on our list, we are PRAYING that she is SAFE.

Please pray with us.

Meet Respire Haiti

The video below is a GREAT insight into the Respire Haiti team and it shows you the incredible things God is doing here in Gressier!

We are SO blessed to be a part of HIS plan for this community.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/62695548″>Meet Respire Haiti</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user17311688″>Respire Haiti</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

“For FROM Him and THROUGH Him and TO Him are ALL things.  To HIM be glory forever.  Amen.”  Romans 11:36

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