The needs of this country are hard to see everyday. Death is hard to see. Hunger is hard when it knocks at your gate every day. Poverty is hard when they are your physical neighbors.
But for me, the hardest part of every day is seeing children at home, washing dishes or clothes, cooking, cleaning or just doing nothing in the middle of the day when they should be in school.
Walking to the mountain again, mid morning, I met him along the way. Barefoot, in an oversized t-shirt, smiling big and telling me Good Morning, there was little John. As he followed behind me keeping his distance, I stopped on the top of Bellevue Mountain and turned around. I asked how he was and as he looked at the ground and kicked a piece of rebar he said, “Pa pi Mal.” Meaning, not too bad.
I’d never seen him before so I asked his name and then introduced myself, before I could even finish, “My name…” He looked up at me and said, “I know you, You’re Megan!” and smiled, his deep brown eyes still looking at the ground.
As I saw his bare feet, torn t-shirt and skinny figure, I knew the answer, but I asked him anyway, “Are you in school?”
For the first time in our conversation, he lifted his eyes from the ground and said loudly, “No.” I went on to ask him some more questions about his schooling and family.
Trying to hide my heartbreak for an 11-year-old boy living with “family” members who can’t afford to put him in school. I could tell that he didn’t have a voice, that he didn’t have someone telling him to brush his teeth or go to bed or telling him I Love You.
As we talked a bit longer, I began praying vigorously for the next step. It seems easy right? But, Respire Haiti Christian School is FILLED to capacity. We have over 360 children now. We have already started talking with our builder about adding classrooms, we’ve talked with the teachers about hiring assistants and splitting some classes. We know that we cannot just keep stuffing children into our school, just as important as them BEING in school is them having the ability to successfully LEARN in our school.
The truth is that it is so extremely difficult to walk to my school being built on Bellevue Mountain, not because it’s strenuous or far away, but because without a doubt, every single time, I meet more children who are not in school. My heart breaks and feels heavy, my mind starts jumping through hoops counting up the number enrolled in each class in my head and it is so hard.
I could see John’s eyes pleading with me, and I could feel the Lord just saying Yes, so I looked at him and said that I would come to his house and speak with his caregivers so he could come to our school. He lit up and immediately and I just heard Christ’s words pouring into my heart….
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
I could see John’s appeal in his eyes. I could hear his appeal in His voice.
I know God is bigger than squishy classrooms, that He knows how many children He is enrolling in our school. That HE is and will continue to work out the details and everything else…He reminds me of this constantly…
Yesterday as I was picking up Michaelle and Jessica from school I ran into one of my neighbors who was picking up his children, all three of them. As we all walked home together he began pouring his heart out saying that he had his children in another school before the earthquake, but as he lost his house, his job and as the prices for the other school rose to an outrageous amount last year he had to take them out. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Without you, without this school, my children would be at home not learning, I thank God for you every day. Please know, that WE are with You.” He then wiped his eyes and said, “God Bless You.”
I looked at him and all I could murmur back was, “God Bless you too.”
Standing outside of the gate to my house I was in shock. My mind was racing, not about how nice that was, or how he said some sweet things. My mind was racing about how BIG our God is. How BIG He is to know that He would get me to Gressier. How BIG that He set up every step, every skill, every connection…all the way to get me to this point of building a school.
God is moving, and He is moving fast and His vision is BIG. We have just been offered by the city of Gressier to buy, Yes, BUY, the top of Bellevue Mountain. If we buy this, that means we will have almost 4 acres total of land on this beautiful mountain, and this will be a wonderful amount of space to expand Respire Haiti Christian School to fulfill the vision God has for it.
What’s amazing, is that the whole top of the mountain is being sold to us for 50% of the price because the city loves what Respire Haiti is doing and wants us to continue to build in this community. For $45,000 we will buy just over another acre of land. Other individuals and organizations have inquired about it, but the magistrates and judges have given us the first choice in hopes that we will buy it for these children. Even though this is a scary endeavor, buying more land, God is moving all of our hearts towards, YES and TRUST ME with this!
If you would like to support us in this purchase, please visit, Respire Haiti
Thank you for journeying with us through this as we are constantly reminded, All things are possible for him who believes.