You may remember that, a few weeks ago, we put out a Facebook request, asking for help raising funds for school for a number of Haitian children we know. We are so pleased to report that we raised $1,200, which paid for the tuition of seven kids! Without this sponsorship, these kids would not have been able to go to school this year. We hope to have pictures to share with you soon. Thank you so much to those who participated in this effort.
The stories of each of the seven children are different, and marked by remarkable resilience and difficulty.
There are two brothers, Monson (age 10) and Guy (age 6), who often come by our house to play and chat. We quickly noticed that they were usually unsupervised, dirty, hungry, and not very well cared for. We found out that their mother had died a year or two ago, and that their father was having great difficulty providing for his kids alone. When we met their father, Durand, he said he didn't see any way that he could afford to put them in school this year. He sometimes works as a laborer, but often cannot find work. Last year, the kids had started school, but he wasn't able to finish paying tuition, so they didn't complete the school year. Durand was truly overjoyed to receive the help to pay for school, and was receptive to our urging him to take better care of his children in the ways that he could. Since they started school, he has arranged for someone to tutor them and stay with them after school when he is working, so that they are no longer aimlessly wandering the streets. Having tuition covered also frees him up financially, so he can provide for food and other necessities. He is so proud of his kids, and so grateful that they will be able to attend school.
Adeline is a single mother who lives close by and approached us for help. Her husband died several years ago, leaving her to care for her four children on her own. She tries to provide for her family by selling chickens and turkeys in an outdoor market. A few weeks ago, the local police confiscated her tub of merchandise, which also happened to contain a bag with her money. This is common practice to deter merchants from selling their goods on the sidewalk--however, Adeline wasn't selling her goods on the street, she had just put them down for a moment while she was on her way to the market. The loss of the merchandise and money was a major financial setback for her. Even so, she was able to enroll her two younger children in school. However, she did not have enough money to cover the higher school fees for her older children, Isaac and Sabine. She shared that she was especially ashamed when she told her oldest, Isaac, that he wouldn't be able to go to school this year. Last year, he had done exceptionally well in the national final exam, and she was devastated that he wouldn't be able to continue his education this year. Adeline was beyond thrilled when I shared the good news of the sponsorship for her two older kids. She asked for me to share her thanks with everyone who made it possible, and to give glory to God, who has provided for her family.
The parents of the third family are our friends, Myrlande and Canes. They both work at Quisqueya in the kitchen and cleaning staff and have been amazing examples of Christian witness to us over the last four years. They are both very hardworking, and manage to pay for school for their six children with their salary from the school, along with extra income from Myrlande's side businesses. Even though money is always tight, their hospitality and love knows no limits, and so they have accepted three more children to live with them, in a kind of informal foster care situation. Each of the kids comes from a family that was no longer able to provide for their basic needs, because of the death of a parent and/or extreme poverty. They accepted these kids into their very modest home because they felt that it was the right thing, and they have trusted a God for His provision for their family.
Myrlande asked me to share a thank you letter with those who helped pay the tuition of these three children, whom she now loves and cares for as her own. She writes:
"I greet you in the name of Jesus. The Jean family is so happy to receive your help to pay for school for our children. We have six of our own children, and three other children who we have accepted into our home to help, including providing them with everything they need, like food, clothes, etc. When school started, six of the children already started attending, but we didn't have the means to send the other three. After three days of school, we decided to take a step of faith, and enroll them, without paying, trusting that God will somehow provide. Then, God used you to help us. Thank you so much. Remember that each time you help others, that you are saving up your reward in heaven.
The names of the children are: Wilmington Jean, fifth grade, Marc Carlens Jean, third grade, and Bendjina Jean, fifth grade.
Psalm 41:1-3 says: 'Blessed is the one who has regard for the poor; in the day of disaster, Yahweh delivers him. Yahweh protects him and keeps him alive; he is blessed in the land, and you do not give him into the will of his enemies. Yahweh sustains him on his sick bed. In his illness, you restore to health.'
God bless you."
Amen to that! May God continue to bless you and your families. Thanks for reading, and for your continued love, support, and prayers for our family and the people of Haiti!
Robbie, Irene, and Grace
How to support our work in Haiti:
We are partnered with Resourcing Christian Education International (RCE) in order to raise the funds we need to continue our ministry at Quisqueya Christian School. All donations made through RCE are tax-deductible. Please do not feel pressured, but if you feel called to support us financially, please visit: https://rceinternational.webconnex.com/26902