Anyone who knows me knows that I have had a love affair with the nation of Haiti for a few years now. The most surprising part of my love for this country is the fact that, until this year, I had not yet had an opportunity to actually go to Haiti.
My church has spent the past several years being an active partner and supporter of an orphanage and school in a small village outside of Port-au-Prince. This involvement became even more pronounced when a husband and wife team from our church were called to be the directors of the orphanage and moved there full-time in the summer of 2010 (after the earthquake).
For the past few years, the ministry that runs the orphanage and school has been growing and reorganizing so that it can be more effective to help those who live in this community. In 2012, the child sponsorship program was revamped and relaunched. It is the goal of the organization that every child will have 6 sponsors at $50 a month to fully cover all expenses associated with each child that resides at the orphanage. It was at this time that my husband and I decided that we would like to sponsor one of these amazing kids. There were 10 cards left in the stack the day that we decided we would like to sponsor and child and I wasn’t really sure who was still available for sponsorship and we didn’t really have a preferred age range or gender. I simply took the stack face down and “at random” selected a card. I selected a 10-year-old boy named Kervens. This is the moment I began to fall in love with Haiti.
The following January, it was time for our church to begin organizing the next team to go down to Haiti. My husband and I both had an interest in going but I informed my husband that I was going. A week or so later God informed me that actually, I wasn’t going, my husband was. I know to some people this may sound like a crazy thought. How do I know that God was talking to me and why would he tell me something like this? I still don’t exactly know why He told me this, but I just know that in my heart it was not my time to go and that it was his. I had to settle to live vicariously through my husband’s experiences for this trip (because I was going to go the next year…or so I thought).
Before he left, I asked my husband to do one thing, find Kervens and spend as much time as possible with him. Our team left for Haiti in March, at this point we had only been Kervens’ sponsors for about 4-5 months. He did not have any idea that we were his sponsors. This was to be our first opportunity to communicate with him and get to know him. When the truck pulled into the gates of the orphanage and the team started to get out they were immediately surrounded by the kids. One of the kids that naturally gravitated to my husband was a small 10-year-old boy with a beautiful smile. My husband found out later, this was Kervens.
My husband is a native French speaker which allows him to more easily communicate in Haiti since the official national language is French (Creole is the more common everyday language used by the population). Because of his ability to speak French and a natural connection between the two, Kervens and my husband bonded. When I realized the connection that existed between them, I knew that my “random” selection was not random, but rather, God-inspired.
I lost my heart to an entire country due to the smile of a small boy on an impoverished island nation and his natural connection to my husband. I haven’t been the same since.
(The photo to the left is Kervens in 2013.)