It’s fascinating how God delicately and decisively weaves His story through each of our lives. If you don’t know us yet, we’ll give you a brief version of our story leading up to today:
Wilson, born and raised in Haiti, was hired by a non-profit organization, Children of the Promise (COTP), to maintain vehicles and buildings. His work was never just about the projects he took on or the paycheck; everything Wilson always said what he was doing was “for the kids.”
I (Sheila) was born and raised in California and moved to Haiti to be the nurse for 60+ infants and children at COTP, where I would stay for two years. The job was extremely challenging but also immensely rewarding and caused a great deal of growth in me.
Each heeding the call to serve those precious children in very different ways, Wilson and I fell in love while dreaming of how God would use us together in even bigger ways.
We married in August 2013, and were separated for a time until Wilson was granted a green card and we could live together in the U.S. beginning in December 2014. It has been a busy and exciting nine months so far, full of family, friends, road trips, and countless new experiences and we have loved every minute of it. Okay, most of the minutes. Our lives are far from perfect 🙂
Though we both enjoy our life here in the U.S., we both feel strongly called by God to live in Haiti. Over the last few years, I have had countless ideas filling my mind of how we can best help the people of Haiti. Wilson has always listened politely, but none of those ideas have really caught his attention. That is, until I heard about a new position opening up at COTP working with the special needs kids. I had fallen in love with those kids during my time there and Wilson had as well, as he often came with me on medication rounds and spent extra time in their room whenever he could. So as we were lying in bed that night and I asked Wilson what he thought of being house parents for the special needs kids, he didn’t have to think for a second. “I would love that!” was his immediate response. And I started feeling giddy. Of all the plans and ideas I had daydreamed and brainstormed, this one felt right. My life has never felt so clear.
There are a number of children at COTP with special needs, including children with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and spina bifida. Most of these children are unable to talk, walk, or feed themselves, and are fully dependent on their caregivers. We passionately believe that these conditions are not accidental, but that each of these children was intentionally and lovingly formed by God (Psalm 139, John 9). In 1 Corinthians 12:22-23, Paul tells us that “those parts of the body [of Christ] that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.” In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul also spoke of the thorn in his own side that he prayed repeatedly to be taken away. Rather than remove the hardship, God told him, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” How did Paul respond? “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The Promise House will be a place where children considered weaker or less honorable by society are treated with special honor. We will create a stable, Christ-centered home, where each child is loved, encouraged, and supported as we help them reach their full potential. We delight in these children and their special challenges and hope to inspire the Haitian communities around us to do the same.
We will be moving back to Haiti in January of 2016 and could not be more excited! As we prepare to leave, we ask that you lift us up in prayer whenever you think of us. In addition, there are two great ways you can partner with us and these precious kids
- Sponsor a child. Click HERE to meet each of our children. If one of their faces gives you pause, consider being their sponsor. Your monthly gift will help buy their food and medications, pay the nannies that assist with their care, and cover general living expenses. In return, you will receive photos of that child and written updates about their progress throughout the year. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll visit Haiti to meet them or be the person who connects them with their forever family.
- Fill a bus. Wilson and I are on our way to Minnesota right now to pick up an old school bus we purchased. We will drive it back to California where it will be filled with all the things we need for the Promise House. Then we will drive it to Florida to be shipped to Haiti. Besides being a unique method of shipping, the bus will then be used as a taptap, the main form of public transportation used in Haiti. The revenue from this business will help us be more sustainable long-term in Haiti, so we can rely a little less on fundraising support. Check out our needs list to see if there’s anything you might be able to put on the bus for the Promise House.
We hope you’ll join us on this journey. You can subscribe to this blog or sign up for an e-mail newsletter.
Have questions about what we’re doing or why we’re doing it? Please comment below; we never get tired of talking about these kids!