After the meeting, we knew we needed to do something, but we were not sure what. Right after that initial meeting with Audancin, Rosie, our girl’s family, Pastor Lamentation, Pastor Herold, and myself, we knew something had to change. So we setup a new meeting. This time Jessica and I both attended the meeting (at this point our girl was living in the new place) with Audancin and Rosie and we asked Herold to meet with us again so that we would have a witness of what was said. Actually, if it weren’t for Herold, none of this would have happened. He has been there for us continually throughout this process, and he is a well-respected man in the community that we could use as a translator/witness of what happened in the meetings so Audancin and Rosie could not tell lies about us later. Jessica and I went into this meeting knowing that we were going to give Audancin and Rosie an ultimatum, and we knew what they would choose. It was a very difficult decision, but it was one that we knew we had to make even if it made things harder initially.
We called the meeting for one purpose, we were going to give Audancin and Rosie a choice. We told them that because of how they have treated us and because of what has happened over the past week, we could no longer pay them as employees…They did not deserve it. We actually told them that everything else could be the same. We could begin coming to the orphanage again, we could continue to give food and any other help they needed, we just could not pay them anymore. We even gave them the out that if they treated us well for 2-3 months then we could start paying them again, but for now we could no longer pay them. It is worth noting that Audancin and Rosie have a total of 5 (7 if you count the 2 children that Audancin claims to have “adopted”) children at the orphanage and their decision could potentially affect their own children along with the other children there.
After a lot of angry talking from Audancin and Rosie and complaining about everything that had gone on, I finally stopped everything and just said, “You have to choose. If you want us to keep coming and helping, we cannot pay you. If you can’t handle not being paid, just tell us right now and we will stop coming.” We also warned them of everything else that would immediately stop including food, rides to school, etc. We had to do this for our own safety. We no longer felt safe going to the orphanage and we knew that Audancin and Rosie would choose for us to no longer help at all if they could not get anything out of it…And that is exactly what they chose. They told us right then that they no longer wanted us to come to the orphanage nor did they want us to help the children anymore.
Now, it was official. It was not only a choice that we had to make for our own safety, but Audancin actually owned the land (along with 7 other people that another organization purchased for them) and could decide to no longer allow us there. This was extremely difficult. We knew that things were deteriorating quickly, but when it became official that we could no longer come, it was one of the most difficult times I can remember. We were both really upset, but we were beginning a new plan. We did not know how everything would happen, but we knew it was not time to give up. It was time to think and come up with a way that we could do whatever was best for the children we loved. It was time to pray, it was time to plan, and it was time to pray a lot more.
Isn’t it funny that the times we need prayer the most are oftentimes the most difficult times to pray. We were tired, we were scared, we were worried, and all of these things were being used as things to hold us back from our prayers. During these times, you have to push through, but even more importantly, during these times you have to rely on others to lift you up. I can honestly say that during this time I felt your prayers more than I have ever felt someone’s prayers before in my life. It is hard to describe, but it made it extremely evident how important it is to have people who will pray for you. We will never be able to say thank you enough for that. When we were struggling, you were lifting us up, and that is why All Things New is what it is…Because it is not just Jess and I, it is all of us with Christ at the head!
Stay tuned for part 3 from Jessica’s perspective tomorrow and part 4 coming on Monday.