This is a continuation of a story we have been telling over the past few weeks, so if you have not been keeping up, please click here for Part 1, click here for Part 2, or click here for Part 3 so that this will make sense.
As I mentioned in the previous post, a plan was forming. It is funny how GOD works sometimes because the very people who were initially against us (our girl’s cousin) would prove to be instrumental in everything that was about to happen. While we were speaking with the cousin and her husband, we found out that she knew many of the children’s family. She told us that if we wanted her to, she could contact them and have them come and meet with us. At this point, we had only really met the families of the children who live around the orphanage and we had always wanted to meet the other families as well but previously we did not know how to accomplish this. In fact, our plan had always been that 2 of our employees (Jullihomme and Lener) would eventually go out for us to find the families of the children so that we could meet them and have them sign the necessary paperwork for an orphanage here. All of a sudden, because of a negative event, we had an opening to meet all of our children’s family. There are some things that happen and you know only GOD could have used this for His glory.
So, here is the initial plan we came up with. We could no longer go to the orphanage, but there was a halfway point between Christianville and the orphanage where we could meet our children. We could give them breakfast, take them the rest of the way to school, and then figure out how to do something similar in the afternoon. If you read Jessica’s last blog, you know that our friends at Hope Rising volunteered their guesthouse (which was not currently being used by teams) for us to be able to bring our children after school for a couple of hours to receive their tutoring and for us to give them a third meal. This was a wonderful sacrifice from a wonderful organization that had been through something similar to us in their past. They wanted our children to be taken care of, and they offered what they had to make that happen.
So our plan was almost set. We had a way to meet our children before school, after school, and still ensure that they were being fed and taken care of each day. There was, however, a problem with this plan. We did not have the authority to ask the children to meet us early or to allow them to come onto the Hope Rising campus. Audancin and Rosie could still dictate where the children could and could not go because they were living with them and they were under their care. That is where our girl’s cousin comes in. We printed out a document that stated, “My child can come to Hope Rising every afternoon and receive food and tutoring from Matt and Jessica,” and had each of the children’s family (whether it be their Mom/Dad or another family member if the parents were no longer with them) sign the document. This sheet of paper showed that almost every family supported our decision to continue to care for their child, and Audancin and Rosie agreed that any child whose family signed the paper could be with us during these times. This was a show of support for us, but do not miss the fact that this was the beginning of the end for Audancin and Rosie. Their selfishness was beginning to shine through and it was very evident to everyone.
With this plan in place, we immediately began tracking down each family member with the help of our girl’s cousin (who knew all of the family in City Soleil), another child’s grandmother (who knew all of the families who lived up north), and another family member who lives in the area around the orphanage. Each of these people contacted every other family member for us to make sure they knew what was happening. For the first time, we were meeting our children’s family, and while the circumstances were less than ideal, we had a chance to explain to them who we were and why we were here. These meetings went extremely well! The family members could see our hearts as we described the reason we were here and the reason we wanted to take care of their children. We got to explain our plan for our children’s future, what we have done for them in the past, and most importantly how much we love each one of them. Each family member left signing the paper to let their child continue to receive our help, and this emboldened us to do more (as you will find out in the next blog).
For the time being, it was enough to know that we could take care of them in this way, but we knew this would not last. It could not last for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that we still had to see Audancin each day. As we continued to pray, it became evident that we needed to go for more than just seeing our children a couple of times per day. The situation at the orphanage was getting worse and less safe, and we needed to get our children out. So the next thing we had to do was think of how to do that and when we could do that. Our biggest problem is that we did not have another place for our children to live, and to purchase land and build could take forever…
Stay tuned for part 4 from Jessica’s perspective tomorrow and part 5 on Wednesday. I promise it is coming to an end soon, but thanks for continuing to keep up with the recent happenings for All Things New.