This Little Light of Mine

"To whom much is given, much is required"


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A Goat for Maxo

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It’s really hard to explain to my friends and family the depth of poverty some of the villagers of Dos-Palais live in. Traveling on short mission trips to various parts of the world gives me but a glimpse of a comparable, but to those who have not traveled, how do you help them understand. This story about Maxo explains the hardship that a family can experience in this part of Haiti.

I first saw Maxo in a picture as I filtered through the applications when Wissel returned from his trip to Haiti. During the trip, he had an open enrollment for the villagers with many kids wanting a chance to go to school. Maxo and his mom attended the enrollment and she signed him up. His sweet little face beamed from the picture as it portrayed a child with a sparkle in his eyes and one who loved life.

My husband’s sister asked to sponsor a child and I immediately thought of Maxo. Earlene has a grandson named Max so there it was, the double whammy! With Earlene and Bob’s help, Maxo was enrolled in school.

Our October trip had Maxo’s name listed as a child we wanted to meet and get to know. We didn’t even have to search, Maxo and 25 plus more sponsored children were there to greet us when we arrived. What a sweet child. His smile was infectious and he was indeed so very playful. His eyes always searching to see if we were looking at him so he could do something funny.

Maxo’s family, the Mombayards, have 14 children. Two of the children live with their grandfather, one is in the Dominican Republic. Another one has been given away to a family in Port-au-Prince. It’s not uncommon to give a child away to a family that is financially more stable.

So now John Robert and Miracile Noel live with 10 children in a house that has 2 small rooms but only one room is suitable for living in. The house and surroundings are DSCF1409always kept clean so there is pride in what they do own. Food is still scarce but Jean Robert has been hired by Wissel Joseph, our President/Founder to help with the building of his new house in Dos-Palais so the family will eat better for awhile. In March, Miracile gave birth to another child. Birth control is not available.

Wissel traveled to Dos-Palais in the middle of March. While there he honored Earlene and Bob’s request to purchase a goat for the family. He did not alert the family that money for a goat was given for them and it was such a surprise when the rope with a goat tethered at the other end was handed to them. A goat means so much to a family. Goats usually have 2-3 kids twice a year. Some of the kids they will sell and some they will eat. The family has a better chance at survival with a goat. When Wissel packed up to go home, the family was already constructing a goat pen.

See Maxo and his goat:  http://youtu.be/b9RRzMiaAmY

What a gift for that family! The compassion to lift others not only blesses that family but you as the donor also experience those blessings. We want to thank you for your concern and compassion for a little boy named Maxo who now knows that you cared for him and his family in a special way.

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Pattie’s Gift

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She looked like she was ready for the firing squad but I only wanted a picture.

How I wished that I knew the Creole language so I could maybe sit with her on the porch and listen to her story and maybe understand why she chose to strike this unusual pose for a woman who gave me permission to take her picture.

I can only assume the hard life she may have led and now it was even harder because she no longer had a husband to help her raise her children.  Other factors also came into play.  Food was scarce and not knowing where to turn for the next meal can make one feel bitter and unloved.  School was out of the question for her children.

But we came with good news!  My friend, Pattie, was led by a tender heart to send money to me with the expressed wish that I help a child in Haiti when we arrived.  Not knowing how we might help a child, we still knew it would be an easy task.  There are many children in Haiti that need help.

Wissel constantly reminded me of Pattie’s money as we traveled back and forth on the dusty roads of Dos-Palais.  We talked often of how the money could be spent.  How much of the money would be needed to help a family.  What could be done with the money by the family.  Everything was considered.  

Joly Family

Joly Family

Finally it was decided that there was money enough to help two families with their most immediate need -food- and there would be enough left over that they could invest in something that would provide a continued supply of food for the future.  For Haiti, a goat or some chickens would allow a family to sell the increase then put food on the table at home.

With happy hearts, we shared our good news and the money with Mrs. Joly.  What a thrill to see the relief and happiness by the family.  I felt the heart of a woman touched by a stranger’s gift when I hugged her before we left.  That moment’s hesitation before parting said it all to me.  It said “Thank you, Pattie”.

But then we had another gift yet to give.  So with happy hearts we walked further down the rocky road to  the Anger’s house.

It was in a half finished structure that we found Mr. Anger sitting on a chair.  I touched his knee so that he knew I was friendly and said “hello”, he quickly reached out for a handshake.  Mr. Anger has been blind for 15 years.  He started the house but because he lost his sight, he never finished it.  Soon we were joined by the family because visitors were rare in this little town.

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Again I asked his wife, Mrs. Anger if I could  take her picture and what a contrast I saw through my lens.  A beautiful woman full of optimism and hope even though she did not know the reason for our visit.

We found out that she and the family had exhausted their credit with the vendors in town so now they had nowhere to turn  to for food.  They scavenged what they could from the trees around them but it was not enough to fill the tummies of the children.

Again, we offered the same amount to them with suggestions on how to spend the money.  Immediate needs first and then invest in something to provide food for the future.  We told each family that Cherubin (our CNH Representative in Haiti) would be by later in the week to help them purchase things or animals with their money as their investment for the future.  He would help them get set up and have a workable plan.

The Anger Family

The Anger Family

Hugs all around and much joy was expressed by the family.  Later we saw them at the Open Enrollment for school sponsorships and learned that she paid all those who gave her food on credit and the kids had “newer” shoes on their feet.

What a difference Pattie’s gift made in the lives of 12 people in Haiti.  It not only provided desperately needed food but it also put the families in a position to feed themselves in the future.

An added bonus is that the children participated in the Open Enrollment process in hopes  of attending school.  A good education will uplift them even more.

And all this, food, possible education opportunities for the kids and hope, because Pattie cared enough to help “just one”

Please help us put these beautiful children in school.  It takes so little from you and me but it means so much to them.  An education helps to lift them out of poverty.  And as we look into the future we see the benefits of those we educate in this little town.  Benefits like increased educational opportunities and better services for the town because of improvements in the standard of living.

What investment can you think of that will have this much return?  A child’s future hangs in the balance;  a life of poverty or a good education and hope for a brighter future. You can be the change factor.   All this, education and hope, because you cared enough to help “just one”!