Not what you expect at a birthday party.....

Meet Gigi...

This is our sweet wonderful neighbor who lives right over our cement wall where she is running the Bethlehem Home with 5 orphans and 1 young boy with no mom who's father helps out on the property. This picture only shows the two of us during a birthday party she was throwing for the 5 kiddo's she has their because she missed all of their birthdays. Gigi lives most of the time in the U.S. but was born in Haiti and the Lord has called her back after over 20 years away to help children here. She has taken in 3 girls and 1 boy who's parents are all dead and then has an older boy, Vicki, who's father helps out on the property and the mother has abandoned him. Gigi's desire is to raise these children with love and not just to have them adopted out..."they aren't up for adoption", she says. But to raise them to change the community and the heart of Haitians. On Gigi's last time in the US the Lord had her delayed from traveling back to the US which ended up allowing her to go for an annual doctors checkup where they found she had breast cancer. She had to stay in the US for 10 months, which was very hard for her and also why she missed all the birthdays.

...Ok...back to the party. Early that morning Aaron and I were enjoying our devotion time when we heard a pretty terrible sound and quickly learned that they were killing one of their pigs to cook for the party for dinner! Not a lovely thing to listen to, but we knew it was super special for our family to come to the party. Our kids have fallen in love with the beautiful children! Let me introduce you...

From the left; Jesika, Sabrina, Aseli, Gabriel and Vicki.

So Gigi knew I made cakes in the US so she asked if I could help make one...let me say this is no easy task!!! I had no real butter, no cake pans, no the Lord provided a glass pyrex with a box mix and someones Christmas colored icing! HA! It was interesting. I knew in my heart that these kids don't get cake much...they have no electricity, no showers, no kitchen and no mattresses....this cake just needed to be edible! After my muffling with the awesome un-level oven this is the cake and they could truly care less what it looked like! They felt celebrated and it was wonderful. 

The atmosphere quickly changed as Gigi's gate opened and a woman came in with an older girl (about 14), a small girl (6) and a little 1 year old. The woman had been there before and Gigi looked to Aaron and I for advice as this woman was bringing the 6 year old girl to leave for good with Gigi.

This is not what you expect at a birthday party.

The woman was the cousin of the older two girls mom. To our knowledge the mom has been in prison for over a year for killing the dad and the girls were there when he died. Then the two older girls were taken by someone and the 6 year old has been treated like a slave (known locally as a restavek). This little girl looked completely hollow. I had no idea what to say to Gigi. She truly had no budget to take her in with school about to start. Gigi had to get up and leave because her emotions took over. This isn't the first time since she arrived that people have come to her gate with children.  Aaron and I both asked why the woman isn't going to care for her but only wants to keep the older sister. The woman said her three children were enough for her to manage and the older girl was easier. As we asked details about the parents and the treatment of the two girls I tried to speak to the little girl but nothing I said even made her blink. 

Mind you, this whole time the party is going on around us as this woman and her littlest baby are pawning off a 6 year old and keeping the oldest for better was very heavy. They just sat...and sat...for almost 45 minutes. Aaron served them some food, even though he struggled inside with what this woman was doing. We both are learning daily more and more how much we need the love of Jesus to radiate out of our lives here.  Eventually I got to the young girl and even though I didn't know how to say much in Creole, I said..."You are loved. Jezi Renmen Ou(Jesus Loves You). You are not abandoned." It broke my heart. Her eyes never changed. And then they left.

The party ended up with Aaron teaching all the kids their how to play freeze tag and it was crazy! So much fun in the midst of complete reality of life in this country for many many many children who are living life believing they are abandoned and unwanted. To see her face and know that she understands clearly that she is not wanted by people was so hard to watch. It makes me ever so grateful for Gigi and the Hopestart Children's home that are loving these children in the midst of pain I may never fully comprehend. 



So...I am sure if you've read this whole story you may be wondering what happened to the little girl. Before the woman left Gigi asked what prison the mother was at and said she was going to ask the mom permission and to see if Gigi might be able to help the mother get out. The woman didn't come back for over a week. Finally...she came back and Gigi went to the prison and met the mom. I am unsure of her circumstances, but by faith Gigi took in the little girl because she believed that the little girl would continue to be abused. 

Today we went over to play and hang out and we found someone...smiling..

This sweet girl with the light pink tank top is Jislande! It was so amazing to see her smile! Please join with me to pray for Gigi and these kiddos. There are so many opportunities to see Him work and He is doing a huge work here. Pray for Gigi's staff to know the love of Jesus Christ and have a relationship with Him. Pray for each child their too also know Jesus and that even through the sweet relationships my kids have with them they would see more and more of a Father who will never leave them and never abandon them. WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS!

About andrea

about andrea photo
Andrea is a Rock Ambassador serving in Jérémie, Grand'Anse, Haiti. She is part of a dynamic discipleship team that is raising up a generation of world changers in Jérémie. Her passion is to see people saved and to help them discover their new identity in Christ. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder and is a graduate from the IMPACT195 School of Ministry.