Working with the poor, we often hear heartbreaking stories from the countries we serve. One of our project officers recently commented that sometimes it feels like there are more needs than we could ever possibly meet. What gives him hope are the success stories of people whose lives are changed through our work. Below is an uplifting story we recently received from our mission partner Espwa Orphanage, sheltering 651 orphaned and vulnerable children in Haiti:
One afternoon, a mischievous boy at Eswpa Village decided to go for a joyride — on a horse. It was fun for 16-year-old Bonhomme while it lasted — that is, until he fell off and broke his wrist. But it’s amazing how God can work things together for good. His worried brother, Bussco, 14, accompanied Bonhomme to the hospital when a staff member took him to get a cast. During the hospital’s intake questions, Bonhomme was asked, “How many siblings do you have?” Both brothers burst out crying. It turned out that they had a third brother, and the orphanage was unaware. When Bonhomme and Bussco were sent to live at Espwa four years ago, their 9-year-old brother, Fedlin, was sent to be a restavek — a child servant. They hadn’t seen or heard from him since. He would be 13 now.
This photo was taken the day Fedlin (left) finally joined his brothers at Espwa. Bonhomme (center) and Bussco (right) are very happy to be reunited with him, having been separated for four years!
The brothers longed to see their brother again and live under the same roof. So the orphanage searched the area and was able to locate the home where Fedlin lived in servitude. They discovered the boy had been sent to this family in exchange for his schooling. But, like most of the nearly 300,000 restaveks in Haiti, the deal never transpired. Fedlin never saw a classroom, but lived the harsh, backbreaking life of near-slavery.
With much persuasion, Fedlin’s “aunt” (owner), finally agreed to let the boy move to Espwa. The brothers were ecstatic to finally be reunited after so many years apart. Fedlin was soon enrolled in the first grade at Espwa’s primary school. He was out of school for so long he will basically be starting over; but he will finally get an education. And he is finally surrounded by people who truly love him and have his best interests at heart.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Espwa’s ministry to hundreds of orphaned and vulnerable Haitian children.