Something amazing happened the past few weeks of us being in Papaye, Hinche, Haiti. We were able to empower and teach some amazing local men and women in the community. As we continued on, there were three men who stood out to us as people who wanted to learn more, serve more and become more. These guys went on to finish out the tank in their own community and agree to go into the community of Laby, a nearby village.
(photo credit: Jesselyn Prophet)
Two of these guys had never traveled as far as the neighboring village of Laby. And, while there might be some good reasons for traveling around Haiti, these guys had never really gone to another place to help. This was a trip of many firsts, for us as Justice Water as well. We learned so much and are left with ideas and plans that we can thank this team for.
(houses in Papaye. Photo credit: Jesselyn Prophet)
As we have met and talked, I have found myself wondering more and more about these men we are working with. Who are they? Are they really passionate about this or is it something that they are just doing? What do they think about who we are?
We had the chance to talk with them, to share with them. And, turns out, life is sometimes the same for someone who lives in a one bedroom house and for someone who is from the USA. We are all hurt, we are all sick, we are all looking for a protector…we all want to be good at something. We have all been hurt by people we thought love us. And, hopefully, we have all met people who give us hope. These guys give us hope and for whatever reason, we were able to do the same for them. Please take some time to read about these three wonderful guys. We are so fortunate to have worked with them.
His name literally translated means “God is big”, and he knows this to be true. He has always sought after education and knowledge. He was raised in a small village where he ran into some trouble with attempting to gain an education. His dad wouldn’t pay for schooling because he knew it would mean his son leaving him. Still, he worked from the time he was 12 years old to pay for his school fees and waited patiently to be called to take the national exam, even moving to Port-Au-Prince to work and aggressively seek out more education. In his time of living in Port-Au-Prince, he felt the touch of the Father in his life and became a Christian. He returned to Papaye and is still seeking to get an education. Needless to say, he was thrilled to learn Justice Water’s technology and learned quickly from it. He intends to continue training with Justice Water as well as beginning to start building more tanks in the area of Hinche.
Wilfrid was raised in a few different areas of Hinche, moving with his parents and two siblings. His parents also saw that educated children were leaving their parents and moving on to a better life, so they refused to pay his school fees. He worked at an early age to provide for his family until his older brother and sister saved enough money for him to attend school. It was through their kindness that he began to understand the love of God. He describes God as a protector and as someone who is mighty. He is especially thankful for the education Justice Water has provided him and he plans to continue working with Justice Water in the future. He was quick to learn and quick to teach others in Laby.
No stranger to poverty, Bodelaure grew up in some of the poorest conditions in the world. Living in a rural village, he was often left wondering where his next meal would come from. Early in his life, his father left Bodelaure and his mother to find a better life in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, he never returned. Bodelaure found himself alone and in need: a child having to provide for his mother. He never attended school and has taken whatever job he could find. He was married and has a beautiful child. When he and his wife split up, he was incredibly hurt by the church. He has continued on with his life, being on the outside of the church and what they are doing. He remarried and his new wife is expecting a child in 8 months. As we have had time to speak with this awesome worker and man, we have been able to encourage him by our actions and love. His two new friends from his village have also been able to show him who God really is- not some mean person waiting to judge him, but someone who has a deep love for him. He is still struggling, but has found that he is not alone in his struggles or his hurts. For that he is really grateful. He is also grateful for the opportunity to have learned with Justice Water and wants to continue to work with us, as well.
These are the heroes of the story of Papaye. These are the men who have worked so hard and who have overcome all kinds of obstacles. They have had nothing, no training and certainly no one believing in them and have overcome it all. They have learned so much and have been able to provide water to another community in Hinche. When you hear of Haiti’s miserable past and their “impending doom”, think of these guys changing the world for His glory. These men who have nothing who are now a light in their village.