As the kids were eating lunch today, I was telling Madame Menos how well some of the kids are doing in school. (School in all Haiti is cancelled right now, probably for the rest of the year, so I have been having “school” for the orphans every day. I started with teaching them the letters and sounds of the Haitian alphabet and how to write their names.) She said, “Wow! Everyone is so strong in writing except me!” I asked her if she ever had the chance to go to school. She didn’t, because her parents didn’t have any money when she was little. Then, both of her parents died when she was ten. She had no other choice but to move in with her aunt. When she told me this, my heart sank; I knew that meant she basically became a child slave at the age of ten. One of church women explained to me the first few weeks here that when children become orphans in Haiti, no one loves them, not even their extended family. They are destined to be house servants or much worse, wherever they end up. They do not go to school. They are barely fed. And they are oftentimes physically abused. I asked Madame Menos if this was the case for her, and she said, “YES! All I EVER did was work, and they would beat me all the time.” She lived there until she was 27 when she finally got married and had a way out. She told me her husband, Menos, had a very similar childhood. He became an orphan at a young age too.
As she was telling me this, I was in shock. When she told me that people in Haiti only love their own children, I asked her how and why she loves the orphanage children so much, because, obviously, they are not her own. She told me that it’s because Jesus changed her heart, and He has given her a love for them. I still cannot stop thinking about this…How amazing that God would use this woman, an orphan herself, to raise and teach these orphaned boys that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them!!!!!! Unbelievable.