Do for them what I did for Julia

Last week in the blurry mess that was hospitalization, as I watched my daughter hooked up to IVs, being poked, prodded, tested and loved, I had this faint niggling in the back of my tired heart.

Here we were doing everything known to man to help my daughter through her mysterious illness, yet I’d just left a country where children suffer far more, with no medical intervention.

We will end up paying lots of money in the aftermath of Julia’s hospitalization, all worth it. We spent our energy, our lives, our vitality, hoping for her to recover. (Thank God she did and continues to).

But who will advocate for kids who have no advocate? There are children–no different than ours–who die because they cannot afford a $10 prescription for antibiotics.

I know it’s a hard place to be, this land of plenty. We all have our struggles, many of them financial. Our empathy muscle is tired, overworked. We look at problems of kids in the developing world and think, “What in the world can I do?” We read books like When Helping Hurts, and despair sometimes, because even our help sometimes hurts those we’re helping.

We don’t want to give a handout, but a hand up. We don’t want to always rescue, but restore.

So how can I do for those kids in Haiti what I’ve done as Julia’s mom? Tangibly, it means I sponsor one of the children I met.

If you’d like to join me, that would be great. Here’s what you do:

Go to the Help One Now sponsor page.

On the right hand side, you’ll see a dark gray box. Here’s how you’ll be sure to sponsor one of the children I met:

Status: orphan

Location: Yaveh Shamma

Gender: (Choose the gender)

Age: (choose an age)

By Name or ID: (Only if you know this.)

Click “SORT.”

Now you’ll be face to face with some of the most beautiful children on God’s green earth. Since I have been to Yaveh Shamma, I can attest that it’s an amazing place, where children are educated, cared for, fed, and nurtured. They are loved there. They’re learning to be the next leaders of their nation. An investment in them is a tangible investment in Haiti’s future.

Now that you see the children, choose one.

I did. I chose Jeannette.

She and Samantha are best friends, and those two girls found me the moment I came into their home. They loved me, hugged me, held my hand. They seldom left my side.

Here’s what stopped me cold when I read Jeannette’s profile:

Jeannette Elysee

  • Location: Haiti, Yaveh Shamma
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 14

“Jeannette’s parents split up and neither would take responsibility for her, which is how she came to live at the orphanage.  She enjoys playing with her best friend Samantha.”

Take note: She is fourteen years old. Julia’s age. When I showed Julia her picture, she said, “Why can’t we just adopt her and make her a DeMuth?” We can’t do that, but we can provide for her needs. 🙂

I’m privileged to be Jeannette’s last sponsor. (Because the needs are so great, each child is sponsored five times. This helps cover everything they need as well as help Pastor Gaetan and his wife in the school they operate for the neighborhood children in the surrounding area.)

I have a lump in my heart and throat as I write this. That Jeannette is Julia’s age, shares the same infectious joie-de-vivre as my daughter, and was the first to hug and approach me, makes me see just how AMAZING and SPECIFIC God is. He sent me to Haiti to meet a girl my daughter’s age, then brought me back to the US so I could care for my daughter in need.

Beautiful, sweet irony.

What a privilege it is to be Jesus’ girl.

But don’t take my word for it. Take Jeannette’s. She sings (lower right) “There’s no one like Jesus” here:

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