On January 12th 2010, James, then 13, was sitting outside the small cement block home he shared with his sister and two brothers along with his father. His father was down the block and his siblings were inside the home. The sudden shaking of the earth was so incredible that James did not know what was happening. He had never experienced anything like this before. He thought it was the end of the world. He saw his one youngest brother coming through the doorway. Seeing that falling blocks were about to move the door, James pushed him back inside and down to the ground. As James pulled himself back, the heavy steel door slammed shut. It would have crushed his brother's head for certain.
"There was so much dust", James says, "everything turned black. I could hear a lot of noises, but couldn't tell what it was. I walked toward the noises."
While the dust rose quickly, it settled slowly. As the dust cleared, it revealed neighbors homes reduced to nothing but rubble; it revealed the wounded; friends and acquaintances; it revealed a shut door with siblings behind it.
During the 25 seconds it took to reduce the capital city and its surrounding areas to what resembled a war zone, James life had changed. As he coughed back the dust and took in the sights around his home, he made his way back to the front door. His father had arrived. As they opened the door, they found Leonard, the smallest, unharmed because of James' actions. His other brother, Gladimiy was seated on the floor with fallen cement and blocks all around him. Where was Estherline, their sister? She had hidden under her bunkbeds, which now had cement and block all over them. James' father pulled her out. Their home was destroyed. They were alive.
Time soon found them on the grounds of the children's old school, where a tent city was now sprouting. That's where I met James and his siblings, in March, 2010. They had captured our hearts and the hearts of our leaders.
|James & Estherline, March 2010|
Fast forward. James and his siblings lived at the orphanage where we served in 2010 and 2011 and have been with us at LHC since our return in August 2011.
As we prepare for our departure back to the States, we've been tying up some loose ends. We had one more thing to take care of. We won't be here for James' birthday. I wanted to really bless him good.
The Haitian people are a great people. They are full of dreams for a better life. James is a dreamer. Through all he has been through, though he has a more realistic view of his dream, he still holds tight to his dream of being a pilot. Those who are bold enough to dream big, may be fortunate enough to realize their dreams. Unfortunately for teenage Haitian boys, most of them will never have the opportunity to realize their dreams.
Then he took him outside and said, "Look at the sky. Count the stars. Can you do it? Count your descendants! You're going to have a big family, Abram!"
Genesis 15:5 (MSG)
God is about tangible dreams. God wants to give us something to hold onto until the manifestation of the promise.
We had the opportunity last Saturday, to make James' dream more tangible. Through the help of a Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot and friend named Michael, James took to the skies.
It was his first time in an airport.
It was his first time on a plane.
It was his first flight.
Seeing his land from God's viewpoint was nearly more than he could bear.
It was his first time in the co-pilot's seat.
Please scroll back to the first photo of James from 2010. Then I have a request.
See the difference?
Would you pray for James to continue to do well in school and to be able to achieve every little goal on his way to the big goals? Haiti is no easy place for anything. Success here takes prayer, help, and God.
Then would you consider giving to Love Haiti's Children? They are doing a great work in Haiti.
The earthquake changed a lot of lives. It changed our lives. It changed James' life. Will you let it change yours?
Who would have known what God had planned?
Do you see the Hand of God?