On December 14 I posted these words on my social media accounts:
Starfish participant comes to Rosie’s and says her small business we helped her start is “finished” and she doesn’t know how she will continue feeding her kids once she graduates from the program in two weeks. Enter doubts for everything Starfish.
Another friend comes in and asks for job because her husband has recently left her for another woman, who is rumored to be pregnant. Enter all feels of frustration.
Then a team came into Rosie’s for lunch and after they left two Haitians walked in and stole our entire money box and threatened my boutique staff with a gun if she screamed. She ran into the the office, where I was, after they left completely terrified and weeping. Enter total rage feelings at this point.
Continue working and another friend walks into my office telling me how her marriage is on the brink of divorce, they have no money for rent and asking me to fix it all. Enter burnout feelings.
Lastly, to end the day, I find out someone crucial to our leadership in the ministry may be quitting. No feelings left to feel.
Today’s a new day. Thankful for those new mercies and that I can even sit here – day in and day out – loved and seen by a God who trumps all evil and promises eternity.”
Surely, being robbed from sucked. But, yesterday I experienced something holy and I just want to write it all out before I forget about it.
I also want to say that being robbed from turned out to be such a blessing. The first thing I did after we all calmed down on that afternoon in December was look at all the ladies working in the boutique that day (there were seven of them!) and tell them how much I loved them. I told them that no amount of money was worth their lives and even if there had been thousands of dollars in that case, it wouldn’t have mattered. Their lives are so important to me. A sure reminder that I need to tell them how proud I am of them, how much I appreciate them and how much I value their relationships…not just on the days when life sucks, but on the normal, every day days.
Being robbed from also forced me to buy a new cash register that’s fancier and prints receipts and it makes me feel like a real boss. So, thank you robbers, for allowing me to have the excuse to buy fun, new things for my business.
The robbery was also the final proof we needed to hire a daytime security guard. We had been discussing hiring someone to begin with after a few incidents that had left the staff feeling uncomfortable, so this made our decision to hire someone that much easier.
Now let’s rewind a bit, so you can capture the whole picture.
It’s 2016 and I’ve officially started running the Starfish program. A woman in the program, Malite, was severely ill with HIV. She spent nearly eight months at a hospital to recover and gain her health back. When she returned back to Tytoo after all those months, our leadership could barely recognize her! She had gained nearly thirty pounds and you could tell her joy for life was back. A few months later another woman we worked with also started losing her health due to HIV and Malite helped get her admitted into the same long-term HIV program and would spend days at a time at the hospital with her.
Malite eventually met Sylvio and the two fell in love. I remember her telling us one day at Starfish how she’d never had a boyfriend take such good care of her. He’d help do the laundry and clean the dishes. We would eventually give Malite a job making our greeting cards and she would soon give birth to two beautiful baby boy twins.
Sylvio would drive Malite to Rosie’s every Wednesday to hand in her work and I had the chance to see how caring he was and after sharing how appreciative he was for Rosie’s and all it did for his family, I knew he would go above and beyond to protect us.
So, we hired Sylvio as our daytime security guard just before Christmas. On the outside, he’s a little rough around the edges, but I think that’s what I love most about him. He’s small in stature, but super kind and helpful. He also won’t let me carry a darn thing out of my car into the boutique, he insists on carrying it himself!
Yesterday, I drove Sylvio home so he could show me their new home that was built this last month. Thanks to the Love My Tribe fundraiser we did last fall we were able to provide this safe home for their family. It was so filling and so holy to stand next to him, knowing the type of future their family will have now because of two sustainable jobs and a safe house.
Do you realize how very few families in Haiti have these things going for them? Sustainable jobs and safe homes? The fact that I get to witness God providing for people first-hand like this is beyond me still. Malite and Sylvio are expecting to welcome a newborn baby girl sometime in the next month. Pray for their health and the health of the little boy being held by Malite in the photo above. He has failure to thrive and has had serious health issues in the past and is just the tiniest nugget. The two hope to marry this year and it will be such a beautiful day when they do!
As for Rosie’s, it’s a dream to do life with these people and I’ll never take for granted the jobs we get to provide here. If you ever get to visit our boutique here in Haiti, Sylvio will be the first to greet you at the gate!
To support these mamas and their jobs, shop our greeting card collection today: click here to SHOP!
As for the two guys who robbed us back in December, thank you. You made us step up our game and in the end we were blessed.
Love from Haiti.