Linese* was very young when her father died. Her mother was left to provide for her family alone. Work was incredibly hard to find in their poor community and there were many days when Linese and her siblings went without food. Linese never went to school and even lacked basic medical care for a knee problem that kept getting worse. As her mother took increasingly desperate measures to survive and escape her life’s unfortunate turns, it became clear that something was going to have to change.
Linese was just one step away from being sent to live with another family as a child slave (restavek.)
It seemed hopeless. Linese was just another of the millions of vulnerable children in Haiti, not because she’d done anything wrong, but because death, tragedy and deep poverty had been a part of her country and her family for too long. It’s a story we know all too well. At a conference recently, professor, author and speaker Christena Cleveland said it well,
“Sometimes we have a theology of scarcity around justice. But God has abundance to give us and His hand is not short.”
His had was certainly not short for Linese, although it was hard to see that in those terribly long arduous days as a child on the brink of disaster. But, through the dedicated work of LSM and the Body of Christ coming together, Linese’s story is not ending as a tragic statistic.
You see, our Homes of Hope are a lifeline for desperate children like Linese. And before she was old enough to really understand the ramifications, she was brought into a new family who would love and nurture her. It was something she never could have dreamed of before.
Now 14, Linese is thriving. She’s still very aware of the millions of young children in her city that that are sick and need the same life-giving care she’s gotten, even when they can’t afford it. She dreams of becoming a pediatrician so she can help kids just like her who have no way to receive the care they desperately need. And with the full continuum of care we provide through adulthood for our Home of Hope children, she really has the chance of doing just that!
Changes like this doesn’t happen without the dedicated, long-term work of those who believe in the justice and compassion that Jesus taught us. So keep fighting in your corner, whether it’s justice, advocacy, adoption, or a host of other hard, day-to-day roles caring for the vulnerable. We all have a part. Linese will tell you a thousand times over that your sacrifices for ONE child are worth it.
We’d love to help connect you to ways to live and care for the vulnerable. Here’s a few places to start:
- Become a Prayer Partner.
- Start an Orphan Care Ministry in Your Church.
- Become an Ongoing Family Sponsor and bring your whole family along in our exclusive online family room.
*name changed for privacy