Tuesday, October 19


On my first trip to Haiti, when I visited the Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center, I met a little boy named Daseme. He was wild! Full of personality, happy and healthy, ran around with all the big kids and always wanted to hang on you. I wouldn't forget him after spending just two days there.

I returned 4 months later and found sweet (sometimes ornery!) Daseme. Not much had changed. Licia explained to me that Daseme had been in the Rescue Center for years. He was admitted as a severely malnourished 6 month old and weighed 13 pounds. His mother was dead and his father brought him to the clinic. His dad was looking for work and his plan was to leave him in the Rescue Center for a few months while he found work and got back on his feet. The hope was that Daseme would gain weight and get well and he would be able to find a job. He called Licia to check in after one month and said he was in the Dominican Republic and had found a job. He said his mother would come visit Daseme. Licia told him no one had been to see him. He called back 2 months after that and asked Licia to please wait for him, he loved his son and he would be back soon. His Dad asked Licia at least 3 times to please wait for him, he would be back.

More than two years later this is Daseme with peanut butter and cracker face.

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Not one word was heard from a family member for over two years. Licia sent word to the village where he was from and still nothing. She hired someone to go up to the village and they found a house that had been empty since Daseme's dad left. Lots of families asked about adopting Daseme. He was legally abandoned and was going to be placed in an orphanage.

The week before he was going to go to the orphanage, a man came running through the gates of the Clinic. Everyone was frightened by this man who didn't even stop and knock at the gate. He ran straight up to Licia and told her he had come to see her. She asked what for and he handed her a card with Daseme's name on it. We were all overjoyed! The staff was so excited. We got Daseme and brought him to his Papa. His Dad explained that he had been in jail in the Dominican Republic and had been waiting to return to find his only son still at the Rescue Center. He repeated the conversation he had with Licia years ago, "please wait for me, I love my son, please wait for me." It was such an amazing day. Daseme went home at 34 pounds with his Papa last August 2009.

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Last week that oh too familiar face returned to the clinic weighing 28 pounds and now has Kwashiorkor. He has been living with his aunt since he left last year. Daseme will be put on the Medika Mamba program and need to lose the fluid weight before he starts gaining.

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My heart aches in places I don't like to know are there when I think about Daseme. I will never understand what it is like to be a child with deep hunger pains and not able to feed yourself. I cannot even imagine what it is like to be that hungry. You may be wondering how a parent could let this happen. I know his Papa loves him, he returned for him after years of being gone, and he is doing what he thinks is best for his child. You and I have no place to judge that. The reality of it is you and I will NEVER have to know what it is like to be a parent who deeply loves your child and not be able to provide food for them. Daseme is so loved by everyone at the Rescue Center and by his Papa. Most importantly, his heavenly Father is crazy about him.

Please pray with me for Daseme. Pray that his fragile little body will recover from the malnutrition. Pray for his Papa who has given the care of his son over to someone else. Pray for those who are caring for him right now, that he would know the love of Jesus because of them.

I can't wait to see sweet little Daseme in a little less than a month!

Monday, October 4

I want to tell you a story

This is a story all about how my life got twisted upside down a sweet girl named Mary, and a big, big God.

When I was in college I volunteered for a ministry called Young Life that stands to change the lives of high school students by developing meaningful relationships that ultimately point them to Jesus. I was divinely assigned to hang out with kids from Dripping Springs high school, particularly sophomore girls. Early in my time there I met a girl named Mary. I immediately loved her but I tried to play it cool so she wouldn't be totally freaked out by me. She was a girl that people wanted to be around. She was beautiful and full of personality but I sensed she always held something back, like she had more to share. I had the privilege of hanging out with her and her group of friends for a couple years. I prayed for them by name through the yearbook and prayed that God would give me chances to hang out with them. I even got to take them to summer camp where I felt like God took our friendship to a deeper level. Mary knew Jesus, and I knew she loved Him, but I prayed that God would captivate her so much that she couldn't help but chase after him daily. And I believed He would.

And then I got busy. I started nursing school and I stepped down from Young Life and I totally blew it. I failed at pursuing her and felt like the worst friend ever. Mary went off to college in Alabama and I doubted that God would ever bring fruit from that relationship because I didn't do my part.

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It's a really great thing that God doesn't rely on us.

Fast forward about 4 years. I visit Haiti and my life is changed forever. I go back for awhile and I write a blog to tell about it; a few people read it.

Fast forward another year. I move to Nashville, TN and make a little life here. Summer comes around and I find out that Mary is living here and interning for a non-profit. Oh my goodness!!! Literally, I couldn't believe God's goodness. I thought, finally! God is giving me a chance to redeem this relationship that I so miserable stunk at. Mary and I connect and make plans to see each other.

On a totally separate note, I had known about dear Anna leaving Haiti for a while and had been praying really hard that God would send another teacher for Licia's boys. It was getting close to the end of summer and there were no hopeful prospects. I prayed harder. And then one Thursday afternoon I was at my desk at work and I got this email from Licia and all she said was "this gave me goosebumps! what do you think?"

Hi Enoch and Licia!
  It is SO good to finally meet you! I cannot believe that I find myself writing this to you right now, I am a twenty year old college student who currently has a lot of plans. Instead, I am throwing plans to the wind and E-mailing you about teaching your dear children. This can only be the Lord convicting me of something so out of the ordinary, my hands are still shaking. That and the fact that I absolutely fell in love with each of your boy's and their beautiful hearts in that video. 
To back up, my name is Mary Davis. I am currently majoring in International Relations and Missions at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama where I will be a junior in the fall. I was born and raised in Austin, Texas but am currently living in Nashville, TN for several months as I work for a stateside World Relief office specializing in Refugee Resettlement. I have followed your blog and gotten regular updates on Real Hope For Haiti for about a year now. Your lives have indirectly touched mine and I never thought that I would have the privilege of actually writing to you. Your mission came to my attention by way of the one and only, Caroline Tigner. Caroline was a mentor of mine in high school and someone who had a strong hand in leading me back to our sweet Jesus. When I was younger, Caroline was everything that I wanted to be "when I grew up." She will forever hold that place in my heart. I also followed Caroline as she stayed and worked alongside your family continually loving sick children. Who would have thought that reading a blog would be such a testament to hope? It has certainly shook me to my core and challenged me daily.
I burst into tears. Who are we that God would not only redeem this relationship but would use it for something more than I could have ever prayed up myself? Mary grew into the most beautiful, and wise woman who cares about the lost and the lame more than she cares about herself. I want to be like that when I grow up. After a few short weeks, working out life's little details and some steadfast prayer, Mary moved down to Haiti to serve as the teacher for Carmelo, Trey and Henley. You can follow her journey here. I get to visit Mary in her new home in November and I cannot tell you what a joy it is to be able to share Haiti with my sweet friend.
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Friday, October 1

I heart NYC

After a very long blog hiatus, I am back! And for a very exciting first post I want to share a fun video from my July trip to NYC that I took with my bff, Caroline Fontenot. I filmed most of the video and she put it together. (don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of this page and turn the music off)

Wherever you are this morning, I hope you are enjoying a beautiful fall day!