"Grandma," Rocks & Hope

August 15, 2020

GmaNRoadBlockHope Force International’s (HFI) primary location focus in Haiti, since the 2010 earthquake, has been the rural village of Sous Savanne. However, back in 2012, we were approached by leaders of Babay — a village located on the top of a nearby hill — seeking help for their village after seeing the improvements in Sous Savanne.  After investigating their conditions, we decided to help by providing housing through the Houses of Hope initiative. 

En route to the building site, we passed several Red Cross transitional homes and Haitian glissades (shacks) — many still living in homes cobbled together with old tarps, pieces of metal and sticks. A desperate grandma living close in one of the Red Cross shelters was determined to secure help for her family.  Knowing that we would be returning by this route, she gathered a number of large stones and covered the road with them, enough to keep us from passing. She took one of her small granddaughters and put her right on top of the pile of stones to capture our attention.  “Grandma” was awaiting our arrival and came out to explain her plight, and to make her appeal for help. 

Later, Grandma shared with our HFI Haiti Coordinators, Rene and Marianne Lako, that many of her adult children had left Haiti to find work elsewhere, leaving her responsible for the grandkids — all seven of them. The Lakos explained that HFI is motivated by the love of God, and that while we would love to help everyone — this isn’t always possible. They encouraged her by reminding her of God’s love and care for her and His compassion for all. These are some of the most difficult conversations to have with desperate people. The Lakos ended by asking if they could pray for her and she gladly accepted their prayers. Before too long, one of her grandchildren was placed on the waitlist of HFI’s Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) – which always has children on the waitlist as we await sponsors. Gratefully, a donor soon stepped forward to sponsor one of the girls; as you can imagine, Grandma was delighted.  

IMG 3081Now, just this month, one of Grandma’s adult children with three small children wrote a letter pleading for help and asking to be included in the CSP. She also went on to describe her current living conditions and made an appeal to be a recipient of a House of Hope. In the picture below, you can see why this mother really needs a better home.  We are delighted to say that due to the generosity of donors, funding has been secured and we will soon begin the construction of a home for this grateful family. 

Covid-19 has had a terrible impact upon the local economy.  However, because of generous, extra donations, we have recently been able to give extra food — more rice and beans — and in addition, even food for the 35 children on the waitlist!   During our food distributions, we adhere to government regulations of hand-washing, social distancing and masks.

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Just last week, we dedicated two new Houses of Hope, and we’re now up to 79 homes built. It is hard to adequately thank our donors for making this possible.  On behalf of each family receiving help, we extend a heartfelt “Thank you!”

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