I want to share a bit of what I know of these three boys. Basically, we have seen them around town for the past month or so, and we have given them water and food a few times, but we didn't realize initially that they were living on the street. We thought that they, like many children in Jimani, were just left to their own a majority of the time. About three weeks ago, we ran into them again at our regular grocery store, and with six weeks of Creole lessons under my belt tried to have a conversation with them, and from that conversation understood that they were living on the street. We started to try to verify their story and the store owner said they were just always on the street. I began praying for wisdom and guidance. Well, we didn't see them again for the next two weeks or so, until last Friday when we were on our way to Port au Prince for the weekend. We ran into them as I made a last stop to buy water to hand out to the border guards. I decided to postpone our departure and took them to the facility to speak with Hostey, one of the facility staff that speaks English and Creole.
We gave them money for food for the weekend and asked them to meet us on Monday after we returned from Port au Prince. Well, yesterday they showed up with the clothes on their back, and an extra garment or two a piece. We got more of their story, and their mom's died in the earthquake. Two of them are cousins. They worked for a bus-driver for a short time after the earthquake finding people to ride on his bus, and when they earned enough for their own fare, they managed to get across the border into Jimaní.
We don't yet have legal permission in place to take in children. My biggest concern about taking them in without any permission is the potential impact to the future ministry, which led me to the meeting with CONANI, the Dominican Republic's government office for the protection of children and adolescents. I met with a Reuben, a man specifically in charge of dealing with the increased number of street kids as a result of the earthquake. He was very open to our working with these children and gave us temporary permission to house them, and scheduled a meeting with a coalition of organizations in Jimaní that oversees services for the area's children and adolescents. At this meeting Melissa and I will be presenting plans for use of the facilities as a Children's Home.
We always knew that God would be the one to make this happen, and He seems to be putting the pieces together.
We appreciate your prayers as we prepare for the meeting and your prayers for these boys.