He saw me and came running.
It was my first day back in Jubilee after a whole year. Ifocoeur told me that David was home sick, which meant that I wouldn’t get to see him that day. I climbed to the second story of the school and looked out towards the houses in Jubilee. Just then a little person appeared in the distance, saw me, and broke out into a run. David wasn’t sick after all.
I have been amazed to be remembered. After all, I only visit Jubilee once a year, and there are plenty of rotating white faces at the Jubilee School. But somehow, child after child smiled and waved at “Mama Chennen”. And after all these years, I still can’t remember all of their names.
But there is Someone who does remember. Teacher Katie told me about a beautiful Haitian Creole word, “Sonje” which means “to remember” and also “to miss”. How amazing to know that the One who made the stars and holds everything together also remembers me. He remembers David, Ashline, Genese, Angel, and Bervalie ….He doesn’t miss a thing.
Recently, I read this Scripture in my children’s devotional: Isaiah 49:15-16a “Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
Some may describe Jubilee as a “god forsaken” place, but I don’t believe that. He has remembered Wilderson, Katiana, Obinio, and Mathias. He has remembered Biolan, Linda and Tony. And he has sent you and me. He has sent LaLa, April, Katie, Tia, Laura and Fresnel. He has placed a passion in our hearts for these little ones. He has remembered……truly he has never forgotten.
He has never forgotten Manius and Manickson, the brothers who lost their mother to AIDS and whose father doesn’t really want them. Their father sent them away twice to live with relatives in the countryside, away from the teachers and students who love them. They returned last week, both thin and malnourished, Manickson sick with typhoid. They were welcomed with open arms and the sponsors’ gifts that were saved for their return. Their bodies are nourished with food and medicine, their hearts with love.
As you “sonje” the little ones who are close to your heart, will you also remember them in your prayers to our Heavenly Father? Will you ask Him to bless, provide for, protect, strengthen and encourage them? The children of Jubilee live with the harsh daily realities of poverty and all the brokenness that it brings. Somehow in the beauty and mystery of God’s ways, He gives us the privilege of bringing our requests to Him and asking for His kingdom of love, mercy and justice to come. The prayers of the righteous are powerful and shake the heavens.