The ladies have been working hard getting ready for Christmas. We have several jewelry parties going on and a local Christmas bazaar where we will sell and spread the word locally here in Haiti. Today Sonia came over a little earlier than the rest of the ladies to work on her paper beads. It was just her and me in the room, so we began to talk. She lives in a one room house that is about 8 x 10 feet. Her husband and herself and the baby sleep on a single mattress and the other four children sleep on another. She has already given one little girl up for adoption as she has sickle cell and couldn’t afford the medicine. It was the only way to save her life.
My curiosity got the best of me today and I started asking her some pretty direct questions. Aside from the beading, both her husband and her are unemployed. My question is “how do they really do it.. how do they survive?”. She said that anytime that she has a little bit of money, she buys food and makes it for all of her neighbors. This increases the chances that if she has nothing, that someone might share with her as well. In this way, she is able to feed her children maybe three or four times a week. (That’s three or four MEALS a week). I asked her.. “but aren’t your children hungry.. what do they do when they are hungry. Do they cry? ” My American mind can’t even begin to wrap my mind around my little one looking up at me needing food and me not having anything to give them.
She paused and looked at me. “Yes they cry”.
“Well how do you feel as a mother when your children are crying because they are hungry.”
She held her composure for a minute and said that “I pray. I pray that God would give us what they need so that we can eat”. And then she said.. “but I have a nine year old son. And he is hungry a lot. And he cries and cries.” And then she broke down and started sobbing. Tears started streaming out of my eyes as well. This women has become my friend. She is at my house at least three times a week and her son is starving. How do I respond to this. I am trying to help her. But what I am doing just isn’t enough. It isn’t enough to stop even the hunger pains of her babes. My heart searches the heavens as I recall the scriptures that promise us that we are worth more than the birds and the lillies and yet they have what they need. I cry out to God for Sonia that her plates would be full and her babies bellies satisfied.
Sonia is part of our artisans program at the Apparent Project. If you would like to buy some jewelry hand made by Sonia or some of the other ladies, please consider hosting a jewelry party or donating supplies for beading in order to keep these ladies in business. If you would like to donate funds as a love gift so that Sonia’s family can eat for Christmas, we will make sure that that happens as well. Thank you!