I was reminded today what it truly means to make a sacrifice. As we have sold our house, much of our possessions, given up our jobs, and prepared to move to Haiti full time, these things have felt like sacrifices. Many of these things have been hard for me. As Matt and I sat down with our oldest boy at the orphanage this morning to discuss school for next year, I was shown what it truly means to sacrifice.
Chinaider is 18 years old and in the 2nd grade. He started out the year in 4th grade but was demoted to 2nd because of where his reading skills are. Of the kids at the orphanage, he is easily the most helpful, trustworthy, and dependable. Over the last few weeks, Matt and I have been talking and praying about what the right thing to do for Chinaider’s future is. Realistically speaking, he will never finish school. We made the decision to try and get him into a mechanic school here at Christianville instead of sending him to school next year. When we mentioned it to him, he was thrilled and we were certain this was the solution. Not wanting to make any decisions about his future without him being on board and fully understanding what it would mean, we asked a Haitian friend here (Juliomme) who is also a mechanic and speaks great english to sit down with us and Chinaider and explain to him what we were thinking. Juliomme told Chinaider that we wanted to send him to mechanic school and he immediately started smiling. I thought for sure this was the answer for Chinaider. Then Juliomme explained the next part, that it would mean giving up school. That’s when Chinaider’s whole demeanor changed. Chinaider told Juliomme that he thought he would just go to mechanic school over the summer and then go back to school in the fall. He asked Juliomme to please tell us that the reason school is hard for him is because his mom never sent him to school. He asked Juliomme to please tell us that once he did get to go to school his mom beat him and that made it harder for him to learn. He asked Juliomme to please tell us that he loves school and does not want to “sacrifice” it. We quickly assured Chinaider that he could stay in school and we would get him more help.
All the time I feel like I sacrifice things. Maybe I think I sacrifice a little sleep when we get up early to go and get the kids in the morning. Sometimes I think I sacrifice my time or my money for different things. Today, for an 18 year old boy here in Haiti, sacrifice meant something different. It meant giving up the only chance he had at an education (which is not an easy thing to come by here in Haiti). Today I watched Chinaider fight for his education instead of being ready to sacrifice it and I was reminded what it truly means to sacrifice something.