Many people have asked us why 12? Why do you plan to only take in 12 mothers at a time? It's a good question.
Let me start to answer it by saying this..
Our mission is two-fold. We know that in Haiti children are hungry and babies are dying. One in eight children will die before the age of five. And 50% of children are malnourished. We known that. We've seen it. For a year and a half we lived it and breathed it. I blogged about it here. It's an urgent need. Trust me, there's not always a lot of time to beat around the bush. With kids, there's simply not a lot of time...
We also know that mothers and fathers are desperate for work. Haiti boasts an unemployment rate of 70%. Can you even imagine? This means that not only are you without a job, but your mother and father, your sister, your other sister, your husband, and your neighbor also do not have an income. Just think about how hard life seems when the market takes a little dip. Losing your job can feel like life has come crumbling down and is threatening to suffocate you beneath the rubble. But imagine perpetually living beneath the rubble, never getting the chance to breath easily, never going a day without having to fight for your life and for those of your starving children. Really, can you imagine?
We know them.
We've cried with them, struggled with them, we've sat, staring blankly at a wall with them when there just doesn't seem to be any way to fix it. We've had to say far too many times, "no, I'm sorry I don't have a job for you. But I'll remember you. I'll pray for you. I understand." Saying this always killed me.
Since when is I'm sorry good enough?
And I understand?? Is it even possible for me to really understand what is like to have a starving child??? Really.
I might not understand what your life is really like but I do
understand that it's not your fault. It's not your fault that your country is situated in a hurricane belt and your mud and stick home crumbles every year, it's not your fault that the Earthquake has left you handicapped and homeless, it's not your fault that your family was too poor to send you to school, that rioters killed your father, that mosquitos make you their prey, and that systems that don't work have left you feeling powerless and confused.
So how do you go about conveying to someone who undeniably feels incapable, a failure, small, and scared that they are capable, loved by God, important, and powerful.
Relationship and opportunity.
So why 12? We know that in this work its the people and the process that are important. Not so much the numbers and not so much a long list of success stories. When the focus is placed on the projects and the products we've missed the point. When we're stretching ourselves too thin and focusing on the masses we're headed down a dangerous path one that ends in burnout and disappointment. And we don't want that. What we do want is healthy babies and women that feel loved and noticed. We're investing our time and energy into just 12 pairs at a time believing that God will bring them into victorious living. Our method isn't fool proof. Every situation is different. But with God all things are possible. Can I get an amen?
We were presenting our vision to a friend and got to the part about building accommodations for 12 mother/child pairs. He was smiling but he probed further. "Why twelve?" he asked. We gave our answers not knowing if we were giving the right ones. We respected his opinion and at this point couldn't tell if he thought we'd made a mistake on this point. At the same time, he was looking at us as if he couldn't wait to announce that Christmas was coming a week early. "You know that's significant, right?" He continued. "Just think of how many disciples Jesus had!" he said enthusiastically.
Jesus had twelve disciples. He knew the importance of investing in the few. His relationship with them led to knowledge, confidence in Him, and the power of the Holy Spirit. And then he sent them out to reach the nations.
These 12 beds will fill up. Then, one by one they will go out. They'll return to
their communities. They will reach Haiti.
And then Si Bondye vle, the beds will fill up again.