“My name is Wesly”--with that began a friendship at the Lacaste orphanage. Wesly is a diminutive 15-year-old boy we first saw caring for the younger children. We snuck him the last half of a bottle lemonade soda and the friendship grew--he started to hang around the construction site. He carried boards, held nails, and soon had a tool belt strapped around his waist, drill in hand, joining the team. He was eager to learn and just as eager for the attention of our guys.
Late in the week, we needed to move sheets of plywood back to Jephthe’s house. We loaded an SUV and used Wesly as ballast to hold the sheets inside the vehicle during the transit. After, we took time for a treat, four of us in a rustic restaurant drank cold sodas--and we learned about Wesly.
With moistened eyes, he told us that his mom and dad were killed in a transport van accident in 2014 along with a dozen other people; he moved from son to orphan in a few seconds. His brother and sister live in other places and he only sees them occasionally. The tragedy has stilted his schooling; he is currently in the 5th grade. His total material possessions are on the bed he shares with another boy and the five nails where he hangs all of his clothes. He goes to church but we really haven’t talked to him about Jesus--yet.
There is no way we can reconstruct the trauma of Wesly’s childhood. But, maybe we can provide support that helps Wesly and the other forty children in Lacaste to understand God’s love in tangible ways. All of Haiti won’t be changed for Jesus, but maybe a few kids in need will be.