One week ago, I received a text message from Maman Deborah late in the night saying that Isabelle had showed up at her door.
Isabelle was one of the first street kids I met at Vivante back in early 2005. She along with her two young brothers, Theophile and Celestin were day street kids. They had a dad and a roof over their head at night but not much else. Their mom had died giving birth to Celestin, their dad was / is a complete drunk, they were not in school and food was a problem.
I remember that I fell in love with Isabelle the first moment I saw her. Here was an 11 year old girl who had been the mother and sister to her two young brothers longer than she could remember. She watched over them, protected them and wanted the best for them.
The story is long... but it's because of them that we now have six homes with former street kids who are going to school and striving to live a better life one day at a time.
A couple of years ago, their father came and took Isabelle back to live with him along with Celestin, the youngest. Said he needed a wife to look after him. I remember feeling so helpless... and praying many times since that fateful day that God would have mercy on her life, that He would protect her emotionally, physically and spiritually.... and that we would see her again.
I immediately sent a text message back to Maman Deborah and asked to see Isabelle the following morning.
It was SO good to see her. She has grown up so much but she still has the most beautiful smile. From what we have heard so far, the years have been hard on her... and she's done living like that. She SO wants to go back to school and we'll be sure she does in January when school starts again. We've also been able to talk to the father this week and he's agreeable. He's also willing to send Celestin so he can go back to school as well.
Isabelle is now 17 years old (thinking that is a few years older than we knew before... but that's pretty normal for here!) and she's going to start in Grade 4. That would make Celestin 11 years old. The father took him when he was in grade 2 and I don't think he has been to school since.
We never know who is going to come across our path in a day.... or how God is working.
The immediate... we need to find a suitable home for them to be part of... God please find us a good mom who's going to love on them!
(BTW... the other brother Theophile has been living with Maman Deborah and is doing great!)
Isabelle and Isabella