Wednesday, February 22, 2017

X-son was lost, but now is found

I wrote last September that we seemed to have lost X-son.   One of the paradoxes of last fall's hurricanes in Haiti is that it brought X-son out of . . . nowhere (?) . . . into a shelter where he had access to Facebook, and so during one of those hurricanes we found him again.  Or rather, he logged back into the internet and found us.

What commenced was a very interesting set of back-and-forth emails, asking if we could help him get back into school.  The reason the back-and-forth was so interesting is that we really do want to help, but it's not clear that doing what X-son says he wants is the best help.  He's in a country that's incredibly poor, rife with corruption, and needing so much that you and I take for granted.  Which means that X-son himself is incredibly poor, inclined to deception, and needing so much that you and I would take for granted.

X-son and his friends are
living in straw huts with no electricity or running water,
but own headphones.
Working with a missionary we trust who travels between our little city and Haiti, we finally identified a school with a principal that this missionary knows.  We figured that if we send the money straight to the school, that X-son couldn't just pocket the money or use it in a scam.  Then a second Haitian missionary cautioned us to be careful: X-son might try to collude with the principal to split the money while avoiding school.  Ugh.  These things to think about.

We don't want to avoid doing good just because we fear the bad.  So we sent the money down to the principal through our missionary friend Cindy, and we wrote to X-son a note that we hoped would be mostly encouragement, but part enforcement:

We will be glad to make sure you can go to school.  When Cindy goes to Haiti in January, she will talk to the [Name of] school to see whether you can enroll for a half a year . . .

Cindy will also talk to your teachers, so that we can hear how you are doing in school.  We will be excited to hear about your progress.  And if you have troubles in school, we can work with your teachers on how they can get you more help.

And here he is, proudly sending us photos of himself in his school uniform, at school.

So, we're back in contact, and maybe back in the helping game.  I'm so glad this story isn't over yet.


  1. I think your way of doing good is a great mixture of big heart and clear eyes. You are awesome.

  2. I second that, you really are awesome. An inspiration.