Very unexpectedly on Monday, April 8, Davensky and Widecherline's mother, Benita Etienne ("Pauline"), passed away. We are all shocked and so very sad.
When we gained custody of the children in January 2017, Pauline came to us and asked if she could do laundry for the children each week. It was such a sweet, sincere request, and out of it grew a beautiful relationship and time of reconciliation and healing for their family.
Each Friday and Saturday, she has faithfully come to the children's home and done so much more than laundry. She has been a mother figure to all of the children - loving them well, doing little things for each of them that endeared her to all of us in the Haiti Awake family.
One of my sweetest memories of Pauline is watching her take candies and other treats from her bag to give to each of the children. On a personal level, she touched my heart in November when she made fresh juice at home and brought some to share with me. I also remember how well she welcomed Steeve and me to her Cite Soleil home the first time we went to visit - offering us chicken, rice, and bags of water. She had a heart of generosity.
There were so many good qualities I saw in Pauline. I had always hoped that one day she would be able to care for the children and take them back into her own home.
Of course, Kiki and Widecherline are incredibly sad as they have lost the only biological parent they know, but truly all of the children are suffering as she was a stable figure in their lives - someone they could depend on. The children have suffered so much loss. Sometimes it is hard to comprehend the heartbreaks they have already endured in their young lives.
Please pray for everyone in the days ahead. We are currently trying to coordinate funeral arrangements with extended family and hoping to be as involved as possible.
In Haiti people often say, "Lavi pa fasil" (Life's not easy.) With the losses to our extended Haiti Awake family in recent weeks, as well as the political unrest and other disappointments, this proverb seems even more true than before.
Please pray for hearts to find peace and healing as we trust the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:3, "God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort."
- Becky Graves, Executive Director