On Monday we were there for only a few minutes when I saw my buddy Jasper. He scoots past everyone and comes straight to me. This brought tears to my eyes because I have been praying for him since we first met a year ago. I think he is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met.
He is now six and has the biggest eyelashes I have ever seen on a person. They look like someone has put two sets of fake lashes on him with these big brown eyes that just beam happiness. He is all boy, very smart and quick on his feet. The biggest thing you first notice is he has only one partial non-functioning miniature arm. I picked him up and gave him a long hug. He was all smiles and after a while I put him down and he just stayed looking up at me.
Later on, we are all sitting down and ready for the church service at the school celebrating the holiday for the handicapped children. I look down and there stands my buddy Jasper again, so up he climbs onto my lap. I introduce him to Shruti and to my embarrassment I find out my buddy’s name is Branson and he only lives at the school Monday through Friday. He goes home with his mom for the weekends, a mom who obviously loves and cares for him since he is dressed from head to toes in clean pressed clothes and his face and hair are clean.
That’s when it hits me–the faith this mom has in the school to allow this young boy to stay with St. Vincent’s School during the week. She does it in hopes that he can learn to care for himself with no arms. They have done this before with other children. The difference between St. Vincent’s and any other school in Haiti is their ability to teach these children to overcome there handicaps. This child has the intelligence, we just have to teach him.
I look down and this time see big tears streaming down his face. When I ask what’s wrong he says, in perfect English, “I want my mommy.” At this, I can only hug him closer and wipe away the tears with a tissue I just happen to have in my pocket from a package Sherye had given me just that morning. I can only say she knows me well since we have been to Haiti together before.
At this point, it’s time for communion. I feel blessed that Branson will get to receive Communion as I carry him in my arms up to the stage. As we walk back to our seat I feel all things are possible with God’s help. We have to do all we can to make Saint Vincent the best we can.
That includes helping those who don’t know how to help themselves, learn they can, with Gods help! Branson and his mother must share a lot of faith being separated for a week at a time. Can we answer their prayers? I am praying we will succeed with your help and God’s grace. I never thought I would believe that one of the most courageous people I know is a six year old boy with no arms, crying for his mommy.