Jean Patrick's (JP) mother died when he was a year old. He was raised by his father and his father's family. His father had a baby with another woman in the village. That woman sold bananas in market. The woman beside her consistently sold more bananas and that became a strife point. One day Jean Patrick's step mother decided to eliminate the competition. She had JP's father buy some "powder" from the local houngan- witch doctor. The powder is made from the corpse of dead people and is used to curse someone that you want to kill. JP's dad bought the powder and the jealous banana peddler used it to kill her competition - believe what you want- it is the reality of life in Haiti- true or not- science or religion- people end up dead- and that's the ultimate reality for them...
When the woman died it was known that JP's step mom had put the curse on her. So she fled to an island off of the coast to get away from the vengeful family of the dead woman. Since the vigilanty mob could not find the murderess, they decided that the husband that provided the powder would be a good scapegoat. So at age 7, JP had his father dragged into the streets, hands tied, a tire placed around his neck, and burned alive.
So now the 7 year old, traumatized orphan was left to basically fend for himself. He found a suitable home in the shelter of a dirt floor hut that was home to his elderly great grandmother. Unable to provide for most basic needs, JP found food and help where ever he could.
One day we received a phone call about a 9 year old boy that needed a home and a family. We were told the story of JP's past and how he did not have family that could take him in. We went to visit little JP and his great grandmother. She just cried as we talked about our mission and how we could provide for him. With nearly blinded eyes and no teeth, she pulled Jean Patrick close to her chest and wept over him. She kept saying how he had no mother or father and she had prayed and prayed for God to somehow deliver him. She kept telling him that he must be a good boy. He must not do anything to lose this opportunity. She told him this was his only chance to make it. It broke our hearts. She was so happy for him but she was putting so much pressure on him at the same time. We were just ready to get JP home and show him the love that Jesus had placed in our hearts for him. We were ready to help him heal from the trauma of a murdered father and the stigma he had received by the local villagers.
Since coming into our home little JP has flourished. He loves our kids and especially Joy. He just sits in her lap and lets her hug him. He is constantly looking for her to grab him and and brag on him with her broken creole. It is amazing how little verbal language is needed to convey love. He still has issues. He is plagued by the fear of the voodoo that took his father's life. I caught an octopus this week to show Sidney Robinson that was visiting. She wanted me to throw it back. Jamoy wanted to eat it. But Jean Patrick wanted me to just kill it so it would not go and bring a "devil" to curse our home. He believed that since we had caught it that it would now go in anger and tell the demons and they would come and curse our home and kill the children. He has been so afraid to sleep near the window. Although it is barred, he believes the witch doctor can turn into a rat or other animal and enter through the window to take him away.
He can't swim but we have gotten him to get into the water. He has never learned to swim due to his fear of what lives in the water. You can see by his gear that he is not taking any chances on sinking!
Keep JP in your prayers. He is a special kid and God has a special plan for his life. Pray God will let us help him over come the fears that plague him. Unchurched and unsaved, we know God wants to take over his life and lead him to a place of peace and victory. We are so thankful we get to be a small part of that process.