“His name is “Jello”, my sister (the principal) said to the students at the end of chapel a few weeks ago. “So you can get your giggles out now, but when he comes to be with us, there won’t be any teasing or giggling about his name.”
And there hasn’t been. He left Port au Prince, Haiti and arrived at our school about three weeks ago — and his name — though pronounced jello is spelled Djelot. He likes to be called DJ. Due to the media coverage regarding the horrors in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, our school kids (& the teachers) are in awe of this upbeat, sweet-spirited young man who has come to be with us for a short period of time. His parents brought him here to be in the care of their dear friends in the U.S. while things in Haiti get sorted out.
When we asked Djelot about the earthquake and what he experienced, he shared how his dad decided not to stop at the Market to get him a special drink he wanted after school. No one in the Market survived the earthquake that fateful day. Needless to say, he’s very grateful his Dad said no to his desire to stop for a special treat!
DJ’s parents are the overseers of an orphanage in Haiti. After the quake the orphanage was the only building to remain standing in their area. They know it is a miracle the children and staff were all unharmed, and that the building didn’t fall on them. Though it still stands, the aftershocks bring fear of collapse. This fear forced his parents, staff and children to live in nearby tents. These living conditions, along with rising temperatures, the infestation of rats, criminals on the loose (due to the collapse of prisons), and spreading disease, are the reasons Djelot’s parents made the decision to bring him here while they return to care for the orphans.
My heart is grateful to God for bringing this precious boy into our lives for a few short weeks. He helps me to remember those who are still suffering in Haiti, and hopefully by helping him we are in some small way touching his nation. Through him I see the grace of God and the resilience of the human heart to face unimaginable, horrific circumstances and come out on the other side grateful!
Gotta love that face!! Last week we showed him the wonders of roasting marshmallows and eating s’mores! With marshmallow all over his face, and a beaming smile, he said with his accent, “I LOVE the marshmallow”!