It's been a rough couple of days for those of us who received the news about Jacques. He was a shining light to all of us, but now he is a shining light in Heaven. He is singing and dancing and praising God with unspeakable joy. He isn't out of breath or struggling to breathe. Each time God blesses us with a new child, we know that we have been "touched by an angel." You couldn't come in contact with him or experience him in worship without being changed. Watching him was like being lifted up to heaven itself!
Jacque was found abandoned at General Hospital when he was three years old. He was termed "grossly malnourished." He had severe Pulmonary Tuberculosis, severe asthma, and a very large tubercular cyst on his neck that would later have to be lanced. He came to New Life when he was about three years old and we put him on a TB program for 15 months. He made great improvement quickly due to meds, good care, love and affection. This can be the greatest medicine of all. What a blessing it is to see children like Jacque who come into New Life so broken emotionally and physically, begin to run and play and throw their little arms around you to return that love. There aren't enough words to say thank you to God and to all those who make it possible for broken and hurting children like Jacque to come through our gate and be transformed.
I wonder just what Jacque went through for the first few years of his life to reach such a horrible condition. I wonder about the days and nights of hunger when his little frail body coughed up blood and was filled with fever. I wonder how alone and forgotten he felt with no one there. No child should ever suffer this pain, but there are many who do. Social services continue to give us so many abandoned children. Most of them are severely crippled, sick and hurting on arrival. I could tell stories and show photos that would keep most people awake all night. We have received kids found in the
dump, those dying of severe malnutrition, and those with many other desperate conditions. The pain that they suffer is unspeakable. New Life was birthed as a rescue center, therefore we have had to deal with so much death over the years. Our ministry began in the mountains in bringing back children whose lives were hanging on by a thread. Many of these children died on the way back to receive medical help. Some passed away in the hospital, but most lived because of New Life and the loving nannies and people who care and embrace each one of them with God’s love. Jacque was so happy and he made others happy too, but we must not ever forget that many of the children at New Life are still in the process of healing and others carry the pain of their past and the results of the lack of care or immunizations that they didn’t receive. Although they shine with joy, some will never walk or talk. Jacque carried the terribly scarred lungs and severe asthma that would follow him throughout his life and cause him to struggle to breath even with doctor visits and breathing treatments.
Jacque couldn't talk very well, but he could communicate with everyone. Much of the time he lived in his own world. He went around checking on each person and “reporting" on anything that he felt needed attention. Often, he would ask for a passport to go to the U.S. One day we told him that we needed him here at New Life to administrate since he did it so well. He was so proud and we had a make believe ceremony and gave him a badge, a play phone, a pen and paper. He was constantly on the phone carrying on conversations that were so real to him. Sometimes I would ask who he was talking to and he would say Sherry or Daniel. He handed us and many visitors daily reports that only he could understand and then he would stand proud as we would commend him on his great job, sometimes rewarding him with treats. I remember seeing him out in the water on one of our beach trips. In front of him was a line of children waiting for him to baptize them. One by one, he would dip them in the ocean and then raise them up. After they would catch their breath, he would motion to the next child that it was their turn. I am convinced that this made God smile. I can't speak enough about how this young man would get lost in worship or the countless times that I can recall him dancing, praising God with all his heart and lifting up his voice and hands to the Lord.
Over the last the last several months he seemed to be struggling more and more, but he never stopped smiling, helping out or worshiping. He was such a part of all of our lives and it's difficult to imagine New Life without Jacque. Today, he is singing and worshiping in the presence of our Lord. Thank you Lord for the pleasure of caring for this precious angel of 23 years. It's not easy to loose a child, but God has taught us that He alone knows what is best, and if Jacque's life had been prolonged, perhaps the suffering of trying to breathe would have become unbearable. We don't have all of the answers and we grieve his absence terribly, but we also celebrate his joys now. We have learned that some of these children are only loaned to us for a season of hours, days or years and it is a privilege to love and care for them. Today was very difficult for us all and for me personally. I pray that God will continue to help us more than ever to rescue more and more children. I pray that He will bless each person that helps us to rescue and provide for theses kids. When we left for the airport just before Christmas, he reminded us that he wanted a passport and that he wanted to be adopted. He is in heaven now; adopted into the family of God. We will see him again some day.
We will be making a trip to General Hospital soon. We will go to the abandoned children ward that would make you cry. There are aisles and aisles of children crying and crying in very small beds with their hands tied to each side of the rails. Each one of them is hurting and needing someone to care. There are many more Jacques waiting to be rescued and loved. He is in a better place. Others are waiting for hands to pick them up and tell them to hush their crying. We love you and are taking you home.