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Life Change Story 1: Seen, Valued, Given a Chance

SB is a member of our community born with developmental delays. As a grown man, he lives with both intellectual and speech limitations. Generally, people with disabilities in Haiti are—at best—treated with low-expectations and—at worst—utterly rejected. They are usually marginalized and under-valued, and very often laughed at and mocked.

Several years ago, Manis felt moved to reach out to SB and started giving him small jobs. After recognizing his abilities in manual labor, Manis began regularly including him in small work groups. Gradually, we began to notice marked improvements in his speech and interactions. He eventually became a full-time employee of Lemuel.

Today, SB actually holds a position of responsibility on one of our agricultural plots. He has been demonstrating ability to receive instructions and oversee the work, ensuring that it is done correctly. He even supervises another worker! He still lives with limitations and requires a certain level of attention and guidance. But, he is an incredible example of what can happen when someone is SEEN, valued for who they are, taken seriously as a human being, and given a chance.

SB would never, ever have been given a chance, if it were not for the personal presence of Manis (bringing the love and example of Jesus to real life) and the organizational presence of Lemuel (providing structure and resources for work, activities, and projects). These two things (organizational structure/activity and personal investment through relationships) work in tandem as we embody the love of Jesus Christ in combatting poverty through holistic development.

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