Thursday, February 05, 2009


Life is very hard for poor people in poor countries. All their energy and attention is focused on survival: getting enough food to eat, having safe shelter, obtaining clean water. It's hard for people to try to better their lives or the lives of their children in these circumstances.

Once in awhile, though, you come across a person who for many reasons, is able to think of and work toward a better life. We know such a person in 20-year-old Frandy. We met Frandy seven years ago when he came to John about his heart.

Frandy lives on top of a mountain with his mother and two older brothers in the seaside slum of Carrefour, next to Port-au-Prince. He is very thin. I remember when we went to Frandy's home. We hiked and hiked and came to a two room, concrete block structure with a tin roof. Frandy welcomed us, and his mother served us Coca Cola that they had gotten for the occasion of our visit.

Frandy had a hole in his heart, and he came to St. Louis for medical care. His mother accompanied him. On the first night here, as his mother soaked up the incredible luxuries of this country, she said, "We are in paradise."

Frandy did not have to have surgery, which was a blessing. Another blessing for him was an opportunity to experience the blessings of the United States.

He returned to Haiti after a two month stay. Frandy was already a driven person who excelled in school. He was now motivated to work even harder and with the support of people in the States, he saw a way that he might attain the almost impossible goal for a poor Haitian of going to college.

Frandy's supporters paid for his education in Haiti. He studied and studied. He listened to the Voice of America. He practiced writing English through sending e-mails and speaking English with anyone he could. He became quadralingual in the process. Frandy speaks French, Haitian Creole, English, and Spanish.

He passed the Haitian equivalent of high school, a huge achievement for someone from Frandy's background. Later this month, he will take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Passing TOEFL is a requirement for a foreign student to attend college in the United States. Say a prayer that he does well, will you?

I think Frandy is succeeding because he is: intelligent and driven. These may be God-given qualities, but Frandy is making the most of them. He also has people willing to invest in him. Without this, attending college in the United States would be a cruel dream.

Frandy sees a better life for himself and his family and that vision draws him on. I admire him a lot. God willing, he will succeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maria--what a beautiful story of triumph in the midst of such poverty. I will pray that God will shower many blessings on Frandy and the people who are helping him.

I'm curious, tho, if he's planning on living in Haiti once he graduates college or if he's planning on staying in the USA? It sounds like no matter where he lives, he will make a positive impact on everyone he meets.

How is Heuruse doing? I've been watching this site and hoping you or John would tell us she's doing fine.

Bondye beni ou.

debbie welter