I’ve been working with VisionTrust for over 5 years now and I continue to be blown away and humbled by the Local Heroes we partner with in each country. Just when I think that I’ve seen everything, I’m surprised by the generosity and love of those we serve alongside with.
Jackson, our Sponsorship Coordinator in Haiti, is someone who has challenged me to selflessly serve Jesus by taking care of the poor and needy, and putting others before himself. I was recently in Haiti with a team from Indiana, and we were blessed to be able to spend the week with Jackson. He shared his story with us, and (with his permission) I wanted to share it with you!
Jackson grew up in the city of Jeremie, which is on the southwest tip of Haiti. The area is fairly isolated from the rest of the country and was recently devastated by Hurricane Matthew. Jackson is the third child of eight, and grew up in extreme poverty. His mother was the head of the household and, for many years, made only around $1 a day trying to provide for her eight kids. It was a very difficult life for him and his family. When Jackson was in 9th grade, he left the countryside to go live with his cousin in Port-Au-Prince and continue his studies. At this point his mother couldn’t help him with his studies, and finances became more and more difficult for him. He wasn’t able to pay for his schooling, and there were times when he couldn’t eat or pay the rent for his room. He spent many nights sleeping on curbs in Port-Au-Prince, just surviving day to day. It was then that a friend invited him to church and his life was completely changed.
He met Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior. It was at this church that he met Pastor Semira, our Haitian VisionTrust director. Pastor Semira took Jackson in as a son, and has been discipling him ever since. He was able to help him rent a room to live in, and is also helping him finish his studies. Through this relationship, Pastor Semira saw Jackson’s genuine love for God and others and hired Jackson as the VisionTrust Sponsorship Coordinator in Haiti. Jackson’s been such a faithful servant and employee since he’s been with VisionTrust. All of this leads me back to where I started…. I’m always humbled by our Local Heroes.
I was talking with Jackson about the importance of sponsorship and his job, and he told me that it is his goal to one day be able to sponsor one of the kids in our program. Sponsorship helps a child go to school, receive healthy meals and learn about God’s love for them. Not only is it his goal to sponsor a child, but when he received his last paycheck he helped two kids with their school fees. To you and me, $40 a month doesn’t seem like much, but for someone who lived on $1 – $2 a day, this is a lot. Jackson reminded me of the importance of generosity and helping those who are in need. God is our Provider and calls us to help those that need it.