Together for Christmas

In mid-November, I notice Peterson, who is often reserved, looking more concerned then usual.

When I question him to find out what is wrong, he responds, “You can’t do anything.”

As I continue to coax him to open up, he finally answers. 

“I have no news of my mom. I don’t know where she is, her cell phone no longer rings, and look at the conditions of the country.”

Haiti has experienced a lot of protests this year due to corruption and the high cost of living. Among the many effects of blocked roads and limited access to electricity is difficulty keeping in touch with loved ones. Even a simple phone call becomes impossible if the person you are trying to reach cannot charge a phone.

Peterson’s last conversation with his mother had been in mid-September, right before the protests began.

Feeling the anxiety running through him, I try to calm his anguished thoughts, but don’t have any answers. Given the current socio-political conditions, it is normal to worry, and to wonder when communication ceases. His anxiety is not out of place.

I have no idea how to look for her, but I’m glad she knows the Lighthouse door is open. I pray the anxiety is for nothing and she is able to come soon to see her sons.

I thank Peterson for opening up to me, and encourage his sensitivity. I tell him that I cannot answer his questions, but there is Someone who holds all the answers. I speak Isaiah 41:10 to him:

“Fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Peterson’s concern reminds me yet again of the strength of the bond between a child and his mother, and the importance of maintaining this relationship. Peterson has a safe place to live, food, education, and people who love him at the Lighthouse—every basic need met—yet I know he never ceases to think about his mom and how she is living.

Reunited for Christmas

On December 23, Peterson’s prayers are answered.

His mom shows up at the Lighthouse gate to spend Christmas with her two sons.

I can see the relief in Peterson’s whole countenance. When I ask him how he feels, he simply says, “how you would feel!”

I’m certain this is a Christmas Peterson will always remember. I thank God for bringing his mom back to the Lighthouse to be with her sons to celebrate Emmanuel—our God who came to be with us.

Scindie St Fleur served as a counselor at the Lighthouse Children’s Home and Grace Emmanuel School from 2014-2020. She currently works as a psychologist at LifeSong for Orphans, where, in addition to providing mental health services, she oversees an academy program that teaches children with motor, physical, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities.