New Life Children’s Home began as a vision from Zacharie, our Haitian director, when he was a little boy. Zacharie’s father died when he was 7 years old. His mother was unable to provide for her 9 children on her own. As a result Zacharie had to live with another family. In order to “earn his keep” he had to do all the cooking, cleaning, and caring for their children. He was unable to attend school and remembers not being able to go out to play in the evenings because he always had so much work to do. Children who are orphaned in Haiti are many times sent to live with other families. Many are forced into slave labor conditions and never have the opportunity to attend school or go to church or be just children. They never get to feel the true love of a parent. These children are many times referred to as “Restaveks.” We hope by opening New Life Children’s Home we can do our part to raise orphaned children in a loving home where they can grow up with the hope of a future. Where they can learn to be confident in themselves and who they are in Christ and realize their potential. Where they can call someone Mama & Papa. And most importantly, where they can learn who their Heavently Father is and how much he loves them.
New Life Children’s Home Timeline
December 2013 – 2.5 acres purchased
2014 – A Security wall is built around the property
2015 – A 2-room storage depot is constructed as the first building on the property!
January 2016 – Zacharie, Stevie, & Abraham Estime traveled to Haiti for 4 months to begin construction of the home itself. The children’s home was built by Haitian hands with help from our awesome team members from the United States! It has six bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, as well as an outdoor kitchen. Two bedrooms and a bathroom were built above the storage depot for guests and future teams.
New Life Children’s Home
The Storage Depot and Guest Rooms
And it’s finished! With the exception of minor projects, the construction of New Life Children’s Home is now complete!
This year we added this multipurpose pavilion to use as a cafeteria for the children!
We’ve also finished our outdoor kitchen!
Claudelson came to us in February of 2019. He is about 11-13 years old. His birth certificate states he is 16, but we’re sure he’s quite not that old. His mother and father both died several years ago and he was living with a half sister. His sister had asked us to take him multiple times as she has 3 kids or her own that she also struggles to care for. So when we knew we were opening our doors, he was the first child to come to our minds. After making the decision to open our doors, Zacharie went to visit Claudelson and talk to his sister, he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him in that situation one more day. He didn’t have a bed to sleep in or even a grocery bag to keep his clothes in, resulting in the cows chewing up all his belongings. So from that day on, he was ours. It’s been a roller coaster ride, for each of us. Adjusting has been difficult some days. He’s practically been without parental guidance for quite some time and needs extra attention and care to guide him in correct behaviors. But he has a big heart and is eager to learn. He started school (kindergarten) this week. He will most likely not pass as there is only about 3 months left in the school year, but we’re excited for the opportunity he’ll have to prepare himself to excel next year. Please pray as we continue to grow, learn, love and share with him.
Bruno joined our family in June of 2019 at 14 years old. Both his parents died several years ago and he had been living with an uncle since that time. His uncle has several children of his own and struggled to care for Bruno. Bruno’s older brother goes to our church and asked us if we might be able to help. Since the day Bruno came to us, we all felt he was apart of the family. He is a sweet, caring soul who loves to go to church. He’s also very smart and finished at the top of his class last year. He loves to help others and make people laugh. We are so thankful God brought him to us.
Asmalie, 7 & Pedline, 8 are cousins who were living with their grandmother in a nearby town. They came to us in late September 2019. Their grandmother had 5 grandchildren in her care that she was barely able to provide 1 meal a day. She came to us and explained how these two girls were orphans and been with her from very young ages. Asmalie has AIDS and needed to find better care. Pedline’s hair was discolored and her cheeks hollowed from malnutrition. It was evident that we needed to bring them in. From the moment they joined us, they have acted like they have been with us their whole lives. They’re both so sweet and spunky, and we are so excited to watch them grow.
Renelson, 12 came to us on October 10th, 2019. One day, about a month earlier, Zacharie came home to find a little boy climbing our dump truck outside the gate, trying to see over the walls. He asked him what he was doing and he responded with, “Does it cost money to live here.” Zacharie’s heart instantly broke open for this little boy, and he asked him who he was, where he was from. He was covered with dirt from head to toe and his clothes were turned inside out, a common sign that there is no money to buy soap to clean their clothes. He said that he was an orphan, but we told him he needed to come back with a family member or guardian to be able to see if we could bring him in. After over 3 weeks of asking people if they knew where he was, we finally saw him walking in the street. He told Zacharie he was going to his sister’s house so she could come talk to us. Hours later he returned with his 17 year old half sister. He had walked several miles to her house to ask her to come with him. She confirmed that he was an orphan and that he was living with his grandfather’s second wife who really didn’t pay much mind to him. While we talked with them, Renelson kept interrupting and pleading to us to let him stay, that he would follow all the rules and be a “good kid.” After much discussion, we told him that we would be happy to have him stay with us and the next morning he promptly arrived at 630 AM with all his belongings. His first question was, “when can I start school?” Something about him tells me he is going to be one special “bon timoun” (good kid).
Please also pray for the other children that will join us in the future, fundraising, and for the Estime Family as they run New Life Children’s Home. We thank everyone who has supported us this far whether with prayers or financial blessings – we could not be doing this without you! We have been amazed to see how God has funded and totally provided for this project and it only further confirms that this is HIS work!