Coming to Life

Posted Apr 09, 2011 by 7 Comments

I walked through the dusty village looking down at the baby toddling in front of me.  She held on to my fingers for support, but otherwise charged ahead as if I wasn’t even there.

Rosmelie, trying really hard to walk on her own!

An infant-sized “onesie” was hanging off her tiny shoulders, unbuttoned at the bottom to make a kind of skirt (a common outfit for babies in the impoverished village of Chambrun, where buying new clothes every month is out of the question).

As the one-year old looked down to see the rock she had just stepped on, one of the pre-teen girls from the village ran up and swept the baby into her arms.  Cooing baby talk in Creole, she turned the baby around.

I looked at her chubby cheeks and into her beautiful brown eyes, hardly able to believe that she was the same baby I had met just six months before.  But she was…

The baby was Rosmelie.

Kacie with baby Rosmelie.

A Life That Was Saved

I first wrote about Rosmelie during my last trip to Haiti in September.  At the time, she was a malnourished and dying six-month old who had been essentially abandoned by her mother.  However, because of the work of Nehemiah Vision Ministries, Rosmelie’s life was saved.

Today, Rosmelie is an energetic one year-old, learning to stand on her own and just about ready to walk.  She has developed quite a sense of humor, too, and thinks it’s hilarious when people blow on her face.  Although she is still very tiny for her age, Rose is developing extremely well!

As I spent time in Chambrun writing about NVM’s incredible child sponsorship program, I got to play with and love on little Rosmelie quite a bit.  Needless to say, I absolutely fell in love with the little punkin’!

Hard Work

Much of Rosmelie’s survival can be attributed to the work of two volunteer nurses working in NVM’s medical clinic, Aubree Dell and Kacie Davis.  When they first discovered Rosmelie, starving and half-dead, they dedicated enormous amounts of time, energy and patience to nurse her back to health.

For the women of Chambrun, there is still a lot that needs to be learned.

Over the following six months, they worked hard to educate Rosmelie’s mother (as well as the many other young mothers in that part of the village) about proper nutrition and children’s health.

This was no easy task, as there are many misconceptions about child-rearing in the village.  One day, Kacie told me, she was laughed at by the women in the village for suggesting that babies shouldn’t eat solid foods when they are only one month old.

Complicated

Making things even more complicated, about a month after I wrote my first article, Rosmelie’s mother changed her mind again and decided that she didn’t want to care for the baby after all.  Once again, she abandoned little Rose and simply left her lying in a hut, helpless and alone.

Thankfully, Rosmelie’s aunt found her in time and decided to care for the baby herself, something she has been doing faithfully ever since.  Rosmelie’s mother continues to visit from time to time, often showing a genuine interest in caring for the baby, but then inevitably leaves the village for three or four days at a time.

Aubree and Rosmelie in the village.

So yeah… it’s complicated.

Respect

Nevertheless, Rosmelie continues to grow and develop.  Kacie and Aubree continue to love and care for her.

And as a result of their regular presence in that part of the village (checking up on Rosmelie, bringing cans of formula for her aunt, teaching the mothers about health, etc.), the two nurses have become a recognized part of that community.  Just two months ago, Kacie was asked to become the godmother for a newborn baby!

As they have grown closer to the families there, Aubree and Kacie have earned a lot of respect and are even in positions of authority that they never could have been in before…

“What are you doing? You need to go to the clinic first thing tomorrow and get that checked out!”

“Actually it’s better if you don’t let the babies share bottles.”

“What is this, flour? Yeah, you really should try to give her more milk.”

It may not seem very significant to Kacie and Aubree, but those two nurses are helping to bring about some incredible social change in Chambrun.  Living simply and using the gifts that God has given them, they are playing an important part in the restoration of an entire community…

Working for the Good

As Rosmelie continues to mature and as her body continues to grow, it’s amazing to think about how far things have come in just six months.

Thanks to NVM, Chambrun is coming alive!

Under normal circumstances, a baby in Rosmelie’s position would have simply passed away unnoticed; another statistic in a deeply impoverished nation.  But because Nehemiah Vision Ministries was there, not only has one baby been saved, but an entire generation of children can now have hope for bright futures!

Romans 8:28 is really starting to make sense to me now:  “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

The story began with a baby close to death.  But because God’s kingdom is at work in Chambrun, an entire village is now coming to life!

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Next Steps
    • Education is a crucial factor in bringing lasting change to Chambrun. You can be a part of this change by becoming a child’s sponsor today. Take a look at Nehemiah Vision Ministries’ child sponsorship page and see if God prompts you to invest in the life of a child!
    • Both Aubree and Kacie have wonderful blogs documenting their experiences and adventures in Chambrun. Start following them today! http://aubreedell.wordpress.com/ http://kacieinhaiti.wordpress.com/
    • Pray for the continued health and development of Rosmelie and the many other children in Chambrun. Although conditions are continuing to improve for them, they have a long way to go before the village becomes self-sustaining.
    Next Steps

About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.

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Comments

  1. Jessica said... 

    Reply

    April 9th, 2011 at 7:54 am  

    Wow, what a story! Rosmelie’s life is already making an impact on so many lives, in Chambrun and in ours, so far away. And how exciting to know God has even more plans for her in the future. Each life truly is important, and that’s hard for me to remember sometimes!

  2. Amy Sorrells said... 

    Reply

    April 9th, 2011 at 8:23 am  

    Just look at those cheeks and rolls on her sweet little arms! Even the dimples on her knuckles! God is surely giving our Rosmelie a double portion of calories and a precious plumpness of spirit. AWESOME. And I love the woman with the fan at the end–keep fanning us into action, Barry & WND! Praises!!!

  3. Dave Rod said... 

    Reply

    April 9th, 2011 at 9:45 am  

    Precious little Rose. A real live story of God’s people extending the grace and mercy of God. Thank you Kacie and Aubree!

  4. Deanna Reinoso said... 

    Reply

    April 9th, 2011 at 10:17 am  

    Baby Rose looks wonderful! I love to see how God is using 2 amazing young ladies who share God’s love day in and day out. Thank you for this article!

  5. Jim.M said... 

    Reply

    April 10th, 2011 at 9:23 am  

    I do not remember who this is from but it goes something like this…”Where your great joy intersects with one of the world’s great needs, that is where God’s purpose for your life is found”

    When I look at the faces of Kacie and Aubree I see joy, they are living in the Joy of knowing they have found that place of purpose.

    I also see fatigue… fatigue and joy together I guess…but that fatigue…the one that comes from living hard into what you love and feel called to do.

    May the two of you continue to grow in faith, and love as you serve Rose and the community you are surrounded by..God bless you both.

  6. Maeven said... 

    Reply

    April 10th, 2011 at 4:04 pm  

    Such a wonderful story. One life saved is worth everything.

  7. Krista Davis said... 

    Reply

    April 18th, 2011 at 10:53 pm  

    Thanks Barry, for allowing me to see my little girl Kacie in action. She and baby Rose are so far away . . this made them feel a little closer. Im truly grateful for the stories of so many precious lives that you share. Hard to imagine that God knows how many hairs we have on each and every head.

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