While on a short term mission trip to Haiti, Denise Heesch met a little girl who, after being buried alive in the earthquake, was declared dead. Then her mother cried out to God.
The beautiful hot Haitian sun shone overhead as we followed our host up the steep, rocky road. We were visiting various families in the local community, praying and talking with whoever we met.
We scrambled up and around rebar and rocky, dusty, cinder blocks to walk across a concrete slab. Around the back of the attached cinder block “home” we approached the door on the side and call out, “Bonjour, Madame”. A woman responded in Creole, and we heard the sound of shuffling feet.
*Photo by Connie Rock
Our translator said that the girl’s mother has told us that the girl has just woken up, she will be right out with her.
While we waited in the doorway, our eyes wandered around the small room. It is sparse, well lit from the high window and doorway. The dirt floor is swept clean. The small child’s wheelchair, and the small walker are the only things in there except the small bench like seat against the one wall.
The mother calls through the sheet hanging in the doorway leading into the house. “Please enter. We will be right out”. There is six of us plus the translator. Two of us stand in the doorway, the rest come in to wait. A couple of minutes later, through the sheet, down the one step comes the little girl and the mother.
We introduce ourselves, and we get to meet Meloonda, and her mother Clarice. Meloonda is 8 years old. She is in a beautiful white dress with large fuchsia flowers on it. Her mom helps her down into her wheelchair. She squeals with delight as we come forward to say hello to her.
It is apparent she is special, but it is for reasons other than that she doesn’t have complete control of her hands and does not speak.
Clarice begins to tell us her story: Meloonda was a typical five-year-old when the earthquake came. She was about to leave for school, with her hair up in ribbons when the earth shook. By the time that the earth stood still again, Clarice was covering Meloonda’s body with her own. They were buried beneath the rubble. Her two other older children were also buried beneath the rubble, but separated by a cinder block wall. She called to them and heard their voices. The older children had been huddled in the corner, so were saved from the falling debris.
Clarice instructed them to get some rocks, to break their way through the wall to where she was trapped. Then they found something to tear through the galvanized steel roof. When they were finally through, Meloonda was not breathing and was unresponsive.
They worked on her to try to restore her breathing, but Clarice’s husband and some other men said that she was dead.
When they started to wrap her up to begin preparations for burial. Clarice called out to God. She said “Oh God, I am your servant! Please give her back to me, as I have loved and served you”. She yelled to the men to unwrap her daughter because she is not dead.
And Meloonda began to breathe again.
Meloonda lived in hospital for two months. Her spine had been severely damaged, her brain suffered from lack of oxygen for 20 minutes or so. The doctors said she will never speak or walk again.
But God has another plan for Meloonda. She has been starting to walk, and can say “Momma and Daddy.” And if you look into her beautiful eyes and tell her she is “Belle, tres belle” (beautiful, very beautiful), her beautiful shrieks of joy and the movements of her body are evidence that God is not bound by the knowledge and medicine of man.
Our team had the privilege of praying for Meloonda and her mom, that God would continue to heal her and bless them. Leaving their home, we all agreed: we are the ones who have been blessed by the Godly example of a mother’s faith…and the blessing of our faithful God.