We don’t know how long we will be able to have contact with Malina and share the gospel with her, but our prayer is that she knows Jesus as her Savior and Lord.
The Impact of Malina Cherisme
As our children were growing up, we have always sponsored a child through various agencies. While this was nice, it was just sending money without having a personal relationship with our sponsored child and not really expecting to. The start of our journey to Malina was when Fonda started on the board of Katelyn’s Fund. She had the opportunity to go to One Vision Orphanage and meet all the kids and staff. Before that trip we knew we wanted to sponsor a child at One Vision as not all the children were sponsored.
Fonda’s Introduction to Malina
When I got to One Vision, I noticed most of the younger children were sponsored and many of the older children were not. The first day I arrived, I immediately connected with Malina who was 12 years old. Malina followed me around and was always wanting to help me. I knew right away this is who I wanted to sponsor. I also had the privilege of being able to tell Malina that we were going to be her sponsors and Malina couldn’t stop crying. She was so excited that someone picked her. It was a moment I will never forget.
Murray’s Introduction to Malina
When Fonda called from Haiti and told me we were going to sponsor Malina, I could tell she was very excited, and I was excited also. While I had not met Malina, Fonda gave me a very good idea of who she was and what she was like, but it is impossible to describe personality. Before the next trip that both of us went on, we did various things like taking pictures with our whole family to give to Malina and sending these letters and pictures to Malina with other groups heading to One Vision. But the fact is, I was just supporting Fonda and her excitement, but I didn’t really have any thoughts about building a relationship with Malina.
Building a Personal Relationship
The next trip to Haiti we were both able to go. Getting off the bus, we were looking for Malina, but she was nowhere to be found. She came later, after she had her hair done perfectly, because she wanted to look her best for us. Being the father of four daughters, it showed me that Malina fit right in with my other girls.
It didn’t take long for Malina to really attach to Murray. She loved helping him do things and was so proud that both of her sponsors were visiting her. Actually, Fonda felt a little jealous that Malina liked Murray a little better than her… Malina truly enjoyed “hanging out” with a father figure.
Special Memories we Share with Malina
Since meeting Malina and going to One Vision, we have been able to enjoy a personal relationship with her. Some special memories we have of Malina are when we brought 10 tubes of lip gloss as a gift to her and the first thing she did was hand out the lip gloss to the other girls instead of keeping them all for herself… Malina has very few possessions, but was willing to share the little we brought her with the rest of the girls at One Vision.
Another memory is when we had a prom at One Vision and the boys escorted the girls; however, there was no doubt that Murray was going to escort Malina. Malina also insisted that we were part of almost all of her prom pictures. Another fun thing about Malina is that she loves to draw. She often draws our whole family and writes all our names correctly and then includes herself in these pictures. She has adopted us as much as we have adopted her.
We have grown to love and feel a sense of responsibility for Malina especially during the times we are not able to travel to Haiti. We are concerned for all the kids and staff; however, when we think of One Vision our first thoughts go toward Malina. Will she know Jesus? Will she be okay when she has to leave One Vision? Will she marry a christian man? Will we be able to stay in contact with her? We don’t know how long we will be able to have contact with Malina and share the gospel with her, but our prayer is that she knows Jesus as her Savior and Lord.