Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kòt a Kòt: the big reveal

For those of you who have grown kids, you probably know about the phenomenon I'm going to tell you about. You're raising your babies, enjoying each developmental stage, happy to be their parents, and suddenly you realize very late in the game that they're not kids anymore. It's a shocking realization, and sometimes it means that you haven't really prepared yourself for what that means. Well, we at Providence Ministries are finding ourselves in that spot.

Providence Ministries has always concerned itself with the lives of particular children. When we talk about ourselves we talk about a children's home. It's not that we don't do other things in Haiti, but this has been our primary identity. Well, one day we woke up and realized that the "children" are young women. Our youngest girl is 15, and three of the girls are set to graduate from high school this coming year. Two of them are hoping to be nurses and one of them wants to be a doctor. Of course we're thrilled about this, but we've sort of been skimming along with the "children's home" mindset and we're woefully unprepared for this next stage.

Language is a funny thing. The kinds of words you use can keep you stuck, but a new set of words can put you back on track in a hurry. So we've decided to change our name to reflect reality. We're changing our name to Kòt a Kòt (Side by Side) to reflect the reality that we're working side by side with the girls in this next phase of their life. They are no longer dependent children. They are partners with us in shaping a future that will hopefully make Haiti a better place. This was our hope all along, but the girls have always been free to choose whatever path seemed best for them.

I'll have more to say about this in the coming months, but for now I'll just tell you that we'll be raising money for college for them in the next year or so. We'll also be busy setting up a new website, rewriting articles of incorporation, creating presentations and things like that. It should be a fun ride and we're really excited to see the girls (actually, women) taking their first tentative steps into a new world. I hope you'll all be along on that journey.


  1. Amazing. I love your heart, and can't wait to see what comes to fruition in this new phase.

  2. i can't wait. these young women are amazing.

  3. This is such a neat development. I love that you all have taken a look at what is happening and will happen and needs to happen, and have decided to move along with it.

    My favorite part of the post is when you said, So we've decided to change our name to reflect reality. What a cool way to put it.

    I love the way you love those girls. It's so clear that you really, really do.

  4. transition is/can be difficult and awkward. here's hoping and praying it's smooth and seemless. im confident that the relationships that have been built will reflect the latter...

  5. i love that you're continuing to nurture them as women...excited to hear more about this.

  6. dang... so crazy to think about those girls as young women now! ha... it's been like 10 years since i've seen them in person... wow. well i'm excited to see how this changes things & i'm glad to hear that providence is growing along side the gals :)

  7. christianne: this all began last summer when marcia and i stayed in haiti for an extended time. we started to give each other a look a lot that basically said, "whoa". that's when this conversation really got going. and yes, i really do love those girls. and i admire them too.

    dave: i think this is a transition that we're kind of catching up with, so i expect it to go really well. it's exciting, really. thanks for your prayers.

    lori: it's still weird to me calling them "women". i think it's gonna take a while for me to get comfortable with the new language.

    danny: it IS weird! you have to go back for a visit soon. they would love to see you again.

  8. i love it! it seems a trap for some ministries to get so lost in WHAT they are that they forget to be deeply present to WHO they are there for. so that's great!

    also what you said about language, and the kinds of words we use keeping us stuck... dang. that really speaks to me. that'll have me thinking for a while... what words do i need to replace? thanks for this reminder.

    anytime i hear you guys talking about haiti i am inspired. excited to keep hearing more!

  9. amanda: i love having you here. *big hug*