Confession #37: Change is Scary: A Call for Letters


She dreams of becoming a cook. She loves to work in the kitchen, loves to create new recipes, loves the smell of food cooking on the stove, and loves to serve people with her dishes. Just talking about cooking makes her bubbly.

Eveline, 19 years old, is one of the girls who will be moving with us to Emmaus House in just a few short weeks. As I sat with her to fill out her Individualized Transition Inventory the other day we had a chance to map out her future, take note of what skills she still needs to develop to become more independent, and make a plan to help her accomplish her goals in life.

Eveline is one of the most beautiful girls I know- inside and out. Tall and beautiful and a heart that is purely for Jesus, she is a true treasure. I have been blessed to know Eveline for many years, ever since I started visiting Haiti. Although we have always been close, these past few years the two of us have become good friends. Perhaps it is because I see so much of myself in Eveline from when I was her age. I don’t know.

I am certain Eveline’s future is bright, especially at Emmaus. She is good with the rules, good with the program at hand, and will work diligently to ensure her future. For that I am certain. But Eveline has been nervous…

During our last group meeting I saw her crying. Afterwards I went to find her in her room. Together we walked to a quiet area to talk. It took a while, but eventually she was willing to share.

“I am fine with all the rules of Emmaus House,” she said. “This is not why I am crying.”

“Well then what is it?” I asked her.

“I am just scared. It just hit me that I am leaving the orphanage, my home, to live in a new place and to become and adult. And I don’t know how to do that. And that is scary for me,” she replied with tears streaming down her face.

Leaning in for a hug I replied, “Eveline, big changes in our life are always scary. I cried so much when I moved out of my parents’ house. I was ready, but it was a change. And change is scary. You are ready for this. You can do this. And you have people in Haiti and people in America who are by your side to help you all the way. They are not going to leave until you are ready to walk on you own, okay?”

“Yes, I know,” she said as she wiped the tears from her cheeks.

We sat there for another 20 minutes- me holding her as she cried. Eveline is so excited for Emmaus House, yet the step in adulthood, into responsibility, and into change is scary. It was scary for all of us! And in Haiti, a place where few make this transition successfully, the teens feel as though the odds are already against them. And yes, they are scared.

So friends, sponsors, and supporters here is what I am asking from you: Our teens need your encouragement. They need to hear from you. They need to know that you are confident in them and their ability to succeed at Emmaus House– to becoming young adults, to work the program, to becoming responsible for themselves, and to work on their own.

Here is what I would like to do. We are moving the Emmaus Youth on August 1st.  That evening I would like to inspire them by reading some letters from people in America encouraging them to do their best in the program. If you would like to send the group a letter to be read, please email me a letter (no longer than a paragraph so it can be translated) to by July 25. Even if they don’t know you, I think the more letters the better. The more people they know are thinking about them, praying for them, and rooting them on the more they will believe in their ability to succeed as well.

Thanks so much for your help. And as always, please keep the Emmaus Youth in your prayers!

~ Jillian

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