Confession #54: Kencia’s Story of Hope
She has one of the most beautiful smiles I know, and her laugh is more than contagious. She loves life and she is full of dreams for her future. From midwife to flight attendant, to detective to beautician, Kencia knows God has BIG plans for her.
After her mom tragically died in a car accident, Kencia moved to the orphanage when she was four years old. Shortly after, her father met another woman who refused to care for Kencia as her own. It wasn’t long after that Kencia’s father dropped her off at the orphanage gates.
Growing up almost all her life in an orphanage, Kencia was witness to many American teams coming in and out of her life. She also saw many of her friends leave the orphanage because they were “chosen” to be adopted- but never her. When asked how this made her feel as a little girl she replied, “When I knew a team was coming I sometimes would try to act cute for them so they would like me more. But I guess nobody ever chose me because they did not love me.” Shrugging her shoulders she said so matter-of-factly, ”Nobody ever wanted me.”
Nobody ever chose me because they did not love me.
Nobody ever wanted me.
These are the thoughts that have shaped Kencia today as a young 19-year-old woman. Independent, strong-willed, competitive, and just a tad bit feisty- the once little girl who dreamed of a family but never got one is now a young adult.
So how is it that Kencia ended up where she did? A little girl who by the world’s standards had no hope, to now, having all the hope in the world? Because despite her setbacks (i.e. growing up in an orphanage, living in the poorest country in the world) not having her dreams come true is nowhere on her radar. “I don’t want to depend on someone else for the things I need my whole life,” she once told me. “I have to finish school and I have to learn a lot so I can take care of myself.”
And how is it that Kencia has such so much faith in her dreams? It is because her faith in God is so much bigger. “I know God can do all things in my life,” she says. “It is God that helps me. He has gotten me to where I am already in my life and in school. And I know He will continue to help me wherever I need to go.”
Moving to Emmaus House was a big step in Kencia’s life. She often refers to Emmaus House as “God’s grace on her”. After hearing the news that all the older teenagers would have to move out of the orphanage, she was very scared because she didn’t know where she was going to go and she feared for her future. Now that she lives at Emmaus House, she feels good about her future. “Living here gives me hope for good things to come,” she says. “Everyday I am growing in my relationship with God. I am learning how to make food and do some other things like clean and work around the house. It is good here.”
It is obvious that God has BIG plans for Kencia in her future. Kencia takes wisdom from what the Lord said in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” She believes this to be true with all her heart. If God was not faithful to this calling in her life He would have deserted her as a little orphan girl long ago, or put her out on the streets earlier this year when the Haitian government said she was too old to need continued assistance. But instead, God became the father to the fatherless Kencia and loved her as His own child. And then He placed her in Emmaus House to prepare her for her future- a future of work in His kingdom.
“No matter what I do in my future, I want to also help people. I want to be able to help people to go to the hospital when they are sick and share food with those who are hungry,” Kencia says. God has given Kencia the heart of a servant so that she can serve others in Haiti. And at Emmaus House we plan on cultivating that spirit within her while assisting her with her education and job training. There is no telling what God has in store for this beautiful young woman, but all of us at Emmaus House can’t wait to watch and find out!
Kencia is still in need of partial sponsorship at Emmaus House. If you are interested in becoming one of her sponsors, please contact Jillian Kittrell for more information at KittrellsinHaiti@gmail.com