My first experience with GoServ Global was our sponsorship of Rose. We started sponsoring her in 2012. We loved sending letters and gifts to her with Ken (DeYoung), and looked forward to the occasional phone call and letters we would receive from her. I was finally able to go to Haiti for the first time in March 2016. For once I was not pregnant or nursing a baby…so I jumped at the opportunity. It was on this trip that my heart was shattered and I was forever changed. I grew up in South Africa, so I was not ignorant of poverty, but I had never experienced it in this magnitude until I went to Haiti for the first time. Yet, despite the extreme poverty that I saw, and the vast number of orphans I met, I was blown away by the Haitian people and their resilience and friendliness. I fell in love with the land. From the majestic mountains, to the clear blue skies, to the enormous palm trees, to the wide expanse of the ocean. It is just beautiful. I also fell in love with 180 orphans that I hold so near and dear to my heart. I have also made very close friends with some Haitians, to the point where we even call each other “family”. My life was forever changed after that first trip.
Since that first trip in 2016 I have tried to visit Haiti at least three times a year. I have been fortunate to have taken my three oldest children with me, and have also been able to go with my husband, Heath. We actually led an FCA group together to Haiti in December 2017. We also now sponsor three children. We continue to sponsor Rose, as well as twin 4-year-old boys, LeLe and LiLi. All three are very much a part of the DeYoung family.
When I am not working on letters of communication between sponsor and child, or collecting much-needed items for our friends in Haiti, or working on the next Sunday School lesson I will teach for Rivenson at Junior Church, I am a “stay-at-home” mother of 5 who coaches Youth Swim Team year-round and also coaches Youth Triathletes in the summer. I love volunteering for GoServ Global within child sponsorship and it has been a joy for me to see how many children are sponsored and the wonderful letters and gifts that are sent between child and sponsor. So, thank you to all the sponsors who make my job such a joy!