In November we posted about a new member of the Wings of Hope family, Jonas. Shortly after we introduced Jonas it because clear that there was more to his story then we knew. His mother and father had two boys, Jonas and his brother. The mother apparently didn’t want to care for a child with special needs and abandoned him at the Missionaries of Charity home in Jacmel, then left town with her other son. Jonas’ father, however, very much wanted his son. He searched for days at all the orphanages looking for him. Finally he went to the authorities to file a missing child report. They knew about the little boy who had been abandoned and came to Wings to pick Jonas up and return him to his father. All of this happened on Thanksgiving Day in the US, which became a Homecoming Day for little Jonas. We are sure his father is glad to have him home, given all he did to find him. We are thankful for the short time that Jonas was in our lives and we wish him and his father well on their journey together.Share this:
The reflection below is written by Alice, a long-term volunteer at Wings of Hope. Jonas, who passed away recently, was an SJF employee and worked at Wings of Hope. He was loved by many and will be missed dearly. Rest in peace, Jonas…
I got to know Jonas while interning at Wings of Hope. On my first day there I was very overwhelmed and intimidated. I had been 4 times before but never on my own. I decided to choose laundry because I would be doing something hands-on. From that day forward, Jonas became my best friend at Wings. He taught me most of my creole (very patiently), opened up to me and told me all about his life, upbringing, wife and kids, he took me to the market to buy produce, and got me amazing deals!
The first time we went to buy produce, we were walking back to Wings and I slipped on the pavement and fell. I was bleeding profusely from my knee and toe, but it really didn’t hurt. He was so worried and slowly walked with me back to Wings and had someone come into the house and check on me multiple times. We used to go about once every other week after work to grab a prestige at the local shack.
As much as I knew he enjoyed just simply hanging out after work, I think he also wanted to come to make sure I was okay and no one was bothering me. Any time someone approached me he would ask if I was okay. Each time I was in Haiti I not only appreciated our friendship more but also appreciated who he was as a person overall.
He is by far the most hard working person I’ve ever been around. And not ONCE did he complain, never ever. Whenever myself or other volunteers would help with laundry, he would give us the clothing and he would do the blankets, even though those were much harder. Although I’m sure it was partly because we couldn’t do as good a job 🙂 He did laundry 5 days a week and spent a 6th day cleaning the kids house. Always with a smile on.
The last time I was there he asked if Taylor and I wanted to walk down to the market after work. I was tired and hesitant, but I hadn’t spent much time with him in that week. Taylor and I went, and we ended up hanging out for 2 hours. We grabbed a Prestige, and right when it became overwhelming with other people coming in, he decided it was time to go. On our way back to Wings (he always walked us back, although his house was the opposite direction), we asked if we could stop at the other orphanage. He and tiRalph came with us, because they didn’t want us going alone. He was just as loving with those children as the children at Wings, and I’m sure his own.
I am so thankful for that last memory with him. A genuine, kind-hearted, beautiful soul. He made a positive impact on the St. Joseph Family, and he will always be remembered for the kindness and love that he shared!Share this: