If you read in the bible the story of Joseph and David, you will find me there. My story is their story.

My name is Jean Marc. I am 17 years old. I grew up in the village of Minoterie in Haiti. Most of the people here are poor, there aren’t many opportunities for the uneducated.

My mom was very gentle and generous. Her dream for me was to get an education, to not have the same life that she had. But going to school costs money.

She would go around with guys doing bad things with them to get money so I could eat. One day she stole something from someone. The people tied her to a post and beat her. I cried for them to stop but they just laughed at me. All these things were happening because of me, so that I might have a better life.

A few months later my mom got very sick, and on Christmas Eve 2006, she died in the hospital. I didn’t event find out until six days later. After her death I was alone, I was 10 years old.

I was so hungry and I was like, “Lord I know you fed 5000 people, I am only one person, why can I not get fed?” And then God provided.

I’ve been at Mission of Hope for eight years now. When I first woke up here I thought I was dreaming. “You were sleeping in the mud, now you get bed, you have shower and food.” I couldn’t believe it. Totally couldn’t believe. “Now you are in a family.”

I never thought I would have an education, but God has given me one here. It is paid for by people I don’t know. They sponsor me to go to school.

I like math and physics the best. If I wasn’t in school I would not have a future. I’m learning so much that I want to share with other students, so I tutor.

If somebody comes to me and tells me he is hopeless, I will understand because I have been through it. If I don’t take what God has given me and use it to help others, who will?

There are so many more like me who are still in the street and have not had the opportunity I was given. If my mom were here, I think she would cry and be proud to know that all of her dreams are coming true for me.

I like the story in the bible of Joseph and David. Both of these men had great difficulties, just like I did, but God was with them always.

Maybe the bad things in your life happen so you can become strong. It is from the struggles that we grow.