God used Familise’s (Mme. Brunel) story in a pivotal way to encourage Esther to seek to bring hope to helpless single Haitian mothers. Esther followed God’s lead and eventually opened Shop Ministere Dorcas through Mission to Haiti.
Familise has been working full-time for a missionary who takes in orphans, but has recently been bleeding and has become very weak. It was discovered that she has a tumor and is in need of surgery. Please pray for Familise and her children.
The following is a piece of the story I wrote for Today’s Christian Woman where you can learn a little more about Familise:
It was my experience with a Haitian woman after the quake that was a turning point,” said Esther.
Familise is a young mother Esther started helping in 2009, but it was seeing the woman near death in 2011 that changed Esther’s focus from simply opening a store to finding a tangible way to help single Haitian women become self-sufficient.
For Familise and her four young children, including infant twins, every day was a struggle for survival after her husband was attacked and killed and his truck stolen in 2008. “We (Mission to Haiti) began giving her beans and rice and clothes and tried to help. And I had medical teams check on the babies and give them milk. But you know, it was an afterthought,” Esther remembers.
When Esther became involved in a traditional Haitian wedding, her eyes were not only opened to a new cultural experience, but to a business opportunity that would benefit Haitian brides and employ destitute Haitian women.
Then in May of 2011, Familise got seriously ill. “We sent a nurse who found her near death,” said Esther. It was over the course of Familise’s three-week hospital stay and five blood transfusions that God broke Esther’s heart for the many Haitian mothers who could easily suffer the same fate or become one of the many who turn to prostitution simply to put food on the table.
But Familise refused to become a prostitution statistic, and her testimony became Esther’s catalyst to turn her desire to help into a thriving business. “Familise shared with her church that (even in the worst of circumstances) she just trusted the Lord, and the Lord was faithful. Learning that was a turning point for me. I knew I needed to go the next step,” Esther said. But she wasn’t sure what that would look like.