Where Are They Now?
The Pierre Family
It’s only fitting to share about the Pierre family today as their sweet Ketia met Jesus on Good Friday 4 years ago. Ketia is remembered every single day, and it’s evident that there is someone vital missing in their family, but the grace in which they carry themselves is breathtaking. I am still in awe of how this mama and papa and their children are woven together and the ways they interact with each other. This little family has been the most evident witness in my (Rhyan’s) life to the value of family preservation. In watching them it’s impossible to ignore how deeply and beautifully God weaves mamas and daddies and brothers and sisters together.
Ketia was never technically a patient at Middle Ground, but anyone who has followed our work since the beginning will recognize this sweet peanut. Ketia and her mama were discovered by a missionary friend of mine at a small hospital in a village far outside of the city, where they lived. They had traveled to visit family and while they were there Ketia became ill, and soon she was so sick that the small rural hospital couldn’t care for her. I was contacted by my friend who knows my heart for malnourished babies and I quickly sprang into action trying to find a way to transport Ketia to the capital, and secure her treatment in a private hospital here. MAF and HERO provided a plane and EMTs and we all flew together to a small airstrip on the southern coast of Haiti to pick up our precious cargo.
When we arrived in Port Au Prince, the HERO ambulance transported Ketia again, from the airport to the best hospital that we could find. People from all over the world sent money and prayed for a tiny little warrior and her sweet, sweet mama. For several days Ketia fought hard, she was brave and strong until early in the evening on Friday April 15th 2016 as the sun was setting over the city, Ketia was relieved of her battle and swept up into heaven.
Ketia’s passing left a lasting impact on me and truly was a turning point in my personal journey in founding and building Middle Ground into what it is today. A few weeks after Ketia died her family invited me to visit them in their home. I was honored and loved spending the afternoon with Ketia’s brother and sisters and seeing her face reflected in theirs. I had an amazing time sharing a meal with her family and getting to know her parents a little bit more. They showed me around their land and introduced me to a few of their neighbors and we promised to keep in touch.
In 4 years we have always kept that promise, over countless bowls of rice and beans we have marveled over kindergarten graduations, and births of new babies. We have watched our children play and laugh together and we have all felt the deep ache of the one that is always missing from these gatherings.
Ketia’s 3 siblings are all in the School Sponsorship program through Middle Ground. This year Nephtalie is 9 years old and in 3rd grade, she loves Math, the color purple and she wants to be a doctor someday. Matania is 13 and in 7th grade, her favorite subject is French and she has a green thumb and loves gardening. “Baby” Emmanuel, he’s is 7 years old and in 1st grade. He’s as silly and playful (and dezoid) as a 7 year old boy should be. They are full of life and dreams and goals and their parents are alongside them every step of the way cheering them on and reminding them that they can do big, world changing things with their lives.
I am so incredibly thankful for the relationship that I have been able to have with the Pierre family and I look forward to many more years of spending time with Marlene and Toto and watching our children grow together.
Rhyan Buettner Desmaret