It’s a story of transformation.
It’s a story of the life mission of RoRo Eustache.
It’s the story of a troubled youth who met RoRo in a time when his greatest need was love, attention, and the hope of Jesus Christ.
Over the past 32 years, you could have written this story about quite a large number of young men (including Toto Desirae), but earlier this month, it was the story of Djimi (Jimmy). From a day when RoRo simply asked Jimmy to pick up trash on campus, RoRo saw great potential in this young boy and began pouring into his life.
Eventually, RoRo and Eline brought Jimmy into their family and the mission. He was a student at Emmanuel Christian School in Peredo through the 6th grade and now attends high school in Marigot. As RoRo commits to do every day, he shared the Word of God with Jimmy, many times over the past few years. On Friday, August 4, 2017, at 16 years old, Jimmy submitted his life to Christ, as his Lord and Savior, through baptism. Welcome to God’s family, Jimmy! We are so glad to call you our brother in Christ, and we are excited to discover what God has in store for your life!
Most of our short-term trip members could tell some stories about Jimmy. He has a knack for remembering names, serving behind the scenes, and encouraging everyone with his smile. He also has a way with goats that chew through a rope!
We asked a few of our past interns share something about their friend, Jimmy. Here’s what they had to say:
I love how helpful and caring he is. He always has a smile and a way to cheer you up, even if it is just small funny thing. He can make a conection with anyone and is so encouraging. He’s the best friend that everyone wants, in my opinion. He is such an amazing young man, and God shines through him so much!
I met Djimi in 2011, before I knew even a phrase in Kreyol. As I established my morning routine of mounting the hill for devotions, Djimi and his sister, Tailen, would follow me. I remember vividly one cloudy morning, Tailen rolled in the grass singing loudly in her colorful dress as I soaked in all the sights and sounds. I watched her, intrigued by her spirit. As I investigated further, I found Djimi nearby, peeking through the distant bushes. Unable to communicate, each morning I would just watch the routine of this sibling pair as I read and prayed. I noticed that Djimi would never reach the summit fully. He always seemed to linger farther away, keeping watch over his sister and a steady eye on me. As the days passed, Djimi came to understand the solace that the hill provided me…and instructed Tailen not to follow. He began sitting closer to my rock, and eventually gained the courage to join me. We would listen to music. He would watch me read. He would hear me pray. He would draw me pictures. We would sit in silence.
Through the years I watched as Djimi — a silent, brave, and honest boy of character — grew closer to the Lord. I watched as he celebrated life with Americans and Haitians alike. I’ve watched him go out of his way to help a grown man retrieve his livestock. I watched as he gently disciplined his friends, boys his own age, with grace. He’s the easiest person to laugh with until your stomach is in knots. I’ve seen him sacrifice for his family time after time after time, despite their hesitancy to do the same. I’ve seen the true heartache he felt as he said tearful goodbyes to new friends each week. I’ve seen this little boy growing into a man, looking more like Jesus with each passing day.
Djimi is not a normal young man, and I don’t say that lightly. God has gifted him with a unique way of loving people. He loves with the entirety of who he is; he bares his soul for anyone who cares to take witness. He’s not afraid to put his life on the line for strangers and would walk into a raging battlefield for those he loves. My heart wells with pride with the thought that I can even consider him a little brother. He has a way of making everyone desire to know the intimacy of the Lord. In all that Djimi is, the thing that makes him so unique is something I learned before I ever said hello. He’s ok with sitting in silence.
I remember one night specifically, when Jimmy brought me closer to God. Corey and I both hobbled over to our beds, about to fall asleep, when Jimmy sat down on a mattress in front of us. He was in a talkative mood (imagine that), and our conversation got pretty deep pretty quick. Corey and I both knew that this was a special opportunity, and we started asking him questions about his life.
Jimmy is a unique young man. The way that his voice started to crack when he talked about Past taking him under his wing was enough to make me start to tear up too. Jimmy was acutely aware of God’s presence on campus, and his heart was so open to whatever God wanted. As Jimmy began to describe the dreams that he had for his life, both his humility and excitement were palpable. Jimmy wanted to help. He wanted to learn so much. His dreams for Kingdom work blew me away, and I’m sure he could tell you more about what he wants to do. What I sensed that night was a humble heart, ready to be shaped and prepared for service — I don’t think he knows it yet, but Jimmy is being groomed to lead in a powerful way. If effective leadership starts with a servant’s heart, Jimmy is ready to live out the gospel in a way that inspires something incredible.
Jimmy is sincere and genuine. During every conversation I have had with him, he has always encouraged me, spoke wisdom, and joked around with me. We spent the whole summer laughing. He is the type of person that everyone feels a connection to. He listens and cares about what is going on in that person’s life and what they have to say. My favorite memories, besides having our nightly talks while eating popcorn, are when we would try to catch the rats and get them out of a building. He would grab our flashlights, two brooms (or in some cases a bug net too) and say “All right, you ready Larissa (or whatever nickname he came up with at the time, like Lavissa or usually Larissoups.)?” We would get in position and try to be quiet so we wouldn’t wake up the teams and go for it!
Jimmy isn’t your typical 16-year-old boy. Jimmy has a heart and a passion for God. Jimmy cares like no other. He constantly checked up on me and the other interns to make sure we were doing okay. He always put himself last and everyone else before him, Haitian or American. Jimmy has the biggest and most genuine smile I have ever seen. You can tell that his joy comes from the Lord, and he is not afraid to tell you about his love for the Lord.
One Saturday when we were waiting for teams I was helping Jimmy clean in the boys’ dorm along with Lizzy and Hannah. I had been on wifi and saw that the health of my friend’s dad was declining fast. He had lung cancer and didn’t have much longer to live. The four of us gathered in a circle in the middle of the dorm and prayed. Tears streamed down my face as I listened to Jimmy pray in Creole for a family that he had never met. Jimmy knew nothing about my friend except that his dad had died from cancer, but that didn’t stop him from praying. We prayed for a miracle and for healing, but God had a different plan. My friend’s father passed away not even an hour later. Jimmy comforted me and told me he would continue to pray for them.
Jimmy’s famous line is: “It’s life.” Whenever something bad or sad happens, he simply says, “It’s life.” He knows who holds the future. Jimmy has no fear for what tomorrow brings.