giving back to the community Saidel is his father’s 30th child. His mother, one of his father’s five wives, died when Saidel was only 3 years old. His father was abusive and Saidel’s early years were very difficult.

After his mother’s death, Saidel was taken in by his older sister, a street vendor named Mireille. They lived in Cavaillon, Cayes, in southern Haiti.

Cavaillon is a remote farming town of 20,000. It is prone to floods and lacks essentials such as schools, health care centers, employment opportunities and vocational training.

Many children in Cavaillon don’t go to school because of the meager income their parents generate through farming activities and small businesses. It is a hopeless situation for the town.

Mireille considered Saidel her own son. She was a Christian who believed God would make a way for their family. She sent Saidel to the Baptist church school of Cavaillon where he became part of our child sponsorship program.

“My sister was so happy about the support of Compassion. If it were not for Compassion, she would not have been able to offer me an education.”

In 1979 Saidel accepted Jesus as his Savior, and soon he became a member of the Baptist church of Cavaillon. There he learned music theory under the supervision of an American missionary named Ann. As a gifted young boy, he became the maestro of three choirs at the church.

Saidel treasures the letters and gifts sent by his sponsor. Because he was motherless and without a responsible father to care for him, his sponsor meant a lot to him.

“I loved my sponsor so much. He never missed an opportunity to send me letters and gifts. I felt that I was valued and loved. I wish I could meet his family so I could thank that great man for what he invested in my life.”

Now 40 years old, Saidel is the only one in his family who attended a university. He studied administration at Quisqueya University, where he also earned diplomas in computerized accounting and music. He is skilled in sewing and photography as well.

“Compassion did not pay for my university, but thanks to the skills I have acquired I could earn money to further my studies.”

Saidel served as director of programming for the two most popular evangelical radio stations in Haiti and has used every opportunity to speak a message of hope to this generation.

Among the 40,000 children who have completed our child development program in Haiti, Saidel is a vivid example of success.

“Today, not only I can take care of my family but I am also helping others in need. I think it’s one of the things Compassion expects to see in the lives of those who benefit from its programs.”

Now married with four children, Saidel and his wife are providing a thorough education for their children. They teach them the Christian virtues and are committed to providing them with the tools they need to build successful careers.

“My dream for my children is that they grow up into genuine Christians who have good relationships with God, with others and the environment.”

All of Saidel’s children are musically gifted like their father. The oldest son plays the drums, while another child is learning music theory and another is a talented dancer and singer.

When Saidel compares himself with his childhood friends, he says there is a huge difference.

“I recall the time when I used to drink water from the river. I used to walk barefoot and played soccer with my friends, using oranges.

“If it were not for Compassion, I would have been still living in such conditions because my life was the same as that of my friends.”

Today, Saidel and his wife live in Carrefour, about 30 minutes from Port-au-Prince. They run a restaurant that mainly serves people who have nothing to eat. Saidel believes the restaurant will serve as an evangelism center where people can eat for free and his team can share with them the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.

“My biggest dream is to help others to worship God with a true heart, as the Bible says, in spirit and truth.”

Saidel also runs a music school called Center for Skills Development in Ministry, where Christian leaders and young people can learn music theory and other related skills to better serve local churches.

“I need to be at the forefront of the change that will be happening in Haiti. The country needs me. Therefore I choose to stay here with my family. I received so much from Compassion. Therefore, today I am committed to giving much to the youth and to the nation.”

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12 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Teresa
    Apr 19, 2012
    at 6:41 am

    Thank you for sharing this story. As a sponsor with multiple kids in Haiti, I find this especially encouraging!

  2. Kellie Savage
    Apr 19, 2012
    at 7:01 am

    What an encouragement to read this life testimony! My husband and I sponsor a little boy in Haiti through Compassion. It is a blessing to hear how much the program helps and to know “our” little boy that God allows us to write to in Haiti has the opportunity to grow up and make a difference for God in his country through the teaching and care he receives from Compassion. God bless!!! :0)

  3. Apr 19, 2012
    at 7:12 am

    We led a team to Haiti (with Compassion) a couple weeks ago. Looks like Saidel’s family picture is taken in front of the project we were working at. How cool is that!

    After visiting the Compassion Haiti main office, one of the neat things was to see and hear from Compassion workers who were sponsored when they were small children. Now, 30-40 years later they are serving their country/people with the organization that helped them. Very neat to see God’s hand at work in all that.

  4. Elizabeth
    Apr 19, 2012
    at 8:33 am

    How inspiring!

  5. Mary & J.B. Stone
    Apr 19, 2012
    at 8:56 am

    This is a wonderful testimony to what Compassion is doing is children’s lives. Give us 10 years and our Oneyda in Honduras will have a wonderful story to tell. She has lofty goals and the will to fufill God’s plan for her.

  6. Stephanie Green
    Apr 19, 2012
    at 10:57 am

    Wow! I’m amazed to think of the impact Saidel and his family can have on the Haitian people. He is truly paying it forward in so many ways. Thanks for sharing this story!!

  7. Carol
    Apr 19, 2012
    at 11:32 am

    What a great way to learn the value of what we are doing through sponsorship. My “son” has been out on his own for over 3 years now. While not a great student, he was a talented tailor and my final gift was for him to buy what he needed to be successful. I pray for him and only wish I could know how he is!

  8. Breecienc
    Apr 19, 2012
    at 11:56 am

    I cried!
    How wonderful – I am so happy for him, and how beautiful to carry on the Great Commission of Christ through his restaurant.

  9. Frank Gant
    Apr 19, 2012
    at 12:17 pm

    This isn’t the work of compassion international or sponsors or our money. This is the work of our mighty and awesome God. Yes he uses us, but we are merely instruments in a heavenly symphony. What a mighty and loving God we serve. May he continue to bless and keep this man and his family.

  10. Apr 19, 2012
    at 9:24 pm

    it is really wonderful, he is very grateful, I know him, this is someone who has a good heart and perseverance as well. May God continue to bless you my brother and your family!

  11. Sean
    Apr 22, 2012
    at 1:12 pm

    By the blessing of the Lord’s grace.. I am able to sponsor two children.. Enrique in Chiapas, Mexico and Lita in Indonesia.. this story encourages me to continue, knowing that someday the benefits of their sponsorship will bear positive fruit in their lives, their families and, in turn, in the lives of others. I stay after my friends on Facebook.. with constant and gentle prodding.. to become sponsors themselves.. and maybe, I’ll hear back that one or more have. I have been blessed with this opportunity in my life and I don’t want to waste it.. a heart-felt thank you out to all the Compassion people working hard around the world to help support and shape the lives of the youngs ones.. may the Lord bless each of you and your families as well.

  12. dee dee
    May 16, 2012
    at 8:51 pm

    Thanks that is a great story of a life lifted up and given hope. God bless him and his family.

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