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  • Jillian Kittrell

"Sometimes Broken Things Deserve to be Repaired"



During an extremely trying time recently with several of our young people, Gerome, our Haitian administrator, messaged our board president, Tom Crampton, and said, “…we all know we are trying to help broken ones.” He is right, we are. In my line of work the brokenness of the human spirit so often deafens the voice of reason; we are dealing with very broken people. It is a brokenness you can’t see in the images of the well dressed and attractive young people you see on Facebook. However, it is a brokenness those of us who work with them see on a regular basis.

It is a familiar brokenness in all of us that causes us to fear, be angry, and rebel. It is called sin. Sometimes it is the sins of others that bring about our brokenness, and sometimes it stems from our own sinful choices. Usually, our brokenness comes from a little of both. “Sometimes broken things deserve to be repaired” is a quote from a character, Sang Ly, in a book called “The Rent Collector” by Camryn Wright. Sang Ly was speaking of a broken clock she had found in the Cambodian trash dump where she and her husband forage to feed their little family. She brought it to their make shift home as a treasure, seeing value in something abandoned by another. She held onto it in the hopes that one day, there would be resources available to repair it. Much like that clock, many of our youth have been thrown away and abandoned numerous times in various ways. However, also like that clock, we see a great value through the brokenness in them, something broken that deserves to be repaired. God sees a treasure and wants nothing more than to bring them home to be restored.

Some of our youth refuse to trust. This makes the healing process challenging. They give into their fear, choosing never to heal, but to hold it close to them like a fortress of security blocking out all help, nurture, vulnerability, and love. We continue to love and to pray for them. We always will. However, sometimes our youth relinquish their fear and choose to trust others and learn to trust God. It is in watching these young people rise out of their brokenness that I gain hope not only for the future of Emmaus House but also for Haiti.

Whether you are a donor, volunteer, staff, or a prayer warrior for Emmaus House, we all need to remember that we are all broken. Regardless of where our pain stems from, we all possess within us a brokenness that needs to be repaired. And the ultimate fixer of every broken thing is God.

(Title quoted from Camryn Wright's “The Rent Collector”)

Tanya Pirtle

Emmaus House Executive Director


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