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On a Tuesday, for no clear reason, my mother came to school to pick me up early. In Haiti, you don’t usually leave school until your homework is done. The fact that my mother came and picked me up that particular day is a testimony for me that God loves every one of us and watches out for us. That day was when we had the big earthquake. I was 16, and she brought me to one of the orphanages that my father ran. I went in and was sitting and talking with the little children when suddenly the building started shaking and it collapsed on top of us. It was a three-story building full of little children, and I was on the bottom floor.

I didn’t know what had happened, and at that time, I didn’t know much about God even though we were Catholic. While I was in that collapsed building, I remember hearing people screaming and I spoke to God. I told Him, “If you save me, I will serve you.” I was crying and screaming to get out. A voice came to me, telling me to stop screaming because I would use up all my energy screaming and I would die if I didn’t stop. I actually heard that voice telling me to be calm. Over the next 29 hours, one by one, all the little children in that collapsed building stopped crying and screaming. One by one, I could almost hear them passing away. My arm was broken and blood was all over my face. I could hear people digging and praying and looking for survivors. There were no tractors or tools to get people out. They used picks and knives and machetes to dig me out.

All the time I was buried alive, there was someone there with me, keeping me calm. I was close to dying; I was so tired and hungry. I kept hearing that voice that gave me hope. I didn’t know much about God, and I had never said a personal prayer to Him. I used all the faith in me and offered up my first sincere prayer.

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