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Why the name "myLIFEspeaks"?

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

We believe that every LIFE tells a story and every LIFE speaks for something. We believe in the dignity, value, and worth of every human being as made in the Image of God and want everyone to see and know their inherent identity as a beloved Child of the King.

The name "myLIFEspeaks" was inspired by the story of Lane Wilson's LIFE, the 25-year-old son of Nashville, TN natives and myLIFEspeaks' Co-Founders, Mike and Missy Wilson. Lane was born prematurely at just 23 weeks gestation on October 4th, 1997. He has severe cerebral palsy and suffered a stroke before birth causing him to go blind. Not only was he born extremely early, he was also very sick.

Doctors didn't think he would survive.

Mike's wedding ring fit around Lane's arm.

But God had other plans for Lane's LIFE. Twenty-five years later, Lane brings joy to all those around him through his unique perspective on LIFE, finding the beauty in the little things, and his love of music and family. Although Lane doesn't talk, walk, or see, he has transformed not only Mike & Missy's lives, and his siblings' lives, but now thousands of others in Haiti too.

When Mike & Missy first went to Haiti on a short-term mission trip in the early 2000s, they quickly became aware of how people with special needs are treated in Haiti. As a result of the predominantly VouDou culture, most Haitians believe that people with special needs or any kind of difference or deformity are cursed, possessed, and therefore disposable.

Haitian children with special needs are often abandoned or neglected, left at hospitals or on the streets to fend for themselves, or worse, offered as a human sacrifice at VouDou ceremonies. Horrifically, to this day, the human sacrifice of such individuals at VouDou ceremonies is still prevalent in Haiti.

This hit home for Mike & Missy who saw the beauty, worth, value, and purpose of their son Lane's LIFE. They knew they had to do something.

They felt called to speak up for those who could not speak for themselves: to create a safe, inclusive, Christian community and environment that saw and celebrated all people as Image Bearers. myLIFEspeaks, a 501(c)3 Christian ministry, launched in January of 2012 in the village of Neply, Haiti with the goal of helping children with special needs.

Mike & Missy Wilson sold their home in Nashville and moved with their three young boys to Haiti. They felt God's Call for them to live in the community and lead by example of how a Christian family looks different than what most Haitians may be used to.

You can read more of myLIFEspeaks' backstory here.

It quickly became evident that helping children with special needs also meant empowering their parents and relatives, developing the commUNITY around them, educating their peers, and providing the necessary care and assistance that otherwise isn’t given to individuals with special needs in Haiti.

The Wilson Family: Mike & Missy Wilson with their children Eli (top left), Naika (bottom left), Lane (middle), Tia (top middle), Nash (bottom right); Dyllan, his wife, Kelsey, and daughter, Noah (right). Photo By: Golden Lens Photography

Believing that all children belong in loving, forever families, myLIFEspeaks created what would be comparable to an American foster care system, in Haiti. In a country where infrastructure and child services are lacking, myLIFEspeaks implemented a family-based system to ensure that orphans and abandoned children wouldn't fall through the cracks.

These forever family homes in our immediate community are supported physically, financially, and spiritually by myLIFEspeaks but operate as a normal family would; consisting of Haitian parents and both biological and adopted children living together under the same roof.

Many Haitian hospitals and doctors refuse to see or treat people with special needs. So, we started our own medical clinic and rehabilitation/occupational therapy clinic to serve the needs of our immediate community and surrounding communities. LIFE Clinic alone sees over 5,000+ patients every year for a variety of needs and ailments. In 2021, the clinic expanded to include a full diagnostic lab as well.

Most schools in Haiti don't allow children with special needs to attend, and if they do offer special education it is likely far away from the child's home. So, we started our own school, LIFE Academy, that educates children both typically-developing and special needs all under one roof.

What started out as empowering individuals with special needs has turned into empowering an entire Haitian community in Christ around them. All of these lives' tell a unique story. And they come together to tell a much bigger story of God's Love and Who He is.

Your LIFE speaks too. What is it saying?

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