Joyce Trainer was born in Nyack,
New York the second child to a young couple both enrolled in ministry studies. She spent her infant and toddler years moving about the US as her parents ministered to congregations through the midwest, finally settling just outside of Vancouver, Canada, where they started a fishing ministry on the great sturgeon rivers of British Columbia. Joyce spent the rest of her adolescent years there, helping with the ministry, all-staring as a sandwich artist, playing sports, pushing the envelope and cheering on the Canucks!
At 19 Joyce visited Haiti on a 10 day trip with her church that had an established long term relationship with a sister congregation and school in the small rural town of Petit Goave. She was tremendously impacted by her time with the Haitian church family and surrounding community. After her trip she went home, cut ties with negative connections in her life and made plans to return to Haiti long term. One of her mother's old friends, who had known Joyce she as a toddler, was living and working in Fermathe, Haiti. She connected Joyce with God's Littlest Angels Orphanage (GLA) a few miles away from her mission.
Joyce flew to Haiti in January of 2004 committing to 5 months of volunteer work in whatever capacity GLA needed her. GLA recognized the many strengths Joyce brought to their ministry and gladly welcomed Joyce's willingness to stay past her initial time frame. As the years passed Joyce worked in many capacities, filling multiple roles, eventually developing and running an English program committed to giving the GLA kids, who would often be adopted to English speaking homes, as much of an advantage in their new environments as possible.
As all of this was happening a few miles up the road an orphanage in the neighboring town of Kenscoff was operating in stark contrast to GLA. In 2012 that orphanage was finally investigated by authorities after a child went "permanently missing". This came at the end of repeated reports that the 90 kids there were unsupervised, neglected, abused, exploited, and that the orphanage was engaged in human trafficking. On May 31st 2012 Haitian Social Services (IBESR) and the local law enforcement (PNH) arrived at the orphanage and forcefully removed all the children that were there. These children aged 2 yrs to 18 yrs were then divided up by approximate size between 3 other orphanages.
The smallest 22 children were unexpectedly brought to GLA, where Joyce had been serving. The only information these children came with was their first name. None of them knew where they were from originally, their age, their last name, or even if they had living relatives anywhere.
On May 31st 2012 Haitian Social Services (IBESR) and the local law enforcement (PNH) arrived at the orphanage and forcefully removed all the children that were there.
The 22 that GLA took in were given approximate ages based on their pediatrician's dental examination. These kids ranged in age from 2 yrs to 12 yrs old. All were severally underweight and by referencing bone development it was determined they had been malnourished for the majority of their lives. For the oldest kids, it is estimated that according to US standards they had been "starved" for up for up to 10 years of their short lives. They had parasites and open sores, some of them still had scabs over cuts and burns that had been inflicted on them as corporal punishment by the few adults that wandered in and out of their lives.
These are the birth moments of Joyce's relationship with the kids that are now her family at Chosen and Cherished Ministries.
During the following year these 22 kids that were now calling GLA home began to heal from their unspeakable and repressed traumas. They now had a dry roof, warm secure walls, consistent nurturing adults, medical attention, and 3 nourishing meals a day. They were hesitant to accept affection, they rebelled, they refused to speak, they screamed, they hit, they pitched, they fought, they sobbed, they cowered in fear, they began to release the pain and the fear that they had learned to bury. They attended school, they learned to play with toys, they began to slowly understand that they were valued, and that they were loved. Things that some of them had never experienced before.
All were severally underweight and by referencing bone development it was determined they had been malnourished for the majority of their lives.
Joyce, who had now been their teacher and a constant in their lives at GLA for the previous 5 years decided that it was time to leave her work at GLA and make these kids her number one priority. She committed her life to raising them. She opened the doors of Chosen and Cherished Ministries on April 13th 2017 and with the approval of Haitian Social Services moved her 10 children in to their very own home for the first time in their lives. She is now in the lengthy process of procuring legal guardianship, and giving them their very own last name, Trainer!
Chosen and Cherished Ministries is located in a small rural mountain village called Fort Jacques. The kids attend a local school that uses an accredited American curriculum and they are fluent in both English and Creole. Despite their troubled past these kids have their hopes and dreams just like anyone else. They bicker with their "siblings". They beg their "mom" for permission to hang out with their friends for another 10 minutes. They complain about too much homework. They can't sleep with excitement over their upcoming birthday, and they look forward to what they want to be when they grow up.
Chosen and Cherished Ministries is the home of the Trainer family, whose story is woven together with a past of pain and loss but together with your support now lives in a place of healing, peace, and hope for a future filled with God's promises!