Allow me to introduce you to Tikilene, one of the most incredible human beings you could be privileged to meet.
Tikilene and her husband have three sons and one daughter, all of whom have completed high school &/or are working their way through a college education. Tikilene gives all credit to the grace of God, and herself has been a determinedly faithful mother and wife.
I met Tikilene bent over a huge aluminum pot brimming with rice and beans. One morning with Tikilene and I knew this was THE Tikilene I had heard of through missionary friends in the south. Faithful, stalwart, wise and discerning with a courageous determination not to be reckoned with, this had to be her!Though I could speak very little creole and understand even less, her love immediately enveloped me. Language is no barrier for the kind of love this woman exudes. I welcomed her firm embrace, long lasting love pats and that smile. Oh, that smile with eyes that read you like an open book and accept you nonetheless.
Accolade for Saving Lives began on prayer, with a few donated pieces of furniture and a whole lotta faith and vision. It was good, but Patchouko knew this ministry would benefit from a mother figure. Tikilene had been praying over Patchouko, his family and his work for 7 years by that time. Her mother heart had nurtured not only biological children but countless neighborhood children, relatives and missionaries’ kids throughout the years. She was the perfect mix of love, discipline and discipleship for the position.
Tikilene was not paid for the work that she did, and work she did! When the program first began there were no kitchen facilities on site and no possibility for outdoor cooking. Five days each week she awakened early enough to begin preparations at her own home for the day while also preparing rice & beans for 10 boys plus a handful of volunteer staff. She would walk a distance to catch a tap-tap then heft her huge hot pan of rice and beans onto the back of a pick-up truck for a 30 minute ride to Les Cayes that would deposit her prior to the 8:00 am beginning of Accolade’s day. After lunch she cleaned the dishes, toted her huge pot back to the tap-tap and rode 30 minutes back home where she would work odd jobs, ensure her family’s laundry was done and see that food was prepared for an evening meal.
I asked Patchouko why Tikilene had initially chosen to work for Accolade; he answered, “I needed a mother figure for the boys. When I told her what I needed she was ready to do that. She is a foundation, a rock for Accolade. Tikilene is always making sacrifices for the boys, the program, for God. Nothing stops Tikilene from serving – insecurity on the streets, pouring rain, she will come unless I stop her.”
God has given us privilege to know this servant who prays incessantly, serves whole-heartedly and is capable of making a meal for many out of seemingly nothing! Tikilene – we love you and we are privileged to serve God with you on our team!