The staff at Water Missions International offices around the world have been shocked and saddened to learn about the tragic loss of one of the members of Water Missions International Haiti. A few days ago, Watson, our internal security officer at our Haiti office, was killed while walking home. It is hard to express properly the grief felt over this loss and circumstances. The day we learned of this tragedy, one of our colleagues, Elsa, from our Haiti office wrote us the following letter to share what he meant to our Haiti staff.
For us the news feels like a nightmare we will wake up from to find Watson next to us. We know this is not so. All of the staff is devastated with the occurrence.
Victor Estael, Watson as we all know him, was a simple and humble young man with a tender heart and an unconditional servant for those who cared for him, a man raised by the streets of Haiti but with a desire to learn and improve himself. He was twenty-eight-years-old.
Julio (my husband and the director of our Haiti program) and I met Watson in September 2009 when we rented the house next door to where he worked as a housekeeper for a local family. Soon after we moved in Watson would offer his help and actually come to help whenever Julio was working in the yard. He would spend time as a helper to the technician working on the water treatment systems or repairing pumps, and Watson would ask many questions to learn what was being done.
As time went on, Julio started traveling and I would stay alone either during work hours or after. Watson always watched over me. He would fill the generator with diesel and make sure every night I had locked all the house doors and windows, and he would not go away until I did so.
When the earthquake happened on January 12, 2010, Watson was the one who, along with another neighbor, removed the jammed iron gate of our yard so that I could get out of the house right away. As I stayed on the street with the neighbors for the next 24 hours until Julio arrived, Watson was watching over me and making sure I was safe and taken care of.
When Water Missions rented a compound in late 2010, Julio hired Watson as the yard keeper and helper. Watson has always been not just an employee, but a friend and a son. Watson never referred to Julio as “boss,” but always as “father”; this word was his way to call Julio always. He went from not knowing how to read and not knowing Jesus to reading the Bible, praying often in the morning worship, sharing testimonies, and even learning how to sing the hymns. He prayed with a grateful heart for all God was doing for him.
A couple of years ago, Watson was living in a terrible place in the hills when a mud slide, caused by the rainy season, took away the little home he had. When we found out about his situation, Julio announced to all our staff the need to help Watson rebuild his house. Every one of our staff members contributed either with money or with materials, and Watson was able to rebuild a little home for himself and his pregnant wife, Monicia Cherie.
About two years ago, his baby boy was born. He is an adorable child who became the center of Watson’s life. His name is Woodler Estael, and he is now eighteen-months-old.
At work, Watson continued to improve and he was currently the internal security officer for Water Missions Haiti. He traveled with me every time I went out of the compound as my bodyguard, and he did the same for Julio several times. His duties also included operation and maintenance of the Living Water™ Treatment System servicing the Water Missions Haiti compound with safe water, as well as many other tasks. One of Watson’s dreams was to learn how to drive and be Julio’s driver when he travels in Haiti. Julio was teaching Watson to drive and he was able to get his driver’s license.
Watson was loved by everyone at Water Missions Haiti and also by many of the people visiting the compound for his kindness and fervent performance of the duties entrusted to him.
Watson will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. We humbly request prayers for his family, especially his wife and young son, during this difficult time. Even in this time of grief we are comforted by the Lord’s peace and look forward with hope to the bright future of Haiti that Watson was working to create.