John "Little John" Olivier shows the tumor on his jaw that could not be treated in Haiti, but after a doctor in America agreed to do it pro bono, he got the life-saving surgery in November. (Barclay Stuart/Dr. Stuart Lieblich)
A Haitian boy received a life-saving treatment after a series of miraculous encounters – with a Christian missionary, a Jewish doctor, and a Muslim family – but it wasn’t easy.
It started when Barclay Stuart, a missionary from Calvary Chapel Brighton in Colorado, met John Olivier, a nine-year-old native of Haiti better known as “Little John,” on two separate trips, and he made it his mission late last year to help him get treatment for a growing, life-threatening tumor that was affecting his speech and the way his teeth were aligned.
“I told God that I obviously can’t do this on my own and that if He helped Little John, that I would humbly serve and do whatever He asked of me,” Stuart told Fox News.
Before he left even left the Port-au-Prince airport, he got an answer.
Barclay Stuart with John "Little John" Olivier’s family in Haiti before the nine-year-old Haitian received the life-saving surgery. (Barclay Stuart)
In the cafeteria, Stuart bumped into a tall man who was part of a medical humanitarian group, Medical Aid to Haiti, who explained they had an oral surgeon on their trip this year.
“We have a boy that needs a miracle!” Stuart told him and the man replied: “Well, we do miracles!”
He then called over for a “Dr. Stu,” Stuart Lieblich, an oral surgeon of Avon Oral Maxillofacial Surgery in Connecticut, along with his anesthetist and a board member of the hospital, all agreed after the group saw a photo of Little John, to do the surgery for free.
Dr. Stuart Lieblich of Avon Oral, Facial and Dental Implant Surgery did the surgery for "Little John" pro bono after seeing his photo on a trip to Haiti. (Barclay Stuart/Dr. Stuart Lieblich)
The boy’s father, Jean Luckner Olivier, 41, spent all the money he had since 2013 trying to get a solution for his nine-year-old son with nothing working until now.
“Without God, we couldn’t really do it,” Jean told CBS4 Denver through his interpreter Luccone Lucce. “(Little John) feels he is going to have a better life in the future. He wasn’t worried because he knows there is nothing that God cannot do.”
Lieblich told Fox News the team removed two-thirds of his lower jaw with the reconstruction of bone from his hip to build his jaw back to its normal contour, and when he gets a little older they plan to add dental implants.
He said he was “very privileged to be part of his story. This was a situation that could not be treated in Haiti.”
The Colorado mission group raised $10,000 to get Little John to the United States, and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Compassionate Care Fund paid for the procedure, but Stuart said it was especially interesting when the Jewish doctor told them that a Muslim family from Albania would be hosting the Christians for 12 days until they flew to Colorado after the surgery.
Adriatik "Tiko" Adviaj, his wife, Marjana, and their son, Enea, a Muslim family from Albania, volunteered to host "Little John," his father, and Barclay Stuart for the 12 days they spent in Connecticut for his surgery. (Barclay Stuart)
"Sipping tea and coffee over animated conversations in three languages were so richly enjoyed!" Stuart said. "The Adviaj family embraced us and endured the chaotic intrusion without the slightest hint of inconvenience to them though we knew better. They cared for Little John as if he was their own. They lost a 12-year-old son Yuri in 2012 and their pain is still palpable…I love this family!"
“For me it was a big deal,” Jean added. “But for God, it was nothing because God is great and can do all things.”
This past Sunday, Little John, his father, and his translator all joined Stuart at Calvary Chapel, where Pastor Paul Boutan recognized them and gave an update to the congregation.
Pastor Paul Boutan of Calvary Chapel Brighton in Colorado poses with "Little John," his father, Jean Olivier, and their translator, Luccone Lucce Sunday following a successful surgery in Connecticut. (Paul Boutan)
“He’s out of surgery, he’s out of the hospital, but he’s not out of the woods, so he still needs prayer,” Boutan said as many in the church applauded, shed tears, and hugged Little John.
This coming Sunday, the pastor told Fox News he plans to have Little John’s father share about their story and close out the service with one of their worship songs in Creole.
“God’s the one who kind of put the whole thing together," Boutan said, "we just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”