I was so blessed to have met the students, Pastor Brian and the people of Haiti. I hope that I never forget the way that they choose to love the Lord in the middle of the most difficult circumstances. The students were of such fine character. I enjoyed hearing their stories. It was wonderful to see how when they were on a break from studying, what they wanted to do was to worship together. A few days into the trip, they decided as a group that they needed to pray at night, and worship together. I pray that God will use these men to turn Haiti upside down for God!
Yesterday I think I have found one of my main reasons for being here. Michael, a young boy, hangs out at the training center often. After John’s teaching in the a.m. (Ashley and I cleaned and did dishes) we went to do evangelism in one of the tent cities, Cineas (which is where Michael lives). As we walked along, Junior latched on to my hand the whole walk. These Haitian children are so loving and willing to give affection.
We walked from tent to tent, seeing who needed prayer or wanted to know more about Jesus. By the end of our time, my water had run out and all I could think about was how thirsty I was.
We came back to the center, and Pastor Brian enlisted some of the children who had followed us to clean up the yard. They worked hard and were paid in snacks and some clothing that had just arrived on the container sent from the States. Michael was the supervisor, and after the other children left, he stayed back and he and I talked for about two hours.
He told me that he wants to be a missionary doctor when he grows up. He wants to heal people and preach the gospel. He shared some of his favorite verses with me, and I with him. He told me that 2 years ago, he was living with his aunt, because his father had no work. There is 80% unemployment in Haiti. After the earthquake, his aunt could not keep him. Michael’s father had to send 3 of the children to an orphanage, but Michael stayed with him and his mom, grandma and one other sibling. After a while, his father couldn’t stand the separation, and brought the children out of the orphanage and said, if we are going to die, we will die together.
It was at that point I broke down and cried for the first time since being here among such poverty. I collected myself, because I could see Michael was sad for me. I explained that I was crying because we, in America have so much and wish there was more we could do to help.
Before Michael left, I gave him a protein bar and told him to eat it while there were no other children around. I wanted it to be for him. He put it with his bag and said ‘when you are older, and you get something, you bring it back to share with you brothers and sisters’. Ugh, stake in the heart!
Friends and family, please do me a favor today… give thanks to God for every morsel of food, for paved roads, for a home with 4 walls, for air conditioning, for clean water. You have no idea unless you can see this. These are your brothers and sisters in Christ and they have nothing.
Last night, I was supposed to speak at the tent city next door. We walked over and the building was completely dark. After a few minutes, a woman explained to us that the plans were made a week ago and the leaders went on an un-planned mission trip. She asked if I could come back on Thursday to speak to the women. There were still a few people milling around in the dark, empty church, so I asked if anyone wanted prayer. One by one, we took turns praying for the people. Each one asked not for selfish things, but for a closer walk with God, to preserver with Him. One young boy was sick, and was weeping as we asked God for healing. It was very sweet, praying by flashlight with these people who want to please the Lord.