Its in the moments where I allow myself to be still that I can see, and understand to a certain degree, what my life has become. I can only see where I am going because of where I’ve been. I used to sit in my misery and depression and wonder why I’m even alive…what’s it all for. I now smile when I look back at those times where I’ve struggled and thought that there was no way I was making it through. Not because they make me happy, but because I love to see how the imperfections in the details work together to create a bigger picture that I would have never been able to see otherwise.
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
Haiti- September 16-23
I’m such a dork. Every time I get off a plane that has a set of stairs leading to the tarmac I pause at the platform and give a good ol’ Presidential wave to absolutely nobody. The airport personnel overwhelmingly seem unamused, but I can spot a couple half smiles from time to time.
This trip was just Ryan and I. ( http://turntheworldupsidedown.net/
) We had some bullet point agenda items for the trip but really just wanted to leave room for things to happen… and they did.
Driving from airport in the back of the truck I looked down in the middle of the intersection and saw pool of blood surrounded by softball size stones. Of course that provoked me to ask Samuel, our friend and translator, “Uh… whats the deal with the blood and the rocks?” His answer just brought me back to the absolute understanding that there are a totally different set of cultural guidelines and beliefs. He said, “If you are caught stealing. You are stoned to death.” Very matter of fact. He went on to explain that many people agree that it shouldn’t be this way and the legal system hopefully one day will be able to handle these things, but as for now the communities will do what it takes to keep crime out of their neighborhood. (Samuel clarifies that under no circumstance would he stone anyone, but if he saw someone kill a puppy he would shoot them and throw them in front of a bus… Someone likes puppies and his name is Samuel.))
The first couple days we walked around the streets and since it was just us we had the freedom to stop and talk with people that we would normally just say hello to as we continued to walk on. This gave us opportunity to get to know them, their stories and how we could pray for them.
There is a man named James I have seen several times on the trips here. He is usually with the guys sitting on the corner bench in the shade. He has come to us asking for help. I thought it was just him telling us he was hungry but he said the word hernia or something to cause pain down toward his man parts. We walked him to the clinic and the doctor wasn’t there but the nurse was. He explained to the nurse what was hurting and he reached into trousers and pulled everything out….
Yup… Everything…Ryan and I didn’t react… Just silence..
In a unspoken collective moment of ‘what the heck’ we look away from what looks like 3 testicles. Obviously there is something wrong, but we never went to school to learn how to not laugh when situations like that happen… we just looked straight ahead and held breath for a while. It took us a good 30 minuets to stop wondering who was gonna bring it up first about .. Very 6th grade of us. I could’t believe he did that but it just speaks to his desperation. We will take him to the hospital tomorrow.
As we walk through the streets I will say bonjour or bonswa to everybody… On guy, in response said, “f*&% me f*&% me f*&% me”, which is not the correct response. I, while continuing to walk turned, put my hand on my chest and said “AWWWWWeeee I am super flattered..but I will not”. Pastor Pierre asked what the big deal is? Is that a bad word? He hears it all the time… Then proceeded to, with full vigor, spout every phrase he could put together. “its just a word… Get the f*&% outa here, get off my f*&%ing car, f you, I f*&%ing hate the devil…” I let him know that it is indeed a bad word and if he were my kid I wouldve flicked him in the teeth before he finished saying it once.” He hasnt said it since.
We took James to the hospital to have Dr Carlo check out the suspected hernia. Miracle after miracle allowed us to walk past the large crowds right into offices. A “receptionist” tells us to come back next week, we talked with her a bit and continued on, a security guard looking the other way while we accidentily walked exactly where we needed to, getting escorted to xray lab instead of trying to figure out which sketchy ally it was down. After x-Ray we realize it is not a hernia but a large testicular mass. We are praying its not cancer. He shared his story with us and begun to break down. He lost his 2yr old son in the Earthquake & still has a beautiful 4yr old daughter. His situation has caused the mother of his children to leave him, and the pain caused by the mass makes it impossible to work.
His friends are relentless when it comes to his condition, never letting up on him. He just wants to be with a girl. He could not recount the great number of times he wanted to kill himself. This suffering was just to much. We talked with him about Jesus & Grace and Hope and Love. We prayed and he proclaimed that no matter what, he knows that from today that God is with him.
When I asked him where he lived he asked if I would ever come visit him there.. of course I would. We had several other stops to make an offered to drop him off. He explained that he feels a connection and in a weird sense a healing (putting his hand on his chest not his testicles). And if it was ok… He would go wherever we were going.
We spent the rest of the day together.
Before we left we got the results of the tests and found out that it is a parasite and $250.00 will fix everything. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? A guy was ready to kill himself over something that can be fixed for $250.00! Now I dont have $250.00, but I promised him that all he needs to do is make the appointment and God will use whoever he needs to in order for the money part to get worked out..
Ryan and I had this idea that it would be good to get all the Pastors in the area together to discuss unity and see how everybody could work as one. We had some plans that included a conference room in a hotel with a buffet, then we found out that was going to be $1000.00… so we got pizzas and had the meeting at a church. Twelve Pastors showed up and we had great discussions about us as “The Body of Christ” and how they have all been waiting and wanting a meeting like this. We wrapped up by giving them advice on how they could do follow up meetings. I hope they will.
Ryan and I didnt get to many things on our list, but I have learned that these trips don’t have to accomplish many tasks rather be open to be led, then go.
If this is your first time on my blog please go back and read the first few.. It will shed light on where I’ve been.
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