While home in PA this summer, we sang a song at the ASAPH concert that talked about the people who you help as a Christian and who are blessed by you without it ever really being known to you. “Glue on my shoe, for a whole in my soul, filled by you!”
Since I’ve been back in Haiti, God has sent three different people to encourage me for things I just kind of did along the way but that made a big impression on their lives. I share them not to blow notes on my own trumpet, but rather to give you insight into what God is doing here.
#1) F.B. was a student of mine when I did a sixth grade Bible class in the WFL school. I had written a book about different belief systems and compared them with what the Bible says. It was my attempt to prepare our kids for the ‘world’ that was waiting for them after 6th grade in our little Christian school. F.B. yesterday told me that when he was given the book, he began reading it immediately…I mean immediately! He walked home reading the book. Before he slept that night he had read the whole thing and has referred to it regularly until it has become worn. It was just a little book I wrote for a little class. But in God’s hands…
#2) J.N. came from Cavaillon to work at our school. He showed a sincere love for kids and teaching, and he was as sharp as a charcoal maker’s machete. I helped him with some computer stuff, visual aids, and teaching ideas. He participated in an English Club that I ran, and watched me teach other places. He’s decided now to leave the WFL school, study some more, and then be in full-time ministry. The other day he shared with me that two years ago he had a dream in which he saw me filling a sack of his with ‘all kinds of good stuff’. Looking back now, he realizes that the ‘stuff’ was teaching materials and techniques that he will take with him. I ws just helping a fellow teacher, but in God’s hands…
#3) J.M. and R.J. both shared with me that they vividly remember lessons learned from things I taught about the Hebrew Tabernacle years ago when they were school students. They attended the new seminar I did two weeks ago now.
And so I’ve been able to continue what I do here with renewed courage, knowing that the little things I do in His name are used by Him for His glory. And that is the reality for each of us who serve Him. A friend of mine used to finish his letters with: “It’s never for nothing.” Amen.
Go in Peace. Serve the Lord…with enthusiasm!
About 20 young people showed up every day this week to study the lessons God has for us in the Hebrew Tabernacle. From the fence, to the door, the alter, the basin, the tent, the table of bread, the lamp, the alter of incense...it's all about a Holy God calling sinners into His presence. Sin erects a barrier between us, but God's plan opens a door for us to commune with Him through the sacrifice of His own Son. It's the most beautiful love story, and it's all there in Exodus, years and years before the baby's birth in that Bethlehem manger. What a book, that Bible!
The opening of school has been pushed back on month. It's a nation wide thing. It's happening every year now...since the earthquake in 2010. There just never seems to be enough vacation time for people to be ready for school. I know for a fact that schools will only be 1/4 to 1/2 full the first week in October...even with the extra month for parents to 'get ready'. Haitian education in full of hurdles. The annual school calendar is one of them.
I'll be free to do some more seminars and informal teaching in September. I'm happy for that chance.
There was big rain up in the mountains that washed out the little 'bridge' in our town. The water stopped running the next day, and a temporary crossing is working fine...for now.
We're sooooo glad that the global warming predictions of wicked hurricane seasons continue to be sooooooo wrong. It seems the global warming preachers haven't convinced the wind and rain yet. Maybe they'll come around with some more preaching. :)
I was off-line for several days with an internet connection problem. I'm thankful there are teenagers around here. They got me hooked up and wired in again. It seems to be in their genetic make up.
I am back in Haiti. My hair is cut, my Creole is still working for me, and rice and beans are tasting very good. It’s very good to be back. Everything feels great here. Sometimes it takes a few days for problems to bubble up…there’s a bit of a honeymoon effect when I have just come back.
The folks here took good care of everything for me. Haiti continues to impress me in general. Things look and feel better almost everywhere. Still, to an untrained eye things probably would look pretty sad. And, the road into our town has deteriorated a bit. The folks doing the work have been fired for ‘system abuse’. Now we await a new team. Mean while the rocks are starting to pop up making third gear uncomfortable. And the temporary bridge that they were making in our town has washed away a bit with recent rain. It will really be a pickle if the bridge gets washed out because they dug down so far on both sides. There is no foreseeable way around it.
We had a great service Sunday morning. The worship band here is doing good things. And the message was quite good. The speaker has been here with us since he was in 6th grade. How he has matured as a person and as a preacher! God is faithful.
There’s a song we sing here nowadays that brings me to tears sometimes. “There is nothing that can replace You in my life, Lord. Nothing, nothing at all. There is nothing that can replace YOU in my life.” Amen.
The last days before travel are always a mixed bag. I'm ready to see my friends in PBO again. Some of my students have received the results from their 9th grade and 6th grade government exams. That's big news for a kid. If you pass, you are allowed to advance. If not, you're humiliated and have to re-do a whole year of school. I've learned that one young man who spends a lot of time at my place had the highest score of anyone in his school on the 9th grade exam. That's exciting for him! Congratulations J.J.!
I want to catch up with fellow church members with whom I've had no contact. I want to catch up with students, with neighbors, and with friends. And I want to find out what is new in our little community.
On the other hand, it's always hard to say goodbye to folks not knowing when you will see them again. Throw in the possibility of death, and goodbye's become even more dramatic.
I will not miss THE MACHINE that is functioning here in the US...the press and Hollywood and all of those public-opinion-influencers who are pushing this country in a direction that I recognize and regret.
I will be glad to be back in Haiti where people talk about God everyday. He's still real there. Read my story about the big steel pole in the middle of an imaginary town. It's on the special writings page of this website. Check it out.
Missionary in Haiti.