Before 6 am today we already had us some ‘treats’.
First off, the “weird”…
We went out to the work yard for staff prayer this morning. We were a few minutes early so the guys were all sitting around socializing. Chris went to see the chickens, but I went over to check out something that caught my eye.
Sitting amongst the filter molds were Michelet and Israel. Each sitting on a little wooden Haitian chair. Michelet was “massaging” Israels foot. I asked if Israel had hurt himself. No, it was just tight. I stood there and watched Masseuse Michelet work his magic hands. Okay, that was a large amount of sarcasm thrown at you. What I was really watching more closely resembled torture. Michelet was rubbing his hands up and down Israels lower leg, grinding his fingers into the muscles, and throwing in some twisting and turning of the ankle that left Israel almost in tears. My favorite part of this whole experience? The massage oil of choice was actually a jug of motor oil for the scooters found in the shop.
It’s easy when you come from outside and know that there are different ways to do things (and in many cases those ways are more efficient or in this case less painful) to want to step in and start throwing out suggestions. This morning, however, I decided to just be an observer no matter how much Israel was cringing and wanting to cry. Call it an effort to be more culturally sensitive. That and I knew that if I started throwing out directions I would have to demonstrate, and well, me and motor oil don’t get along well at 5:30 am.
Now the “wonderful”…
When you work in any kind of ministry it can sometimes be hard to see the fruits of your labour. It’s often because the time and love and effort you invest now is just a building block for the future plans God might have for a person. It’s a piece of the puzzle, so to speak.
Before I moved to Haiti I spent three years working at Vernon Alliance Church, most of that as a Student Ministries pastor. During my time there we did two missions trips, both to Haiti and both to come work with Clean Water for Haiti. The students I brought in were in grades 9-12. My hope was that exposing them to a world outside their own would help them start thinking on a bigger scale, and to be open to what God might take them into. In the end though, that’s all I could do. I had to let God do the rest.
I moved to Haiti in 2005 and have kept in touch with several of those students here and there. One is doing missions work in Costa Rica. Another is in university studying medicine so she can one day work on the mission field. Others are going to school for social work and doing things like that.
Today I woke up and checked my email and found one waiting for me from one of the students that came on my second trip to Haiti. In her email Crystal shared with me that in mid-August she will be arriving in Haiti to come work with a school teaching grade one for a year. Crystal and I had talked about her leading a group of college students on a trip here, but then the earthquake happened and everyone bailed on her. I was so excited to see that the heart she has for Haiti was not discouraged by that, but that she had gone further than just a visit and was committing to working here for a school year.
As exciting as that was, it got better. The school that she’s working at? It’s run by friends of ours in Saint Marc, only about 20 minutes away. These friends have a wonderful ministry and are part of our missionary group that we gather with every two weeks. So, not only is Crystal coming to work in Haiti, but she’ll be close enough that I’ll get to see her on a regular basis.
Like I said, in ministry we don’t always get to see the fruits of the time we invest in the things God calls us to. I can’t tell you how much my heart is resembling a ball of goo today to know that the time and effort of putting that trip together in 2005 has been a building block for where Crystal is now. Please pray for Crystal as she gets ready to come in August. It’s hard to say good-bye to friends and family and step into so many unknowns. She’ll have a lot of adjustments when she gets here. The great thing is that she’ll have a good support base around her here ;)
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