The Day I Got Preached At By An Eleven Year Old Boy

We’re smack in the middle of a Vision Trip and we’re so very much enjoying our guests this week. We have a father and daughter from Nova Scotia who’s wife/mom has been a blog stalker for a while (HI!!!), pair of friends from Alberta, and a mother and daughter from Wisconsin. I know they’re here to see what we’re doing and it’s our “job” to share that with them, but I feel like so much of this week so far has been about them encouraging us and feeding into us. I’m pretty sure they’ll all be reading this at some point, so THANK YOU! You guys rock. I feel like maybe we need a group hug now, or something.

Okaaaayyyy. Moving on.

So, yesterday, in usual Vision Trip fashion, we did a ride along with our workers as they went out and did filter work. Yesterday was a repair day, so filters that have been visited by our follow up crew and were noted to be in need of repair got visited and fixed. We also had extra filters on the truck which all got sold, which we love.

It was a great day. We got off to a bit of a rough start in that we spent over an hour trying to find an orphanage that we discovered had moved, and then later discovered no longer existed. So, apparently it moved and disbanded in a period of weeks?? Strange and crazy, but this is Haiti (TIH). We met some really sweet people and got to see a lot of different parts of the community that we were in. Really, there were some filters up in the mountains, and some down in the city, so it was quite a spread. One of the mountain homes was a re-installation, and the lady that owned the filter was so sweet. She was this big, jolly type that you really just wanted to hug. When I asked her if she was happy with her filter she couldn’t stop talking about how much she liked it and how good the water tasted, and that everyone told her so. Stuff like that reminds us that the work we do is SO important. It’s not just about clean water, it’s about giving people a better quality of life.

Our last stop of the day was a filter sale and installation. We had already been there once to do a replacement, and the neighbor asked if she could buy a filter. We weren’t sure what we would need for the rest of the days repairs, so once they were done and we knew we’d have enough stuff on the truck we went back to sell the filter to her. While the guys did the installation us ladies decided to stay at the truck, and we ended up visiting with a group of kids.

One of the boys was the son of the first lady. For some reason he found me really interesting and struck up a conversation. I’ll admit, I was curious about him too. You know how there are some kids out there who, just by their demeanor, give you the sense that they could either be a trouble maker or really sweet? He was one of those kids. I seem to gravitate towards kids like that, and they to me. It was like that in the church where I did youth ministry before moving to Haiti. Actually, it’s the reason why I always thought I would have all boys. They’re the kids that are examining you as much as you are them. They’re the kids that are smarter than they let on, and have more potential than most believe. They’re the kids you want to harness for good :)

Edner was one of those kids. As we talked, he would have quiet moments where he would just look at me, and then ask me a question. Almost like he was testing the boundaries of what was okay to talk about, and what wasn’t. He was never rude. In fact, quite the opposite. I could tell he was raised in a home where it was expected that he respected his parents. We talked about all sorts of things.

Can I have some of your water?
No. You have water in your house.
I don’t have water.
Yes you do. You have a new filter and your mom told you to go get water. Did you go get water?
Don’t you respect your mother?
He smiles.
Yes, I respect my mom.
But you didn’t do what she told you to do.
We look each other in the eye. He smiles. I smile back.
I respect my mom. 

His mom came out of the house shortly after that and gave us some handouts that talked about end times and readying our hearts. He took some and gave them to those of us in the back of the truck. We talked about them for a few minutes.

Do you go to church?
Yes, do you? He nods.
What day do you go to church?
I go on Sunday. What day do you go?
Saturday. Saturday is the better day to go to church. You should go on Saturday.
Are you an Adventist? He nods again.
You should go to church on Saturday. Saturday is the best day to go. Then he looks at me and my capris. 
Do you wear pants to church?
No, I wear a skirt.
He nods.

A little while later he looks at my toe ring.

You shouldn’t wear that. God doesn’t like it.
God hasn’t told me that.
He doesn’t like it.
Where does it say that in the Bible?
He thinks. My mom could tell you.
The Bible says we’re not supposed to worry about our clothes or making our selves look nice, we need to worry about our hearts and our relationship with Jesus.
He thinks. Looks at me. Nods slightly.

A motorcycle drives up. That’s my dad.
Do all the kids in your family have the same dad?
Yes. I nod.
Does he live in the house with you?
Yes. All the time.
That’s good.
He looks me in the eye. Nods.

After a conversation about the fact that I actually live here, which he has a hard time believing…

So you can come and go?
And you don’t need a visa?
No, I have a residency permit. I can stay as long as I want. I can buy land. I can buy a car.
Are you going to buy a car?
No, the mission owns the car and the trucks, but I can drive them. 
You know how to drive a car??
Yes. I can even drive this truck.
No! Really?
Then I turn to Hylair and ask him if I know how to drive the truck, which he confirms.
Then drive it. Drive it down there and turn it around.
No. It doesn’t need to be moved right now. I do know how to drive it though.
He looks at me still pondering this.

What do you want to do when you finish school?
I don’t know.
If you stay in school and finish, you can do a lot of different things.
I know. I wanted to be a doctor, but blood scares me, so I can’t.
What else would you like to be.
An accountant. 
You could be a pastor. I was a pastor for youth before I moved to Haiti.
He smiles and nods.

Touch me.
Do you think I’m afraid to touch you?
I reach out and touch his arm. He smiles. I hold out my arm.
Are you afraid to touch me?
He reaches out and touches my arm.
I take his hand.
We can shake hands.
We shake. We look each other in the eye. We smile.

There are some people that are old souls. I met one yesterday.


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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

2 thoughts on “The Day I Got Preached At By An Eleven Year Old Boy

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your day with us. Yes, I’ve been stalking to see how the week has been going and it sounds wonderful. I’m looking forward to my own group hug and hearing all the details. Thanks for being such amazing hosts.

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