Today was our first day of clinic in Luly. This day is always filled with excitement and a little bit of angst as the anticipation of engaging people with the Gospel leads to many different emotions. For those of us that have been on multiple trips Monday mornings mean we get to connect back with people we haven’t seen for awhile. It literally is like a homecoming as we greet our translators and those people we have cared for on previous trips. Today was no different. There was great joy in the reunion, and the best way to describe it is that it is like what I imagine heaven will be… people from every tribe, tongue and nation celebrating Christ in perfect unity.
Our young women who are with us on the trip got to sit in and watch soul care take place with the patients for part of the day while the other part of the day was spent loving on the Haitian children. It was so exciting watching our girls share Christ’s love in a culture that is way out of their comfort zone. The Lord is building something amazing in the lives of these young women that bodes well for future generations of children to know God.
In my corner of the soul care building today, I had the opportunity to work with Maggie and Kari. They were my partners in doing soul care today. Our interpreter whose name is Reggie just recently moved back to Haiti after living in the United States. He did a great job translating for us. He spent the entire day translating the Gospel over and over again. Many times throughout the day he commented that God really did have a purpose for him in coming back to Haiti. At the end of the day he expressed to us a joy in the Lord and couldn’t wait to come back tomorrow to work with us. There are so many stories I could tell you about from today. The one I have chosen to tell you is about a young man named Joecyn. He is 21 years old and recently lost his father and mother to different illnesses. He also was attending a trade school to learn computer technology, but the family ran out of income to help him so now he walks around the village looking to make $5 or $10 helping people with their cell phones. He came into the clinic with a stuffy nose and having a hard time breathing. Really, this is what the Lord used to draw him to our clinic. What he was really coming for was a divine appointment with the Lord.
As we started talking about spiritual things, he let me know that he was not ready to accept Christ because he was afraid of letting God down. He knew that it was a big commitment to follow Christ and he believed that if he couldn’t do that perfectly then he would have to clean himself up first before accepting Christ. He told us that his mom’s family is Christian but his dad’s is not. He had a foot in both worlds and friends in both worlds who were pulling him in different directions. We began to talk about the fact what the Gospel teaches is to come to Christ just as you are and he will take care of changing your desires from the inside out. The most immediate need for him was to not wait on trusting Christ with his life instead if he knew the truth he should put his trust in Christ now. We studied briefly the life of Paul and how he became a Christian, and yet after that, as he penned Romans 7, he struggled with the flesh. Also, Romans 8 that reminds us that there is no condemnation in Christ. I wish I could say that he stopped and accepted Christ but he has not yet. He told us that he was very close. About that time Pastor Chrisner from Luly, who is part of our pastor’s coalition showed up and I introduced Joecyn to Chrisner. Chrisner invited Joecyn to his discipleship group and we were able to give him a Bible. So now Joecyn will be meeting with 12 men weekly for bible study, prayer, accountability and leadership development. It is true the Joecyn is so close to trusting Christ as his Savior.
Would you take a moment right now and pray for his salvation and God’s plans for his future?
The Lord is moving in powerful ways already and it’s only our first day in the field. The partnerships that the Lord has allowed us to build here in Haiti are working together to change lives, communities and a culture. Thanks for your prayers family.
One other story we wanted to share is a follow-up related to a previous trip’s experience. One year ago we were able to meet a woman named Eline. Eline, at that time, had a strange rash and a probable diagnosis of HIV. She had been shunned by her family and her community. At that time Molly and Kim were able to meet with her separately and share the story of the love that Christ has for her. She received the news with joy and we wanted to meet up with her in October but, unfortunately, she was in the hospital and we missed her. Today we went to see her and found that she has deteriorated significantly. She was severely underweight as the consequence of 3 months fighting some type of throat infection. She appeared unable to walk and she initially was unable to open her eyes. However, after a minute or two she opened her eyes and once she realized they were there, smiled widely saying “Oh, I didn’t know it was you”. They had a brief but valuable conversation and prayed with her and shared some Scripture with her as well. We are pretty sure she will not be with us physically on this earth the next time we return, but we are so thankful that she will be with us for eternity with Jesus. Greg asked us tonight during our devotional where we saw Jesus show up today. This was clearly one of those moments for us as we saw how sharing Christ with a woman over an hour or two one year ago resulted in a bond in Christ that brought each of us joy in the midst of immense physical suffering today. What a sad and yet glorious moment. We praise God for allowing us to be part of His work in this woman’s life through this short-term mission!