She looked so frail walking down Clercine Road and the ground was so muddy and rocky that Tim and I could not help but to stop our truck and ask in our limited Creole if she would like a ride. The septuagenarian woman smiled, nodded her gray head and began to lift her nearly 80-year-old body into the bed of the vehicle. Startled, I jumped out of the truck …
She looked so frail walking down Clercine Road and the ground was so muddy and rocky that Tim and I could not help but to stop our truck and ask in our limited Creole if she would like a ride. The septuagenarian woman smiled, nodded her gray head and began to lift her nearly 80-year-old body into the bed of the vehicle. Startled, I jumped out of the truck and said, “No, no. Please come inside”. A young man standing alongside the road helped me to assist her into the back seat of the high-seated 4-wheeler and when she was settled Tim continued driving.
We were new to our Creole studies but nonetheless valiantly attempted to share in conversation with her. With sentences that were less than grammatically correct, we asked if Port-au-Prince was her home and learned that the wizened woman had been born in the countryside but had come to the city as a young teenager. She was not certain of her actual age because there were no birth records but thought she might be close to 80-years-old. We shared that we were new to Haiti and that we were Global Ministries’ missionaries serving with a Haitian ministry called CONASPEH whose focus is on education. She liked that we were teaching and said that it was important for children to have good schooling and for pastors to have training.
As we neared the point where we were to drop her off, the lovely senior opened a cloth bag held tightly in her wrinkled hands and handed us a fat, shiny green avocado. We “oohed” and “ahhed” over its nice size and color and thanked her with “Mesi, madamn”. Pleased, she smiled her welcome back to us and as we helped her out of the truck she waved “Aurevwa” (good-bye) and walked off.
In the brief time we have been in Haiti we have had the opportunity to use this same shiny, new blue truck to give students and teachers from our partner organization, CONASPEH, rides home from school or to a hospital or to pick up needed supplies. We’ve been able to meet mission teams at the airport when they arrive in or depart from Haiti; to take those same volunteers on tours of the capital city, Port-au-Prince and to visit the National Museum; and to attend worship with them at local churches. This sturdy vehicle has allowed us to safely travel to outer-lying communities where we have been able to talk with people about the micro-savings and micro-enterprise programs that we teach at CONASPEH; and to see if they might be interested in starting a similar program in their own communities.
We are grateful to have this good and dependable means of transportation as we serve in Haiti and are also mindful of the partnership with the One Great Hour of Sharing program that provided the funds for its purchase. The truck’s sure tires help us to navigate almost impassable roads, help us through heavily flooded areas during the rainy season and its 4-wheel drive helps us to forge ahead on mountainous roads that surround the capital.
Even as we express our appreciation for the ability to get around safely, we find that some of the greatest joy is in those times when we share a ride with others and hear their stories about growing up in Haiti, about local traditions, and about Haiti’s history and in a way we might not otherwise experience. There is truly something genuine in those serendipitous times of travel.
So, thank you to the ministry of One Great Hour of Sharing. Your generosity not only permits us to get about easily but it also helps us to realize some of the most rewarding moments of being missionaries.
If you slept in a safe bed last night…you are blessed.
If you ate a good breakfast today…you are blessed.
If you have clothes to put on your body today…you are blessed.
If you have a vehicle to get around in…you are blessed.
If you are able to go to school…you are blessed.
If you have a job to go to…you are blessed.
If you have family and friends who love you…you are blessed.
If you are able to freely worship…you are blessed.
If you have answered God’s call to serve…you are truly blessed.