(My first conversation with a neighbor since being back. I was on a run.)
…“How is your Mom?”
“She’s dead”, Otianee said.
“What? Your mom?”
“Yes, she died.”
“She got a fever. She had it for 8 days. She died at the hospital.”
Otianee lives right around the corner. I run past her and her mother several times a week saying hello. I sit with them shooting the breeze, eating their homemade peanut butter underneath their awning. I can’t believe it! Otianee’s mother is dead. Standing speechless my heart ached.
Yesterday afternoon my run took on a whole other meaning. Thoughts enveloped my mind; ‘No wonder the awning hasn’t been up, shielding their porch from the sun. This is why I haven’t seen the little store in front of their house. I thought things looked different... I never told her about Jesus. All those times sitting with them I NEVER once said Jesus’ name. Why didn’t I? How can she be gone? She was a strong woman. She’s wasn’t even skinny, wasting away like some. I can’t believe she’s dead…’
(picture above is Otianee's home. See the blanket up shielding them from the sun?)
While running during the day many people yell to me, “Anpil Cho”. Which means, it is very hot. (Most Haitians think I am crazy for running in the heat of the day.) I get a lot of “Blanc”(white person) too. Today was no different. Though, as I was turning at the halfway point a man on his bike yells to me, “Bondye Renmen Ou”. God Loves You. Right then and there I got all choked up ready to cry on the side of the road. And it wasn’t because someone finally said something different than “blanc” or “anpil cho”. It was because he told me God loves me. Now it’s my turn.
Returning to Haiti, from the States, showered with anxiety and restlessness I asked the Lord what I am to do with my time here. God has made two things clear to me. Death is knocking at Haitian people’s door daily. Death comes with little warning. Haitians need to know God KNOWS their name and died for them. God has sent me here to do just that, tell them of His love and sacrifice. I have known this yet never grasped the urgent need to speak of Christ. What a prideful mentality, ‘I will share Christ when I am ready’. I am ashamed of these thoughts I have had. God’s will for all Believers is to share His story. And share it when His Spirit prompts us to. And second, my focus needs to stay on my kiddos. Most of my time is spent with my children. And I won’t replace that for the world. But sometimes it leaves me wondering why I am living so far from “home” when I am with my kids most of the time. The answer is, I am making disciples. This is the time to pour into my children, making them disciples for Christ; teaching, showing, living the gospel for their eyes to see. It is where I am to be and need to be focused. Those couple hours 3 days a week when I can get out and meet my neighbors are a precious time. It is a time when disciples can be made.
Pray for us as we share Jesus with those around us. Pray for boldness despite inadequacy, which lies deep within. Pray the Gospel will penetrate souls and bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”