When I first arrived in Haiti, I was overwhelmed by the devastation still remaining almost a year after the earthquake. I saw hunger and desperation in the faces of most people and I will never forget the hopelessness in the eyes of the children.
As we moved through the country, seeing the mass grave sites, I was overcome by the grief that these people must still feel every time they pass by, on the way to the market.
It was December 2010 when we first arrived. The battle was still going on for these people who were fighting to stay alive. A local Haitian pastor came to us one morning and requested we come with him to visit the family of a two-year-old girl who had died hours earlier.
We went with him down the rubble-filled streets to a home surrounded by a high wall and a gate. As we entered through the gate, we saw approximately 35-40 Haitians in the courtyard. The child’s mother was lying on a sheet covering the broken concrete porch and crying out; the wailing in the place was like a stab right into the heart. We walked up to the porch where the mother was surrounded by other women, trying to attend to her. She was wet with tears and sweat from the heat of the day.
Through our interpreter, we told her we were sorry about her baby. She nodded that she understood. We told her that because her daughter was so young, that she knew no sin and we believed she was in heaven with God.
We also told her that God knew how she felt. He had seen His own son die…He had sent Him to die for us. Asking her if she knew she would go to heaven, she replied in tears, “No.”
Sharing the story of Jesus with her, we told of his virgin birth, death and resurrection. As I stood there on the stoop, I noticed a total quietness had come over the crowd and as the story was told, you could have heard a toothpick drop on the dirt ground.
Asking the mother if she would like to pray to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior, she said, “Oui.” She repeated the Sinner’s Prayer, lying flat on her back on the broken concrete porch and lifted her hand straight up to God.
After she prayed, I turned around and asked, “Was there anyone else here who heard what we said about Christ and prayed to receive Christ for the first time in your life?” Eleven hands shot up in the courtyard, from a 14-year-old boy to an 83-year-old man.
Through the death, there were many births.
A Miraculous Moose
A week later, I wanted to find the mother to present her with a Creole Bible. We went back to the house and she was not home. We asked neighbors where she might be and they said she had gone to her mother’s for the Christmas holiday. We went back several times to see her, but she never came back home.
I was brokenhearted that God had not allowed me to find her. I did not want to get on that plane to come back home without seeing her again.
But I did.
We were asked to go back in April, 2011. My first thought and prayer was God, please let me find this lady, even if I do not know her name. When we got there and settled in, the first place I wanted to go was the mother’s house. When we arrived, I was brought to tears when I found out she had moved. No one really knew where she had moved to, but they did tell me her name, Delta.
I began, with the help of my understanding interpreter, asking at the marketplace about the whereabouts of Delta. It seemed to be another dead end, with no one knowing where she was.
Time passed quickly through the month of April, as preparations were being made to share The Easter Story at the orphanages. Someone had sent little stuffed animals and the team begin putting candy with them to give to the children. However, one of the animals, a big stuffed moose, was too large to go in our container.
We were to leave Haiti the Saturday after Good Friday. I was still yearning to find and meet the mother of the baby girl. On Good Friday, we were asked to run an errand and while we were out, we ran into a Haitian pastor who took us to someone who needed prayer. It was the father of the girl who died!
We introduced ourselves to him as the Americans who had come to his home when his baby girl had died. He shared with us that his wife had been praying we would come back to Haiti—and wanting to see us again.
He then told us the rest of the story: He had gone to make funeral arrangements for the little girl when we had come to the home. When he came home, Delta told him what had happened and that she had prayed to receive Jesus and was going to go to heaven now. He asked her how he could do that too. They got in touch with the Haitian pastor and he came to the house and the Papa prayed to receive Christ.
The Papa then said he must call Delta and tell her about us being there with him. She told him where she would be and she would be watching for our white van on the road. As the van turned down the dust covered road, a lady was running to greet us. By the time I could get out of the van, both she and I were crying tears of joy! We hugged as long lost sisters—in Christ.
I told her I had a gift for her and gave her a Creole Bible that I had put in the van that morning. She looked at it and smiled as she said she would read it to her little boy and tell him the stories about Jesus.
“Little boy?” I asked. She nodded with a smile and said the little girl who had died had a twin brother. I jumped up and ran to the van—I knew then why I had thrown the big moose in the van that morning.
That little boy may have the only moose in Haiti!
The next morning, as we drove back to the airport to head home, I saw hope in the eyes of the children. I felt we had shared the love of Christ and left others who would continue to spread The Good News. I felt as if my work there was complete and God had allowed me to finish it by finding Delta.
Only He could have orchestrated the events that happened on that Good Friday, the day prior to our coming home. We serve an awesome God!
Be the Hands and Feet of Christ
During 2012, the Rapid Response Team will continue to bring God’s love to people touched by disasters. You can play a part through your prayers and donations. Please give today to help hurting people at home and around the world.