21 March 2010

A Testimony

I wrote this a few days ago (sorry, no internet!):

Today, we went out to see Camp de La Grace, which is where Naomi’s uncle has taken in about 300 refugees from Port-au-Prince, mostly children. She took us around and pointed out a lot of the vegetation and geography for us, clarifying grammar rules along the way. I noticed that the clouds reminded me a lot of the Midwest, towering and thick, with the sunlight streaming between. It was pretty, but I didn’t think much about it until later, when the thunder started to roll.

 

Walking back into the camp, Naomi pointed at a little girl who was crawling near the house. “How old do you think she is?” she asked. Not being a mother, I’m not always great at estimating ages, but I thought about my nephews and gave it a shot: “About 12 months?” She shook her head. “She’s three years old.” I shook my head too, because Nephew #1 was so much bigger and stronger and more active than this little girl…and it does make you wonder why God put Nephew #1 in our family and this little girl in hers. And yet, I know they can both experience His grace. It’s grace that she’s at the camp, after all.

 

The thunder began to roll, and our brains were full of Creole for the moment, so Naomi’s aunt, Debbie Lucien, volunteered to take us home. They have a long-standing relationship with MAF, and she was telling us how glad she is that we’re here. It might sound strange, but it was a huge relief…that all the work it took to get here was worth it. I asked her why MAF is so important, and she started to regale us with stories. A while back, a girl was playing her yard while her family was burning some trash, as many families here do. She attempted to jump over the trash, and the edge of her dress caught fire. Her legs were badly burned, and the hospital here didn’t have the ability to do the kind of skin grafts she needed. There happened to be a team here from the U.S., doing some medical clinics, and one of the doctors had a contact at a Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Dallas. Since the girl could not sit up and time was of the essence, MAF transported her to Cap Haitian, where she went on to Dallas within 24 hours. It seemed unlikely to Debbie, having been an RN for many years, that the girl would have survived otherwise. Within two months, the girl was walking; the family wasn’t even sure if they would see her alive again.

 

Right now, MAF is flying into Pignon about three times a week, mostly delivering food. Please keep praying for our pilots—they’re working ten-hour days (at least), without their families, six days a week, and it’s easy to get discouraged when people take advantage of you. Please pray for God to encourage them and build them up, as the recovery work begins here.

 

P.S. I finally got my first thunderstorm here, when the rest of the storm blew in that night. It reminded me a lot of summer in Wisconsin—muggy, pouring down rain and LOUD!


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