21 May 2010

K

"Great deeds rarely occur. The happiness of life depends little on them, but mainly on the little acts of kindness in life. We need them everywhere; we need them always" (Barnes' Notes, 1997).

The family living a few apartments down is from Port-au-Prince…they moved up here after the earthquake. They give faces to the term “internally displaced peoples,” one that gets thrown around a lot by governments and newspapers. K is their son…he’s living up here with his mom, as well as aunts and uncles and cousins. When we first met him, he took a liking to David immediately. He’s a shy kid, about ten, skinny and a bit awkward. Not quite as good at football as the other kids, but just as competitive, much like a certain husband I know.

Lately, there’s been a change in him, however. He’s stopped playing football, because he says he’s too tired. They hired a tutor, because he’s not doing well in school. They took him to the hospital the other day, because he’s not eating. His grandfather is in the hospital here in Pignon, and they go to visit him often. Even from my limited experience with such things, he has PTSD written all over him. 

I’ve been trying to spend more time with him lately, and a few days ago, we were paging through my Creole/English picture dictionary. He was reading things to me and pointing things out, when one of the puppies went by. “Puppy! Puppy!” I called to it, and it looked up and wagged its tail. “I’m friends with all the dogs here,” he informed me. I was surprised, because most Haitians don’t like dogs—having a pet here is unusual. “Oh really? Why?” I asked. “Because they bark at night,” he replied.

Now, I’m as sensible as the next person, but I couldn’t see why that was a good thing. That happened to be the very reason I despise them. “Is that good?” I asked him. “Yes, it’s good, because they tell you when robbers are coming.” His face sobered and his voice dropped. Finally, we were getting somewhere. “Are you scared of robbers?” I asked. He nodded. “Why?” His voice dropped almost to a whisper. “Because they can kill you. The dogs protect you.” 

It was one of those moments in life when you know exactly what you need to say, and in this case, I even had the language to say it. “K, you have more than dogs to protect you…you have your family, and you have God. And you know that He is bigger than anything—He can protect you better than anyone, right?” He didn’t say much after that, but I could tell it was sinking in.

Later, his mom came by and tried to thank me, but I didn’t understand most of it. Still, I got part of it: “your good word.” That time, I didn’t have the language—to tell her that it’s not really mine. 

Thanks for enabling us to share the “good word” here.

5 comments:

  1. Wow! Thanks for the reminder that little things are big. We can all do little things, and they do make a difference, sometimes a big difference. God bless K, I hope you will be able to help him recover and learn to trust the Lord for his protection.

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  2. Grandpa & GrandmaFri May 21, 02:53:00 PM EST

    Christine, I am so proud of you, you have such a wonderful way with children and God put you in the right place at the right time.

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  3. It breaks my heart to think of the pain that K and all of the other children in Haiti have gone through. It saddens me to realize that their parents must be in agony watching their children suffer. However, I am inspired by your sharing with them that God is their protection.
    You are giving K an incredible gift-not only by sharing God's love with him, but also by sharing your time and your love. I think that you are probably right that he has PTSD, but God is using you and David to help him and you will probably have a far larger affect on his entire life than you will ever know.

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  4. Oh Christine, that is so exciting. Not the horrible stress that K is facing, but the fact that God used you to give him the good news that he can be safe with Christ.

    I hope you feel encouraged in your language learning too! You could communicate!!

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