Day 16 – Monday, March 5th
Relentless Scripture: Act 4:13
Relentless Focus: Schooled by Jesus
Relentless Example: “…recognized them as having been with Jesus.”
It’s hard to believe but I’ve been here in Pignon, Haiti, for two weeks now. Although I’ve just begun this journey it feels more like 2 months, not 2 weeks. It’s like one of those car advertisements that says,” late model car in excellent condition, garaged, well-kept although with high mileage (highway miles).” The two weeks represent my true model year (physical time spent); however, the two months represent my true mileage (emotional time spent). Anyway, on this particular ride, the year and the mileage has been a great deal –well-worth its sale price. Thank you for your support during these last two weeks. It’s been an amazing ride with God and with you. I hope you continue this ride where we can be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer (Rom 12:12) Thanks, Brads, for sending this encouraging word last week.
Week three has already had an interesting start to it. Pastor François and his son Alden, along with one other young man, left for Port Au Prince (Haiti’s capitol city) Sunday after church, to physically bring the solar panels and their components back to this compound. Pastor’s efforts to do this earlier unfortunately resulted in our friend missionary Bill’s truck left in disrepair. So Francois asked his son who is an assistant Pastor here, and who also works for a material company in Cap Haitian, to use his commercial truck for this delivery.
So I thought I would start my day at the school which Pastor operates for this orphanage and the Pignon community. Sometimes I like to meet the kids and give them five as they enter into their classroom as an encouragement to their day. This morning as I was giving out a little encouragement, God decided to give me a little High-Five of Faith Himself. In case you didn’t know, High-Fives with God are for encouragement, while Low –Fives are for disciplinary reasons (spankings). And although both are because he loves us, one always feels better than the other.
Now you have to remember that although I’m around some of my brothers and sisters here, I still stick out on this school courtyard like Charles Barkley – The Round Mound of Rebound. People here normally aren’t handing out fives, especially to kids; nor do the men look overly-nourished as I might appear. But I think what finally gave away my cover was, that their Brother from another Mother land doesn’t have a perfect command of the Haitian Creole language. You see, I sport an American Negroic Slur not a Haitian Creole one.
One young Haitian man, noticing my words and deeds of encouragement, gently approached me and asked in well-spoken English where I was from. I said, Corvallis, Oregon, intentionally leaving out – USA. You see, some people down here in Pignon know that this is a hot-spot for Missionary activities. If they hear the phrase USA, they automatically think they just secured a password to some U$A Money.
To my surprise, this young man was not looking for a hand out, but had a genuine interest in me and not money. His name was Johnson. Fonrose Johnson. He was at the school doing a friend a favor, ensuring that his friend’s kid actually made it to class. He lives here in Pignon, but has been studying English in Port Au Prince over the last 2 years. He is 24, one of seven kids. His said his father had died, but his mother was still alive although poor. He comes to visit and help her from time to time. He mentioned that this was the school he attended years ago. His hope was to complete college (our high school) one day and go unto the university and become an I.T. technician (our college). As we continued to talk I noticed how he had an infectious zeal for God. He shared with me a vision that God had laid on his heart about sharing the Gospel of Christ with those who have yet heard his name in Haiti. He had shared this vision with his pastor at a cross-town church, and his pastor shared it with a missionary team in the U.S. Before you knew it, they were working together to reach a small city in Haiti called Inch(?) sp. This particular vision has been acted upon in different ways. He gave me one example of God’s miracle working power of prayer through their first Evangelism outreach to this community. Since we were talking about kids, he shared a story of how a married woman who had been trying to start a family for a while but couldn’t conceive, came forth to receive prayer and he prayed for her. He saw her a year later on a return visit and she ran up to him with this small baby in her arms and said, Praise God!, God answered your prayer! What an encouragement that was to his faith, he said.
He was passionate about his Haitian people learning what it is like to have true faith in Christ and the true practice of prayer. He said most Haitians prayers are like–we ask God for something as we’re looking at ourselves in the mirror and then we walk away forgetting what we asked for or even what we or God looks like. He said that’s not praying! He said our people have to learn how to pray. Giving me an example … when you pray to God, you have to be persistent and patient. Your primary focus should be God, and His will for you, not about you and what you will God to do. And because God is perfect you have to have faith and trust that His perfect will, in His perfect time, will answer your prayer which will always be PERFECT. All I could do was to say, AMEN! Preach it my brother and give him the High Five of Faith. I was encouraged by him and inspired by God’s work in his life. I asked if I could pray for him and he said yes. He thanked me for my prayer and thanked God for His Spirit’s presence.
I took his name and number and said I will continue to pray for God’s will in his life.
Now here is a young man who has a formal education equivalent to our USA eight grade system, although 24 years of age. But the one thing he’s learned very well in life is that his Love for God and for others surpasses knowledge. It was obvious that he has been to the School of Jesus and so had I today :-).
Tangible Need: Scholarships to help children continue on to High School and College.
Pray for Loving Haiti: Secondary schools enrollment is only 20% of eligible age children, which means those who actually finishes are even less.
Pray for Me: That I continue to be schooled by Jesus.