Day 33 – Friday, March 23rd
Relentless Scripture: James 4:13-15
Relentless Focus: “Cross Roads & Cross People”
Today started off fairly early for Pastor François and me as we left Pignon and headed for Cap Haitian at 5:15 a.m. this morning to pick up some weekly supplies. Considering I didn’t get to bed until 1:30 the night before, I thought I would just sleep like a baby on the way, because I would be only responsible for driving back. But I forgot two important facts of life out here:
1) First of all – adults really can’t sleep like babies (we’ve grown to love the “control” word way too much in our lives, or at least the illusion of it). Babies, sleep like babies because they’re being nurtured in trust. Someone loves them enough to be looking after their best self interests (eat, burp, play, poop, change diapers and sleep). With the hope of one day that they’ll learn to move their selfish control nature in spirit, over to self control nature under the Spirit of God.
2) Secondly, I’m in Haiti. Where most adults value the ideas of having more control over their lives but have had very little success if any, over its distributed powers; being – how to give power away to move forward (governance), and how to move forward by giving power away (leadership). Also, I’m in Haiti, where most babies would love to fall asleep and if they do, still some can’t stay asleep due to their under nourished bodies. Instead of being nurtured in trust, I believe their nurturing has been in a spirit of fear and anger. To live only in the freedom of that moment, without accountability, through pent up frustration and anger because hope has been deferred so many times and in so many ways that their hearts are just too sick and tired.
Sorry, I got totally carried away … o.k., back to the story. Sometime an hour after sunrise as we left the town of Don Don still heading north to Cap Haitian, we noticed that traffic was at a standstill just outside the next neighboring town. Pastor got out of the truck to investigate … maybe an accident, maybe the bridge was under construction, or maybe one of those huge buses broke down or was trying to turn around? After a couple of minutes, I got out also, to discover that the road to the next town was barricaded with logs, stones, and a fire that now in ashes, with the sound of bottles and rocks exploding on the road as warning signs to prevent vehicles from entering. Somebody was very angry!
I asked Pastor, What is going on here? He said these people are very angry because the government has started building a road around (by-pass) this roadside community to Cap Haitian. In theory it sounded as if the Government was trying to do the right thing because of the many accidents and dangerous driving conditions going over this mountain pass. However, in practice the people felt slighted, by passed, left out of the decision making and money revenue that’s generated from this on flow of traffic. So this was their attempt to give voice to what they value by creating a “Road Block” as a way of sending a signal to the Government by disrupting the commerce to Cap Haitian, the second largest city in Haiti.
Well Pastor and other people were on the phone calling the UN Police, or Local Police, while still others were in heated discussions with some neighboring discontents. The situation looked pretty volatile with those wanting to cross and those who were threatening to do damage if crossed. After a couple hours with no sign of resolve from the people or any presence of peace keepers, Pastor and I turned around and headed back south to Pignon. Hinche was now our new destination (a city located south of Pignon, about a two hour drive because of the bad roads.
There’s a saying down in Haiti … “If the Lord wills…” found in James 4:15. I now have a new appreciation for this scripture.
Tangible Needs: Basic Food and Water Supplies.
Pray for Loving Haiti: Road Blocks –Nurturing Trust not Fear and Anger.
Pray for Me: To be a gracious host. Denny, Kevin, and Tim are on their way. (Update: They are actually there now!)