Mark-Day 14 (True Compassion)

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Day 14 – Saturday, March 3rd

Relentless Scripture:  Col 3:12; Jam 5:11

Relentless Focus:  Compassion Connection

 

Relentless Example: “…put on a heart of compassion” A very poor young woman and her seven year old daughter from a neighboring town about six miles away, walked this morning to visit Pastor François at his compound. Once she arrived someone told her, to her surprise, that Pastor was much too busy to visit with her then. She would have to come back later. Later she came after another 6 mile walk, 18 miles total now. This time, Pastor had just finished teaching a young adult disciple’s class and agreed to meet with her.  As I was heading over to the chow room to grab some water, I saw this young woman and her daughter sitting on a bench talking with Pastor. I said to myself, “ I bet that little girl would love one of those hand bags and coloring books I brought for the kids here.” So I ran up to my room, grabbed a book and bag, hurried down stairs, made eye contact with the mom and girl and handed her the goods. They both smiled; however, Pastor looked a little concerned. He said,” please sit down here, Brother Mark” and continued, “this young woman, who is very, very, poor, supposedly came here today very early to talk to me about the orphanage.”  He said that they were so poor that he could see the visible signs of malnutrition in their faces, eyes and heads. It was made very clear to him that she couldn’t support her daughter in the manner that she had hoped for and that she now wanted her to be part of this orphanage family. Pastor also showed me her birth certificate which he received from the mom as a legal record.  After asking the mom some additional questions, Pastor agreed to take her in. He picked her up and sat her on his lap. He introduced himself to her and started his orientation process. He then went to the kitchen to give this young suffering and now broken-hearted mom some much needed food. Afterwards, he took the seven year old into the chow house and gave her a healthy portion of vegetable soup and a drink. This intentional distraction is generally used to aid the parent/guardian in the leave/cleave exchange and transition period. In a sense, she had just transferred her child and rights and responsibility of guardianship over to Pastor and Madam François. This was some gut wrenching stuff to witness. My feelings and thoughts were constantly moving from one person to the next. It’s hard to describe. All I could do was to watch and pray for all who were involved and to be available to God when called upon. To be continued …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today was indeed a busy day for Pastor. Typically, Saturdays are compound work days, although the hard reality for most Haitian is, every day is a work day with the exception of Sunday in Pignon. The workers still arrive around 6:00 am.  Since school is out, most of the kids can help the workers with their chores or are assigned to special projects by Pastor or Madame François.  I was asked to help clean some of the newly installed windows in the hospitality rooms located above Pastor’s home. I worked with two of the older boys, Emmy and Philip, along with Pastor. Those who really know me know that I can clean anything, anywhere, at any time. It’s a forte of mine. To be continued …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturdays are also when the widows from Pastor’s church and some from the community arrive early and eager to receive their portion of beans, rice, and oil (today we gave eggs, rice, spaghetti and oil). Pastor introduced me to the first group of about 18 widows, and he shared with them how I was connected with this distribution through Loving Haiti.org; and how money was donated to support these distributions by friends and family members (including a special offering at Doxology).  As he continued to share with them, I could sense in their hearts a genuine attitude of gratitude. One lady asked Pastor if she could share some words with me, he said yes, and as he was ready to interpret, she then stood up and said, may the God whom we’re are part of the same family, richly bless you, your family, and your friends for your love and care for us. We love you!  I replied, “You are welcome and Praise God … God is Good … God is Great … and we love you!” To be continued …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Pastor, this Saturday kicked into high gear with an early morning visit from a handicapped father and his young son (6-8). What Pastor shared with me later was that this father, in his physical condition, along with the passing of the boy’s mother, could no longer properly care for his son. He had brought along with him the paper work to validate his story, and then after they talked for awhile, he handed over his young son to Pastor and left. (Need I say any more … same song, different verse)

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason I wrote these stories in reverse order along with”to be continued … “And up until now I didn’t have the foggiest idea as to why. But God is always teaching me something when I write, I just have to wait on Him. Ok. Ok, here’s what I think … What if the tables are now changed, the roles now reversed, and by no choice of your own you happened to be born into any of these roles … Today, that was exactly what I was doing, trying to put myself in each of their realities: as an orphan, mother, father, widow, and a pastor. I believe the Lord was trying to show me that Compassion starts when I can comprehend another person’s reality as a possibility of my own. Then He can move me into that space like Jesus, and bring faith, hope and love.  It’s like the Word becoming flesh and moving into the neighborhood (The Message). Wow! Thank you Jesus for your great compassion toward us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tangible Need: On-going … Beans, Rice & Oil; Beds/Mattresses, Clothes, Shoes, Orphanage worker;

Pray for Loving Haiti: That Pignon would be known for practicing true religion – to visit the orphans and widows in their distress …

Pray for Me: Learning how to move in the Spirit with Gospel of Compassion (Luke 4:18-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on March 4, 2012

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3 Comments

  1. by Rich and Caroline

    On March 5, 2012

    We are with you in prayer! Our love to you, Mark!

  2. by Beka D

    On March 8, 2012

    Love that line “…compassion starts when I can comprehend another person’s reality as a possibility of my own.” So true!

  3. by Avery

    On March 8, 2012

    Mark! Thank you for being faithful to God’s calling in your life, and for diligently sharing your experiences with us. You are truly blessing everyone in Haiti and back home!

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