If You Want To Be Moved Today, Read On…

I am honored to share my Aunt’s beautiful account of her mission experience with Healing Haiti this spring.  If you want to be moved today, read on…

 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Love Thy Neighbor…

We made our way back to City Soleil to bring water, one of life’s most precious resources, and good will, to the people that live there.

As we maneuver the creaky Tap Tap and sister water truck into place, the residents of the city gather. Children smile and reach up and out, toddlers wait, for something–they don’t seem to know just what; and grown-ups are all business.  They line up their buckets quickly, looking for any hole in the line to slip into (we call it butting)–some succeed; others are reprimanded by the water truck driver, or our Haitian translators.

There is an energy circulating within the gathering–not upbeat as it was earlier in the week.  More unsettling, as if a storm was far off but brewing.

Our group begun to help;  carrying buckets, hoisting gallons of water to impossible positions on top of small heads; holding small children and babies, praying to infuse everything good thing that we held in our souls into these lovely beings as if for storage when needed.

Two young ladies shielded my team mate and me as we sat  in the hot sun, with a rag just big enough to cover our heads and the young children we were holding. They reminded me of sentinels; their sole duty to give back something to these strange white people whom they trust are here to help.

Later, a man vehemently slaps a young boy about the ears and on his head repeatedly.  I stand between them, helpless–to do much of anything else.  The man leaves; the boy begins to whimper, then sob.  I try to comfort him, to no avail.  He is distant–perhaps anticipating further unrest when finally he must go home sometime today for shelter.

Shelter.  4 by 5 feet, perhaps.  A couch. No bed. Dirt on the floor.  A chicken pacing in front of the towel hung in an opening to constitute a doorway.

 

The morning grows chaotic as the water begins to run out.  The people quicken their pace to retrieve water that they pray will get them through to the next delivery.

The water runs out.  Our group makes their way to the pier, as our driver tends to a flat tire.

When we return to the tap tap, we find waiting an injured woman, her head gashed and bleeding.  As our team mate,who is a nurse practitioner, and one of our leaders tend to her injuries, our translator explains that a man has intruded into her house and attempted to rape her 12-year-old daughter.  When the mother fended the man off to protect her daughter, he beat her severely. Our skilled nurse patched her up with with what tools we had from the tap tap first aid kit.  The woman would go back to her house.  No hospital–no money.  No police–there are none.

Love thy neighbor…

I stand by the tap tap. Lost. Where is God today, I’m wondering?

I feel like crying, and then I do. Stuck. Helpless. Saddened.

A little girl in a dirty white dress sees me from the other side of the tap tap.  She makes her way over to me, looks up at my tears with genuine, adult–looking concern.

Beautiful, deep brown eyes, furrowed brow.

Genuinely concerned.

She takes the hem of her dress and lifts it to my face to dab at my tears.

I hug her close, wanting to savor the utter, simple humanity of this moment.

The injured leaves, the crowd begins to thin.  we board the tap tap.

A morning of tension, a morning of violence, a questioning of faith–redeemed by a small child reaching out–an act as large as God–an act of loving thy neighbor.

After all…

 Marj Hellweg
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