Joy in acts of love and sharing

By Ron Larson, Converge Northeast director of missions
Haiti

In November I was in Haiti for eight days with a team of 10 from Converge Northeast and 20 Haitians. It was a time of hard work and joy. In the midst of sickness and poverty we ministered to people and experienced their joy at the care, concern, teaching and help God allowed us to provide.

I was working in the pharmacy of our makeshift medical clinic with five doctors. It was an old stucco home in the center of Maissade that we have transformed into a much-needed medical clinic. During that week we saw close to 800 patients, prescribed nearly 6000 prescriptions and prayed with hundreds of Haitians. Scabbies and worms were rampant, malaria common and sexual diseases the norm for many. Most of the babies cried, but one or more came into the clinic like limp dolls with no visible reaction to their new surroundings.

On Wednesday, in the midst of a working turmoil, I heard the muffled sound of my name being called. Roland, a Haitian, wanted me. The day before I had given Roland a red ticket which allowed him entrance into the Tuesday clinic. Here it was Wednesday. Roland wasn’t allowed to come in because he didn’t have a Wednesday yellow ticket. We have known each other for most of his 40 years, and he is special in many ways. Roland lives with his elderly mother and provides for both of them. He is strong and extremely friendly but limited mentally. From his distorted face and crooked teeth it is hard to understand him, so he has learned to be quiet. But his many loving actions speak louder than words.

He missed Tuesday’s clinic because he was helping someone. He’s known for that. Now he wanted help and it didn’t matter to him what color of ticket he held. Because he didn’t understand the explanation from others about the ticket colors, he called out my name in the midst of the crowd. Hearing my name, I knew it was Roland. I went to the gate and motioned for him to come to the clinic’s back door. I was able to have Roland processed, and four hours later he was seated across from me in the pharmacy waiting for his medicines.

While seated, almost everyone is quiet because everyone listens to the instructions given by the pharmacist. Each one wants to learn as much as possible so that when it’s their turn they will understand their prescriptions. With about 40 people in the waiting room, Roland in a loud voice pointed to me and said something in his native Creole tongue. Most often, people don’t understand what Roland is saying. But his face communicated his message. My translator told me Roland had pointed his finger at me and said, “That man loves me.”

For a few moments I had trouble doing my simple duties. There was no extraordinary service on my part. I was simply correcting a situation. I did what anyone of us would have done. But this simple action had communicated the love of Christ. This is what missions is all about, making the love of Christ known, sharing the resources of many to meet the needs of a few. This simple action and Roland’s acknowledgment brought joy to my heart to help someone who is helping so many in his special way. I know it brought joy to Roland.

Pastor John Ames provided a week of training for the pastors and leaders of churches in and around Maissade. It is a joy to be able to teach these young men about the things of God, and they receive the teaching with joy.

We also brought clothing, shoes and toys for the 20 boys and girls at our two orphanages in Maissade. Can you picture the joy on their faces when they received these gifts, and our joy as we distributed them?

The entire trip was a team effort, and God used us in many significant ways that week. It is a privilege to be able to serve because of their faithful financial support and prayer partnership. Though not present, they were as important to our mission outreach as those who went.

You may also like:

1. What it takes to be a missionary

2. Reaching the children of Haiti, one by one

3. Sisters serve at Santisuk English School

    Point - Summer 2018

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