I see hints of a mail system here sometimes, but not one that is actually functioning. We rely on a missionary flight service to receive our mail. This works out pretty well. The flight service is a solid ministry, they check you out thoroughly before you can be a member, and desire to serve those that are focused on furthering the gospel message of Jesus Christ. The only problem is that their only office is a 3 hour drive average. That is one direction.
Lance's birthday came and some awesome friends and supporters had sent him some gifts. We tried unsuccessfully to get to Port-au-Prince to pick them up. We sat in stand still traffic all morning and decided to turn around and go home after receiving reports of riots in several locations. An entire day spent doing nothing but sitting in traffic only to get up the next morning and try again. At least we were safe. The next day turned out to be a success.
We still have kids from the bad orphanage next door visit us every day. I have learned more about the organization now through the help of another international ministry. Most of the kids have parents who pay for their on site schooling as well as any medical needs. The few children who are truly orphaned rely on people from the church that is on site to sponsor them. All of this money and the kids still show up at my house every day showing visible signs of malnutrition, neglect, and abuse. So this gives a glimpse at the complexities of the problems faced in this nation specifically, and in material poverty as a whole. Lack of money is not the problem and neither is a lack of food.
This becomes evident every time I have to purchase things locally or stand in line at the bank. Every penny I spend is accounted for and reported. As I go through this detailed process I am very aware of exactly how much I spend and where I spend it. As I am spending money in these local businesses I watch while locals come in and spend money the entire time I am there. Some of these places are large warehouses stacked to the ceiling with food. There is always a steady stream of local purchasers and a lot of cash changing hands.
The bank is always an unpleasant experience, although one of the most organized and professional entities that can be found here. It is never a quick trip and reminds me of what banking must have been like in America prior to modern information systems infrastructure becoming the norm. I regularly stand in line for an hour, sometimes two or more. While I am there I am able to take stock of the tens sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars exchanged. Money coming in – money going out. This is easy to see visibly because we are part of an all cash system.
Anyone who has tried to provide material help to a drug addict in the midst of their addiction has felt the frustration and pain as you watch how more of the help you give, there seems to be only more of a problem. An endless consumption that eats up material and monetary provision like a fire eats gasoline. In the famous words of Dave Ramsey, “More money is never the answer to money problems.” Think of all the stories of people who win the lottery only to end up in a worse state than they were in before a relatively short time after they collect.
Simply giving money or material provision to someone who is proven to be continuously reckless with what they have already is damaging both to the giver and the receiver. God is not indiscriminate in his appointment of stewards, tests stewards with responsibility, and then rewards those most responsible with the most responsibility. Inversely he takes from the irresponsible and gives to the most responsible. In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:15 – 30 we see an example of this.
I am often criticized for the type of help that I am willing to give. Rarely is someone seeking Biblical guidance or advice. Sometimes people want food. Mostly people are only interested in money. Along with the criticism comes all manner of advice that I don't know what I'm doing or don't understand the culture. What I do understand is scripture, sin, redemption, the eternal state, and a handful of years of practical experience applying these. The fact that the very same people that are approaching me for help are seeking for me to follow their advice is lost on them. The logic that if I follow your advice I'm probably going to end up in your situation is a hopeless argument. I can only pray for the power of Christ to overcome.
So with the complexities of self serving systems comes ministering to individual people that are truly in need. The soul always must be the chief concern with the saving grace of the cross of Christ as the only remedy. However, as we share this truth we minister both to body and soul. Ministering to individuals in a system designed to keep people in bondage to physical and spiritual poverty becomes most evident in the victims of the orphan business. From those that are now grown and continue to wear the shackles and bear the scars to those who are continuing to live the daily hell imposed upon them by the very people that are claiming to the outside world all the supposed good they are doing, we see a spiritual darkness that borders on hopelessness. Certain hopelessness apart from a divine act of justice and grace. I have been privileged to see both in short glimpses. I pray for complete acts of both of these daily.
So it is in this context that we feed a few young boys every day at our home. We know that the orphanage they live in makes a ton of money. We know that some have parents who actually still give at least some money to their “caregivers”. While these things are true – AND while we seek for justice in these areas – we minister to the lost, and sometimes we just go off on people. God help us.
Albertson is a true orphan if his and others accounts about him are factual. He was born in Citi Soleiel and has resided in the local orphanage for as long as he can remember. His is 13 years old and has the stern look of a hardened older man. His is short – probably too short from years of malnutrition – and always dirty. Splotchy hair, yellow eyes, lots of scars, and almost always barefoot.
I shared the gospel with him and Iderson (the kid that threw gas on the fire with Lance standing near) one day when I felt God leading. Iderson went away and never came back. Albertson still comes every day but leaves as fast as he can once he is finished eating.
One day he showed up and Amy didn't have any food ready yet. I so didn't feel like trying to talk to him, but reluctantly went outside and sat with him while Amy was preparing some food. There seems to be such an insurmountable wall between us that I just sit there for a long time praying silently for God to do something. I halfheartedly throw out a communication opener not really expecting any response. “When you grow up and leave the orphanage, what do you want to do?” A long pause.
“When I grow up and leave the orphanage, I want to accept Jesus.” Completely not expecting this response I almost fell over. I searched his face for signs that he was trying to get something from me or just joking around. His eyes were as dead serious as always. “Do you think you can't accept him now?” I asked. He just shook his head no in response.
I told him I would be right back, that I was going into the house to get my bible. I got my tablet so I could have access to all my bible tools as well. I read Matthew 19:13-14 to him.
Matthew 19:13-14 13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
I explained to him that Christ loves children. That he can confess his sins and receive the salvation of Christ now. As I was explaining to him how this works he just bowed his head and started repeating what I was telling him. I was really pretty stunned. This was all so unwarranted. I just decided to go with it. It had to be the Holy Spirit leading. I just kept praying out loud and he just kept repeating what I said. Almost immediately upon completion of the prayer Amy showed up with a bowl of food. He was happy to receive it and life just kind of moved on. I have followed up with him since and I see evidence of a real change in him.
Two of the other boys that are recent additions to the orphanage were in pretty good shape on arrival – Madorche and Jameson. It only took about a month for them to develop the signs of malnutrition and abuse. Ragged clothes, splotchy hair, filthy bodies, and distant stares. We finally decided it was time to reach out for some help.
The good news is this place has a website full of fraudulent information about the services they are providing. They are based in the US and officially a non profit organization so they have to report their funding information. On their website they had mentioned that their efforts were praised by another well known international ministry. We just happened to have a contact there so we reached out to them. This began the process.
The days here are always full of emotion and I am only now beginning to develop the spiritual fruit and discipline of self control when dealing with all of the feelings that well up and inevitably overflow. Anger, frustration, and rage are common reactions that I pray for grace to channel appropriate reactions that will honor my Savior. I frequently get it wrong, but God gives more grace as He patiently teaches me His way.
The political situation here remains volatile, but is apparently better than it is has been in the past. We have heard more gunshots than we have since we moved here. One night some guys blocked the road out on the street closest to our house with a lottery booth. When the police arrived they had a shootout. We were awaken around 4 am with the gunshots. Many nights we hear the gunshots close by, turn out all our lights, hunker down, and then wait until the action passes before we resume normal life. Anna said to me one day, “Daddy, I am getting tired of living in a place where we hear gunshots all the time.”
We have some good friends here. It really helps on the hardest days. Sometimes God just puts someone on your heart and you start praying, reach out, and find out something is going on in their life. Amy texted a young lady friend of hers, Enit one day. Enit responded to the text and explained that she was really suffering and was very sick. After some investigation we offered to take her to the Mission of Hope Clinic. It was really good timing because there was a great team of American doctors that was visiting for the week.
While I was waiting for her (the wait turned out to be about 3 hours) I decided to download some apps for my tablet to help me learn biblical Greek. I was sitting in the waiting area inside the church building playing one of the Greek alphabet games when I started to be surrounded by kids who had just finished school for the day. I could see real quick that I wasn't going to be allowed to have peace as long as I was holding a tablet in my hand. They were all begging to see a video and growing in numbers. Being outnumbered and wanting to avoid a riot I acquiesced.
I first showed them a short cartoon Lance had made using a parable from the bible in the creole language. They loved it and wanted to watch it over again. They begged for more and I decided to show them a video of some baptisms from last year. This was awesome. It opened to the door for the gospel message and all kinds of questions regarding baptism. Hopefully they understood my bad creole and some seeds were planted.
Finally I realized that Enit wasn't going to be seen any time soon so I made sure she had another ride home and left. Later we found out that she was anemic, under weight, and had typhoid. She had prescriptions for medicine but couldn't afford to buy it. I told her that I would help her out the next morning. The political situation was getting tense and I didn't want to go back into town that day.
The next day I had to go to the bank in Petit Goave and I knew there was a good pharmacy near the bank that would have all the medicine she needed. It is interesting to see the contrast inside the bank from what your mind tells you when you drive around and take in the sights of abject poverty. I try to go to the bank as little as possible because it is never a pleasant experience, although it is one of the more professional organizations in Haiti. I average 2 hours in line every time I go.
It is amazing to see the amounts of cash that are transferred. It lets you get a glimpse that the country as a whole is not suffering from a lack of money. This is just one bank in an outlying obscure location and every time I go there I witness tens of thousands of US dollars being exchanged. Luke and I estimated one of the deposits alone that we witnessed had over 10,000 USD. There was a large pyramid of stacks of 20s. Seeing all of this cash deposited in front of our eyes helps bring into perspective that just a lack of money is not the root cause of material poverty.
We came out of the bank and headed to the truck. We were driving and were going to attempt to turn around and head to the pharmacy when I heard a gunshot. I then saw people running and noticed that police had blocked the street in the direction of the pharmacy. I decided to just get out of the area as fast as possible. Everyone was on high alert due to political unrest in addition to the fact that people are routinely targeted and killed at banks by thieves.
Not wanting to completely fail at getting Enit the medicine she needed we stopped by a pharmacy on the edge of town outside the action zone. We were able to get about half of the medicines on the list. We then headed back to Grand Goave and were able to get some of the others at a pharmacy there. We still couldn't get all of them, but at least the most important ones seemed to be covered. On our way back home we dropped them off with Enit and she seemed grateful.
The evening runs with Luke in the mountains are so helpful in so many ways. They provide me with a healthy body to continue the work, free my mind of the frustrations (expect when we are harassed along the way), and also provide exploration to find new areas for ministry. All of this was true until I had to take a 2 month break from them. On our way down the mountain we were crossing a dry stream bed with some rocks. I stepped wrong, my ankle twisted, I heard a loud audible crack, and felt an excruciating pain that brought moans from my mouth and tears to my eyes. I thought for a moment that it might be broken.
Luke stopped with mouth gaped open in unbelief that his dad would be crying tears of pain. I didn't care. I was in no position to put forth pretense. I just started praying and then hobbled forward after the incapacitating part of the pain subsided. I was still about a mile from home at this point and was able to hobble, walk, and then jog the rest of the way back.
When I got home the ankle was already starting to seriously swell and turn colors. I elevated it, iced it(thank God for a propane fridge), and took some Motrin. I should have wrapped it but I was stubborn and didn't. I actually did yard work for the next two days while laying low during political chaos. This only made it worse. Finally my concerned wife pleaded with me to wrap it. This helped some but it remained unchanged for weeks. Finally on the third week I went to the hospital in Port-au-Prince for an X ray.
Thank God for Christian doctor friends in the US that checked out the X rays, verified that it wasn't broken, and told me to stay off it. It finally started to get a little better around week 4 but still hurts and is a little swollen. I finally went on a run last week. It wasn't too bad.
I was invited to preach at a church in the third section of Grand Goave by a young pastor in a seminary in Port-au-Prince that has family there. Thank God for the truck he provided. There were two sections that I was sure we would fall off the mountain while driving. It really seemed impossible, but Enoch assured me it was not big deal. Luke, Lance, FanFan, and Wesley were sitting in the back of the truck. They said they were just holding on for dear life and praying.
It was a good morning at the church, they fed us a wonderful mountain meal when we finished and we made some good connections. The drive down was a little better because we were more prepared and knew what to expect. After arriving in the town of Grand Goave we dropped off Wesley and FanFan and then headed to our house. We were stopped almost immediately with a road block. We didn't even stick around long enough to find out all the details, but just gave Pastor Lex a call and headed to his house until it was time for evening service. We navigated through the demonstrations and made it to church late, then left early and finally made it home.
The process of making charcoal is from the devil. This is realized when it is your aging widowed neighbor's sole source of income and she makes it in big smoldering piles next to the fence separating the yards. The large billowing clouds of thick black smoke fill the air and linger. Then they cross the fence, enter our house, consume our hand-washed clothes hanging on the roof to dry, and make sleeping seem more like dying and going to hell. When explaining my frustration to a neighbor who is not as affected as I am by this process I am told just to have sympathy because she is a widow and it is her only source of income.
The longer I am here the more I am learning where I can buy some of the daily items that we take for granted in America – like mouth wash. You can't predict exactly when it will be available, which brand, or at what price you will find it. When you do it is a precious commodity and you are thankful to have it. That is why I continued to use it even when I got home and realized that the seal was missing and it had been previously opened. Thank you Lord for this mouthwash. Please protect me from any ill effects. In Jesus name. Amen.
So the best thing to do while surrounded by others worshiping the devil during voodoo ceremonies is take your family to the roof and sing praise and worship music. We don't do it every time, but it is nice to invite the one true God to come so that we can worship Him asking for His presence to force out the darkness. Of course there is always the response of just praying a whole bunch, too.
You just never know what is going to happen here. After church service one Sunday night I was approached by a different local pastor frantically asking for a ride. We were already packed with people and I was trying to get to the bottom of what he was asking. I THOUGHT he said that there was a lady at his house with a broken leg and he needed to get her to the hospital. It turned out to be something different.
We told the crowd of people packed into the back of the truck that we had an emergency come up and would not be able to give them a ride to their house. They got out and then we went up the mountain to the pastor's house. We got the lady in need into the back of the truck and made it to the hospital just in time to find out that it was not her leg that was broken – it was her water. She almost had the baby at the front gate of the hospital, but they got her inside just in time.
After many trips to Port-au-Prince in the heat, dust, and through gauntlets of panhandlers we decided to try fixing the AC in the truck. I have one mechanic that I trust and he recommended an AC guy. The guy showed up dressed in nice clothes with an assistant. I call it the McGyver work mentality. Don't bring anything with you and find what you need when you get there. He actually did a good job in the end, but I ended up providing every tool that he needed including feeding lunch to his assistant while he went to Port-au-Prince for 3 hours to get a part repaired. He only did the compressor and hose part. I had to go through two more different guys before the electric problems were fixed. Same scenario each time.
While sleeping one night during a steady rain, I was awaken around 10 pm to the distinct sound of Band Sanprel. I still don't understand exactly what they are other than it is a type of voodoo worship where a group travels around with strange instruments and chanting hoping to call up evil spirits. It is difficult to describe the music. It reminds me of something out of Dr. Seuss.
Hearing the music gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach and a weight of oppression fell over the whole house. I got up and sat beneath the window praying while listening for about 3 hours. Sometimes they would get real close, and sometimes they would be almost inaudible. Around 2 I finally decided to try sleeping because they sounded pretty far away. I stayed in a steady state of prayer until the sun came up. I would doze every now and then briefly only to be awaken later to the sounds of chanting and strange music. It finally ceased shortly after sunrise.
One of my neighbors came by explaining that he needed money for school. He offered to sell me some eggs because his grandmother had laying hens. I thought this could be a good thing. I told him I already knew the standard price for eggs in the market in Grand Goave – about $1.50 USD per dozen. He said that he would charge me a really good price because he was my neighbor. I guess he and I have a different idea of what a good price is. He showed up the next day with his best price of $7.50 USD a dozen. He tried to explain to me that they were special eggs because the chickens eat mangoes.
After a few minutes of calm negotiations I finally lost my temper with him because he was deliberately trying to rip me off. I told him that this is why Haiti continues to be poor and why he can't pay for school. God will not bless this kind of behavior. I read to him scripture and discussed differing weights and measures. He took it in and got sad, but refused to budge on the price. We finally sat on the tailgate of my truck and talked for a while. Somehow the subject moved to the kids at the orphanage.
He told me that every now and then some Americans will come to visit. When this happens the orphanage will gather up all the kids in the neighborhood and agree to feed them for the day. This makes it seem like the orphanage is full of kids. Once the Americans leave all the kids go back home.
I finally had enough after Jameson showed up at my door one morning barely able to move. He had been beaten across the back with a type of short leather whip for eating the dog's food. A neighbor next to the orphanage had thrown out some food and gave it to the dog in the orphanage. Jameson was so hungry that he went to eat the dog's food. The person in charge told him that it was a disgrace to do this and beat him for it. We took care of his wounds, fed him, and let him sleep on our floor until he was able to go home. That night I sought some help from the local authorities.
The wheels of justice move so slowly sometimes, but it is God's justice and He will eventually have it. While waiting and praying we continue to feed and care for the ones that come. One of them is Iderson. He is the same boy that threw gas on the fire the first week we are here. He is indifferent uses foul language when he talks. He rarely shows up because he knows that I won't allow it.
One Friday after the discipleship group I went on a walk with FanFan and Wesley to check on a possible job lead for Wesley. When we returned Iderson was sitting on our porch and Amy and Enit were caring for him. He was way out of it, filthy, signs of serious malnutrition, with seriously infected sores covering his legs. I decided to visit the orphanage.
Wesley and FanFan went with me but Iderson wouldn't follow. He was extremely obstinate and went the other way. Upon arrival I explained the situation to the man in charge. He greeted us at the gate with his leather whip. It looks just like a cat of nine tails but only with 2 strips of leather. I offered to take Iderson to the hospital and he agreed. We sat and waited for 2 hours for Iderson to show up, but he never did. Luke and Amy ended up leading the Friday night bible study without us. I was prepared to wait all night, but we were asked to leave and come back the next morning.
The next morning there were riots in Grand Goave so I asked FanFan to meet me at my house and we would take Iderson to Leogonne together. I went to pick up Iderson and the man in charge tried to give me a sob story about how they were in this condition due to a lack of funding. I calmly took out my pocket knife and wrote the exact figure that the US office pulled in last year in the dirt. I explained what the number meant and said you need to ask your US people for the money. He understood but said they don't give them any. I told him that I knew most of the kids had parents and that they got money from them and also from the church that was in there. In the end he didn't say anything else and just thanked me for taking care of Iderson.
The hospital took all kind of tests and told us to come back on Monday. I spent a lot of time in prayer on Sunday night. I was so mad. It was all so senseless. The neglect and abuse didn't have to be that way. I still didn't understand the full extent. What level of voodoo rituals were they exposed to? I just cried out to God and walked around the roof praying. Monday morning I picked up FanFan and we arrived at the orphanage to a scene of chaos. The director's house was mostly burned and billowing black smoke.
What a metaphor as I took Iderson's hand and led him out of the gate with that backdrop. Apparently the fire was a mystery. No one was in the house when it started and there was no electricity or any other ignition source or flammable material inside. A week later the church caught on fire.
We got Iderson's test results back and the medicine he needed. He reluctantly showed up at our house every day, took a bath outside with bleached well water, used his medicated soap and shampoo, took his medicine, and ate well. He continued this for about two weeks. We could tell he was getting better because he was more obstinate than ever with his renewed energy, but there was a hint of appreciation when we gave him his daily hug.
It really made an impression with the other kids too. Albertson asked to try the medicine. We told him that he had to be sick. He started inventing illnesses. Iderson got up the strength to start asking for presents. Amy told him that the medicine and doctor's visit was his present. He wasn't impressed. Amy asked what present they would give her. Albertson was hiding underneath our outdoor table and said shyly that he would give her a little mango. Not even a big one.
Wesley called and wanted me to talk to his friend the Houngan again. I found out that his name is Roger (pronounced Wojay in Creole). He explained that a big voodoo ceremony with a big sacrifice was planned for mid January. We made a plan and went there. At the top of the road where we parked the truck the mountain butchers had just slaughtered a couple of cows. There was meat and blood everywhere.
There was a group of men hanging out in a little hut nearby. They immediately started asking me for money and saying they here hungry. I looked behind me at all the meat and thought about the irony. I just told them that I was not like other white people. I was not here to give handouts, but to share the gospel. One old man sitting in front of me asked me if I was a Christian. I told him that I was a pastor. He extended his hand and said, “Welcome, Brother”. Wesley explained to me that he was a recent convert and was truly trying to follow Christ.
The entire way we were asked for all manner of things. One guy forcefully asked for money brandishing a sickle. I just looked him in the eyes then just walked passed him and on up the trail. It turns out that Roger was very busy with lots of customers. Apparently voodoo priesthood is a lucrative business. We made an appointment to come back a different day.
On our way out I stopped by the demon possessed tree and prayed. The same one that I have prayed over before. I don't put hope in Holy Water but felt led to take out my water bottle and ask God to bless the water. I asked him to make it a symbol of cleansing of the evil from this land. I prayed and then sprinkled water on the tree. I'm not sure what the butchers and beggars beneath the tree thought about all this, but I just hope that God was glorified and His presence made known to them.
We had the privilege to play music for Bebey's sister's wedding. It was a great experience. We arrived home to an awful smell. There were dead and decomposing chickens laying in front of our gate. A neighbor explained that it was just the time of year for chickens to die. I'm not so sure I believe him. I picked them up with some sticks and built a fire to burn them.
We went back for our appointment the next week with Roger. We prayed in the truck before leaving it at the top of the mountain at the beginning of the trail. Me, Luke, FanFan, and Wesley. When we opened our eyes after praying we noticed an old woman had appeared right in front of the truck. She was making some motions with her hands and talking out of her head. I tried to talk to her, but Wesley and FanFan just told me to leave her alone because she was not making sense. I just prayed and then she started walking away.
We arrived at Roger's early in the morning, but there was already a pretty big group ahead of us. We were offered chairs by his wife so we accepted. It is a good thing because it was going to be a 4 hour wait. We sat there and were entertained by the yard animals. All of them had a rope, but none of them had the rope fastened to anything. The cow decided to come and hang for a while in the midst of us. After she got bored and left the rooster came. It crowed a little bit, and then left. After this the dog came. We watched for hours as it took turns moving from the shade to the sun sleeping a little while in each spot. The cat came out and teased the dog a little, but nothing ever came of it. All the while a steady stream of customers came.
We could hear some of the ceremonial stuff going on - a bell ringing, some chanting, every now and then the smell of moonshine or something burning. It was explained that he was channeling the spirits – Loa. After he had finished with all of his customers he finally came out so we could talk to him. He said that this is the 4th time I have seen him, and I waited for 4 hours. Maybe God really sent me and maybe I really love him.
I explained that God is Trinity. That He is one God existing eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I explained the gospel message to him. We are all sinners. There is no one good. We have all broken the law of God and because of this we deserve eternal punishment in hell. However God is a God of mercy and grace. There is nothing that we can do to make up for our sin, but God made a way. He sent His only Son to complete the law in our place. Jesus Christ. The Son of God and God in the flesh fulfilled the law for us because we could not do it. After this he suffered the wrath of God in our place by dying on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. Three days later He rose from the dead, revealed Himself to his disciples and many others, then He returned to the Father. One day He will return again to judge the living and the dead. Those who have trusted in His finished work on the cross for their salvation, who have confessed their sins, repented, and given their life to Him will be brought into His Kingdom forever. The rest will be cast into hell forever where they will bear His wrath for all eternity along with satan and the angels who sinned. I explained that those who trust in Christ for salvation should follow Him in obedience and be baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.
I mostly just read scriptures from the Creole bible and explained in Creole. I asked if he understood. He said he understood very well and thanked me for explaining these things in his language.
He listened and said he believed those things. I told him that even the demons believe, but they tremble. He explained to me that he needed to earn a living. I explained to him that those who practice magic will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven (Rev 21:8, Rev 22:15). He said that it was the only way that he knew to make money. I explained that it is nothing for a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul.(Mark 8:36-37).
He finally ran out of excuses and then just admitted that he was scared. He knew that what I was saying was true, but he knew that if he gave up his voodoo practice he would not have a way to earn a living. He asked what help I could give him if he gave his life to Christ and left voodoo behind. I told him that I understood this because I had left everything behind in America to come to Haiti following Christ. I told him that I would pray about what help I could give him, but if he left voodoo behind to follow Christ I would do what I could for him. He avoided letting me pray for him and we agreed that we would meet together again soon. Before I left I gave him a gift, a creole bible. He seemed genuinely thankful and said that he would put it under his pillow and sleep with it every night. I told him that I hoped that he would read it.
At that same time local authorities had finally come to inspect the orphanage. The kids told the truth, the people responsible were confronted, and the order was given to shut it down. I'm not sure what will happen next exactly. We can only pray for God to do something amazing. Meanwhile we continue like we have from the beginning – feeding and caring for the ones that show up at our house while sharing the love and truth of Christ with them.
Sunday was a beautiful morning. We woke up at 4:30 AM and then drove into town to pick up Wesley and FanFan. As the first rays of sunshine were reflecting on the calm surface of the ocean, I was able to baptize Wesley as a new creation in Christ. May God be praised. May His Kingdom come. May His will be done. On Earth as it Is In Heaven.