When I think of the miles and mountains he's walked, I'm easily reminded of my inadequacies. I walk in his shadow, and I can't help but shake my head when I remember that silly American three years ago who first walked these paths, running out of drinking water, getting lost and coming so near to the end of my self....ahhh...it's a wonder I'm still alive. I used to pack for every emergency and contingency, with every base covered and 2 water bottles, a backup filter, some food, a hanky, first aid kit, a whistle, compass and a map. My oh my....
There is no pack these days. What is in my hands? A camera. No water, nothing. A little change in my pocket. and yet I'm light as a feather and free as a bird, all glory to God. I just don't feel like I need any of the rest. How things change...
Now I get to walk the hills, meeting with shepherds. Meek and mild, most are soft, gentle men long tempered by suffering and prayer. In the eyes of the sages I see a thousand testaments to the faithfulness of our Living God. Their wrinkles would fill volumes if they could bare witness.
Kari plays with the kids that always seem to draw in for a closer look, kissing and tickling toes, playing Haitian Patty-Cake. Harold and I soak together in like-mindedness. I listen to his stories and then he quietly listens to all my wrestles. I wait for his wisdom, which is always sweet and simple. He's led a life filled with trials that have absolutely broken his heart, and still He knows God is teaching him. Sometimes he stays quiet when I spill out my heart, and it's then I know he's just giving it to the Lord, trusting. His greatest advice to me is his silent, quiet contentment to have been afforded the privilege to see so much this side of Heaven.
We all wait while my Haitian friend Mackendy inspects the churches, some no bigger than a large tent. He sits and listens to these shepherds talk of their experience in tending the sheep. Some of those sheep curiously wander into the church during his inspection just to find out what he's up to. He takes careful notes and asks important questions, and then when he finishes we get to witness some of the fruit in the tiny glimmers of hope in a pastor's eyes as he thinks about what might be coming. More knowledge, more understanding of the Word of God. More peace, patience, kindness...
In these hills I feel like a prospecter from the days of old, aching in my bones and up to my knees in troubled waters, yet for the sake of those shimmering little sparkles of gold, flashing in the pan!
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." ~J.C.
Isn't that just how things should be, rescued from the fire, snatched from the flames, saved from the clutches of an eternity without the warm love of our Father, shouldn't we be going about in joy?
When we breathe encouragement into one another and fluff the sails, when we sharpen the iron shouldn't the sparks fly? Some days I feel I might break out into a little jig, and who cares how silly it might be? "YES, Pastor! God's word is going to pour into your hills, and the enemy couldn't build a dam big enough to hold what will come flooding down. Prepare to be inundated you devils! There's gold in them thar hills. GOLD I tell ya!"
Now our friends have parted our company and have safely made their journey back to the capital city. Tonight we breathe easy and coast a little on the coat-tails of the Majestic as we try to peek a little deeper into God's plan.
We serve such an awesome God! He's so often just too much.
A cool breeze comes down into these flatlands and we hope for the electricity to come back on so we can all yell out, "Mesi Jezi!" Maybe another downpour is in the mix, the corn will even be content. Tomorrow our own ministry of giving Bibles will once again prove the prevailing wind. Kari will start to prepare for kids clubs and Bible classes. In a few weeks Harold will come again and it will be time to partner again, to make way for the blessing of expecting the unexpected.