This morning I didn’t start off with the feeling that I was going to be very useful for the Lord. I didn’t feel a deep connection with my work or the mission. My study was more about rebuke than commission.
Then I cooked Heather some oatmeal that was apparently spoiled, because she got sick and wound up on the couch for part of the morning.
I’d paid the local clinic for my next door neighbor Tati to have medicine for gripe, which is kind of like a deep cold.
When we got there, we were waiting our turn in the line, and an American named Bruce who works with Mission Haiti walked up with a remote control and a manual in his hand.
“Hey Dan, you know anything about TV’s and setting them up?”
I said, “I know a little bit.” I walked inside, and there were 4 or 5 rows of benches, filled with patients waiting to be seen by Adrien, the local doc. They were all staring at the wall, where there was a small TV hanging on the wall.
Eventually we got the language and settings correct, and in Creole, the Jesus Video began to play for all of the Haitians in the room. For the next 45 minutes I watched as every soul in the room was riveted by the movie about Jezi. Adrien would finish with a patient and give the call for the next, and they almost didn’t get up out of their seat to be seen.
I remember thinking whoever had this idea was right on the mark. What better place to sit and learn about Jesus than in a clinic waiting room?
Just as I was finishing the thought, Adrien leaned over and said, “Dan, I think now would be a good time for you to give your Bibles.” His smile was so sincere and genuine.
It just clicked. I took off for home and came running back.
On the way back down my street, arms loaded with Bibles, a local tap-tap driver saw me walking and stopped with 15 or 20 people on the back of his truck. He asked what I was doing with all the Bibles, and I told him I was bringing them to the clinic to give them away. He asked me for one.
When I walked into the clinic, faces were already beaming, and I began the work of asking for everyone’s names.
As I wrote in their Bibles, I asked what church they go to and where they live, like usual, but I quickly realized that these people were from all over the area. Up the mountain, down the mountain, in the village, in the city, on the farm...
It was really beautiful.
I had the privilege to give out 16 Bibles total.
People even began coming to my front door today, asking for Bibles, and this place is beginning to be known for the work I was sent here for. A man from Cayes heard the news, and he came for a Bible. A teacher from the school up the road caught up with me on the street. She’d heard the news also.
I’ve also had a bit of a run in with a woman in the village who is currently a heavy alcoholic. I’ve met her several times before, and I’ve always tried to have grace, but today it just wasn’t meant to be. She walked in the clinic and began telling me to give her a Bible. She was acting very sneaky behind Adrien, and mouthing the words so he wouldn’t hear. She was drunk.
I finally asked Adrien what she was trying to say, and he told me she wanted a Bible, but not to give her one.
She’s been given many Bibles, and she always sells them for booze.
I realized right away it was just a game to her, and she was giving people looks like, “Watch this, the stupid white boys’ gonna give the poor Haitian a Bible, and I’m gonna sell it for some rum! Ha Ha Ha!” It was a mockery of my Lord.
I told her that I came to bring Bibles to people who didn’t have any, not to give them to people who already had one or sold it for booze.
She was incensed, and began screaming.
For almost 2 hours and even into the evening later on, she’s called me names, mocked God, called me a fraud, anything she can think of, walking around yelling as loud as she can, trying to rile up the community against me.
I asked her to come down to my house, and while Heather talked to her I got a Bible and brought it out.
She began smirking again, with that attitude that she’d worn me down. I opened the Bible to Psalm 62 and began to read to her, the entire chapter.
When we finished she went to take the Bible, grabbing it like it was just a thing to own. I felt the discernment rise up inside, so I asked her to please write her name in my book, like all the other before her today. She wouldn’t. I then asked her to read another Psalm. She wouldn’t.
I knew she was going to do with this Bible exactly what she’d done with the others, and so I took it back. I asked her if she could read, and she got very mad again.
Maybe she can, I don’t know, but at that moment I think she was too intoxicated.
Then I asked if she’d come with me to a translator so we could speak in Creole, and she got even more upset.
She started screaming to all my neighbors, and I waited to see what they’d do. That was the moment the local teacher came up and asked me for a Bible. She was sweet and kind, and very gracious. When she took the Bible from my hand, I watched closely to see how she’d hold God’s Word.
Her hands were tender. She tucked it close to her.
She treasured it.
The villagers watched me closely.
Later that night as we were walking the main road of the village and the alcoholic followed behind me, yelling at me. I told her when she stops drinking I’ll gladly buy her a brand new Bible. I also told her that Jesus loves her, and she’s always welcome to come to my house and I’ll read the Bible to her. I guess for now I’ve made an enemy, but starting today I’ll be praying that some day she will be my friend.