TITANYEN, Haiti, May 11, 2017 –
The beginning of the rainy season didn’t stop the powdery dust from settling on everything. The 25 mobile medical team members braced ourselves in the back of the covered trucks lurching along the uneven, rocky road. The sultry air only reinforced our determination to minister the love of Jesus to the underserved people.
We set up the clinic in a little church building made smaller by the 50 uniformed school children attending classes in the same quarters. Pastor Anderson shared the gospel and prayed with those who had been waiting since before sun up for the primary care.
We unloaded (and dusted) the boxes of supplies and pharmaceuticals, furniture and equipment. The sign-in process brought some order to the chaos, and the work began. I assisted Anderson in greeting people, and Thomas, the team evangelist, in probing individual spiritual needs. The medical staff worked efficiently.
I chatted with those who weren’t too sick to enjoy speaking with a foreigner. The eventual question was, “Have you accepted Jesus yet?” to move the talk heavenward. And so it was that I met Dezilme, who at 86 has outlived his life expectancy by 25 years. He limped with a stick for a cane, but walked unassisted. His face was deformed around his nose and mouth but he could still make himself understood.
“Oh!” he exclaimed with feigned shock at the question. “Of course I have accepted Jesus and I have believed in Him for a very long time.” So, he endured the pushback from voodoo for a long time too. “I live right across the road here by the church and I am here every Sunday to worship God.”
His joviality, boldness, and sincerity struck me. I intended to pray for him, but didn’t. Instead I asked, “Would you pray for me?”
“Of course I will remember you when I pray!”
“No, my papa, would you pray for me right now?”
“Of course!” and as his neighbors watched, he eagerly and firmly held my hand and loudly plunged into a conversation with Someone he knew well. “Thank you for those who came to our village to help the sick. For this man I pray you would protect him and give him the force to live and do what you ask him to do. I pray this for my brother in Jesus’ name.”
This old saint was not poor. He generously shared from the treasure of his heart. Thomas offered, “That was like the blessing of Jacob.” My vision was blurry. I think the dust got in my eyes.
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).