We moved to the Mole in May of 2010. We didn’t come alone though. In fact we brought several Haitian families with us – about 15 people total. These were families that we knew we wanted to do life with – that we wanted to work alongside of – that were coming to the Mole as missionaries just like us.
Because we came with so many families, we didn’t need to hire any workers when we first moved. This allowed us to really get to know the townspeople first before bringing any new staff into the mission family.
We had only been in the Mole about 10 days when we met Malonea. Malonea showed up on my steps with a crowd of people surrounding her one afternoon. She was nearly naked and asking if there was any work. It appeared Malonea was the entertainment for the afternoon as people just stopped, watched, and laughed at her. I could tell by simply looking into her eyes that this poor lady had lived an abused and unimaginably difficult life.
Her Back Story:
Malonea is mentally challenged. She had been married to a little person for 5 years. The Haitians can be so rough on their own people. Those who are different or who are special are laughed at and ridiculed publically. She and her husband were tormented daily even as they walked down the street.
Malonea had two children with her husband. Her daughter is also a little person. Not only did the town tease the parents but they would cause the little girl to cry daily too. Malonea’s husband had gotten sick with a skin disease. She watched maggots consume her husband’s body. Her sister-in-law took Malonea and her 2 children in after her husband died. Malonea was often treated as a slave in the home.
MALONEA’S JOURNEY TO FIND CHRIST:
Though I didn’t need any more workers, I hired Malonea to help wash dishes. I love the staff we brought so much because they were unlike the others in town who teased Malonea. Instead – they would proudly walk with her– make extra food in their homes for her– and courageously show the town that this woman was worthy of love.
We had our first women’s conference in the fall – September 2010. We had several hundred women attend. Diane Cornelius, my mom, and myself led the sessions in the daytime. We had a pastor that led the revival at night.
Diane Cornelius is known in Haiti as the “Wedding Lady”. She runs a wedding shop in Lexington, KY. She fundraises and brings in everything a couple would need to get married….dresses, rings, shoes, suits, decorations, jewelry, food, & pays for the wedding licenses. She’s done over a hundred weddings at the mission already.
So being the Wedding Lady – she decided to talk about the Bride of Christ at the women’s conference. She passed out a wedding ring to each lady and told the women that this ring is a reminder of God’s love for them. She told them that they can be one with Christ and that they are WORTHY of His love.
Malonea decided that she wanted to belong to Jesus. She accepted Christ and was baptized that week.
To see pictures from the conference and read more about Malonea check out this blog: http://lifeoffering.org/2010/09/24/my-malonea/
MALONEA GIVES CHRIST ALL THE CREDIT:
Malonea sort of felt like my child…every time I walked somewhere or drove our little green gator in town – she was right there with me. I would get the keys to the gator and by the time I put it in drive she had hopped on the back – ready to go with me.
When we were at the conference Diane & I were driving the gator to go pick up supplies. Malonea had hopped on the back like she normally does.
While we are driving through town some of the ladies yell out to Malonea very condescendingly— – WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THERE? HOW IS IT YOU ARE WITH THOSE AMERICANS?
Malonea just happily and innocently responds – I DON’T KNOW! ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD!
Malonea gave God credit for every good and wonderful thing that happened in her life. She sang specials at church and would even sing in the town square when we had big revivals. If Malonea got to hang out with the Americans or was given special things – she knew ONLY GOD could have arranged all of that.
Malonea’s life was still very difficult. She was raped in 2012 and became pregnant from that rape. She was still badgered and teased at the time. She was still treated like a slave in her own home. When I compare the good that happened in her life to the bad – the scales didn’t balance. She’s experienced more hurt than anyone I’ve ever met.
Yet through it all – She never questioned Christ’s love for her. She never blamed Him when life was unbearable. She never turned her back to Him when it felt like she was all alone. Her faith never waivered even though the tears often blocked the view of any blessings.
Though I’ve known Christ most of my life – she has taught me what it really means to follow Him whole-heartedly.
And because of her faithfulness I’ve watched some amazing things happen in the Mole.
The town began to change and they went…
From pointing at her to walking beside her
From making fun of her to taking care of her
From teasing her to celebrating her
From Laughing at her – to laughing with her – to laughing just to be around her!
Four years ago Malonea put on a ring – telling everyone she was the Bride of Christ! She found her worth in the arms of Jesus.
AND this past week Malonea got to put on another ring – telling everyone she was the bride of Makenson. She found a man who would love her like Christ loves the church.
And God continues to get the credit for every good and wonderful thing that happens in her life!