This is a hard blog for me to write about. I’ve written it twice today and deleted them both. There’s so much I wish I could share …..and yet putting it online for all to read is not really wise.
Since moving to the Mole in 2010 – I have been blown away by the abuse & realities of this village. Just when I think there’s nothing else that can surprise me – I’m shocked yet again. The information & stories we learn about are not things we search for. God is literally bringing them to our gates & into our lives.
I do feel led to share this tragedy/reality with you…..
A few years ago there was a 6 year old girl who was raped. The townspeople caught the man who did it and began breaking glass bottles over his head. The police put him in jail to keep the people from killing him. As soon as we found out about the tragedy – we went to the hospital where we met the little girl and talked with her mom. The man who did this was someone we all knew. He was someone our teams often hung out with. We were just as devastated finding out who it was as much as the crime itself.
We were heartbroken, frustrated, & in complete shock. We cried out to God to help heal this little girl. It wasn’t long after we got home & a police officer was at our door asking me (as the nurse) to come bandage this man’s head.
The Haitian people were looking at me & telling me – “NO! DO NOT HELP HIM! HE IS GARBAGE! THE TOWNSPEOPLE WILL THINK YOU ARE OKAY WITH WHAT HAPPENED!”
Everyone was watching us as the only Americans living in this village. They were taking their cues from us. We had just visited this precious little girl and now I was being asked to bandage the man who did this horrible offense.
I didn’t want to help him. In fact I knew him and was so angry I didn’t even want to see him. My own children have faced predators at very young ages. This hit too close to home. Yet here the police were – asking for my help. They were at my door.
Of course I wanted to say no. Of course I wanted to slam the door in their face. Of course I wanted to grab my own glass bottle and hit this man over the head. But what would Jesus have done in this situation? Where did Jesus spend His time? Jesus came for sinners and every single soul matters to Him no matter how dark it may be.
You see – I don’t get to choose which day to be Jesus. I don’t get to decide from situation to situation – injustice to injustice – day to day – when I’ll do what Jesus would do – and when I’ll allow my own feelings & emotions to outweigh Him.
I knew everyone was watching me and looking for answers. So with tears streaming down my cheeks I went to the jail cell and bandaged this man. As I saw he had no remorse I prayed for God to grab hold of his soul. I prayed that he would find remorse. I prayed that he would find Jesus. Because just as the tears streamed down my cheeks I knew they were streaming down Christ’s face too.
We had a short-term missionary group with us at the time. While the Haitians were spitting & cursing around his jail cell – I called on them to go and pray for this sick & lost man. That somehow he would find Jesus and repent. And with tears they went and prayed.
And through this exposed tragedy – we were able to show this village Jesus in a more real way. We were able to use this tragedy as a platform to begin our fight against abuse. We went on the radio and spoke at the schools. We talked to the parents about how they can protect their children.
A few weeks later we watched another tragedy unfold. This poor little 6 year old had been given a new name. Let’s say that the name of the attacker was Fred. She was being called Madame Fred. This poor little 6 year old girl – the VICTIM – was being teased and called the wife of her attacker.
After our plea on the radio for people to come forward if they have been attacked by any abuser- several mothers came to talk to me. They said their daughters had been raped by this same man. But they said they didn’t want to tell anyone because they knew their daughters would face the same fate. That their daughters would be teased and known as Mme Fred for the rest of their lives or until they left the Mole.
I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that the victim became the joke of the town.
So today – even though it makes me cringe – it makes me weep – it make me fall to my knees – it makes me sick to my stomach – it makes me lose nights and nights of sleep – it makes me question this life – – I am thankful for exposed realities.
I don’t want anything bad to EVER happen…. but if it does – I do want God to expose it to me.
Without knowing & refusing to look the other way – without seeing & understanding what is happening around me – without making a conscious effort to watch what’s happening right around me – – – I couldn’t fight it. I couldn’t talk about it. I couldn’t educate others about. I couldn’t pray with the passion & intensity I do now. I couldn’t help/sympathize/truly undertand these poor children I see on the streets every day.
God has ignited in me something so deep I can’t put it into words. He has given me the strength to do His will……. even when every part of me wants to run away & fall to the ground in surrender.
SO Thankful…Day 15
I’ve spent the majority of my life in Haiti yet when I moved to the Mole I don’t think I really had any idea what street ministry was about. I’ve always known how to do it – I just never stopped to really think about the people we’re ministering too. Not in any sort of depth.
My eyes have been opened over the last year in ways I never thought were possible. I will only share two of the “realities” that have been exposed.
In the spring a team came in to work with the teenagers. We spent days talking to them about purity. We asked for individuals who had already had sex but wanted to make a new promise to come forward so we could pray over them. You might expect for half the room to come forward. What you didn’t expect was for all but about 5 people to come forward! The girl who was praying became so overwhelmed at the number that came forward she began to cry through the prayer. When the prayer was over one of the girls asked – Why are you crying? My own mother doesn’t cry for me? Why are you crying for me?
Wow! Talk about an eye-opener! Who is telling these teenagers that they are worth something? That they are worth crying over? That they can be somebody? That God has a plan for them?
We showed a movie downtown at the soccer field. When the movie was over a little kid came up to me and said, “Thank you for showing the movie. Tonight when I get home my father will be asleep. Tonight he won’t be able to touch me. He won’t be able to hurt me”.
How many children that night were thankful for the movie – not because of it’s entertainment value but because it saved them from harm that night?
I could sit here and list 15 “realities” without even blinking. I could tell you about things that we’ve personally seen and experienced in the Mole that would bring you to your knees…..much like it has brought us.
I can honestly say that I am not the same person I was last year. My heart for the people and specifically those who live in my neighborhood is different. My passion for street ministry – for loving on our neighbors – for finding ways to get into their homes and pray the name of Jesus inside – -to set the captives free – to love on the oppressed and those in bondage – to offer a loving touch to the child I pass every day on the street – – it’s unlike any force I’ve ever experienced.
So today – even though it shreds everything in me – I am grateful for exposed realities.
No longer naive – it has changed the way I pray, serve, act, and fight in the neighborhood I live in.