TO MY PARTNERS in MINISTRY
to the PEOPLE of HAITI
May 26, 2015
T H I S L I T T L E O N E
To tell you today’s story, I must take you back in time to the day that I first met this little one who is burrowing a special place into my heart.
In March of this year, a mission team was here. On their last full day here, we held a medical clinic in the slums of LesCayes. Each year when this team comes here, it is their desire to hold a clinic in this impoverished community that has such an obvious need for free medical care. This year would prove to be no exception. Far more people showed up at the clinic than we could possibly see in the few short hours that we would be there. At one point, we were forced to make an announcement that it was imperative that we see those who had a critical medical need first.
For some reason, on entering the building that day, my eyes had been drawn to one particular baby who was sitting on her mother’s lap on a bench near the front of the line. When our announcement was made, her mother came forward pleading for her baby to be seen. As it turns out, she had good reason as her baby was born with a condition described as “a congenital meningomylocele in the lumbosacral region”. Another term that is sometimes used is spina bifida. When she was born, the doctors in Haiti told her the baby would die. Upon seeing the baby, I was almost certain that I could find a doctor to treat her. With that in mind, some of the team members promised funds to help make that happen.
After inquiring with an American doctor who comes often to our area, I was informed that she needed to see a specialist. I made other inquiries and was excited to learn of a doctor in the USA who was willing to treat this baby. Could I possibly pull everything together so that I could escort this baby to the USA when I departed Haiti in mid-June for my summertime visits to supporters???
It was at this point in time that I started communicating with the team members who had met this little girl when they had been here in Haiti. In a private message format on Facebook, the updates have begun. As things unfold, I am able to tell them of her needs and to most importantly ask for prayers. It is prayers for miracles that will really make this journey to the USA possible. There are so many obstacles that could in reality sabotage this journey from happening at all. I really believe that those prayers are bringing about some surprisingly quick resolutions.
To begin the paperwork trail, it is imperative that the parents have a government-issued photo ID. The father has one, but the mother had lost hers and never replaced it. Getting a replacement ID can literally take weeks or even months. While at the notary’s office, the notary made a call to a government official. He was given the instructions on how we could get a document that would satisfy the officials. So within 24 hours, I had two acceptable forms of ID in hand. A miracle!
Another challenge! A birth certificate in Haiti is not considered valid unless there is documentation on the certificate that the child has been baptized. This little one had not been. In addition, a verification paper from the government office in Port-au-Prince (a five hour road trip from here) has to also be obtained to prove the birth certificate is authentic. This too can take weeks.
OK! Now what? First things first! A baptism needs to take place! We talked with the pastor of the Church of Grace and he consented to performing the baptism. We talked to the parents to see if they would consent. It turned out to be a way for us to talk to them about Jesus, because we are not at all sure that the parents are Christians. We suggested that we could do the baptism at our home, since Church of Grace is located an hour boat ride away. They agreed!
This is how today’s story came to be. In our front room, I prepared a small table by covering it with a flowered fabric tablecloth and a bouquet of silk flowers. I searched for a white bowl that could hold the baptismal water. Now in Haiti, these things are common … I found a suitable bowl, but it had previously been visited by a mouse (or two). It now contained several mouse droppings. Ewww! But as I was washing the bowl out with Clorox water, a thought occurred to me. Is not this a fitting symbol of what baptism is all about?!?!? God takes us with all of our “yucky-ness” and through the water of baptism and ultimately His death on the cross cleanses us and purifies us. Hmmm!
In an attempt to make the day a little bit special, I asked the women who cook and clean for our household if they would be willing to sing at the baptism. They too agreed! I also searched for a small gift to give the baby on her special day. I located a children’s Bible Story book in Kréyol that would be a way for the family with their three other children to learn more about Jesus.
The parents and baby arrived and the short ceremony took place. With simple water, blessed by God, this little one became a Child of God!
I have spent a lot of time thinking about this little one and her family. Another thought occurred to me in the process. For some reason, God has placed this little one in my life. I now know that one of the reasons is so that she would be baptized. If that is the only reason that our paths have crossed, that is enough! Ultimately, isn’t my main concern for her that she spend eternity with Jesus? Yes, that would be enough!
If God should see fit … He will continue to bless the efforts to get this little one to the USA for treatment, but for now … I am comforted in the fact that this little one is now, most importantly, a Child of God!
Your prayers and financial support are greatly appreciated!
If you wish to make a donation to help this little one or others like her,
please mail your donation to
CARIBBEAN CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION, PO BOX 33, JENISON MI 49429.0033 USA
Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic Until next time, God willing …………