Our neighborhood youth had been preparing for a ministry trip to Carpentier where we served after Hurricane Matthew just over 2 years ago. A family, precious friends of ours, who’d come to spend the holidays with us in Haiti would join us. I’d just arrived back in country after an extended period taking care of things stateside. The youth had collected and nurtured saplings to be planted; mango, breadfruit, lime, coconut and cherry trees, to be taken south and planted with the youth group from the church in Carpentier. They’ve been learning to share God’s word using the Orality Storytelling method. Most cultures, even our own highly book valued culture prefers to learn by hearing stories. In illiterate cultures it’s the only way to learn. Haitians love a good story; their language is more story based than others. This is an incredible tool for sharing the gospel and sharing biblical history by story-telling, acting out dramas and even writing songs that tell stories and truths from Gods word. They’d also been practicing leading a musical time of worship. They were committed and excited. Our group of 20 was scheduled to leave for our 3-day trip, Thursday morning the 27th of Dec at 4:30am.
On Wednesday afternoon as we were making final preparations, Dave and I headed out to fill up the two vehicles we’d be driving to the South the next morning. The first gas station had no fuel, so we headed to the next closest station not too far down the road. We passed a slow-moving tap tap, Dave in the vehicle in front me. Quickly after that a small pick-up truck coming the opposite way passed Dave. Just as it does I notice smoke pouring out from all the tires and within seconds the truck loses control and spins into my lane causing me to hit it head on. The impact forced my vehicle into a large ditch to the right of the road, rolling more than ¾ of the way over before stopping. Dave watched it in his rearview mirror. Surprisingly the other driver somehow fled the scene assumedly because the vehicle was unregistered. I walked away with bumps, bruises, cuts and swelling…an unexplainable touch of grace. Completely undeserved. We were immediately surrounded by people we’ve come to know through ministry who generously gave of their time over the next six hours as well as many Haitians we didn’t know who desired to help. We were blessed in so, so many ways…by friends who stopped to check on us when they saw us on the side of the road, by the local police, the judge who had to come before we could go home, a local Pastor who took us to the police station and stayed with us, the people who stayed with our vehicles until we returned with the judge, those who got our vehicle out of the ditch and back to our house, too much to share here other than the continued unexplainable touch of grace bestowed upon our family that day.
While waiting on a small bench outside the police station with numerous friends continuing to call and stop by because they had heard the news (it was unbelievable how quickly word had traveled) we had a decision to make. What do we do about tomorrow? My mind was whirling. Would I be able to drive? How would I feel? Physically? Most important, emotionally? Was I ready to transport 13 people 4 hours away that quickly? We wrestled with it; we prayed. We’d been dreaming about this trip for over a year, and our team had been working with the youth for the last three months preparing. How could we cancel? God’s presence allowed us…me to move from any kind of fear to FAITH. He continues to heal my body and mind! He’s so good that way. I really don’t understand the way God choses to work and know it’s not likely I ever will this side of eternity, but I can trust that if He wants to see something happen, nothing will stop it. We had a fantastic trip to Carpentier with our youth group that I’ll share about at another time. For now, we’ll leave this moment about the Lord and His powerful touch!