5 Minutes of My Day: Oh Belido
With a full day’s errands swirling chaotically around me, I put the car in park and knock on the gate. I step into the orphanage–it’s been a whole month since I’ve been here. I rush past it everyday as I complete food deliveries, or get water, or run to town for meetings.. always busy busy. I usually honk and some of the older ones wave from the balcony as I drive by, but it’s never enough. Today, I’ve written it in the schedule. I’m stopping.
Gens and Rudy, two of my Haitian friends and coworkers, get out of the car as the children come trampling toward us. The littlest ones have grown so much in just a short time–praise the Lord for the efforts of so many people in the States who are raising support for them. We are a heap of hands and kisses and bald heads and questions.
As Rudy gets out of the car, they call to him, “Oh Belido!” A song that he loves to play with the children has now become his nickname. The boys at the orphanage are so calm, patiently waiting for lunch to be served. I ask them questions, but they are so calm it’s like they’re acting.. gasp – shy! All of us sitting around just staring at one another, it’s quite the unusual sight.
Rudy begins gathering chairs, and I can tell he is up to something. I know he’s missed seeing these boys. That’s one reason why I called him to come with me today, I know the boys would love to see him too. He has a way with children, it’s unreal the giftings Christ has given him.
We circle up and the boys jockey for the first chance to play musical chairs. As we play, the boys come alive with life. Punching each other, joking about mistakes in the game, praising the champions and laughing so loud, they play. Smiles light up our hearts. The atmosphere eases and becomes more normal.
They play and play while I talk with the school director, check out some of the boys with pinkeye, and re-connect with the house mothers. I tell them of my pregnancy and they scream so loud I’m sure all of Port-au-Prince hears.
But now I know it’s time to go. I’ve got to meet with Pastor and he’s at the other orphanage, so a short 15 minute visit is all the time we have. I go to tell Rudy and Gens to wrap up their games.. and wouldn’t you know it, it’s not just the boys begging for them to stay, but also my 20+ year old coworkers. Rudy begs, “But we have the finals to play, it’s a tournament!” I laugh at his plea and I hear a sweet whisper in my soul, “Just take a moment to be here, Bethany.” I smile as the finals begin..
After the champion is hoisted into the air and the children have sang their fill of Oh Belido, we get into the car to go about the remainder of our errands. Meeting with Pastor, meetings with the property owner, visiting a sick child in the hospital and more. As we leave, the children are getting ready to continue their game and, in just a short few minutes, my eyes are once again opened to the reality of this job.
On this day, I had a revelation: this ministry is difficult because of the balancing–the balancing act between work and relationships. I have two choices: I could go through my day focused on work and miss out on all the opportunities to connect with Christ and His people.. or I could stay in the moment, be intentional about what I’m doing and be fully there to connect and invest in relationships all around me. Playing with children while discussing rent extensions and healthcare for a friend. Announcing a pregnancy to a house mother while getting an update on a very sick child in the hospital. It’s something I forget, the need for balancing. It doesn’t always come easy; most of the time it takes a lot of effort to keep the scale from tipping.
My eyes were also opened when watching Gens and Rudy. This is real ministry. Ministry that is long-term, solid and founded in relationships. The little one who clings to Gens the entire time, the way he and Rudy lose all their inhibitions and become like children to bring joy to these boys, the relationships they’ve formed. They live in both worlds: connection and “work”. I see it when our staff request to join me in my errands so they can check out a church project or visit a pastor. When they go on their own accord to visit with churches or bible study groups. They desire connection, they live with their eyes open, always looking for balance.
It’s nothing fancy, it’s nothing big. It’s the small moments. The simple moments. Moments that everyone else outside of those four walls would never learn of. Little moments that are our own, just doing life, ministry.
I want to encourage you today, find your simple moment. I know you probably do it without noticing. Your little moments of ministry, where you balance life, work and Christ’s calling for connection. When you host a business meeting lunch at the coffee shop to continue developing a relationship with the barista. When you hang out for a few extra minutes at the baby sitter’s house to encourage her in her job, while hoisting a cranky baby around after a long day’s work.
These are the simple moments of real ministry, where you choose to live your life with a foot in each world: your work, and the will of God. I pray Father that I can continue being brave enough to keep one foot in each world. Living my “work” life, but remaining ever so aware of the little opportunities I have to serve You daily, to connect with Your people.
Oh, Belido. Oh, yay yay, Belido.
5 Minutes of My Day is a series of the more intimate moments in our ministry. Launching off of something Eric said to me one day: “When you are overwhelmed or stressed and Satan is on you, focus on the little things. The small moments that make you remember why you live this life. Why you love this ministry.” So here it is, the good the bad and the ugly. Snapshots of 5ish minutes of my day.