5 Minutes of My Day: Saplings

On May 20, 2013 by Bethany

20121023_135440It’s time for tree ministry with the team. Mango, lime, coconut, orange and papaya. I grab two of the largest coconut trees. They’re my favorite. We’re approaching the next home in the community and a woman about my age meets us at the gate. “Bonjou!” the team greets her with their wide-smiles and nervous laughter. It’s a big thing, what they are doing. A new country, culture and language have been thrown at them in the past 2 days. And now, here they stand on a Haitian strangers porch, all filthy from working construction in the morning time and she is in her hand-washed white jersey skirt and beautiful aqua-blue blouse. With all the grace and poise of a typical Haitian woman, she invites us to her garden to sit. I love this ministry.

A member of the church we are partnering with introduces our team and the church in the community. We ask if she has any prayer requests we could specifically pray about. She shyly wipes away the tears forming in her eyes. As I take her hands, I notice all the differences in us. Her hands are raw, but clean as a dinner plate… probably from washing clothes and cooking today. Mine are soft, but dirty from carrying trees between houses. Her nails are trimmed to perfection, clean, short and neat.  Mine are uneven, with chips of nail-polish that’s seen better days. Her arms are thin and strong. Mine are chubby and sunburned. We couldn’t be more different.

“M’pa gen petit.” I don’t have children, she continues..  I have been married for 3 years now and yet, my husband and I have no children. I am afraid my womb is cursed, that I can never bear a child. {If children are a heritage from the Lord}, then why is it not His timing for me?

She continues telling us how all of her friends have children. Even friends who were married after her have the blessing of a newborn in their home. As she speaks, my soul aches with her. In Haiti, family is everything. No children is a big deal.

As we pray, I squeeze her hands tighter. I need her to know my heart, that she’s not crazy or alone. I get it. I’ve been there. You believe your life will be one way.. and then the Lord paints a new picture. Sometimes, its hard to see the masterpiece the rest of the world can.. sometimes its just a mess of color on a canvas that looks nothing like what you asked for. When this has to do with children and family.. it can be a huge mess of emotion. Anger, guilt, doubt, grief. But when you can truly give it to the Lord, it can lead you on a path to the deepest faith you’ve ever known. Giving up the future you plan for the future He desires is no small task but He will see you through.

We finish and she chooses a tree. As we plant it, I do my best in broken Creole to explain my heart to her and invite her into the never-ending love and peace of Christ. She listens, nods and gives me a hug. We pray once more together and as we leave she says to me, “Orevwa, se nan ke’m” Bye, sister in my heart. “Orevwa, se’m nan Jezi.” Bye my sister in Christ, I reply.

——

It’s incredible how something as little as a sapling can build a bridge across cultures and open up the lines of communication. This is why I participate in our ministry. For moments like this one. Where I, a small-town, book loving, coffee drinking, re-decorating, photo taking, nail painting, meat hating, cranky-if-I-don’t-get-my-Yoga-in, girl from Arkansas…can genuinely connect on a spiritual, emotional and physical level with a woman who is in every-way different and yet, just the same as me. That we can share in this moment together and learn from the experiences of our two very, very different lives.

That is the moment I hang onto when things are difficult, it  is the kind of moment that makes it all worth it.

-Bethany

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. Snapshots of 5 minutes of my day.

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