Have you ever had plans for the day and they did not work out? So was a day for me last week. We had planned a 5 mile walk (Anna, Lori I and the boys) we were going to take the boys bikes so they could ride while we walked. When we were getting ready to walk out of the gate a bad cut came in. Lori had to sew it up, then someone called and needed us to look something up on the internet for them.(A person needing a number of a guest house in Port). 5 miles became a long dream. Maybe 4? So we took off up the mountains. Going quickly so that we could get a good walk in. We took the camera in case we saw someone planting corn (the corn we gave out a few weeks ago)(because everyone likes to see pictures). We did and Anna got some great pictures. While she was doing that there was a man running across a field to get to us. He was yelling our names or blanc, can’t remember which so we stopped to talk to him. He explained to us that there was a lady that needed some help. His exact words were “li pa mange sel pou 5 jou” translated “she has not eaten salt for 5 days”. What might that mean you ask? That means she has not had a meal like rice, or corn or anything with salt it in for 5 days. It also does not mean she has been eating a bunch of sweet stuff. It really means she has had no meals for 5 days. I told the man we were walking and he could tell the lady to come see me the next morning and I would try to help her. I was still hoping for the 4 mile walk. So he said okay and then I felt like a loser for telling her to come tomorrow. She needed to eat a meal. Duh…our walk did not seem so important anymore. So I asked where she lived and he said he would take us there. It was close.
This lady, we will call Rosemene, had lived in the mountains above Cazale. There was a dispute over land and her brother destroyed her house and told her to get out. She moved down to Cazale where she has children. She went to her child’s house and there was no place for her to stay and not enough food for her to eat. Now I know her daughter and her daughter would have let her stay, but Rosemene did not want to take away from her daughter and grand children. So she went and began sleeping out on the ground in a field. The farmer, that ran across the field to talk to us, wanted to help her. He had built the little shelter in the picture above. This shelter is in the middle of the land he is farming. He was going to use it to stay in and get some shade during the day time. But he saw Rosemene and told her she could sleep inside. He told us several times “if she dies I cannot bury her, I just am trying to help her and I do not have much”. Anna and Lori went down to the house to see it and see what she needed. (There was a steep hill so I could not get there)
Her needs are great –this is it. What you see in the picture is all she has. A few clothes and a roof over her head, which is a borrowed roof. The 5 mile walk did not seem so important anymore. She came down to the clinic that evening with us. We got her a hot plate of food. We gave her enough food to cook for a week. We told her we would not forget her and we would help. Housing is hard to find since the earthquake. But I have to believe that this week God will make a place available for her. There will be a spare room that comes up for rent. I have to believe that and I will begin checking today.
I do not tell you stories like those of Yolande or Rosemene to make you feel bad. I tell you them so you know how so many people in the “real world” live. Most of us do not live in the real world. I tell you so that you can know and experience what we do each and ever day. I tell you so you can be moved. I tell you so that God can take someone like Yolande and Rosemene and use them to change you(and me). Not you change them. Yes they need help. But many times we need “help” too. We need our priorities in line to what God would have them to be. We need to “feel” what others are struggling with and reach out to them. We need to hunger after the things that God wants us to do. We need to “do” and “give” as God would direct us to. I do not think I will ever know what it means to “pa manje sel pou 5 jou”. But I can do something to help one person. If I am willing, if you are willing, God will use us to make changes, sometimes life changing for others. A plate of food, or a rented house will help them, it will change things for them. But adding the Love of Jesus with this plate of food or rent money might just bring about a change in where they will be spending eternity. And that is what it is all about for me. I want to encourage all of you to ask God what you can do for others. Maybe some of you want to help Rosemene. Maybe God will show you someone in your neighborhood, church or family that needs a special touch today. Be open to letting him move you. Step out today and make a difference.