This message is taken partially from a post I wrote in June 2020. It is from the mission Spotlight on my blog site.
In the spring of 2018, two members of my church and I joined 18 other Christians from all over the United States on a ten day Mission trip to Haiti. Christina Surber, our Mission Partner from Supply and Multiply, led our amazing team in serving the people of Montrouis, Haiti.
My two partners from church were part of a construction team,
whose primary focus was to finish a new home for a family of five and to build bunk beds and chicken coops where needed in the community.
I have little or no expertise when it comes to construction, so my focus was primarily on being part of two medical clinics that we set up in the structures that two villages worshiped and gathered in.
One structure was made of concrete block the other basically made of wood and tarpoleans. The people from the two villages came by the throngs with all manner of complaints and illnesses. Children came with belly aches, mostly due to hunger and starvation, while others were treated for wounds, infections, infestations and respiratory issues.
One of the last patients that I saw on our second clinic day was an elderly frail man that, with the help of a translator, said that his knees, feet and back hurt. After further evaluation and ruling out any apparent injuries, I sat down next to him. I was exhausted from a long, hot day of standing on my feet with two bad knees. I smiled and said “Mine Too!”
I offered him some aspirin, which was all we were allowed to give for pain, along with a small bag of clean water. Handing him clean water was a Miracle in itself. These people walked miles each day to get water from a well and carried back home in large jars on their heads. This particular village where I sat with my new friend, had a pool of muddy water where they bathed. Receiving a bag of crystal clear, non poluted water was an amazing gift from God.
Getting back to my new elderly friend…We sat for a long while as I held his hand in mine. We didn’t understand what each other was saying but we both pointed out all of our joints that hurt and agreed thru the interpreter and with a big smile that collectively the two of us were getting old and that our bones were just sore and tired.
When we were cleaning up and packing all of the medical supplies we had brought, people started coming back, once again filling all the benches. We explained the clinic was over but they stayed anyway. Finally, an amazing young Christian man, native to the area that was working with us as an interpreter, came over and told me that the people were all waiting to see if we had any food or more water bags. He then asked what we should do. I looked at him and the people gathered and said “They’re hungry. We’re in a church. Tell them we have no food or water. Instead let’s feed them JESUS”.
I directed him to ask those gathered if they knew GOD. Some said yes. I then directed him to ask if they knew God’s Son, JESUS. Most shook their head NO. I then told the young interpreter that this was HIS opportunity to tell them all about JESUS. He questioned what he should say. I told him that if Jesus was HIS Lord and Savior then he simply needed to talk about what was in His heart and how he had come to know Christ. He smiled and began to speak in French Creol of how Jesus was in his life.
My friends, God had called us to that place, at that time to do much more than bandage wounds and dispense medicine. He brought us there to bring the best medicine of all… JESUS.
Our team was also privileged to play a part in ministering and evangelizing to the local children in the area through music and skits
but mostly it was by simply spending time with them, doing crafts, playing games and showing them the love of Christ.
On one of the ten days in Haiti, we visited families in the back roads of Montrouis, which was where I met a young man that would change my life.
A group of us were driven through the city’s crowded, bustling main street, where we passed open air markets filled with all of life’s necessities, including raw meat hanging in booths lining the streets.
Bearing gifts of rice and beans for a local family, we made our way up a dirt, gravel road full of potholes.
When we arrived at one modest home and after we exchanged smiles, greetings and small talk in French Creole, our leader, Chris Surber, asked the father to call his son out into the courtyard.
About eight of us stood watching as a young boy, possibly ten or so, came out from a doorway. (I do not have any pictures of him or his family as it was impolite and offensive to take any.)
It was difficult to know how old the young man was for sure, due to his malnourished condition, but what was most obvious was his determination. His paralyzed legs were twisted underneath him as he pulled his body through the gravel and dust with his knuckles. He looked around at all of us and barely grinned.
I am a nurse and have cared for sick children before and have seen pictures of starving children in third world countries on television. I’ve seen pictures, but THIS image, THIS boy crumpled at my feet, broke me and stilled the world around me.
Then, without notice, Chris Surber turned to me and asked me to pray for the young man. I was speechless and that says a lot. I’m never at a loss of words, but none made any sense. None were good enough. What could I say?
Echos of scripture crowded my brain. Visions of Christ and the apostles healing cripples, just like this boy, flashed before my eyes and Jesus saying “Take up your mat and walk”, whispered in my ear.
What could I say? What did God expect? What did He want me to do? How much faith did I have? Would any words I said make any difference in this poor boys life? What did everyone standing around me expect me to say and do?
Then I felt it. I felt God drawing me, pulling me as I walked slowly to the boy and lay my hand upon his head. He stared up at me with the biggest brown eyes I had ever seen. It was then that I saw him. I was looking into the eyes of JESUS.
JESUS had brought me nearly 1,000 miles from home, through the back streets of Haiti, to the poorest of the poor to meet HIM face to face.
In that moment, the walls of the Church back home disappeared. Jesus didn’t live in a building. We can’t confine Him to a box. All the possessions that I had worked so hard for all my life, meant nothing.
Having the ability to eat what I wanted, when I wanted, wherever I wanted, seemed sinful.
I thought I was coming to Haiti, to these people because they needed MY help. I thought I was somehow, someway going to help save them when, in fact, I needed to be saved.
Jesus showed me that the most important thing in the world was His people; His children. Caring about what we have, where we live, how much we have in the bank, what we wear or drive doesn’t matter. People matter.
I understood. I finally got it and after my brain was able to get a message to my mouth, I smiled. I stroked the young boy’s head gently and asked God to bless him and his family and then I cried. I felt I should have said more, done more, but God said it was just enough.
I don’t speak French Creole, but somehow I think he knew what I said. Love; the love of God, had run through my fingers as I touched him and that’s what he understood. That was enough.
I don’t remember if he smiled back but I felt Jesus smiling at me through his eyes.
I had seen my Lord in the eyes of a child in Montrouis, Haiti. God had taken me out my comfort zone, across land and an ocean, up a rocky pitted road to where He lived in the heart of a child and it changed me forever.
Things don’t have a hold on me like they used to. Things don’t matter. People hold my heart and that’s why I’m here. I’m believing and planting seeds outside the box I have lived in for so long and with God’s help, I’m changing the world.
I hope and pray that sharing my journey to Haiti has touched your heart and moved you to serve others because it is there that you will see the eyes of JESUS for yourself.
Blessings my friends, VICTORIA
Pastor Chris Surber and his wife Christina are the founders of the SUPPLY AND MULTIPLY MINISTRY in MONTROUIS, HAITI where they share the Gospel and Compassion of Jesus Christ. They do this by equipping and empowering indigenous Christians, partnering with local churches, caring for the vulnerable elderly, educating future generations, Bible Clubs, increasing food stability, and staying always awake to other ways as God leads them.
You can learn more about this ministry at Supplyandmultiply,com.