TO MY PARTNERS in MINISTRY
to the PEOPLE of HAITI
April 7, 2005
It never ceases to amaze me how close God seems to be in Haiti. On a normal day, I will head into town on my motorcycle to go to the cyber café or market. It is usually a short and uneventful journey. On one particular day, however, Leon had the day off from school and volunteered to drive me into town. We reached the end of the street on which the church is located and the cycle came to a complete stop. Nothing we tried would make it start again. Right at the same corner was a “motorcycle repair shop”. I had never noticed it there before, but on this day, it was right where our need was. The guys made some adjustments and off we went again only to have the cycle quit one more time. This time they wanted to try a new spark plug. Leon climbed aboard a taxi (cycle) and went into town for search of the correct spark plug. I was offered a stool by the repair shop, where I could sit in the shade and watch the world go by. Soon Leon returned with a spark plug and we were once again on our way. I commented to Leon that God had him take me to town today for a special reason. I would not be stranded alone on the side of the road with a disabled vehicle. God had provided once again!
Since the death of Pastor Israel, many of you have written emails or called to see how I am doing. I have not had a really good cry since his death, I am not sure why. The time that his absence bothers me the most is when I pass by City Med on my motorcycle. That is the hospital where Pastor Israel died. I instantly get a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I recall too vividly the repeated trips that we took on my motorcycle during the 30 hours that he was there. There are memories of those hours that I will not quickly forget.
I am given much hope for the future however. The Izidor family has sprung into action to keep the ministry visions of Pastor Israel alive. It gives me renewed strength. It reminds me that God is in control and HIS work will continue! It reaffirms for me that, for now, Haiti is where He wants me to be.
The children continue to bring joy and laughter to my life. I was once again assembling a dresser unit, but this time at the boys’ orphanage. Little 2 ½ year old Sonson had not awakened early enough to go to school. So on this day, he would be “my boss.” He is known for his love of singing, both in Creole and Spanish. This day was no exception, he sang while I worked. When he would hear the noise of the cordless screwdriver putting the screws in place, he would put out a unique little squeal. By the end of our work session, he had comprised a song that included the words “Mommy Nora”. He is so cute with his pudgy little cheeks, his usually runny nose and his infectious giggle. You just can’t help but love him! He has come along way since we first brought him to the orphanage in January as a crying, frightened little boy. He is indeed one of God’s precious little children!
I have been witness to many precious adults too, during our time of mourning. Probably the person who touched me most was the mother of Francesca and Kendy. She is the widow of the lay pastor that died on Christmas Eve from starvation. It was she who was one of the first people to arrive at the house to cook, to clean, to iron, to care for the children and to do whatever was needed, so that the family did not have to concern themselves with any of these things. She came out of gratitude. She came out of love. And she came with a smile. I truly believe her mere presence gave strength to Leonie by letting her know that life can be good again after the death of a spouse.
About a week after Pastor Israel died, I became sick with a parasite that had me only a few steps away from the bathroom for about three days. During this time, I had my first visit to the doctor’s office. The bill was $60 Haitian and my CBC and other lab work was $40 Haitian. This is equal to about $15 US. The lab results came back in one hour. I needed an injection. Leon was sent to the pharmacy. He returned to the doctor’s office with two vials, two needles and two syringes. I was given one injection and sent home with the other in the event that my condition did not improve. I was asked if there was someone at home that could start an IV for me, as I was dehydrated and needed fluids. If not, I would need to be admitted to the hospital for the IV fluids. I convinced the doctor that I would drink LOTS of liquids and would go to the hospital the next day if necessary. I was determined that it would NOT be necessary! I left the doctor’s office with 3 prescriptions to be filled. One prescription was for one pill. It came to me neatly wrapped in multi-folded piece of paper. Well….today I am better and my medical fees were definitely within my budget. Healthcare! Interesting in ANY country!
I am indeed grateful to my Lord and Savior that my path crossed with Pastor Israel. He was not only my friend, but more importantly he was my spiritual mentor. He taught me so much about trusting God and working by faith! There is a BIG hole in my life now, a hole that only God can fill. But I would never have wanted to miss the opportunity to witness the life of Pastor Israel. For that I will be eternally grateful to my Lord!
In Memory of Pastor Israel Izidor (May 22,1950-March 20,2005)
Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic
Until next time ………….