TO MY PARTNERS in MINISTRY
to the PEOPLE of HAITI
June 10, 2005
Have you ever had a Bible passage jump out at you, when you going through a particular experience? Was it one of those passages that you never really noticed before and now it seems to be just what you needed to hear? Recently that happened to me during my morning devotions. I was reading Hebrews 13, when I came upon verse 7. It reads: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you: consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” WOW! What an awesome reminder from my Lord! God had used Pastor Israel for just such a purpose in my life! I could not have asked for a better spiritual mentor! I thank God for having blessed my life with the friendship of Pastor Israel and the witnessing of his incredible faith. Oh! To be an imitator of such a faith OR even a tidbit of that kind of faith!
Only a few days ago, I had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Leonie Izidor about the days leading up to her husband’s death. It is so plain to see what a gift God had given in the events of the week preceding Pastor Israel’s death. Most of the events were a direct gift to Leonie. Leonie and I talked about the day before Pastor Israel became sick. In a most uncharacteristic fashion, Pastor Israel took the WHOLE day off to take the 24 orphans, their caregivers, the housekeepers, the laundry workers, the cooks and family members to the beach. It would be a fun-filled day with the ladies cooking up a storm of chicken and rice and beans. The children played games on the beach and eventually got the chance to go for a swim. When the children were all finished swimming, many of the adults headed for the water, Pastor and Leonie included. They spent time together laughing and talking, enjoying each other and their friends. Soon after coming out of the water, the food was ready to eat. Each of us had generous portions of food and ice cold beverages. At some point, Pastor Israel approached Leonie and asked if we could feed the many onlookers, as it was obvious that they were poor and probably did not have any food to eat. Leonie squirmed a little with her answer to Pastor. She said she really did not think she had enough leftover food for everyone that was standing nearby. Pastor encouraged her to feed them anyway. Much to Leonie’s amazement, everyone got something to eat and some even had second and third helpings and others were able to bring leftover food to their home. In her conversation with me, Leonie told me how that day so reminded her of the Bible story where Jesus feed the multitudes with five loaves and two fishes. She said, “God performed a miracle for us! There was not enough food to feed everyone, but he multiplied the food for us!” Miracles occur every day! It seems in Haiti, though, that they are much more obvious! On this particular day, God put a stamp of blessing on Pastor Israel’s devotion to the work of our Lord and his compassion for the poor people of his country! Leonie commented to me that “it was a day that I will never forget!” We continued to talk. This time, Leonie talked to me about the morning of the day Pastor Israel became sick. She and Pastor Israel had gone out to the property that they owned near the ocean. They sat and talked about their dreams for the future. They talked about the home that they wanted to build on the property for their last years together. Pastor Israel said to her, “We will start the house the same way we started everything. We will start it by faith.” He knew that he had no money to build, but that never discouraged him in the past and it certainly was not going to discourage him now. They talked about the many rooms that they wanted in the house – rooms for their children and their families. It occurred to me then that, on this very day, God was preparing a room in His mansion for Pastor Israel, knowing that he would die the very next day. Leonie commented that she too had thought of that! Ahhh! What a wonderful God we have!
I continued to be in awe of our marvelous God when I returned to Michigan for a brief visit with my “soon to be parents” daughter and son-in-law. I was there to witness the first ultrasound of my grandbaby – the little chin, the moving mouth, the foot with five toes, and a little hand holding up two fingers to form the peace symbol. How precious! How miraculous! And, by the way … I’m having a grandson! Isn’t God good????
The time to return to Haiti came both too fast and too slow. My heart is now in two places!
Only a few short weeks ago, I learned of a man who may be willing to fund the construction materials for our orphanage, in fact, for two orphanages! If an orphanage building in Torbeck is completed, we will move the girls from the school rooms and the boys from their temporary housing to a 2-in-1 home for both the boys and the girls. Leon and I have dreamed of opening a small orphanage on Isle-a-Vache, and now too, this may become a reality. For both homes, we will need to provide the labor and/or volunteers to do the labor. We will need to provide the fencing that surrounds the orphanage property. And we will need to provide the water well! There is no doubt that friends of the ministry for the Children of Israel (Izidor) Orphanage will be there to help us!!! I so wish that I could have run into the Izidor home and brought the glad tidings to Pastor Israel. I had submitted MANY grant requests for the building that we desired in Torbeck. Each time, I had to confront Pastor Israel with the discouraging news that we had been denied the grant money. I was expressing my dismay to a friend, when they commented that Pastor Israel would not have needed to hear that kind of news because he never doubted that any of the work that he did for his Lord would not come to fruition. Indeed! It was I, the doubting Thomas, who needed the re-affirmation that God would provide! I am certainly glad that God is patient with me. He seems to be constantly re-teaching me the same lessons. Maybe one day, I too will work with such a faith!
Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic
Until next time ………….