Tuesday, March 30, 2010

opportunity


it is said that the Lord works in mysterious ways.

we (my dad, our friend steve, and i) were in haiti for six days. we spent our first night in carrefour fueilles and then moved out to the land in gressier.
on our second day working in gressier, pastor josue called me from the city to say he had picked up a "missionary" and was bringing him out to gressier. this guy wanted to help us out and was looking for a place to stay.
communication has never been haiti's strong point.

so i informed the others that along with our water, some more plywood and some door hinges, joshua would be coming to help us.

it did not take long for it to become apparent to us all that joshua was not a Christian missionary. he may have been on a mission, but he was surely not working for Christ.

joshua showed up wearing a pair of cammo shorts, a newsie cap and a blue button-up shirt which was only buttoned in one place. he wore hiking boots, wool socks, a number of tattoos and necklaces and the tell-tales slashes of a cutter.

his most recent cut, we later learned, was inflicted on Christmas eve.

introduced, joshua started out working as soon as we picked our tools back up. with knowledge in construction, he was a great asset to our team and our work. he had an extremely positive attitude and only took about 2 smoke breaks an hour. being english, he spoke with an accent that caused my already taxed brain to strain to understand him. i was already translating for everyone on the property and felt like i would need to translate his english for my dad and steve too. clearly, i was a bit sleep deprived.

quickly his story started to form:
recently split up from his girlfriend (nearly two decades older), he went "home" for Christmas and was interned by his family into an institution. diagnosed as "manic", he was prescribed some medication. not wanting to take said drugs, joshua bailed. he worked a bit to pay off his debt and upon hearing about the earthquake, escaped to haiti. he figured people there could use help and he could forget about things for awhile.
when we met him he was going on seven weeks in haiti and had been kicked off the UN base where he had been staying for the past three.
he remembered meeting don (our friend from hollister) at the airport one day and called josue to see if he could come work with us for awhile.

all this he shared with us freely which is why i do not feel i should keep it from you.

joshua worked hard each day. he was not mean spirited and not condescending. he worked well with our team and with the haitians.


but at night he had us to deal with.

as soon as he had arrived my dad explained that we were Christians and in haiti to serve the Lord by serving our brothers.
my dad told him that we would be having a bible study that night and that he was more than welcome (read: strongly encouraged) to join us. kindly, lovingly, straightforwardly, my dad laid out the gospel of Jesus Christ.
joshua, admitting to be confused and seeking, listened and asked many questions.
we all had answers.

because to us, Jesus is everything.

joshua had ideas of who he wants to believe God is.
don't we all?
we said, however, that while we might want to believe any number of things about God, there is absolute truth and we cannot change that.
God is Who He says He is in the bible.
in the same way, you can believe whatever you want about me, but if it isn't true, it simply isn't true.

we talked about heaven and hell.
we discussed re-incarnation.
good vs. evil.
how can a good God allow this to happen?

those were some great talks.
some really sweet times.
he heard what we had to say. he was questioning, seeking, lost.
we talked every day. he was receptive. never did he ask us to stop "pushing" our beliefs because it was clear to him that we truly love Jesus. and when you love someone you cannot help but talk about them.
all the time.

on saturday night we told him we would be going to church the next morning and that he was welcome to join us. steve preached from james, ephesians, psalms, and romans. josue translated. the congregation worshipped. joshua cried.
at the end of the service my dad surreptitiously presented joshua with a bible.
he was grateful.

joshua was informed that he could not stay at mama's house after we left. he met up with another friend on sunday afternoon. we parted ways but he asked that we call him when the next team arrives. he wants to help.

i know i have asked you to pray for the people of haiti. now i am asking you to pray for joshua. he is so lost, so hurt. he has had a long, painful past. he wants truth. he wants security. pray that he finds Jesus.

6 comments:

Kathy Eden said...

Praying!!!

Lena Wright said...

praying too. thanks for sharing...

Kellie Davenport said...

ill be praying!

Shanley said...

thank you for this. i am too.

Kel said...

Again,
I don't know you... But i found myself so inspired by this post.
Bless you and Bless him for seeking.
I will pray for him.

Totally inspired!

Kel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.