When: Sunday July 2, 2016
Where:Somewhere in the middle of the mountains between Cap-Haitian and Gonaives, Haiti
Kreyol Word of the Day: Frape- "to hit"
Bible Verses: Exodus 14:14-The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Matthew 9:13- Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Pierre is maneuvering bumps, potholes, and hairpin curves all the way down this mountain. As we are driving, a tap-tap (taxi motorcycle) with three passengers on it, pass us yelling something in Creole. Pierre translates and says that they are yelling that we hit them. We are bouncing around in the big F350. When people saw us bouncing a vehicle the size of a bus down the mountain they moved out of our way, and none of us could recall hitting a motorcycle.
The motorcycle passes us and we continue bouncing down the road to the bottom of the mountain. As soon as we reach smooth pavement, a Haitian police car stops us and asks us if we hit a motorcycle. In the background, I see the tap-tap passengers pointing angrily at us. Pierre begins to explain it was a bumpy ride. This is where I learned the Kreyol Word of the Day because all I heard from Pierre, the police officer, and the driver of the tap-tap was frape...frape...frape.
I immediately began taking some offense. I knew the trio of tap-tap passengers where lying. Now, this is where I would roll my window down, furrow my brow, cross my arms, and call them all liars. But, I was in Haiti, can say a handful of words in Kreyol (Liars happens to not be one of the words I know in Kreyol), and I don’t want to disrespect my husband or the policeman with the military assault rifle on his left hip and a machete on his right hip. (He didn’t really have a machete on his hip, but I know one had to be close by.)
At this point, wouldn’t you panic? I’m powerless, vulnerable, and have our two youngest kids with us asking if daddy is about to go to jail. Usually, when I have no control I can always trust that Pierre has the control. This time He didn’t even have control! Just as Pierre finished saying, “Frape”. The police officer cut him off and told him to follow him to the police station.
Now, this is why I feel it’s important to be filled with the Holy Spirit and read the bible. After seeing the amazement of The Citidelle, I really wanted to read Exodus. Usually New Testament reading puts me to sleep. But, something about seeing the Citadelle brought Exodus to life for me. As soon as I read Exodus 14:14, I knew that was the verse God was leading me to. So, as we are driving to the police station I realized God wasn’t making me powerless, he was making me silent.
So, I was led to pray. I thanked God for letting me know He was going to win this fight for us. After my prayer I had peace. Before getting out of the truck, Pierre turned to me and the kids and instructed us to stay in the truck and be silent. Yep, silent.
My husband and the tap-tap passengers followed the police officer into the station. They all sat down at a desk. From inside the truck, the kids and I watched facial expressions and hand gestures to try to figure out who the police officer was going to believe. After about an hour, my husband walked to the truck.
He leaned in towards my open window and said, “They are going to do an inspection.”
He turned, jumped in the bed a police truck, and left riding down the street. I was alone in a far off city in Haiti, with the two youngest kids who have made an art out of pushing each other’s buttons. The sun was going down AND it was beginning to thunder and lightning. I couldn’t ask questions to find out what was going on, I could only be silent and patient.
God made me very vulnerable. I used to understand vulnerability as a negative. Nowadays, I know it’s a chance for God to show me his love. After all, when you love someone you are telling them you are willing to be completely vulnerable with them. A long stretch of time passed, as did the storm. During my time of patience and silence the Holy Spirit once again connected me with my husband who had rode with the police officers 40 minutes back up the mountain.
As I was silent the Holy Spirit told me to pray for my husband. At different intervals of time I prayed for Pierre’s protection, for God to use man’s law in Pierre’s favor, for the truth to speak, and for Pierre to lead the 3 men to accept Christ as their Savior.
Five hours later, Pierre got back in the truck, turned to me and asked, “Are you okay?”
I replied, “Yeah, the Holy Spirit kept me up-to-date.”
We spent the remaining 2 hours drive to Montrouis talking about how God fought for us:
~ When the Holy Spirit had me pray for protection- Pierre told me when he got to the top of the mountain a crowd of 50 people were waiting to see the driver of the truck. The Haitian police officers told Pierre to stay in the middle of them because of the crowd.
~When I prayed for Pierre’s favor with man’s law- Pierre told me he ended up sitting in front of the community’s judge. Pierre told him that the motorcyclist shouldn’t have even been driving because he didn’t have the appropriate paperwork or insurance to be on the road. The judge was impressed with Pierre’s knowledge of Haitian law. Pierre told the judge he respects the law and handed the judge his paperwork and insurance for the truck. The judge told the motorcyclist he should be put in jail for his lack of paperwork.
~When I prayed for the truth to speak-When the motorcyclist heard the word “jail” the truth came out. The motorcyclist saw the truck and thought it must be a rich person driving the truck (Pierre and I thought that was funny). He and his buddies came up with the plan to tell the police we hit the motorcycle and messed up one of the rider’s arms so we would have to pay him the equivalent of $1,500 US dollars! God turned on the lights and revealed the hearts of the motorcyclist and his friends.
~Finally, When I prayed for salvation- Towards the end of this adventure, the kids got a little antsy and began pushing each other’s buttons. Word got to the judge that we were sitting in the truck the whole time. The judge got upset with the motorcyclist for taking Pierre away from his family just to get money and dropped the whole case. Now, Pierre could’ve yelled, “In your face! That’s what you get! Loser!” and of those would be appropriate in my mind. But, Pierre began talking to them and in the end blessed them with money to buy gas to get back up to the top of the mountain where they lived. You could tell the motorcyclists wanted to be mad, but because of Pierre’s show of mercy the motorcyclist could only feel confused.
This adventure helped me strengthen my vulnerability toward God and the bond He has in our marriage.Pierre kept saying, “I felt so bad because I couldn’t tell you what was going on.”
I told him, “No worries, all I had to do was listen and the Holy Spirit kept me informed.”
I can’t express how important it is to have faith in God, read your bible, and put action to what the word says. It’s powerful. The next time you are in a situation where you feel powerless and vulnerable. Perhaps God is actually making you silent and weak so you can find your strength in Him and He can fight for you. If you are a Christian, you already know you will have the victory. Once your victory is claimed--show mercy instead of an attitude of I'm right and you're wrong. Pierre may not have led the tap-tap schemers to Christ, but I know they will come to know Christ as their Savior because Pierre and I were just like them at some point—sinners. If Jesus saved us, Jesus will save them.
It’s funny because when I started talking to him about going to church the motorcyclist became more calm.
It was God’s perfect timing because we found out that God protected us from driving in a storm. Because of the storm we saw the remnants of a bad accident where the face of a dump truck was ripped off by another dump truck and people were killed. We also found out that in Montrouis a huge Mango tree fell down in the middle of one of the main roads in Montrouis. It pulled down an electrical line and blocked our main route to get back to my dad’s house in Montrouis.
The whole day you could see that God was in control. All the places you go it shows you that God goes before you. Not matter what, the Devil is going to try to make you stressed out, nervous, and make you think you are powerless. It’s the opposite, but you have to have faith and a relationship with God. The more you go out and do God’s work the more miracles you see and the stronger your relationship gets with our Father.
In Latin "Lucien' means "light or illumination" and the suffix "-ary" means "the holder of".