On our last mission trip to Haiti, March 30, 2013, my husband, two GUHM directors, and I climbed a mountain our Haitian guides called "Sky Mountain." At 5 a.m. we were excitedly waiting at the mission house for Pastor Damil to pick us up to take us to the foot of the mountain. We packed the supplies we thought were needed: two bottles of water for each of us, Germ-X, bug repellent, and disposable wipes (in case nature called while we were on the mountain). All of us were eager to begin our trek up the mountain and, because none of us are really breakfast eaters, we skipped breakfast and jumped into Pastor Damil's truck. During the whole 15 minute drive from the mission house to the school, where the foot of the mountain begins, we all stared, overwhelmed, at this towering mountain we were going to climb. My adrenaline began kicking in, and I was ready to conquer this mountain! I suppose I should also explain our whole reasoning for climbing the mountain: At the top of Sky Mountain, there is a natural spring, that never dries up. This is the source of freshwater GUHM wants to tap into in order to bring water down to Pastor Damil's church and school in Grand Gode, Haiti. Haitians make this walk before the sunrises each morning and several more times during the day, down the mountain to get water. We wanted to put our eyes on the spring and physically experience the walk ourselves. By the end of this climb, we spiritually experienced it.
Pastor Damil pulled up to his church, we all enthusiastically hopped out, all eyes still gazing up at this mountain. Pastor Damil prayed over our safe return from the mountain. We had four Haitian guides, one specifically stands out, Emmanuel. We climbed this mountain for 4 hours before reaching the top. At times, we were on all fours just to get up to the next level. All the while I kept thinking, Haitians have to go through this EVERYDAY just to get water and food. And they carry baskets on their head while doing it! About 3/4 of the way up the mountain, we saw two boys sitting on the edge of a cliff staring down at us. They wore only a shirt. We heard their father in a distance tilling the rocky dirt with a machete to plant corn. The father was elated to see us. No missionary had ever gone up the mountain. We asked where they lived, and he directed us to his house. It was a cave! A family of four lived in a cave! God broke our hearts right then. We all were barely able to breathe or talk, because doing so would release a stream of tears. The cave was the size of a small bathroom. Inside was a straw mat made of leaves for them to sleep on. Their clothes were folded neatly inside are large metal bowl the family used for washing clothes. When we looked at the father's shoeless feet, they were swollen and resembled cracked leather. It hurt us to see children of God having to live this way. The family could only rely on God. They couldn't go to a neighbor , a government office, or even a relative for food, money, and other physical needs because they are all in the same conditions. They literally depend on Jesus for everything! The family didn't start telling us about their needs, or start asking for us to give them things. They didn't start telling us about their hangups. They didn't start making excuses or offer an explanation. No, they patted us on our backs, smiled, lifted their eyes and hands, and said, "God is good!" It is extremely humbling, when someone who has NOTHING is comforting US, who has everything.
Do you know that families living in the mountain are viewed amongst other Haitians as the lowest class? With that in mind, the family still walks down the mountain for 4 hours wearing their one good pair of clothes EVERY Sunday! Despite the mindset people may have about them, they are committed to God. I ask you: Where does your commitment rest? In America God gives us an abundance of opportunity and blessings. Yet we half-heartedly commit to Him and allow our circumstances to be the thermostat to our praise and faith in God. After meeting this family, we have committed ourselves to fulfilling God's purpose for this mission. God wants us in full partnership with our brothers and sisters in Haiti. We asked God to break our hearts for what breaks his and our hearts got broken.
In Latin "Lucien' means "light or illumination" and the suffix "-ary" means "the holder of".