Mwen Bay Pou Ou Bay
A walk through the village of Peredo to the Rock Beach (not the real name of the beach, but the nickname it has earned), produces a symphony of chatter among the team as well as those along the road side. Both broken Creole spoken by the team and broken English spoken by the village, joins the ambiance of the location. To me, this is a joyful noise! The opportunity to greet and visit with those who have become very special to me brings joy to my heart. The opportunity to introduce them to new friends and reconnect them with old ones is always a blessing to my soul.
After the two-mile walk to the beach, a swim in the ocean and a quiet moment to listen to the heartbeat of the earth as the waves roll in and out, we make our way back to campus. It was on the return walk, as I exchanged Creole lessons for English lessons with Benito, that I was reminded of how compassion and love changes lives. I had pointed at a hibiscus flower standing so proudly in the harsh Haitian sun by the stem that connected it to branch of the tree. We had been engaged in a lesson regarding colors and as Benito taught me to say, red flower, in Creole, he picked the flower and handed it to me. Once we caught up to one of the ladies on the team, he took the flower from my hand and gave it to our team member to place in her hair. Following this action, he looked at me and said, “Mwen bay pou ou bay” or “I give so you can give. “
This simple phrase, spoken by a thirteen-year old Haitian boy living in extreme poverty, stopped me in my tracks. While yes, it was a single flower he offered, I am not certain he completely understood the wisdom this phrase and his actions held. My mind started to race, scriptures started to connect dots, a web of revelation wrapped itself around my mind for several days.
Later that week, as I stood atop the second story of the surgery center, watching the solar installation and the school children line up for updated profile pictures, I again was stopped in my tracks by these words, mwen bay pou ou bay. And my next thought was, ultimately, isn’t that what God did for us? He gave us life abundant and everlasting, specifically to give Him abundant and everlasting praise by sharing the gift with others. The Bible tells again and again of the gifts God gives His children simply to show them He is God and to see their delight in Him! Over and over He tells us not to hide these gifts, but to share with others so that He may be abundantly glorified. The most precious and sacrificial of God’s giving was the gift of His Son, Christ Jesus. As John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Through the giving of Christ on the cross, His burial and resurrection, God has given us an eternal life with Him. Because He gave, we give. We give the gift of Jesus spread by voice and by action. The form of this praise is fluid in that it may look like singing, dancing, crying out, giving of time, talents and gifts! Whatever the form may be, God asks that we give it to others as He first gave to us and in this, He is praised and glorified!
From the rooftop of the surgery center, everything I saw on the campus made that connection. The church, someone gave to the church and now the church can give back to the community through evangelism and baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The school, someone gave to the school in Peredo, that now educates over 100 children. The Peredo School is educating children who we have seen give back to their families and communities. Someone gave to the Peredo Campus and because of that, the campus is able to give teams a place to stay and share life among our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Someone gave to the hospital and now the hospital is able to give life saving health care to the surrounding area of 500,000 people. Someone gave to RoRo and Eline and now they are celebrating 36 years of giving to Haiti something that will last.
Mwen bay pou ou bay, I give so you can give. Just as the widows two coins were seen by most as insignificant, Jesus pointed out how her gift was the greatest given. This gift from Benito to my soul did more than he can imagine. As he gave this gift of wisdom to me for the Holy Spirit to use, I give it to you, wrapped in a prayer Paul wrote to the Ephesians, found in Ephesians 3: 14-20, “For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! AMEN!”
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Parter with HCO to support the work in Haiti: