Reunited

It’s official. I need therapy.

As I was working at my computer the other day, I could not escape the sound of a crying chick. The thing is, crying chicks are nothing out of the ordinary here. After all, it’s common knowledge in the Borel chicken community that if you show up at Madame Tim’s house, you will get fed. New moms show up with their brood on a pretty regular basis.

The thing is, this little chick showed up (seemingly) out of nowhere. It wasn’t with a mama or siblings, nor had I seen any new mamas with babies about the same size. And it wasn’t sickly, so it hadn’t been abandoned by its family. There’s normal chicken behavior and patterns and this little guy/gal wasn’t following the norm.

The crying was incessant; I couldn’t concentrate on my work because of it. This little chick was too young to be on its own! I even went for a walk around the compound to confirm what I already suspected to be true… the family wasn’t here. But where was it?

And then I remembered that a few days earlier, I’d seen a new hen show up for food. I had chastised her for coming because I could hear babies crying on the other side of a wall. What kind of mom leaves her babies for a few grains of rice? (One who is trying to feed her babies; that’s who.)

I hopped up on a concrete partition to peak over the wall, and sure enough, the same mama hen was there, laying in some grass close to the wall. When she saw me, she got up and two little chicks appeared from under her belly. Lo and behold, they were the size of the little one running around outside of our house. Mystery solved.

I followed the chick around the yard trying to catch it, and we circled the house more the once, all to no avail. Anyone watching me would have thought I was nuts. The only thing I succeeded at was making all of the other moms and babies very nervous. After some serious persuasion (and a bit of pleading), Tim came outside to help me. When one of the Haitian boys showed up for water, we enlisted his help. And then Charity stopped by to see what was going on, so we put her to work too.

Finally, little chick got tired enough that I was able to scoop it up. I reached into a hole in the wall where some PVC pipe comes through and deposited baby on the other side. Tim tossed some rice to the ground to draw Mom closer to the cries – it worked like a charm. Mom, baby, and sibs found each other.

The experience was kind of a silly way to spend the morning, but I found that as I went throughout the day, there was little that brought me down because I was just so happy for this chicken family! Crazy, right???? I KNOW.

A short while ago, as I was breaking up pieces of bread for the usual crew, new mom stood atop the wall – able to see babies to her left and me to her right. I tossed a piece of bread her way, and she flew out of sight with it in her beak. Once again, I hopped on top of the concrete partition to peer over the wall; she was dutifully tending to all three chicks.

I have no idea why it was so important for me to see this family reunited or why it brings me so much joy to see them together. They are CHICKENS.

In my attempt to make this story relevant, I’m reminded of Matthew 6:25-27:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

God uses different circumstances and people to help us deal with trials in our life. That day, he used me to help reunite a family of chickens. If He cares that much for them, how much more does He care about you?

Keep the faith, friends. Just as God used me that day, stay obedient to how He wants to use you, even when it seems crazy.

Keep the faith, friends. Just as Mama Hen waited on the other side of the wall because she knew her baby was close, God waits for us. He hears our cries and stays close.

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That’s a Negative

Oh my goodness, I feel like my heart could explode right out of my chest right now.

A few months ago, a dear, sweet Haitian friend asked me to pray for her because she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The diagnosis was a huge shock, and the thought of this beautiful young mother of three having to deal with the disease just tore me up inside. As I prayed aloud with and for her, I prayed for the will of God to be done, but inside, my prayer was “Please, God, not her. Not anyone, but especially not her!”

A few weeks ago, I saw her on the campus and asked about her health. Though the diagnosis weighed heavily on her, she continued to put her faith in God. At that same time, I told her about a cancer center in Port-au-Prince that would treat patients for free. I had only recently learned of the Center’s existence; it was when I was trying to find help for another woman in town who was dying of breast cancer (There is Mercy).

A few minutes ago, I saw this beautiful friend. She told me about all the people who were praying for her; people who prayed from 6am to 6pm. She told me about a dream she had on May 20th where many of her friends came to her house to pray for her. She told me that after that dream, she felt like she could eat again because she sensed a change in her body, a body that has been giving her problems since last year. She told me that she visited the cancer center in Port on May 28; the one that I told her about. She went with her piece of paper from another medical center that said “Cancer – positive.”

The only thing is, after they examined her extensively, she got a new piece of paper; a piece of paper that said “Cancer – NEGATIVE.”

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! I am bursting with joy on behalf of this friend!!!!

I know that there are many of you who do not believe in the healing power of prayer, but this testimony was pretty darn powerful. There are people who will explain it away as a false positive the first time through, but that combined with the physical difficulties she had over the past year make that argument weak. What a coincidence it was that I had only recently learned about a hospital that had specialized care for those who have cancer. It overwhelms me.

With all the poop that is going on in the world, it was so very wonderful to be the recipient of such GOOD news. I told her how very much her testimony encouraged me to keep the faith, especially in difficult times.

I realize that not everyone’s story turns out the same way. We’ve seen a lot of death here, and I lost my mother and my brother to the ugly C. For today, however, my heart is full, full, full of joy and happiness for my friend. I hope that her good news also gives you reason to smile this evening.

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Cure for Blindness

May is an interesting month. We tend to associate it with warm weather, pretty flowers, college graduations, and weddings. But the truth of the matter is, the next few days and weeks carry some painful anniversaries. May is when we lost a lot of special people, including my mom. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. In the midst of everything, we are also dealing with heartache and hurt here – inside and outside of the compound.

It would be easy to let these events and memories bring us down (and trust me, some days they definitely do). But I don’t believe that God wants us to stay in those dark places. If we’re willing to look beyond that which causes us pain, He will give us things to bring us out of the abyss.

Enter Jonathan and Cleevens.

Most days, I love these two guys. OK, every day I love them, but it’s not always lollipops and rainbows with them. Kinda sorta sounds like relationships with everyone everywhere, no?

About two weeks ago, they showed up at our house looking to borrow a plastic tote. I wasn’t too concerned about why they needed it since we didn’t have one available. As it turns out, they wanted something that would hold a bunch of mangos.

Haiti is a wonderful place to be if you are a mango lover, especially in the months of April and May; they literally fall from the trees when the wind blows. The staff is feasting; the folks in town are feasting; even the goats and chickens are feasting on mangos these days.

What Jonathan and Cleevens knew, however, was that folks up in the mountains were not. They don’t generally get this treat because there aren’t a lot of mango trees in the mountains. At least, not where Tim and the guys were headed to later that same day.

Whenever I catch myself starting a pity party, I think of this event. I think of how these two men recognized that there are people in Haiti who live in circumstances more difficult than their own. Visitors here would be shocked at how these men live, but Jonathan and Cleevens know that they have it pretty good, relatively speaking. I think of how they wanted to do something special for those less fortunate as a way of saying, “We remember you.” I picture the faces of the people in the mountain community and what a surprise it must have been for them to find a large box of mangos nestled amid the many bags of sand that were being delivered that day. Though I have no right to feel this way, I’m like a proud mom watching their child do something special for someone else without any prompting.

Yes, God gives us moments to bring us out of the darkness and there is true beauty amid the dust, poverty, pain, and hardship. We just have to be willing to see it.

“I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind, but now I see.”

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