Impact of a Missionary
Welcome to Angie Shepherd
The moment we have been anticipating for months is upon us. Angie (the physicians assistant from our partner organization Bless Back Worldwide) arrived at MOHI in Haiti this past Wednesday. She immediately set to work, organizing the clinic area and drug depot. She is a team player and joy to be with. I am confident the Lord has lots of good things in store for lots of people here in Haiti, because he brought Angie to us!
Welcome to the Widbins
We were blessed to host Bruce and Vickee Widbin this week. Vickee had visited us a couple of years ago with her son and grandson, and has been eager to come back with her husband.
Bruce helped to welcome Angie to Haiti by painting her new home for her. Thanks Bruce!
Bruce conducted a small business development seminar for about 20 people. It was a productive time with plenty of interaction and laughter. Each day when Bruce announced break time the attendees would scatter to go pick up mangoes that had fallen during the seminar.
Vickee is an RN and spent a good amount of time in the clinic. She saw some patients and helped out incredibly with inventory and organizing.
Bruce comes from an amazing heritage, as the son of missionaries to West Papua New Guinea, where he lived until high school. I was so encouraged and really honored to hear testimony of his parents work and to see pictures from Bruce and Vickee's recent return to the area.
Perhaps you read these posts to learn about what we're doing in Haiti. Please bear with me. I'd really like to share a little of Bruce's story with you...
When their little plane came near to arriving at the grass runway, they saw huge crowds of the indigenous people gathered nearby awaiting their arrival. The pilot said he had never seen such a scene in all his times flying in there. When they got out of the plane, they discovered they had all come to see the "Pidbin Boys" - Widbin with an Indonesian accent, I suppose. They came to honor Bruce's dad for what he had done for them. They said, "We were in utter darkness until your father brought the Light to us. We've never been the same since."
When Bruce's parents first arrived, there were no Christian churches in the area. Today there are over six hundred of them! Was life easy for them. Absolutely not. We saw pictures of the homes that they lived in on the field. The first one looked like a shiny tin can, except that it was square. It appeared to be one room, maybe 150 sq. feet in area.
Vickee shared about how strange it was to shake hands with all these older people with nubs. As babies, their parents cut off the last 2 or 3 of their fingers at the first knuckle, throwing them into the fire of bodies to appease the spirits. I cried as I looked at a picture they took on their recent trip. It look very much like our MOHI home page picture, a large group of children with their hands raised. All these hands had all their fingers - no nubs. The Light shone in that dark place.
Bruce and Vickee shared about many other incidences and showed us pictures of people who were there when Bruce was little and were there to say thank you when he returned. It was very humbling to Bruce to see the gratitude of the people and receive it on behalf of his father.
A fun side note which, as silly as I feel about it, thrilled me to no end. When Bruce and Vickee first arrived at the missionary compound here in Haiti, Vickee mentioned at dinner that Bruce grew up as a missionary kid in West Papua. Now, the only person I had ever heard of being a missionary there was one of my favorite authors, Ted Dekker. So, I blurted out, "Really? Do you know Ted Dekker???" He looked a little stunned or embarrassed and finally mumbled, "Yeah. I do. We went to school together." Can you imagine??? I was floored.
One of the more recent Ted Dekker books I had read, "Outlaw" is set in this very place. The only reason I knew Ted Dekker was a missionary kid from there was because I read the little blip at the end of the book about his life there. And at that time I actually started telling others about it and said, "It's no wonder I like Ted Dekker books. (With the exception of "House," that is!) He thinks differently than your average American Christian fiction writer because he grew up on the mission field." Small world.
Someone Snuck In
Arriving on Saturday and leaving on Sunday may seem like a waste of time, but it was just what the doctor ordered... or the nurse, as the case may be. What a thrill to have Leah back with us for a few days. So many excited people, not the least of which was me! We had some major catching up to do, and perhaps a little wedding planning, as well. (We're soooo excited for her and Csaba!)
The Light of Hope at Soulfest
We are very excited to share with you that the band we started at MOHI in Haiti back in 2002 is getting back together to play at Soulfest this summer. Many of the band members married and moved away over the years. Five original members, our daughter Alexis (who was at EVERY rehearsal, but too young to participate) and Jackie (original member's wife) will carry the torch and shine the Light of the glorious Gospel through song.
If you are already a Soulfest die-hard, please be sure to stop by and see us at the Justice Center stage on Friday. If you've never been to Soulfest, maybe you should give it a try!!!
Enjoy some more images from MOHI in Haiti...