a rickety path
by Kayla Raymond
I’ve once again been having an internal battle, but through the chaos of my day the battle has been resolved.
I’ve recently been feeling so puny, as if the work I’m doing here isn’t amounting to much. There are missions here in Haiti with such large numbers and statistics their impact is immeasurable. In this big world, in a country of mass poverty, in a small village with hurting, starving, and ill people am I even capable of making a difference? You may think I’m just searching for compliments here, but these are honest feelings.
I’m nowhere close to being equipped to do this. My degree in graphic design doesn’t help me when it comes to hungry babies. That’s my battle, my exact thought processes on most days. Usually laughing at myself, wondering how I’ve pulled off “being a missionary” for even this long.
In fact, today, a very proud and new father came to visit us at ViBella to announce the birth of his firstborn, a healthy baby girl. He’s a teacher at the school and such a great man; I was so excited for him and to hear about the arrival of a much-anticipated baby. But, after a few minutes, my mind went wondering and I began to think of what it will look like if I try to have a baby someday? I obviously wouldn’t want to have it in Haiti, not after seeing the conditions of these maternity wards. But, am I capable of leaving my two sons that I already have for more than two weeks? My heart ached from missing them only after two weeks over Christmas. Seriously, tears welled in my eyes as this crazy thought process swirled in my head. I’m half-embarassed just admitting that I think about these things, let alone almost cry over them.
I guess it is just a realization that I will never have a “normal life” again, and an over whelming feeling of “I’m too far in now.”
But…my day continued and after work I needed to go and visit grandma Antoinette and her granddaughter, Wilineda. Wilineda has a very strange lump in her inner thigh and today I sent her to have tests done at a clinic. Grandma didn’t have enough money to buy the necessary medication, so I popped by to make sure she had enough.
The path to grandma and Wilineda’s house is through the “garden” of Simonette. I’ve been led down the path plenty of times, but today was the first time I ventured alone. The path is narrow and a small stream interrupts the path, so a small leap is necessary. You have to walk over the roots of an amazing, ancient tree and climb through a narrow gate to enter their house. If you’re a first timer walking on the path, you may feel like you’re in some tropical rainforest or jungle, but the pig who greets you on the side will remind you that you haven’t left Haiti.
I find grandma sweeping her yard and Wilineda finishing a plate of hot rice. I’m greeted with kisses and ask for her to come see me tomorrow to let me know if she finds all the appropriate medication. I leave the house with Wilineda yelling “hey,” stopping me in my tracks, to turn around and find her waving me on my way. She’s such a sweet little friends.
As I skipped across the stream, I say a prayer to the Lord for Him to heal her leg. And then, I hear a whisper back, “Thank you for being my hands today, child.”
And that was all I needed. The competition. The internal battle. The feeling puny feelings are washed away because although no one was on the path with me today, Jesus was.
I don’t write this story asking for credit or a pat on the back, in fact, I loved that I experienced this moment all by myself today. I share because it’s a reminder that no matter how small of an act of kindness we do or how big of a change we make, we are all but small servants serving an all-knowing and an all-loving and a never-changing and an ever-present God. No matter what rickety path we are walking, whether it be through the “garden” of Simonette or the sidewalk of Manhatten, He is there with us. Today. Tomorrow. And forever. That’s what He promises, when we are following Him.
May you hear His whispers and feel His presence, wherever you may be.
Love from Haiti.