helping strangers

by Kayla Raymond

Death is so final.

This statement has run through my head a million times this past week.

There truly is nothing more final than death in this lifetime. It’s the one thing we cannot undo. Wounds can heal. Relationships can mend. Actions can be forgiven. But, death, it is the one thing that cannot be undone.

Last Sunday, a tragic accident happened on the mountaintop at the school. Webert, my husband, was working busily, trying to get a new water tank installed. It was late afternoon and the peace of Sunday resided on the hilltop. Webert jumped into the truck to go get a missing piece for the water tank and pulled away without seeing the little boy underneath the truck.

Eighteen-month-old Schneider was at the school with his mama because she cleans the schoolrooms every late afternoon. While his mama cleaned, Schneider wandered and played. Last Sunday, Schneider’s life came to a tragic end as his mama was busy cleaning and Webert was busy fixing.

We recognize this as a tragic accident. We will not point fingers and blame the mother for not watching her son. We will not blame Webert for not looking under the back wheel of the truck. We will not blame the groundskeeper who was on the other side of the truck and didn’t see him, either.

As the news spread throughout the village, the village surrounded Webert and Jilliane. We held a small service for Schneider Monday morning and prayed over his grave as we said our good-bye’s.

In these moments, you remember how short life is and how death can come like a thief in the night. You replay the day over in your head and think of ways you could have done it differently. You ask all the “what if” questions and the pit in your stomach wants to take it all back. If only we had a re-do…but, that isn’t how death works.

We cry out because we just don’t get it. We know God saw Schneider under that truck. We know He saw his innocence. We know He could have saved him. But, He didn’t. So we ask, why would God allow it? We won’t ever get it or understand on this side of heaven.


 

Six days have passed now.

We have processed and prayed. We have lost sleep and had no words to say. But, we have carried on and we are stronger because of it.

I asked Webert this morning if it was okay for me to write about the accident. I asked him what God taught him through this tragedy? His response:

We need to keep helping people. When we first met Jilliane she was all alone and pregnant. We helped her by giving her our own money until her baby was born. We helped her find a place to live. We helped her find a job. We helped her and we didn’t even know who she was.

God had a plan and we didn’t know why He wanted us to help her. What happened was really bad, but Jilliane knows we want what is best for her. She knows this because of our actions. If this had happened to a family we didn’t know and had never helped, they could have easily sued us. They could have taken us to court and we would have had to pay so much money. But, Jilliane knows our hearts because we have shown her our hearts.

We need to keep helping people, because we don’t know God’s plans.

This was not the response I was expecting, but it is so profound to me. We need to keep helping people, because we don’t know God’s plans. There’s so much I love about my husband, but his strength and ability to see through hard situations is one of the most amazing things to me.

I know the devil wanted this tragedy to destory our community. He wanted the family to sue and for guilt to rule over us. He wanted to see the school separate and the community to point fingers of blame.

But, none of that happened. God prevailed. We still cry out because we are sad. We still yearn for peace and comfort, but we rejoice because we know victory is ours.

Death is so final, but we have no reason to fear it. As we approach Easter, we rejoice in death because we know Jesus has conquered death for us all.

Thank you to every one who has sent messages and been praying for us through this tragedy. We have felt your prayers.

Let’s go forward now by reaching out and helping the strangers around us.

Love from Haiti.

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