We are grateful that Our Heavenly Father has permitted us to be in Haiti where our eyes and hearts met, and where our sons and their children were born and reared. At our arrival there was not a little shop to buy even matches or lamp oil within seven miles. To buy kerosene for our little stove, we hired a young woman to take a five gallon can down a steep foot trail to get it filled. She was very happy to earn twenty cents.
A family earned twelve dollars a year from the sale of dried coffee beans. With the cash, adults each got a new denim garment to wear in public. Pre-puberty children were fortunate to have a garment. Kneeling mothers often dropped a new baby on a burlap sack and wrapped the child in it after the cord was cut with anything handy. Many died rigid with tetanus in eight days. Tots were given the daily meal’s cook pot to scrape the ‘graton’. Why waste on a nameless child who might not live? Few children reached puberty or adulthood.
The Gospel brought child care, nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, and overcrowding as families blithely expand. The formerly official church opposed simple family planning helps, so we have seen the nation’s population multiply five times with child care brought by the Gospel, and a few believers have become about 50% of the population. Last week, the annual business and inspirational conference of messengers from 360 Baptist churches which have been born of our ministry was heart-warming and challenging.
At our arrival, the people in the streets of the capital were barefoot and illiterate. Vehicles were so few that it was reported in the newspaper when Eleanor drove our little Jeep to town on errands. She bought a crude scooter made of old boards with vehicle bearings for wheels from children playing in the city’s streets. It is in the museum I made for Haiti’s schoolchildren and visitors. Now, the congestion is so bad that children don’t play in streets, and parking is so difficult, that a driver must be hired to stay in the car and pick us up between errands.
Today we had lunch with our granddaughter’s visiting family in the Mountain Maid tea terrace. Eleanor created it in 1973 to receive people who came far to visit and to purchase crafts of native artisans. Yesterday was the first day of spring in many lands, and we realized that visiting swallows had made a stopover in Haiti on their seasonal flight North. As we ate, we saw the spectacular annual visit of a flock that pass to dip a drink in flight, from Eleanor’s mother Granny’s garden rainwater pond.
Haiti’s unsuspecting leaders have allowed widespread infiltration from the East of the faith that comes subtly as is said “I embrace you, to more easily smother you”. We see in their book’s prophecy of a messiah and beheading on refusal the fulfilment of warnings found in biblical Prophets, Gospels and Revelation. We expect to be taken away before that !
In the capital, the white man’s Voodoo that almost got to have a U.S. president has stores full of things to give to people who join it. It teaches that Jehovah, a good farmer was made god of Earth and that he abused his son Lucifer who got mean, but he favored his son Jesus!
It’s good to be busy on the Lord’s side!
Wallace – & Eleanor Turnbull