The Joy: An Update from Jessie Mathieu in Haiti
I love Jesus. I love that He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves and He did what we don’t deserve. I love to talk about Jesus. I love to see the Good News of Jesus take hold and transform lives in absolutely beautiful ways. I love spending time with people who love Jesus and I always leave their presence encouraged. I love seeing the tangible hope of Jesus Christ in the lives of those who may lack an abundance of material things. I love seeing others and the joy they have when they talk about Jesus. I love hearing the desire of others to go and share Jesus with people who have yet to hear.
And yesterday was a day that filled my heart to overflowing with love. Usually Monday’s are a catch-up “office day” and are filled with emails, writing newsletters, planning upcoming team trips, responding to Facebook Messages (which I’m HORRIBLE at keeping up with-sorry friends) and the whatnot. But today was different. Our Director is in and he spent his day in Petit Goave so I decided to tag along and go spend time with some of my Bible study girls because they didn’t have school. I didn’t really have a plan and I was just going to see where the day would take me. Little did I know, but I was going to end up spending 7 hours with them. And it was quite possibly the best 7 hours I’ve had in Haiti in a loooooong time.
I got there and met up with Sabina.
She’s 23 and from the first time I met her about a year ago, we instantly connected. She’s a talker and it’s a good thing I like to talk too. Ha! You can tell she’s a leader among her friends and after today, I can see that she’s also a very motherly figure to a lot of kids who live around her and it’s a beautiful thing. Today I learned that she is the only Christian in her family, her father died a few years ago but she never really had a relationship with him because he was a drunk and her family thinks she’s crazy because she goes to church. The strength of her faith amazes me despite her circumstances…along with the fact that she had a cold and still spent hours with me.
Before long, Chelsie joined us. This girl has the biggest smile EVER and I absolutely adore her. She’s 19 and is a wise one. She likes to sing and I’m thankful she’s the only who joins me most of the time when the others force to me sing the chorus of a song before we end our Bible study. Yeah, Haiti has forced me to sing. In front of people. People who like to try and record me on their phones too. Go ahead, take a second and laugh. Oh Haiti and the things I do for love.
Shortly after that, we went for a little walk to meet Rosemina who was down at the well washing her clothes. Rosemina is the quiet one who constantly smiles at me. I can’t tell if she thinks I’m funny, wants to be encouraging or is laughing at my sub-par kreyol speaking. Regardless, she makes me smile too. She’s 19, has a gentle spirit and exudes joy. We spent a good 30 minutes there hanging out and watching lots of kids get water and making fun of ugly sheep. I have a feeling not many white people go down to the well and hang out because I’m pretty sure I had about 50 people just watching my every move and probably talking about me. It’s my favorite thing about being white and living in Haiti. Ha!
When we were done there, we went back to Chelsie’s house to spend some time with Fabiola, Chelsie’s sister who is 21, because she was making food and couldn’t leave the house. Girl spent 75% of her time in the cooking shack so I was thankful for the other 25% she spent with us.We spent some time talking about my favorite Haitian foods and about 30 minutes later, I was summoned inside the house because she had made some boy (totally incorrect spelling but that’s what it sounds like) in bean sauce (think chicken and dumplings….but without the chicken…and brown, seasoned sauce) for me! #whatthewhatthe. Blessed my socks off because I hadn’t packed lunch, my stomach was rumbling and it was one of my favorites! Come to find out, girl loves cooking, cleaning and washing clothes. Props to her.
Like I said, today was one of the best days I’ve had in Haiti and I’m so glad I exchanged an office day for a friendship day. I do however, want to share a little conversation I had today with the girls that made my heart leap with joy.
We were sitting around talking about the Bible study and our upcoming meeting Wednesday. I helped them understand a few things in the upcoming lesson and then Fabiola looked at me and said that her, Chelsie and Sabina want to go do this study with other girls who live farther up the mountain who can’t come when and where we meet, when we’re done. Say whaaaaaat? Gospel multiplication right there. Making disciples who make disciples who make disciples. #boomboompow. They shared with me how other girls need to hear these things and instead of wanting me to do it, they want to do it with them. Haitians reaching Haitians <—-That’s how it’s done. I’m thankful for the little role I get to play in that too. I couldn’t be excited about it any more than I am right now and I’m literally sitting here typing with the cheesiest smile on my face. I’m glad you can’t see how dorky I look in my orange kool-aid smiley face shirt that Staci Blackburn gave me.
Listen y’all, I love Haiti and I love the opportunity God has graciously given me. But even more than that, I love the One who has sent me here and has charged me to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and doing so knowing that He will be with me til the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20). I love that He is the only one who can use our simple acts of obedience to bring others into the Kingdom of God. I love the fact that He is in the business of multiplication of disciples for His glory and the good of people He has called unto Himself. I love the lot I’ve been given. It’s definitely not an easy life, but I can say that it carries the sweetest of blessings with it.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
*This brings up another opportunity for people to get involved with the discipleship process here in Haiti. From my time here, discipleship is one of the biggest needs here and it’s not something that can be done overnight. It’s a process and it takes time. As many of you know, I had written a little 10 lesson Bible study to be done with young women and it was made into a booklet. I started with 25 and there has become a need to get more purchased. If you’re interested in purchasing some books, shoot me a message and we’ll talk about it! As I was told once, I never know how many people will read it-maybe 10, maybe 1000-but regardless, it’s in God’s hands. I was just faithful in a small thing and we’ll see how God uses it. It’s HIs words, not mine.