Juggler of words and children…collector of pottery shards
“Weeping may last for the night, But joy comes in the morning.” Ps. 30:5b
A few minutes after the girls awoke from their nap that afternoon of my first full day in Haiti, I heard a horn blowing to announce the arrival of a vehicle at the gate. The screen door slammed behind Emmanuel as he rushed outside to open the gate. A few moments later he knocked at my door and informed me the driver had arrived to take me to the orphanage director’s office so that I could e-mail my husband. I had not previously had the opportunity to communicate with him since my arrival because there was no computer at the guest house and the phone line was in need of repair.
I decided to allow Roseline to go and visit with her friends and housemother while I was gone because I was uncomfortable taking her without a car seat. Claudine and I climbed into the van to make the short trip to the office. Upon arriving there, I found the office was closing down for the day and most of the employees were in the process of heading home. I was shown to a computer in the main office and sat down to attempt my communication home. The director had air conditioning in her inner office but there was none in the main room. The room was large and I was situated in the center of it, far away from any window. It was incredibly hot. Then, to my utter dismay I found the older model computer was “dial – up” Internet access. It took me an eternity to secure a connection that I lost over and over. Claudine sat near me coloring. As I sat there laboring to send a short message I decided the phrase “hotter than hades’ must actually be “hotter than Haiti” and was written by someone in a room with no windows trying to send an e-mail “dial-up”.
I gave my husband an update and asked him to have everyone pray. Just as I was finishing, I heard the telephone ring in the director’s office. It was the last call she took that day. She came out to me and told me she had good news. The phone call she had received was the news that our passports had made it through another step in the process and she only expected it to be a few more days before they would be completed.
I was filled with joy and extraordinarily thankful. Immediately, I thought of my prayers that afternoon and knew God had moved on our behalf. Looking back on it, I realize He knew I needed some good news.
The driver returned for us and we headed back to the guest house. When we pulled in the gate, Claudine began to cry. She refused to get out of the van and I had to forcibly remove her and carry her into the house. When we reached the top of the stairs to the basement, I sat Claudine down and descended to retrieve Roseline. She was animated and playing happily with her friends. When I picked her up, she began to scream. The icy gaze of her house mother followed me all the way up the stairs. “You don’t belong here.” It seemed to say. “She is mine. You will see.”
It was not long until dinner and although Claudine ate, she did so in unsmiling silence. Then….something changed.
I once heard my pastor say he thinks some of the most precious words in Scripture are “…but God….”
“…they took him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead.” Acts 13:30
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man…..But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans5:7&8
There is nothing more beautiful than when all hope is lost and God interrupts the story of His child to bring hope, deliverance, and life and that afternoon, first with the news of the progress of the passports and then in Claudine’s heart, God interrupted my narrative.
Claudine began to smile.
As the evening wore on, we smiled a lot. We teased, laughed, and played. She babbled on and on in Creole and I hardly understood a word but loved the sound of her voice. Roseline even joined in some and it was fun to watch them play together.
When it was time for bed, Claudine spontaneously hugged me and then, as we lay in bed spent the longest time trying to figure out how to get as close to me as possible. At last her wiggling ceased, and she drifted off to sleep.