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Thursday, August 11, 2016

The watermelon house

I was driving down Route one. The main road to get anywhere around here. I drive it a few times a week. Several times a month. For the last 3 years. This road gives breathtaking scenery. Crystal blue oceans on the left and green lush mountains on the right. Usually I am taken away by the beauty of God's masterpiece, but this time something caught my eye. There are watermelons for sale all along this road and there are hundreds of little house huts on the mountainside next to the watermelon sellers. All I know was that it was the push from God to stop the car and walk up to these huts. Fear was in me as I wondered who these people were. If they would accept me intruding in their lives. My mind was racing as I tried to think of what to say. Why after three years did I decide to approach these people? But when I arrived at the house, already out of breath from the hike up, walking on rocks and weaving in and out of watermelon vines, my heart fell out of my chest.  I tried to act as calm as possible but inside I was raging. I was overwhelmed. I was hurt.  7 people live here. 2 of them are children. The house is made of sticks and leaves and trash. It is about 4 feet tall. Inside is about 6 feet long and 5 feet wide. I had to get on my hands and knees to go inside. Abject poverty is what this is. The 8 year old little girl is named Gabiana. She calls this little hut home. She was so beautiful but so shy as she smiled with her two front teeth missing. They were a sweet family. A loving family. And if I didn't do anything to deserve being born in the USA, then they did nothing to deserve living like this. We as followers of Christ must do something. Making disciples. Going to all nations. Feeding the hungry. It is not a choice. It's a command. And we must respond. We have to start doing something. We cannot sit idle any longer. These 2 children have nothing. Absolutely nothing. Her skirt, which she has worn every day for the past two weeks, is made out of packaging cloth. His shoes were not only too small, but didn't match. Of course the hair was orange and the bellies were swollen. There was not one drop of water to drink or bathe or cook with anywhere around. And the nearest place to get water is a mile aw
ay. "Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every 3 seconds simply because he does not have the medicine you and I have. Let us be the ones to say that we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life. Let us be outraged, let us be loud, and let us be bold." - Brad Pitt Noel Yeatts said "What is crucial in life- what matters and what doesn't-   becomes clear when you deal with life and death issues. One of their kids already died. From a fever. Because there was no tylenol to lower the heat. And no water to cool the skin. And it hurts to see us get so wrapped up in ourselves. In the threads on our shirts, in the stuff in our mansion. It hurts that I have running water and my neighbor doesn't. I cry at night knowing that Gabiana is getting soaked in this storm and I'm sleeping peacefully under a roof. She doesn't know her birthday. Of course she doesn't. Because when you are trying to stay alive every day, searching for food, walking miles for water....something as trivial as a birthday does not matter in the grand scheme of things. While I was talking to the family, the dad walked away. He returned a few moments later with a watermelon. I knew exactly what he was going to do. He was going to do what the people of Haiti always do. He was going to gift me this watermelon even though he had nothing. Even though this was probably his dinner. I've learned a lot from Haitians. They are teaching me how to share. How to give sacrificially. How to help unconditionally. But I am a slow learner. I read this quote from Ann Voskamp. "We are not giving what we are called to give, unless that giving affects how we live- affects what we put on our plate and where we make our home and hang our hat and what kind of threads we have to have on our back. Surplus giving is the leftover you can afford to give; sacrificial giving is the love gift that changes how you live- because the love of Christ has changed you. God doesn't want your leftovers. God wants your love overtures, your first-overs, because He is your first love." These people get it. They understand it. They sacrificially gave. And I pray to God they are blessed 7fold because of it. There are 3 houses like this. These people stick together through it all. All are in need of prayer and love and blessings. So let's give them what we would give our sister for a baby shower. Lets give what we would give our daughter for a house warming shower. Lets give them our best, because Jesus gave us His best. Lets give until it hurts. And that is when we truly will show His love to the nations and beyond. Through sacrificially giving. And in return, I promise you will be the one that feels blessed.

3 comments:

  1. In tears, I am praying. God bless you Ellen.

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  2. thank you!! just thank you! for the reminders of truth and the challenge to live out loud. i love you, Ellen!!

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  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing so beautifully from your heart, sweet friend! Praying for you daily! Love you.

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