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Saturday, May 19, 2012

There is a lovely woman who lives near our ministry named named Dieula (it means "God is here" in Creole). This year she began working for John and Jocie, the couple with whom I live. Every morning that she works, when I leave the house, she sweetly calls out, "Bonjou Dokte (Good morning Doctor) Brooke! Bonjou Dokte! Mesi Dokte!" I've had the conversation with her, repeatedly, where I explain that I am, contrary to her high opinion of me, not a doctor. I am a nurse. Being called a doctor scares me, to tell you the truth. This carries with it too many expectations of my ability and skill level. Unfortunately, sometimes in the Third World, lay people can sometimes be mistaken for medical professionals and are fine with letting that assumption prevail and trying out their "skills" on unsuspecting patients. You're a white missionary? Now those in your community treat you like you are a nurse, doctor, pastor, banker, and soup kitchen, all rolled into a neat package. John and Jocie find it exceptionally funny that Dieula insists on calling me a dokte. She used to give Ashley, my nurse co-worker at Child Hope (she moved back to the states last month- boo :( ), the same title. Last week, Asher, my friend Brittany's two year old son, stuck his tongue out at me when I greeted him "Good Morning". John scolded him, saying, "Asher, that's not how you should treat Brooke. She's a doctor, you know? She can cut that tongue out if you keep doing that." Fortunately Asher has not remembered that comment and does not run from "the dokte" when he sees her. John, Jocie, their daughter Kelly, who was visiting from Australia, and I were discussing my new title one night. Kelly is a social worker in Aussie land, where she works with refugees. For some reason the clients she works with sometimes refer to her as "Officer Kelly." I'm sure this is one of those incidences where You Had to Be There, because we thought this was hysterically funny. Here John revealed that he has told Dieula that I am a surgeon. Makes sense why I could cut off Asher's tongue then. Next I shall be performing surgery on someone's brain, probably in our kitchen. 

Here is Dieula on her birthday. She dressed up very fancy to come to work that day. Jocie took some pictures of her with my camera. She came back the next day, dressed up again, to take more pictures with Brittany, Jocie, Susette, and I. I don't have those pictures yet because they are on Jocie's camera. So many Haitians LOVE to pose- not just smile- but POSE for the camera. Dieula ran and grabbed an apple for these shots. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Few Recent Pics

 All of the above are children from our feeding program for children in the community, held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

 The quality is terrible on this last one (its from a phone) but here is how we spent Good Friday- praying on a hillside with the kids. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Heart of the Father for His Children: An Incredible Love and Pursuit

I read this story out of the book Enjoying God (and promptly burst into tears):

During the Korean war, a pastor in a small rural village awoke one morning to find that his young son, his only child, had been killed. Apparently some soldiers had slipped in during the night and randomly excited a number of villagers in a brutal act of terrorism.

The pastor was beside himself with grief. He had looked forward to his son someday following in his footsteps and becoming a pastor. Now his friends feared for his emotional stability, so severe was the grief he experienced over the boy's senseless death. It seemed so cruel, so unjust. His son was not in the army; he posed no threat to anyone. Why should he have been singled out like this?

Finally the Korean pastor decided what he must do in return for this act of violence. He announced that he would hunt down the men who had killed his son and would not give up until he had found them. No obstacle would stand in his way, no hardship would deter him. This grief-stricken father resolved to do whatever it took.

Amazingly, he was able to learn the identities of the two terrorists, slip behind enemy lines, and find out where they lived. One early morning he stole into their house and confronted them. The pastor told them who he was, and that he knew they had murdered his son. "You owe me a debt," he said to them. "I have come to collect it."

The two men were obviously expecting to be killed in retaliation. But the pastor's next words astonished them. "You have taken my son," he said, "and now I want you to become my sons in his place."

The pastor stayed with them for several days, until he was able to persuade them to come with him. In time he adopted them as his legal sons. He loved them and cared for them. They became Christians, went to seminary, and were ordained. Today, these two men are pastors in Korea- all because a father who was willing to do whatever it took to win them, whose love was utterly unstoppable.