I concluded yesterday’s post by sharing a photo of one of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen with perhaps the best tree name ever, the Flamboyant.
I am going to begin this post with another tree. I was to meet my daughter, Sarah, in the dining area this morning for our day at the beach. While I was waiting I saw one of the daughters of the base’s founder. So I thought I would go say, “Hello.” She was doing something with what looked like tree branches like so:
I figured correctly that she was drying leaves. So I asked her about it. They are from the Moringa tree. Some of you reading probably know all about this very special tree, but it was news to me (or I knew and forgot!). Moringas grow in tropical climates and their leaves contain an incredible amount of nutrients. They are found in many of the world’s most malnourished countries, but if they only knew, this tree could save lives. Apparently in Haiti this was common goat food that the people had no interest in. How common is it? Well it sure grows in abundance on the mission base:
The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel, chapter 47, speaks of how in the future when the Messiah sets the world to rights, there will be trees for healing, a notion picked up at the end of the Book of Revelation. Besides the wonderful (and still unknown or ignored) provision contained in the Merango, it is a taste (pun intended) of a bright and glorious future when Yeshua returns. Reminds me of so much of what God has for us even now that we either are unaware of or ignore.
Yesterday I mentioned I was going to be speaking to some young guys who come to the base to play soccer. Every Thursday they have a Bible study. These guys have no church background, and so the Bible is very new to them.
Before I gave the Bible lesson I prepared, I told them my own story of having a very troubled upbringing with parents who aggressively argued all the time and my resulting breakdown at age eleven and the panic attacks when I was eighteen. I went on to explain how as a Jewish person from Montreal, I knew virtually nothing about Jesus and that he fulfilled the predictions of the Messiah in the Old Testament. The same afternoon that I heard about all this for the first time I asked God to forgive my sins and asked Jesus to coming into my life as my Messiah. The panic attacks stopped and God completely changed my life (not without challenges). That’s the summary of the longer version I told them. I went on to the Bible lesson, where I spoke about how God’s rules for our lives are not oppressive, but free us to live a good life just like the rules for soccer free us to play the game effectively. But the surprise happened during the question time when several said they could relate to my upbringing. Worlds apart in so many ways, but the same pain.
So I was able to encourage them to face the challenges of life through the power of God in the Messiah. What a blessing to see their earnest faces and to receive hugs from a couple of them.
Today was beach day! Sarah knows how to drive like a Haitian. Sarah, her boyfriend, and I had a lovely day by the Caribbean Sea, chatting, eating a lovely dinner, and soaking in the waves. What a country of contrasts. Is it okay to hang out at a resort for the day in a country where most people eat one meal a day of rice and beans?
Tomorrow, I am going with Sarah to the orphanage where she teaches dance each week.
Let’s close with some resort photos: