Haiti May 2021
Good morning all,
You recently learned that I have been diagnosed with diabetes. It was not a very big surprise. Already in Quebec, I had started to eat well and reduce junk food considerably, however in 2018 I arrived in Haiti, I was a little stuck because I was no longer doing my grocery shopping. Due to the demonstrations and the dangerous political situation we could not get out easily, moreover it was the Haitians who bought our food in the public markets due to the fact that we paid more for food because we are white. Not long ago, I was in a little “restaurant” a school and I ask for a small pie and the guy shouts to the responsible woman further on “What is the price of the pies”, she tells him the price and he adds “is it the same price if she is white?”. Wow !!! But she knew I worked at the school, I got them at the same price. These small pâtés are very tasty but really not healthy, I told myself that it was my Haitian McDo.
So the food situation made me relapse into junk food recklessness, until a certain morning, the morning of the purchase of the pâté.
That day, a bug stung me in two places on my leg and I scratched, and I put a hailine scratch on my leg. The hairline scratch started to heat up and was getting dark. The following day, Saturday, it was still open and had not dried up. I cleaned it up again and put on the antibiotic, after all it’s just a scratch I told myself. The next day Sunday, it had worsened enormously over the night and it no longer looked like a scratch but a big wide opening and had formed the sign of infinity, a big large 8. It was Sunday, the regional hospital (clinic) was closed. Monday morning Peter and I were at the clinic when it opened.
I really liked the doctor I consulted, he asked me a lot of questions about my environment, namely insects, if I was swimming and where, etc. He did a thorough job, then he asked me a question seeing that in a few days the scratch had degenerated a lot: “is there diabetes in your family? Well myself I had diabetes when pregnant and took insulin, but during the 4th pregenancy I was cured. He gave me the test and I had a blood sugar of 295 on an empty stomach and I should have been at 120. In short, I now have medication to lower that level to 120 during the next 3 months and after that, will see.
When I look today at all the complications that have attacked my body due to this high blood sugar level, I see how the Lord took care of me at a time when hospital services would have been difficult and complicated for me to reach due to the political situation and the manifestations, the place where I was in the country and which confined us as well as my location, the available means of transport, the waiting time in the hospital which sometimes exceeded a day and in addition the fact that I could not have bought the necessary food for my situation. It was complicated.
I experienced various physical ailments that normally should have escalated with this untreated high blood sugar level but which eventually healed. Yes, I have had several healings. What goodness from the Lord. Thank you for everyone who prayed for my health it was not in vain believe me, I have been protected so far. Now where I live, I have the possibility of getting good treatment, the clinic is nearby, I have a vehicle to get around, a doctor who knows my file and unlike the hospital where I was before, I wait a reasonable time to see the doctor. I can now do my grocery shopping where I recently noticed new health products that there were not there before and which to my surprise are starting to enter the grocery store. Our God has not finished making me smile.
The fact that I no longer live on site at a school, as in the first two years in Haiti, I can rest at home and go to the shower without everyone looking at me coming out. During those two years, I learned a lot about dying to myself, to live with less comfort and above all to lose the individualism that fashsioned me like a glove in Quebec. This made me stronger and as the old saying goes: “What does not kill us makes us stronger” to which I add “in Him”, the Lord Jesus, because without Him I would have returned to Quebec a long time ago. There is a strength unfolding in me and a clear direction that He gives me that amazes me and fills me with courage to continue. For example, when I received the diabetic diagnosis, I went to the pharmacy to get the medication, as I walk in the radio was playing, I head a pastor preaching. He reads Jeremiah 17.7. The book of Jeremiah is a book with which the Lord spoke to me a lot for the mission in Haiti. The pastor reads: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is the Lord” and the pastor goes on to say: The Lord says: “If you trust in me, I will take care of me you.” I was all excited to hear that. Again the Lord encourages me taking care of me in this situation by telling me “I AM here”, another little wink from him to strengthen me as he has done so many times for 30 years and especially during these three years in Haiti.
The next day in my prayer time, I asked the Lord with a calm, gentle and serene attitude: “Why? You could have saved me from this ordeal?” I was attentive to what the Father would put in my heart because when I ask him a question, sometimes He answers immediately, sometimes later and even a few times much later but He has always answered me since 30 years of life with Him. It is by Him and by His means that I came to Haiti and it is by His order that I will leave this island. “I’m listening Father, please tell me why?”
First, I remembered that for a month or two I had started to find the work heavy and exhausting, tired of always having ailments in my body. A work and a service for the Lord can be demanding and tiring but not heavy, exhausting and grueling, it was no longer normal, no common sense. I had prayed, “What’s going on Lord, do I have a fault that opens a door to all of this?”
Here I am going to tell you what abounded in my heart almost the next moment, but please, I’m sharing with you this communion of spirit with the Lord and this only concerns my situation and my case, not other people who have diabetes or health problem, because it is very different from person to person. Do not judge lightly, it is too delicate, the Lord takes care of all His children in their difficulties and in a different way, with wisdom and with a love that surpasses all of us. All of this is shared for His glory and nothing else, in order to demonstrate and witness how good and caring He is for us in times of trial, it is an encouragement for all those who suffer to know that He is always present for each of us and is personally the source that strengthens us and leads us. Amen.
First, I saw myself surrounded by food. Sweet cereal, chocolate, hickey, donuts, called coquignoles, made by Haitians, pistachio bars made with a golden syrup, hum! hum !!!!, very glutinous white rice, patries, pastries and pastries. All this is easy to find without forgetting the crisps, yes ??? A small handful from time to time in addition to cheese how do you say? Doritos. heye !!! Doritos in Haiti !!!, take some while it’s there… yes, we take 2 bags !!!!, with a coke it’s even better. By the way, did you see the Doritos commercial during the American Super Bowl watched by tens of millions of people around the world? Eve is in the Garden of Eden with Satan who tries to tempt her with the “fruit of sin” and she answers him “No thank you, that does not interest me, I have my Doritos. Well, joke aside, I didn’t eat all of these things like a glutton at all times but the Lord was showing me that it was part of my easy, common and handy food not to mention the coke and the sugary lemonades when it’s hot as well as the juices natural … Let’s see !!! of course they were homemade with real fruits from the island but… lots of sugar, cups of NATURAL brown sugar, it has to be good !!!!! You understand! In addition, when I was experiencing ministerial frustrations, I was going to pray for sure, but after that a little chocolate feels good. Fasting? Well… it’s because it’s very hot here and it’s almost unbearable, really very difficult Yes! Yes! more than in Canada in the cooooold, I tell you. So natural juice was more present in my life than fasting was natural. Ah there!!! do not judge me!!! do not be mistaken, missionary oblige!!!! I fasted, OUF !!! it is said and it is really essential here for the ministry but there is room for improvement, less natural juice and more fasting is much better.
This reflection is very developed and colorful but it lasted a few seconds. The Lord knows how to speak to us effectively, to have us understand in mili-seconds, almost in a single image.
After that, I hear a very exhorting words in my heart, it is the Holy Spirit who is not an accuser but who brings us to the reflection for a renewal of our intelligence in order to discern the situation. He made me see the denial, in the past, of my health situation and my excuses. And yes, Jesus does speaks to us because He would not have said “my sheep know me and they hear my voice”. Jesus is the truth so we can believe him, Jesus speaks, when we take the time to stop and listen to Him and we all know that time is a scarce commodity in this century, the Covid has remedied that a little bit. So these are answers from the past which He reminded me by making a kind of discussion that seemed very quick and short to me. It’s hard to explain but all of this came to mind in 30 seconds.
– How do you feel MJ when you come home from school with the little ones?
– Exhausted, I’m drained. I eat and have little strength to do my other occupations of the day. Ah kids, it’s incredible how they take energy, but I love them.
– It also seems that there are days when you have diarrhea and it is more and more frequent?
– It’s the food of Haiti, we do not really know what we eat, although Peter is doing well enough on this side. He must be less fragile than me.
– You also have several infections lately, and it looks like when you get a wound it’s hard to heal don’t you think? And the infections eventually heal but they keep coming back in different places.
– Ah yes! damn old age!!! It’s no fun getting old. And in addition, there are always those little swellings that come from time to time and it hurts. After all it may not be old age but the bites of an insect that I do not know. But Lord, didn’t you say that we would be like young calves coming out of the stable in our old age? I need to be this little calf, I need my health for the ministry and good health.
But, thank you Lord, You always heal all this ailments. They come and go, except it gets tiring that it doesn’t stop, what’s going on, it’s not normal, show me if I’m at fault somewhere.
You see there have been many excuses but no stopping to listen to the Spirit. It took this really ugly wound, which was getting worse at high speed, to go see the doctor. I think I’m writing for someone out there, I feel it.
After that the gentle voice of the Lord continues:
“You don’t know how many times I have healed you and heard the prayers of those who pray for your health, that I have protected you and taken care of you where it could have escalated. Yes, I answered. I knew the difficult context in which you were in regarging the hospital and for the consultations, but now the consequences will lead you to take care of your temple, your body. Listen girl, I want to use you, I need you to be fit, full of energy, I have plans for you and you are going to need strength beyond normal in this country and a well-functioning body. I will heal you but you will learn to take care of what is mine and nourish yourself with things that will keep your body healthy and strong as well as good lifestyle habits.
O….KAY! I was dazzled because I understand that He does not need me pentoutte (pas du tout, not at all, el grande nada, pas beswen ou), the message is clear, I am a drop of water in the sea of this country but He decided to call me, I like that. You see, after a year in Haiti, I said to myself: Lord!!!!! The work is considerable!!!!! What am I going to do here, what am I doing here and then I thought about my financial partners for whom I have great consideration and a responsibility towards them before the Lord. I said to myself: “The Haitians do not need me, it is You, Your power and an enormous miracle, a powerful visitation from You, very powerful, it is hell on earth” and I continue, Michel Charbonneau told me “Missionaries stay 7 years on average in their country of mission, but in Haiti, it is 2 years on average. It really must be the Lord who brings you here otherwise you will collapse.” It’s true, it’s the total chaos of the organization, it’s everyone who does what they see fit for their interests with what they have on hand!!! But the Lord reminded me of what he had said to me during my preparation for the mission “Sow my word to the little ones, tell them about me (Jesus) of my love, of the life I give and do not occupy yourself with the quantity of those who listen or not, sow, sow, sow that’s what I ask you ”. After that I had a vision, there were lots of little fires all over the land that were kindling and the breath of God came, the fire from heaven set it ablaze. So this is what I do and believe me, it’s breathtaking, I have to let Him show me the way and sure enough I know He called me to Haiti. He makes me see that each little one can become a future great Christian leader or leader of a country, He gave me the assurance in my heart that there are some among them, so I treat them with great respect, who knows who will later serve the Kingdom.
The Lord encouraged me again through my family. My son calls me and says: “What an attack from the enemy!!! And I replied. “No, for some it’s an attack but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the result of my actions. You know, if sugar is a God, I fooled around with it a lot, I loved it too much, even being a Christian”. Okay, that made him laugh. He is a youth leader at his church and he tells me that he will be preaching Wednesday night at the general assembly for the first time. The day after his message his pastor told him that a man who had a cancer was encouraged by his message to continue his fight for life with the Lord. I was very encouraged by all of this as well.
So the answer to my question, Why Lord? He concludes, “Because even if I would have cured you, your bad eating habit would have continued. Healing would have served nothing but to make you continue in a nutrition which destroys your strength and your energy, which paralyzes your physique for the ministry. Now you know, you know and you will go ahead taking care of the temple to have everything necessary to accomplish the projects of happiness and not of misfortune that I have in store for you in Haiti.”
With all this said, I know Curry Blake said he ate badly on mission and sometimes only ate chips due to lack of time and the Lord healed lots of people through his ministry, that God supported him in his health and I believe him, but I am not Curry, and I do not have his call, I did not receive the same message as him and I did not experience the terrible situation of Hudson Taylor who lost his wife and his 2 children on a mission.
That’s why I told you above, that this is personal to me, it concerns my situation, my life, and that I share this with my partners because they invest in the work that the Lord entrusted me and I am indebted to them. As Jesus said to the Apostle Peter “It doesn’t matter to him (speaking of John), you follow me”. We are responsible for our communion with the Lord and to obey his way each of us personally in the challenges and trials that we live and to live fully and appreciate the good times, the joys, the good things that He does not lack to give us in abundance. Isn’t it wonderful, we are ultimately indebted only to Him.
Thank you and Glory to you my loving Lord because for only 3 weeks with a good nutrition and the medication that lowers the excess sugar in my blood (for the next 3 months), all the infections are gone, I am no longer exhausted, my wound is healed, diarrhea gone, itchy skin gone and no other small bumps. What a wonderful God I serve, in his hands I am so safe and loved, he truly cares for us and everything that concerns us personally. I now believe in my complete healing and invite you to pray for me in this sense in order to celebrate together the love of our God and his glory.
Speaking of the greatness of the Lord, a little anecdote suddenly comes to mind. One day I was sitting outside at my son’s apartment in Rimouski. A man comes to see me and says to me: “It’s not good what you are doing madam, I see you every morning underline your book in yellow. “He continues:” I did the same thing as you and two years later I saw that my book was nonsense, all that I underlined was not good because I saw over time that it does not work, we change and it no longer holds water. I threw everything away along with the notes I had taken. I would like to save you from the same disappointment. ”
I said to him, “But sir, this is not just any book that I am underligning, it is the Bible. I’ve been highlighting it for 24 years and it still amazes me and everything in it is still proving very good for my life. ”
“Oh! ok madam goodbye, goodbye and have a nice day, I won’t bother you anymore.” No time to tell him he wasn’t bothering me, he turns and leaves. Surprised to see him slip away so quickly, I remain with my mouth closed.
I walked inside and told this to Peter and I was telling him how I wished I could have held this man back and I didn’t understand why I let him go, I was disappointed with the situation “I should have told him this and that blah blah blah” by telling the Lord the regret of not having spoken of Him to this man so that he could finally underline the good book which remains eternal and would benefit his life.
So I come back disappointed to my chair to continue reading my Bible and I read where I left off: “do not worry about what you are going to say, the Holy Spirit will give you the words you need. Still amazed, Wow! The Lord of love who takes care of the disappointed heart of his child by telling me “Don’t worry, you said the right thing, the rest is mine. He gave His peace to my mind and heart through His Word which is alive and always relevant to any situation that arises in my life, just as I shared it with this man right now. What humor this Savior has! By the way, for those who didn’t see it, this is not the same bible that I have highlighted for 24 years, they end up looking like a Christmas tree after 2 years because everything in it is good and my life is very busy in Him, therefore Lord, through this book, speaks to me, it speaks to me and it speaks to me again so I underline and underline and underline again and I have been doing this for 28 years now. My husband often tells me: “I love you more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.” For me it is the same for Jesus, the Father, His Holy Spirit and His Word, a true love story and… for my husband too!!!
As mentioned, this is a long blog and the end is coming but speaking of this book, the Bible and what the Lord is manifesting in my situation, I want to end with it, offering you a heavenly health candy. A truly amazing Bible text. What I notice is that when I read my Bible in a certain version, the Father speaks to me from this version that I am reading and not necessarily in the text of another version. The different versions keep the same meaning but are written differently and the Father joins me in the precise texts of the version I am reading. This is what happened after my health situation that I told you, it’s like a cherry on the Sunday. I was in the dynamic transcription version PAROLE VIVANTE (New Testament) by Alfred Kuen. Super refreshing, I recommend it for the summer. Here is an excerpt that the Lord gave me after talking to me to continue to encourage me and I know it will be the same for you. Focus on the text, it is a gift for you in your difficult situations when they arise.
Romain 5: 2b-3
2 “… through Him (Jesus) we have, by means of faith, free access to grace and to our privileged position ; we have the happiness of being able, from now on, to contemplate the glory of God and we look towards the future with complete confidence. We know that we will be associated with this glory, all the divine splendor will be ours.
3 But there is more : From now on we can be joyful in the midst of trials and sufferings. Yes, in spite of our difficulties and our distresses, we triumph, because we know that they contribute to our good: the test teaches us to be patient, to develop our strength of character, it helps us to trust God more and more. When we have passed through the trial victoriously, our faith and our hope acquire strength and steadfastness. Our hope is not in danger of being disappointed, for God loves us, he has given us his Holy Spirit who has filled our hearts with his love. “
How not to underline a text so wonderful and full of hope and I will certainly want to underline it again and again in 30 years if I am of this world? (86 years old).
With tenderness and love brothers and sisters, be blessed and strong. Peace in Him in all your trials.