I forgot to pray that morning. We were in such a rush to get the kids ready and out the door that my time with the Lord somehow became less important. After what happened I’ve finally come to the realization that its not the strength of my commitment to him that sustains me, but his unfailing grace…..
We left the house early planning on a full day in Port au Prince. We were going to visit a young Haitian girl that is getting adopted by some friends of ours and then after grab a bite to eat at a restaurant that serves American food. After lunch we would visit the grocery store before heading home. It was a beautiful day. Port au Prince was exploding with activity, as usual. Women were selling their produce on the sidewalks. Motorcycle taxis were weaving through the mess of traffic. Horns were beeping and people were chatting, a typical day in Haiti. After we left the grocery store we headed home. Our bellies were full and we were all in a good mood. We were singing along to the Haitian radio trying to figure out the lyrics of our favorite Haitian rapper, Wanito. None of us saw the oil spilled all over the road. As soon as we hit it our truck started spinning out of control. I didn’t even know what was happening. The truck spun a round and jumped the curb. We smashed into a street light and spun around again before coming to a stop sideways with our back tires still on the sidewalk. I’ll never know how we managed not to hit anyone else. While I was still trying to make sense of what had happened I looked up and began to take in our surroundings. We were in the slums with a wrecked truck and no way of getting out. Immediately we were surrounded. At the time I didn’t realize the danger but I did see the look on my husband’s face and I knew we needed to get out of there. In the slums people are desperate and nothing can make you forget your morals quite like desperation. Desperate people steal, and sometimes desperate people get angry. It’s not my fault I’m from one of the richest countries in the world. It’s not my fault my skin is white or that I was born into privilege, but to a crowd of exhausted starving Haitians I represent everything that’s wrong with this world. It doesn’t make their anger acceptable, but it does make it understandable. They kept trying to open our doors to get inside but we had them locked with the windows rolled up. It was boiling inside the vehicle. We were lucky to have two police officers show up. They stepped out of their car with guns drawn, fingers on the trigger and stood in front of our door. Two police in a crowd of 50 people that was rapidly growing. Kenzy told me to call someone to come get us, but all I kept thinking was our closest friends are 2 hours away in Grand Goave. We can’t sit here that long. I decided to call a Haitian friend, Marc Allen. He works for the mission I worked for my first year in Haiti when I was teaching English. It was a long shot but maybe he could help. He answered on the first ring. I told him what was wrong and he told me to give the phone to Kenzy. They talked for a moment and then hung up. Then we waited. Kenzy stood outside the truck arguing with people while my friend Mallory and I stayed inside with the doors locked. I could see the sweat rolling off my husbands face as he talked to the police officers. As Mallory and I were trying to figure out what we could do I looked up and saw Marc Allen walking through the crowd. He had been minutes away from us!!! It was a miracle. What are the odds of the two of us being in the same place in that huge city at the exact same time? I couldn’t believe it. He chained our truck up to the back of his van and pulled us out. We were lucky. No one was hurt in the accident and the truck can be fixed. It’s banged up pretty bad but the damage is minimal compared to what could have happened.
God was there. I may have forgotten to say hello to him that morning but he hadn’t forgotten me. I didn’t thank Him for my beautiful children or my health. I had forgotten to thank Him for my husband who always does his best to protect and take care of me. That morning getting out the door quickly was more important than telling Jesus how much his sacrifice means to me. I had ignored my obligations but he had not. His arms were around us that entire day and still are. The amount of love he gives to me is not dependent on the amount of obedience I show him. His love and mercy is unconditional. I am his child and He is my father and it will always be this way whether I forget that or not.