Brent and Anna's
Orphan Care Mission
I just returned to my lodging after spending some time with a friend my Dad made on one of his trips to Haiti. This friend introduced me to his family and I met his wife, three girls, and baby son. Through completely broken French/Creole mix I found myself laughing at the two girls who began braiding Dad's long gray hair. No sooner did I realize, they attacked me and I couldn't help but become drawn into a bout of simple games and fun that made the evening slide by.
After a day of wearing new calluses into my hands and applying three layers of sunblock, I needed a chance to see the connection among these people I'm serving as a people of God. The realization comes quietly. As I tease the girls that I'm sleeping as they comb my hair, I think, "how awesome it is to make a connection like this with someone I can barely communicate with?"
I am reading an academic collection of essays and presentations
by a man named Stanly Hauerwas. He is creating a platform
to help establish the role of the Church in "social ethics."
I think this is a brainy way of saying "how we as a church
are to associate with those around us."
The intro and first chapter establish the need
for our platform to have a story. I know Beth Guckenberger is going
to love hearing about that. Hauerwas calls it a narrative. This story
establishes the players and relationships that impact the decisions
and directions we take. Without a story, we are lost asking the wrong
questions. I haven’t figured out what those questions are but
I do find an interesting connection to the family I just met.
Here I am, thoroughly enjoying a playful time
with some kids that have begun singing and acting like they are walking
the catwalk as if I had known them for ages. And this is amidst their
poverty and language barrier. What is the story here? How can I connect
at this deeper level?
For those who know, it’s the love of
Christ that surfaces in times like that. I felt, for a brief moment,
a sense of love, in spite of all odds, for a family that is genuinely
happy to meet me thru my Dad. I am encouraged by this and treasure
a moment with a family that may surpass all the concrete I will place
for the next two weeks.
As we were leaving I was surprised by a hope
to catch a last goodbye from one of the younger girls. I thought,
“how silly for me to so want an affirmation from a child that
the time we spent together was treasured by her as much as by me.”
As I rounded the truck to return back to camp, and hand lurch out
from a shadow behind me, touched my arm a said, “Au revoir.”