We have noticed a consistent pattern about our days. Morning comes and typically the day is mapped out as to what will be accomplished. The consistent pattern is not in the day’s plan. The consistent pattern comes in what is mapped out nearly always changes before the day even starts. This being the case, we recently were on the moto making an unplanned ‘morning commute’ from Savanette to Pignon when this thought popped up. “We seem to be constantly changing our course.” Just that quick, the thought didn’t seem right. No! it is not that we are changing our course, but constantly ‘adjusting our sails’ so that we can stay ON course! The course God has set.
|Craig looking for "the way" with the motorcycle|
For the Haitian people, life brings constant twists and turns that are not within a person’s control. Weather is unpredictable here as it is everywhere but the challenges may be different. Here there are three common modes of transportation: by moto, by donkey, by feet. With each of those, being caught in a Haitian rainy season down pour a couple of miles from home has it’s consequences. (Side note: One day the road was muddy so rather than risk getting stuck with the moto we decided to walk into Pignon. One hour
there, one hour to do our business in town, and one hour back home again. Several of our Haitian friends seemed quite surprised. Their remark, in English, “You came ‘by feet’?”)
The government here causes it’s share of twists and turns, sometimes being as unpredictable as the weather.
The horribly poor road conditions means a stuck truck can cause many people grief. Recently, in a consistently bad spot along the road, there was a truck stuck going north loaded with 100 pound bags of rice, a truck stuck beside it heading south and a smaller truck that got stuck attempting to go around the other two. Now no one can pass through and there are no detours available. Just sit and wait.
If a truck breaks down on the road you will see the many passengers patiently waiting in any bit of shade that can be found. The truck repair man comes to the site of the broken down vehicle and fixes it on the spot, typically laying under the vehicle right on the dirt road.
The roads being what they are, a common repair seems to be installing a new drive train. Since a tow truck doesn't bring the vehicle in need of repair to the mechanic, the parts must come to the mechanic at the location of the vehicle. An old tire holding the needed parts pulled by an ox is the auto parts delivery method to get a new drive train out to replace the old one.
Maybe you have a flat tire and the jack won’t raise the truck up high enough to change it. The solution….dig a hole in the road with a scrap piece of rerod and the tire can slip right into place.
Ingenuity! Constant adjusting of the sails.
There was a forecast we saw on the internet the other evening that
be experiencing a tropical storm as it passed over the island. The
report said possibility of heavy rain along with ‘gusty squalls’. The
heavy rain came and strong wind that broke a palm branch off the tree as we
watched the storm. Must have been a ‘gusty squall’. In the picture at the top of this page, one of our resident goats is enjoying the aftermath of the gusty squall!
The next day, later in the afternoon heavy rain came again. The road more resembled a flowing river. Maybe we will literally, not just figuratively, be adjusting our sails.
A favorite quote we have used as a guide for many years is by C. S. Lewis, “God doesn’t change but we must to keep pace with what God is doing.” This concept from C. S. Lewis parallels the thought that God has the course set so we must adjust our sails to stay on that course.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
It is a daily challenge for all of us to stay on course. We must stay focused on praying “Thy will be done” and not our own. In the book Demons of Poverty, the author, Ted Boers, says it this way: “I pray as if everything is dependent on God, but I act as if everything is dependent on me.”
Do not forget, everything IS dependent on God. So when the next gusty squall of life comes your way, focus on adjusting the sails to stay on course. (there, now we have used the term “gusty squall” in a sentence)
|Visiting a young boy in the hospital|