I know one thing, when something bad happens to me I hope that I have a crowd of Haitians storming the gates of heaven on my behalf, because in the moments I’ve been a part of their raw prayer…I know they are intervening and being heard by our Savior.
Several months ago we were sitting at dinner when we learned that two Pathways boys had been hit while on the side of the road by a drunk driver. The flurry of action that followed was led by some very passionate and angry Haitians who care about these kids. Honestly, it was amazing to see them come together for these boys. The Pathways director was on the side of the road arguing with the driver of the car for quite some time, and then when the police did not come, charged another of our staff with watching him and drove to the police station to get help. All while another staff member was driving the boys to the hospital in Port-au-Prince, and another was leaving his home to meet them at the hospital.
This began a long waiting period where we felt it had been hours since the last update…yet it had been 30 minutes.
When the Pathway girls came back to Jumecourt, we pulled all information they had out of them to understand what was happening better. They hung out a bit…then argued over each person’s perspective…then wanted us to open the upstairs classroom to pray.
Here is where I am unable to have the right words to express what that time was like with the girls. Friends, you have not prayed until you have prayed with Haitians in pain with many questions surrounding a situation. The amount of grief, pain and pleading that poured out of these girls was substantial. And it poured out…
Prayer in Haiti is a very deep action. Prayer comes from the depths of who God has created us to be. It is a soul cry to the One who hears, sees and is all. The emotion involved that night was overwhelming for me as someone who absorbs the spiritual cry of others. Yet, at the same time the Holy Spirit presence in that room was not only tangible, but electric.
When a young woman groans ‘Mesi Seigneur’ something rips in your soul as tears are falling down her face, and suddenly you feel wetness dripping down your own. Somehow, even in the midst of pain and confusion, these young women were still yelling, ‘Thank you, Lord.’ There were moments within this time of prayer I legitimately thought Jesus was going to walk in the room and give an update on the boys’ conditions. The veil between heaven and earth was that thin.
What I wanted to tell the girls was God hears you. God knows your hearts. God knows every hair on the boys’ heads. God knows you are pounding at his figurative front door. You are heard. But words would have been completely inadequate compared to the rawness of the prayer we’d experienced together. Who needs words when you have literally left everything at the feet of the One who knows?
For that night that is what prayer was for us, to draw near to God in every tangible way. To lift our voices to him in song, and raise a chorus of simultaneous prayer in groans and fervor. To connect not only with one another, but with the one who created all of us. To be a united front for these boys that we know, we care about and want to see live into the calling God has placed on their lives.
Now months later, the boys are healthy and strong. They both only had to stay in the hospital one night, and when we saw them a few days later looked much better than we had expected. You never know what will happen in Haiti…but I do know that I’m a part of not only a strong prayer support in the States, but one in Haiti that will not hesitate to storm God’s front door.
*I actually wrote this the night of the accident and couldn’t bring myself to post it with all of the varying emotions, and then I forgot about it…better late than never!*