“Will you please think about going to Haiti with us next week,” Brenda Cooper asked again. I really didn’t want to or have time to go on this trip and money was tight. “Darah and Tony can’t go at the last minute. Will you at least pray about it?” she asked again on Thursday night.
“Yes, I’ll pray about it,” I promised and promptly forgot it.
Next morning I remembered, so, to keep my promise I knelt by my bed and prayed, “Dear Father, please tell Brenda I don’t want to go and have her quit pushing me.” Then, since they were leaving on Sunday morning, I checked to see what flights costs. Whoa! They were well over $1,000 and I had been paying around $500 with advance payments. I quickly called to consult with Brenda and she agreed that it was way too much. I was off the hook.
Later that afternoon we drove into town for Friday errands and picked up the mail. There was a check from a company with an Idaho return address made out to Palmer Handrail for $763. Strange. I looked it over and realized that there must be a mistake. Brent commented that if it were ours, I could use it for my next Haiti trip, so I tucked it away for next week’s agenda.
Next stop was an errand for Brent, and while I sat in the car waiting for him I got to playing with my new iPhone. Idly, I checked out flights to Haiti again just for something to do. The tricky thing about a flight to Haiti is that you have to have the correct combination of flights both into and out of the country in order to allow for the long trip up into the mountains and back without traveling after dark. And the very first set of flights listed on Kayak was the right combination, and the price was – you guessed it-- $763!
When Brent returned, his only comment was, “Well, I guess you are leaving for Haiti on Sunday”, but I’d already purchased the ticket!
I was pretty frantic to get back to the office and tie up some loose ends before Sabbath, but that check bothered me. What was it? I googled the company and sure enough, they had a branch in Texas, and then the pieces fell together. We’d helped our girl with some remodeling 3 years before and this was the lumber yard they used. I quickly called Brent, upset. “Brent, I told you that wasn’t our money. Now I not only have spent it, but I have to pay it back to Jenn and Michael.”
The story gets more exciting! Brent called Michael to see what he knew. Apparently, there had been a credit when they finished the house, and they’d never used it. The money was just residual of what we had given them. The money was ours! But that was three years before! Why hadn’t the lumber yard refunded it earlier? Why did it come that Friday? Why didn’t it come the next week?
“But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God's purposes know no haste and no delay.” Desire of Ages p. 31
And that is the trip I met Renac!
July 6, 2016
Once upon a time, not so very long ago Miss Sandy and I got in a big, big airplane and flew all the way over GA and all the way over Florida, and out over the wide, blue ocean. We flew and we flew, until we got to a little country called Haiti.
I was excited to get to the little country called Haiti, because I was going to see my little friend, Doudlin.
You see, I can’t speak Creole like the little boys and girls in Haiti, so I have to have an interpreter so that I can tell stories to them. One week my interpreter, was Doudlin’s daddy. And when I asked Doudlin’s daddy if he had any little girls and boys, he took me to his house and I met Doudlin.
Doudlin was 4 years old the first time I saw her. She was very shy. She had on a little green dress with a little green collar. Her little green dress was hanging on her, because it was too big. But little girls in Haiti don’t get a chance to have many clothes, so she was very happy to have it.
We got in a long white van and we drove, and we drove and we drove. Out of the city, up the windy hill, past little villages with boys and girls in bare feet. We got higher in to the mountains, and I got more excited. I was going to see Doudlin.
This time, she was 5 years old. And guess what! She was wearing the little green dress with a little green collar. Only this time, the little green dress fit her. But, oh, no! The little green dress had a tear and was missing a button. And I thought to myself. This is the only dress that Doudlin has to wear!
But I was so happy to see Doudlin. And she sat on my lap, and we talked. You know, I couldn’t speak Creole and she can’t speak English, but we are friends and we understand each other. And one thing she wanted to tell me was that she very much wanted to go to our school in Bas Pinal.
Now our school in Bas Pinal is free for the boys and girls, and the mamas and daddy’s don’t have to pay for them to go to school, so I looked at Doudlin’s Daddy. Why isn’t Doudlin in Bas Pinal School? For you see it is only a ½ mile walk, and the days are sunny, and Doudlin could surely walk to Bas Pinal School. And it is free. So I looked at Doudlin’s daddy and asked again. Why isn’t Doudlin in Bas Pinal School?
Now boys and girls in Haiti want to go to school much more than boys and girls in Georgia. They want to learn to read and write and do their arithmetic, but there is one thing that they want very much. Boys and girls that go to school in Haiti wear uniforms. And boys and girls in Haiti that go to school wear shoes. And if you don’t have a uniform, and if you don’t have shoes you are embarrassed to go to school. (Now I want you to know that we don’t mind if they come to school at Bas Pinal without uniforms, but they feel so badly that they mind. And Doudlin was too embarrassed to go to school without a uniform.
So I looked at Doudlin’s daddy and I asked? How much does it cost to get a uniform? And Doudlin’s daddy said, ”It only costs $8.“ But he didn’t have the money, so Doudlin can’t go to school.
And I looked at Doudlin. And I thought. If the next 5 times I go to Taco Bell to eat, I will tell the cashier that I want water instead of a drink, I could send the money to Doudlin’s daddy and Doudlin’s Daddy can buy a uniform for Doudlin, and Doudlin can go to school.
So you know, what! When I came home, I did tell the lady at Taco Bell that I didn’t want the drink, and I did save the money. And I did send the money to Doudlin’s Daddy. And Doudlin’s Daddy did buy a uniform, and Doudlin did get to go to school this year.