It is Valentine’s Day, 1980.
I am so happy to have my own little apt in Petionville, Haiti. There is no A/C and it is hot, but I can open the windows. Sometimes I have running water, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have electricity, sometimes I don’t. The chameleons get inside, so do the cockroaches. That’s life in Haiti.
CWO now has a beautiful office. It took 6 months to get this office. Things move slowly in Haiti.
LeRoy Dick arrived to start CWOs literacy program. Five young, Haitian adults were trained in teaching literacy, now that Leroy has returned to the states, I will follow up.
How do I describe what it is like to watch a 14 young old girl with a baby, no home, no education, no job – learn to read and write? She starts to put the sounds together, then those sounds become words, and then she associates those words with the things of life. Wow! One of our literacy students passed a piece of paper to me, on it was written Mathude Usma. It was the first time she had written her name. I will never forget that name, nor the pride on her face. This will abundantly improve their lives. She can get a job. Her children will learn to read and write. She will be able to read her Bible. I love this!
In Phys Ed class, one of my students, Kathleen, told me the following story: Her father died a year ago and they attribute his death to a voodoo curse. He was visiting in the states and someone from Haiti mailed him a voodoo symbol. A week later he died. I was able to share with her that through Christ there is power over Satan. She wanted to know what it meant to be a Christian and I had the opportunity to share with her.
Haiti is saturated with the evil and power of voodoo, it permeates the culture. There is Mardi Gras, a voodoo emblem hanging from a tree to scare away evil from a garden, the fear of death, the sounds of the voodoo drums… But the power of the Gospel breaks those chains of evil.