By: Rev. Martin Hawley
Monday was a difficult day for me personally as my worsening illness really took its toll upon me. We drove out at 9:00 am to another school/church with a large membership and an impressive, spacious building. There was also an additional building behind the main facility under construction.
Alan and I took turns teaching a mixed class of pastors, leaders of the churches, and students concerning the means of grace — the Word, the Sacraments, and Prayer (or Prier in Creole). We taught straight through from about 10:00 am until almost 2:00 pm, then drove back to our hotel for a couple of hours of rest.
While we were teaching, Crawford and Francis met some women from Food For The Poor while they were having lunch. They also located the Haitian who builds brick-making machines and who happens to live very near the Travel Lodge where we were staying. We needed to find a resource for this equipment to further the school building project and reduce construction costs through being enabled to manufacture our own blocks.
It was during the rest at the Travel Lodge that my fever shot up and I became light-headed. I was too uncomfortable to take a nap and remained seated at a table in the terrace restaurant. It was all I could do to keep my head above my shoulders. I was also unable to contribute to the evening service, which was held at the same Interdenominational school and church where we had been earlier in the day. Providentially, Alan and I had agreed in advance to alternate our preaching during the week. As I had preached on Sunday at Souls Winning Ministries, it was Alan’s night to preach.
During the evening service an extraordinary thing happened to me that served to display God’s power and His mercy. Before Alan rose to teach on the Lord’s Prayer, the Haitians engaged in a season of powerful prayer for my recovery. They do this kind of intercessory prayer all at the same time, their many Creole-accented voices raised before God’s throne of grace. As they prayed in that dimly lit room, the sun rapidly sinking below the horizon, I could sense an immediate improvement in my condition and symptoms. God was truly at work through my Haitian brothers and sisters in Jesus!
Although we were told before the trip that it was unwise for us to be out after dark in Haiti (even the U.S. State Department follows that rule), most days we did not finish our labors until nightfall and this night was the first of several late returns. Our first experience of the streets of Port-au-Prince after dark was disconcerting, as there are absolutely no streetlights along the city streets, yet there are thousands of pedestrians everywhere. There are also dogs, cats, and a variety of farm animals to contend with as well, any of them capable of darting across your path with absolutely no warning. Good thing Jean Paul used to drive a taxi in New York City!
Despite a few heart-racing moments, we arrived at our hotel. After a light snack and catching-up on some emails from home, I went to bed in hopes that much sleep would help my illness. I knew that Tuesday was planned as another busy day and it would be my turn to preach for a worship service in the evening.
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