A cord of 3 strands is not easily broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12
You have read here before about the new ministry that is beginning at the prosthetics lab so I'll try to keep it short and sweet - even though I could go on for days!
My good friend Diana has been working full time at the Mission with prosthetists from all over the country who come to make new prosthetic legs and give rehabilitation to amputees (mostly victims from the earthquake). She has a huge passion for this ministry, and over time has developed some great relationships with the women who have come to get fitted for new legs. This is a very typical scene of her with the ladies!
All of these women lost their homes in the earthquake and are now living in large tent cities towards Port-au-Prince. In addition to the huge loss of family members and shelters, they have also lost any jobs they once had.
In recent weeks, Diana has been inspired to begin a work program for them where they can use their hands to make crafts which are then sold in the guesthouse of our mission for profit.
It's been 2 weeks since the program fully took off, and it is AWESOME. What a blessing it has been for me to join in with Diana and our friends, Christi and Abby, as well as these wonderful women! Please check out Diana's blog here to get more details (read the post titled - 3 cords is up and running)!
She named the program '3 cords' since our most popular product is a braid made from 3 strips of fabric that can be worn as a hair band wrap or belt.The other reason the name suited so perfectly is from the verse I wrote above from Ecclesiastes. 3 cords is not easily broken. During our time working with the ladies this week, Diana, Christi, Abby and I asked the women to share their stories, and we sat in amazement as they talked about the heartbreak of not only their experiences through the earthquake, but also the loss and struggle that they have lived throughout their lives in Haiti. The openness that they were able to have, and the fellowship that they share with each other - supporting and understanding, is a beautiful gift. Together they are able to encourage and comfort one another an a deeper level, just as the Bible talks about - strengthening one another in the Lord and holding each other up. I have been blessed to witness this verse in the lives of these wonderful women, and as I reflect more on the ministries around me, I realize how 3 cords are also woven into other aspects of my life.
In my more recent mountain visits, I've been accompanied by another friend named Robenson. The first time I asked him to come along I was a little unsure about how willing he would be to come, however during our visit I was amazed at how enthused he was to get to know the family. He has always been available to walk along with me, and he has a real heart for the family. But the greatest part of all is that he really loves to teach. When he came along the first time, I expected him to sit at the back and check his watch from time to time until we left. I was all wrong. When I took out the teaching materials, Robenson got right into it. I barely got a word in edgewise as Robenson entertained the kids through the alphabet and counting activities.
It is the hope of many that these children will have the chance to get some more formal and consistent education in the upcoming school year, but in the meantime it is really encouraging for me to watch the kids grasp new concepts, and especially to witness 18-year old Robenson have such a heart for seeing these children break out of the cycle of illiteracy. Tangibly speaking, there is nothing in it for him, and yet he finds joy in hiking out into the wilderness and flipping through flashcards with children who have never had the chance to go to school. It's a beautiful picture of community, love and servanthood. It's a picture of 3 cords.
Recently some professional photographers were at the mission taking footage to integrate in some multimedia programs in the States. One of the photographers also happened to be a gifted worship leader back at his church, and my friend Jean Marc got to watch him in action.
As you can see from the picture, he was fully engrossed in learning the new songs and chords that his new friend had to offer, and once again gave me a picture of 3 cords. How a talented musician can come alongside a friend with a similar passion and invest in them is a picture of hope and faith that God can do much greater things than we ever could. Jean Marc still sings the songs that he learned in that jam session every time I see him.
I also feel blessed to testify a '3 cord' story as my life continues overflow with a community of beautiful people. Coming to Haiti 3 years ago, I was so worried about losing the friends I had back home. I didn't know how on earth the Lord could provide for me even close to how He had provided in my small town of Wainfleet. And yet, I sit here today amazed at the way He has unceasingly provided a wonderful group of people right where I am. Friends and I here have commented before as we are mashing avocados for guacamole, or riding in the back of a pickup, or sipping Cocacola on the balcony after a hot day, how amazed we are at the people we get to do life together here in Haiti. It's more than we ever dreamed! Both near and far, I feel blessed to have people pouring into me, praying for me, and lifting me back up when I stumble. I thank the Lord for the 'cords' around me that keep me going and help me hold a little tighter onto Him.