“Akansyel”… Rainbow … Look closely and you can see the double rainbow, “akansyel”, that was seen on the road just north of Pignon, Haiti recently. A symbol of PROMISE… because of love… that will never be anything short of spectacular. At this time and this place, “akansyel sa”, this rainbow was breathtaking. That afternoon, the rainbow AND God were present … real… nearly touchable!
Repetition is a great way to learn and NOT forget… to learn the Creole term meaning rainbow it must be said again and again… akansyel, akansyel, akansyel. And to be reminded of the promise God made, He used repetition in the next days as well.
A few weeks back there was a story going around town about a woman who had been dead for 2 years and now was found alive and naked in the street in Fontenn, a nearby community. She was terribly thin and scared. We heard the story from Many Hands Chaplain, Pastor Lumanes, who had gotten word of this and the same day had gone to talk with her to hear HER story. As the story goes, she had given birth to twin babies and 3 days later was pronounced dead at the local hospital in Pignon.
Pictured here is the 26 year old woman, left, with her mother who has been caring for the twins and another sibling for the past 2 years believing the 26 year old had died. There is much to this story. As the story is told it is being said that this woman has spent the past two years as a zombie slave. It is believed by many that the voodoo witch-doctor who made her into a zombie died the day she ‘came back to life’.
One day while Many Hands was hosting a group of high school students we were given the opportunity to visit their home and show the love of Jesus to her and her family. Of course the visit left MANY questions in the minds of these impressionable young adults. Questions they had never thought of before. “Dead and now alive? Under the spell of a voodoo witch-doctor? 2 years?”
That evening brought a time to share, talk together, try to find answers. But answers to such things are hard to find. It seemed that the time together just brought more questions. More questions without answers. Even from living here we can make no claim of knowing detail about the religion of voodoo that is SO much a part of Haitian life. Yet we try to learn because we are called to love.
More conversation among the group members just brought more questions that brought more questions. There comes a point where it is essential to leave the questions and turn to the solid truths that we know. All were encouraged to remember that when life brings those questions which seem to have no answers, turn to God’s Word. All the answers can be found in the truth of His Word. We know that God has promised eternal life through his one and only precious son, Jesus. That by believing in him, we can be saved, through faith.
The very next day, after having rain through the night and through the day, this sight was big, bright, and bold looking out the front door of the Many Hands Guest House. A solid reminder of God’s presence and a reminder to look to HIM for answers.
And even through the next night into the next day, the rain continued. Over 30 hours straight of a light, much needed rain. The rain changed the plans for the group but no one was distraught. God had things to say through it all. Determination won out. The morning the group was to be packing to fly out we loaded up in our taptaps to make a visit to ‘Pella Christian School’ in Ba Savanette, a community about 40 minutes away.
Again, God was present … real… nearly touchable! Another full double rainbow.
With the rain, there was no school but people in the neighborhood gathered under the cover of the school roof as a dry refuge.
The group of students serving God with Many Hands attend Pella Christian School in Pella, IA so this was a special time for them. A time to be in prayer to ask for God’s love and compassion and protection for the teachers and students in Haiti.
Leaving Ba Savanette…. a third rainbow, akansyel.
That one faded and then another appeared. It laid right on the mountain that is in the back yard of the school where we had just been.
AND another that seemed to be wrapped around the mountain rather than being in the sky
This ‘akansyel’ was glowing on the other side of the mountain from where we had been minutes before. God isn’t just present in a particular place. He is present each moment where ever we are as we live and love and learn.
Learn to express your love for God through the Living words of Psalm 63.
(New Living Translation)
O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
My whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
How I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
Lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
Meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
Your strong right hand holds me securely.
But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin.
They will go down into the depths of the earth.
They will die by the sword and become the food of jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God.
All who swear to tell the truth will praise him,
While liars will be silenced.
God – you’re my God!
I can’t get enough of you!
I’ve worked up such a hunger and thirst for God,
Traveling across dry and weary deserts.
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
Drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to you.
I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;
I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises!
If I’m sleepless at midnight, I spend the hours in grateful reflection.
Because you’ve always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post.
Those who are out to get me are marked for doom, marked for death, bound for hell.
They’ll die violent deaths; jackals will tear them limb from limb.
But the king is glad in God; His true friends spread the joy,
While small-minded gossips are gagged for good.