This blog is written by Lucia Van Maanen. Lucia is serving with MH4H over the next two weeks in Pignon. This is her 5th time to Haiti serving with MH4H.
Tim and I walked down the road in Pignon today and the view of the mountain range outlined by a crisp, blue sky took my breath away. My heart resounded, “God you are good. You are so beautiful.”Manise in her house after Tim and Lucia’s most recent visit.
But, minutes later we stepped into the house of Manise. Manise is an elderly handicapped woman we encountered on a previous trip to Pignon. When we first met her, she was dragging her body with her arms down a dirt road. We sense heavy oppression in the neighborhood in which she lives. There seem to be a mean spirit/taunting residing there. Each trip we try to visit Manise, bathe her, shampoo and comb her hair, get her clean clothes and tenderly care for her in the name of Jesus. We repeatedly tell her “Jezi remmen uo” or “Jesus loves you.” This seems to calm her and bring in peace. It seems it is difficult for her to receive love and any kind of affirmation. She really does not know how to respond as this is so foreign to her. Shame bears down on her so heavily that she cannot lift her face up to hardly look at us. I sense she has lived with much ridicule, verbal and possibly physical abuse, as I notice the neighbors scoff at her while we tend to her.
They say, “She is a crazy woman.” I can’t imagine or comprehend how wounded her heart must be. She emanates anger as a protective mechanism from all the pain I imagine she has endured in her lifetime. She can be seen swinging a violent fist at her neighbors, but has never done so to us. I imagine the day when she meets Jesus and he dresses her in a beautiful pure white grown. He approaches her on a white horse, reaches His hand down to hers, and asks Manise, his beautiful bride and daughter, to ride with Him. How glorious for Manise that day may be!
As I work here in Haiti, I encounter beauty, but I also encounter things that make me cringe – things that are wrong and ugly. Poverty and Injustice. The Lord has been telling me to deal with these things as they come, but to not let them become my focus. I yearn for perfection, when all things will be right. Jesus is the fulfillment of that deep longing in our hearts. But in the meantime, the Lord keeps telling me to focus on what is true, noble, and lovely, so I can be encouraged and strengthened. Please pray for Manise tonight.
“Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever is noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and anything praise worthy- mediate on these things.” Phillipians 4:8