There was a certain man, Namaan by name, a soldier by trade. He was leprous and desperate and sought out the prophet of the LORD. Well long story short, Namaan was healed and came to faith in the one true God. But before heading back to Aram he asked the prophet for as much dirt as two mules could carry, that he might pray and sacrifice on the soil of the land of the LORD.
Namaan washes in the Jordan River and comes up clean. Painting by the incredible artist Cody Miller.
Every night while I was in Haiti I walked up Bellevue Mountain and spent time in prayer for Megan and Respire and the precious kids of Gressier. I spilled my heart beneath the Haitian moon, watched the cascading electrical storms over the Caribbean, and begged God for many things. Some nights my mood was somber, heavy with the anxieties of the future unknown, other nights the air was charged with joy and I rejoiced in the sovereignty of an omnipotent God.
The last night I sulked up the mountain. My heart heavy with the sorrow of a trip ending far too soon and the reality of leaving Michaelle. As I turned the last curve of the steep trail that winds up Bellevue Mountain I saw lights and heard Creole songs. There on the top of the mountain were residents of Gressier singing praises to God, thanking the Provider for a school being built for their children and for the many other blessings to come. I slid into the crowd and sat nearly fetal in my melancholy. Instantly a child was at my side, her hand in my hand, her tiny frame sitting across my lap. Little Floencia! They sang song after song until Pastor Benito encouraged us in the Word. Then from somewhere bread appeared and then cheese and what a wonderful Sacrament we had until finally we all sang Amazing Grace in Creole, well almost all of us.
Finally, the crowd dispersed and the generator was shut off, the lights that had been strung across tree branches were coiled up and the entire makeshift assembly was carted by wheelbarrow back down the mountain. I lingered in the shadows until I was alone atop Bellevue, en-wreathed in moonlight, floating on the sweet echoes of Creole praises. I slowly sank to my knees, the heaviness of His presence, the weight of the majesty and mystery of the moment, the gravity of awe. And with one hand I took a handful of dirt from that sacred place, wrapped it in a wayward piece of plastic and placed it in my pocket. Now each night, I climb Bellevue mountain in my mind, I open my heart to the sea, my soul to the Haitian moon, and I pray longingly to the South Eastern sky with a fistful of Gressier.
The view from the top of Bellevue Mountain