It had been a hard trip – my first out of North America. I wasn’t feeling well, and I found the sights and smells to be overwhelming – almost sickening. I couldn’t find anything to eat that didn’t upset my stomach, and I felt unusually irritable about pretty much everything. But I was on a mission.
When our group got to the small Haitian village located just inside the border of the Dominican Republic, we walked across a muddy area with water running through it. I later discovered it was the village’s only sewage system.
A small kitten struggled to survive in that 6-inch flow of sewage. For some odd reason, the sight of that kitten caused me to finally come to terms with what had become increasingly obvious: I would never have a child of my own. I was 38 years old and had been married for three of those years.
I silently said to God, “It’s OK. You have other plans for me.” I shoved aside the dream I’d dreamt for half of my life.
I was there to interview a woman whose family was benefitting from Food for the Hungry (FH) work with this group of refugees from the Caribbean’s poorest country. A lovely Haitian woman ran to meet the FH staff members who she clearly loved. She invited us inside her home, a two-room hut in which lived a growing family of five.
Within seconds, the woman handed me her baby so she could comb her hair before my husband took her picture.
“What a blessing you are,” I whispered to the baby as I once again silently said to God, “It’s OK. Thank you for giving me this baby to hold for a few moments.” I instantly knew there would be other babies for me to hold.
I still felt horrible several days after returning home and had a suspicion that led me to go to the doctor.
“Yes, you’re pregnant,” confirmed the doctor. After more discussion and tests, I realized that the day I told God it was OK if he had other plans for me was the day my son’s heart started beating. Was it a strange coincidence, or was it God’s way of showing me His timing?
I choose the latter. My son is evidence that miracles still happen and that he is a gift from God. We named him Nathan, which means “gift of God.”
As Nathan grew into a belligerent teenager, I found strength in remembering that moment in a Haitian village inside the Dominican Republic when God taught me to get through the teen years on my knees. He had given me this child. He would get me through the teen years.
I’d been working at FH for two years at that point. Many people had told me that visitors to our fields leave the U.S. thinking they were going “there” to help “them,” the people who were less advantaged than we Americans. Many people often came back to the U.S. transformed, having been forever changed by “them.” I was one of the transformed.
God will bless your efforts to help vulnerable people through FH. While others are being blessed by you, you could be blessed beyond anything you imagined.