Haiti, Black Friday 2013 –
In some checkout of some WalMart somewhere in North America, shoppers were slamming against each other – elbow to jagged elbow – fighting for the best deal.
Somewhere, it happened–
People who were thankful for the blessings over turkey on Thursday, were scouring shelves on Black Friday wanting more. They were looking for something they thought they couldn’t live without, “while supplies last.”
But you, friend? Yes you, somewhere across the ocean, somewhere on the other side of this screen. You were with us right here in Haiti, poorest country in the western hemisphere –where people aren’t scouring shelves for deals, but for meals. This is a place where the phrase – “while supplies last” – means this: I hope I can feed by babies before supplies will run out.
You are with us. Right. Here.
How do I know? I know it because I felt all of you.
I felt you here, when I wrapped my arms around Adeline on Friday and gave her the news. The news about how all of you made the miracle happen.
I tried to wrap the hugs of a thousand women, or more, into one tight embrace. I felt it in the depth of me — how Christ is still in the business of turning the darkest, blackest Fridays into Good Fridays.
Less than two weeks ago, we jumped in together. We decided to help our friend, Adeline, in Haiti. She’s a hard-working ViBella Jewelry artist whose house is “melting.” That’s the word she uses to describe what’s happening to her house.
Her one-room house is eroding when it rains, because her house is made of mud, cardboard and a shoddy tin roof. I saw it today, and … yeah. No words for the place.
You wanted to help, by buying the jewelry that Adeline and her Haitian friends create every day in Haiti.
We needed to raise $5,000, and we called it #HomefortheHolidays.
Today, I sat knee to knee with Adeline and an interpreter at the ViBella workshop.
I told Adeline how brave she was.
And how beautiful.
And how Jesus had stirred in the hearts of so many beautiful American women – ordinary women who were mothers, and grandmothers, and teachers, and dentists, and preachers, and daycare providers, and real-estate agents. How they were women who diapered babies and sat in carpool lanes and had Bibles tucked under their arms on their way through the glass doors of churches in America on Sunday mornings.
I held her hands. She pushed that one strand of hair behind my ear.
I told her more about you — how you were women who loved a good bargain on Black Friday, but who would never, ever, EVER, forget what it meant to live in the promise of Good Friday. And that’s why the miracle happened:
That’s why you sisters bought her a new house. WE BOUGHT ADELINE A HOUSE! And then some!! We exceeded our $5,000 goal!!!
Maybe we can buy her some curtains for the windows. And a pretty rug for the front door. And maybe we’ll bring her of those crazy macramé owls and dare her to hang it on the wall. Because that’s what friends do.
And we do it because our hearts beat like this:
Jesus. … Jesus … Jesus.
And sitting here in a starry sky in Haiti, I’m just sure of it: Adeline can hear your heart beat strong. Beating strong. So strong. For Jesus.
Read more encouragement by Jennifer in The Hard Work of Saying Goodbye
Jennifer Dukes Lee used to cover crime, politics, and natural disasters as an award-winning news journalist in the Midwest. Now, Jennifer uses her reporting skills to chase after the biggest story in history: the redemptive story of Christ. Soon, her words will make their way into her debut nonfiction Christian book, Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes.She and her husband live on the Lee family farm in Iowa with their two daughters.
To learn more about the author, please visit Jennifer Dukes Lee