Today we returned to Grand Lagon. We hadn’t originally planned on it, but since some of the children and teachers were not there at church on Sunday, we went back to get sponsorship information and share the Trail to the Tree art with them.
While there I got to see the teachers in their element, teaching classes. I am so humbled by this whole experience, but to go into a stick walled classroom, with dirt floors, plank benches and a deteriorating chalkboard and see children with a beloved and scarce pencil learning to conjugate French verbs, I realize the sheer abundance of what I’ve been given my entire life.
We are also here to talk to the little learning disabled child’s mother and teacher. His disability is mild in the grand scheme of things, but without proper resources, he may never learn to read or write. Then it occurs to me…God cares about this boy’s heart. He cares about him as a good shepherd cares for his lamb. He is not forgotten out here, in this land without electricity and plumbing. God knows this child and desires for the child to know Him. So, I encourage his teacher and his mother to love him, pray for him, teach him Scripture. Jesus took uneducated fishermen and made them fishers of men. He loves the uneducated. He loves the impoverished. He loves this boy.

After we finished at the school, we milled about for a few minutes. Bebe (Barbara) spotted a newborn baby and asked to hold it. The woman handed the baby over and we oohed and ahhed over his sweet tiny features and fuzz ball head. He was hungry and rooting. One of the women said “He’s always hungry.” Bebe asked, “Why? Where is his mother? Isn’t she feeding him?” Someone spoke up and said she has a sickness in her breast, and cannot feed him. Susan could tell right away that he’s not starving, but Bebe asks to see the mother. The women called her over from a stand of trees. As she approached, I saw that she is holding a bath towel under her shirt, but when she raised her shirt for Bebe to see, I gasped. It was her breast, not a bath towel that she was holding and it was the size of a basketball. The women had put a poultice on the dark bulge of infection that stood out above the skin stretched so tight it was milk chocolate instead of dark, pitted and misshapen. It was evident that she needed immediate medical care. Mastitis in the States is a malady that no woman wants, but the one time I had it, a phone call and a five minute trip to the pharmacy had me back on my feet in 24 hours. This woman had been suffering for a LONG time in excruciating pain with her first squalling newborn. No means to get the hour-long ride in a car or on the back of a motosiklet to the Wesleyan hospital in Anse a Galet. No fresh cabbage leaves. No hot bath. No pharmacy up the street. But she did have a God who brought her to the school where she had no children enrolled on a day when our team wasn’t supposed to be there. A God Who orchestrated a matter of minutes and glances and rooting to get her the medical attention that she could never afford. Grace indeed. (As of this post, this woman is still in the hospital, nearly a week later. The infection is bad and the baby has an infection, too. Please pray for them!)
We celebrated for dinner- Dumerle and Benji’s Baugh’s birthdays. Madame Fifi wore her finest pink turban and matching dress, put on makeup, decorated the fruit with dozens of little colored umbrellas and served up a feast! Terraline, Dumerle’s pretty wife joined us for crazy laughter and teasing and kisses. If Hope for LaGonave is a door to education for 400 children, Dumerle is the hinge it swings upon. God placed him in the life of Matt Baugh and showed a glimpse of him on a video watched after Matt went to Jesus in order to grow a mission for His own glory. The celebration is joyful indeed.

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