Monday, June 3, 2013
Lost in Translation
One of the specific ways in which Nehemiah Vision Ministries is working in Haiti is through their Children’s Home. At the moment there’s only one, in the village of Chambrun, with 9 children. Two others to replace this one have been built and are undergoing final preparations. These will be able to house up to 32 children apiece. For us, these children truly represent “the least of these.” They have been abandoned, orphaned, or given up because the parents could not care for them. Our family has a soft spot in our hearts for children in general, but especially these. We took a day last week to go to the Children’s Home to visit and play with the kids. Miguel and I brought along a soccer ball and the girls brought a jump rope. Miguel has made friends with one of the kids, Franzy, who is frequently on the NVM campus. Perhaps due to malnourishment, Franzy is significantly smaller than kids his age, so he and Miguel have a bond with that in common. As the kids played, jumping rope, playing soccer, and just being kids, Cathi and I practiced our Creole with the home mother, Enid. She is an older, sweet woman who is helping to raise these nine kids. We talked about how hard it is to get nine kids ready for school/church in the morning and we tried our best to understand as she talked about a whole array of other things. I think she thought we knew more Creole than we let on!! However, we have made significant progress in learning the language. We began to talk to the kids, too, and asking them questions. In turn, they would show off to us – some kids were doing handstands, some were juggling with rocks, and on it went. One smaller boy (whose name I cannot remember at the moment) showed Cathi how he could pick up a large rock. Cathi showed approval with raised eyebrows and a smile. She told him, “Ou tre gwo!” The boy gave her the most inquisitive look and then just walked away, confused. I didn’t have the heart to tell her then, but when we later got back to campus, I told her, “By the way, do you realize that you told that boy that he’s fat? You meant fò, not gwo” Cathi was mortified. No wonder the poor kid was looking at her very confused!! So goes our endeavor to connect with people… We’re bound to step on some toes at first, but the Haitians are gracious and truly appreciate our efforts to learn their language and their culture. It is our desire to meet them on their terms and show them the love of Christ in a way that they understand. Pray for us as we dive into this and continue to seek opportunities to interact with them.