Friday, December 13, 2013

Au Revoir Haiti

This is my last week in Haiti.  Tomorrow we fly back to the "Night 'n States", as Eleanor calls it.  It was a good week... working at the clinic, spending time with my mom and sister, saying goodbye to friends in Haiti. It doesn't really seem real that I won't be coming back in January.  Just feels like a normal Christmas break, except for the 11 suitcases in our house, holding all our stuff from the past 12 years or so.

My favorite moment of this last week in Haiti happened last Sunday.  The children in the Sunday School program decided to give me a little show.  They put a chair up front for me to sit in, and then presented me with a gift.  Several little girls got up and each sang a song or recited a poem.  One of the girls sang a song of thanks to the Lord.  She had such a sweet voice, and seeing her there, standing on the cement floor of the school classroom with the morning sun streaming in the door behind her, lighting up her flowery Sunday-best dress and ribboned hair, I couldn't help but think, "I'm going to miss this".  This place, these people, my Haiti home.

After the children presented me with my gift, it was time for me to go to "big church" and speak a few words of goodbye to the congregation.  I told them that God was leading us back to the U.S. and that I wasn't quite sure how to live there anymore, after so many years in Haiti.  I shared with them how I had been studying Jesus' words in Revelation to the church in Laodicea, and how His admonishments to that church reminded me of America.  They said they were rich and had need of nothing, but they were poor, naked, and blind.  I told the congregation I am heading back to America to be a missionary there to those who are spiritually poor, naked, and blind.  Then I encouraged them to be missionaries right where they are.  The best missionary is the one who doesn't need to learn the language or cultural mores, because they have known and practiced them since childhood.  The best missionaries are the Christians in the neighborhood, at the market, in the home.

And so, we are going back to our native language and culture with the gospel.  We're going to be a missionaries in our neighborhood, our marketplace, and our home. Look out, America.  Here we come!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Time To Move On

Big news! For everyone who has not heard through the grapevine already, the Price family is moving to Alabama in December. After 12 years on the field for me, and 6 years for my husband (and for my children-all their lives), we feel that it is time to return to the United States. When I originally came to Haiti, I gave a tentative two year commitment. As the years passed by, I continued to feel that God had more work for me here in Haiti. I have always prayed that the Lord would make it clear to me when it was time to leave. I also prayed that it wouldn't be a huge tragedy or major event or interpersonal issue that forced me to leave. It seems that God is answering my prayer. We are not dissatisfied or traumatized – we just feel it is time to move on to what God has in store for us next.

We will relocate to northeastern Alabama, near my husband's hometown and family. He has accepted a job with a Christian optometrist, and I will try my hand at being a stay-at-home mom. Of course, being a missionary is all I have ever wanted to do with my life, but I think there are plenty of mission opportunities everywhere in the world (even Alabama!), so I'll keep an eye out for them and dive in when the opportunity arises. And who knows? Maybe God will lead us overseas again in the future.

I would like to thank Community Christian Church for their faithful support over the years. They have been such an encouragement to me and such an example of what it means to demonstrate the community of fellow believers. Other supporting churches that I would like to thank are Lake Eustis Christian Church, Harvest Community Church, and Hope Evangelical Free Church of Roscoe. Thank you, also, Community KIDZ, who have been special supporters and have brought joy to my heart all these years. To all my faithful individual supporters, I cannot express what a blessing you have been to me and to the Haitian people through your selfless giving. May God reward you greatly!

For those of my supporters who have a heart for Haiti and would like to continue giving towards mission activities here, I would recommend the following:

Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, Christian Vision Eye Services to Haiti (the mission my husband is part of... they will still be continuing the construction on the new eye clinic and are actively recruiting a new missionary optometrist). For more information, go to

Haiti Health Ministries (the mission started by Dr. Jim and Sandy Wilkins, who currently run the clinic where I work). Construction continues on the new clinic building, and as always, donations are used to help patients who cannot pay for medicines or procedures or surgeries, and for formula and protein for malnourished children and adults. For more information, go to

Christianville Foundation (the mission where we live). Donations are used to support Christian schools and churches as well as other community development projects. For more information, go to

Thank you again for all your support and prayers through the years. Stay tuned for a few more blogs. We haven't left yet!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


  Usually, when I go home to the States, I find myself getting irritated at people.  It's a displaced irritation.  I'm not actually upset at the people themselves, but instead at the discrepancies between how we live in the U.S. and how the Haitians live here.  For instance, the time when I watched a woman hemorrhage in my car for seven hours after giving birth, while I tried to find her help at four different hospitals.  Then I went home to watch my friend have her baby in a luxury birthing suite with monitors and epidural anesthesia and round the clock nursing care, and I found myself getting irritated.  It wasn't my friend's fault that her birthing experience was a good one.  It was just the huge difference in available medical options between one place and another that was bothering me.  Or the year when we went home and wanted a 'simple Christmas' but ended up receiving eighty five hundred gifts for the kids.  I couldn't help feeling irritated, knowing that my Haitian friends were celebrating Christmas by going to church and eating a meal together that might include meat as a special treat.  It wasn't my family's fault for wanting to rain down gifts on the children they see only twice a year.  It was just the great gulf between excess and want that frustrated me.
  A few weeks ago, I found myself suffering from this displaced irritation once again.  And this time, I wasn't in the States.  It happened right here in my home.  A couple of the boys from the Jacmel boys' home came to visit me and talk about the food situation in the house.  Apparently, the money for their monthly food allowance is not sufficient, and they have been without food for a couple weeks.  They were hungry and frustrated, so they came to visit me and talk it over.  When they arrived, I asked them how their families were.  Usually, a Haitian will reply "doing well" or "fine, thank the Lord" or something of that nature.  But these boys replied "ou konnen mis, sa'k mouri, mouri".  That means "you know, those that have died are dead."  Jean Robert lost a teenage cousin to cholera two weeks ago, and has another relative in the hospital recovering from cholera.  Elira lost a sister with obstetrical complications a few months ago.  So, the boys were suffering loss, and they were hungry.  We talked for awhile, trying to resolve the food issue, then I sent them on their way with a little something for the road.  As they were leaving, my daughter started to scream. I had served her lunch right before the boys arrived.  I gave her a fork to eat her macaroni and cheese with.  She was screaming because she wanted a spoon.  She refused to eat the food with a fork.  I got irritated and said to her, "We just had starving people in our house and you are crying about a fork?"  I'm sure my four year old daughter didn't understand what I was referring to or care in the least, and I shouldn't have expected her to.  She's just a little girl who prefers spoons to forks.  I wasn't really irritated with her.  I was irritated, and a little ashamed, at the discrepancy between how we live and how those around us do.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Twelve Years In Haiti

I moved to Haiti September 4, 2001. The following is a brief synopsis of my time here since then.

Year One: I miss my nephew, Lukey! I meet Margarethe, deliver my first baby, and tend to a little burned boy: Jean Dony. The clinic starts functioning and the patients come en masse.

Year Two: I move from a cot in the dorms to an air mattress in my new apartment above the clinic. Communication with the outside world moves from satellite-phone-only to the internet. Tooth-pulling Tuesdays begin.

Year Three: Davidson Jean Phillippe, my first godchild, is born. I begin teaching baptism classes for the local youth. Chelsea and I spend two weeks in a Haitian house.

Year Four: Danny and Leann join the Seguin team. I turn 30 while cliff jumping in the Dominican Repulic. Danny and Leann move on to Jacmel, and I'm once again alone on the mountain.

Year Five: I float down a river in my Land Cruiser (oh, the irony!).  Cell phone reception makes its way to Seguin, and I make my first call to friends in Port from inside my Seguin apartment.

Year Six: Jessica spends six months on the mountain with me. Other wonderful interns come and go. In the end, I'm once again alone on the mountain. At the urging of friends, advisors, and the Holy Spirit, I give my six months' notice and pray about where God wants me next.

Year Seven: I visit Christianville at the invitation of Jim and Sandy. I meet Ryan. I move to Christianville. Later, I start dating Ryan, and we get engaged under a waterfall.

Year Eight: Ryan and I are married. Pregnancy immediately follows. Really. Immediately. Nine months later, Eleanor Nancy Price is born. I move from full time at the clinic to part time.

Year Nine: Our bodies, living arrangements, work environments, relationships, and perceptions are shaken to the core by the earthquake of January 12, 2010.

Year Ten: Our family grows to four, as Titus Christopher Price is born. I start a Children's Church program at Lasalle Church, and begin teaching Creole Grammar classes to American missionaries.

Year Eleven: Jim and Sandy move down the road, and I get used to working in the UNICEF tents with them. My sister and her family move to Haiti and live within walking distance of me (yippee!).

Year Twelve: Our family grows once again when we welcome our second boy, Samuel George Price. My sister and her family move back to the States (boo!). Construction begins on a new eye clinic. I continue working part time at the medical clinic, teaching Creole classes, and creating curriculum for the Children's Church program. I stay connected to Seguin via a latrine project, a Boys' Home for mountain boys that need to go to High School in the city, and through hosting many Seguin friends who come visit us at Christianville.

Community Christian Church supports my ministry.... from year one all the way up to the present!

Here are some of my favorite pictures.  The little boy standing with Eleanor was born the day after the quake, in front of my house.  The older woman and child are Margarethe's mother in law and Margarethe's fourth child.  God has been faithful to both Margarethe and me and has brought us quite a ways since those early days in 2001.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Haiti's Travelin' Blind Man

Many of you know Roger, Seguin's loudest blind man.  He's a tall, thin man who used to beg loudly on my front porch when I lived in the mountains.  We gave him a job as a human megaphone, calling out patient names for us.  Now that the clinic is closed, he is out of work and relies on charity to makes ends meet.

Roger is not only known for his loud voice, but also for his travelling ways.  Even though Seguin is a mountainous place with narrow, slippery clay trails and deep ravines, Roger uses his wooden cane to feel his way around and walk by himself over miles of terrain.  Once, Roger was crossing a very narrow bridge that spans an 80 foot ravine when he ran into someone.  He yelled at the person, saying, "What's wrong with you?  Don't you know I'm blind?  Watch where you're going!"  The person answered him, "Roger?  Is that you?"  It was Roger's cousin.... who is also blind.  The two men laughed about it afterwards.

Once I moved to Christianville, I expected to see much less of Roger.  I've only been able to visit Seguin a few times since my move.  Roger, however, was not satisfied with a visit every few years, so he decided to come see me.  And he has... several times, and always by himself.  Just recently he visited me, sporting a new T-shirt with vampires on it, some old shoes with soles that were coming un-glued, and his usual smile. He needed help with school for his children.  In order to come ask me for help, Roger had to ride no less than three motorcycle taxis, two tap-taps, and a bus.  Then he had to repeat that process to return home. He told me one of the tap-taps he was riding broke down and he had to overnight in Jacmel.  I didn't have the heart to ask him how and where he overnighted there.  Roger is a brave man.  Possibly, the most well-travelled blind man in Haiti.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Third Culture Kid

Eleanor, my firstborn, turned 4 this past week.  We threw her a party that included American missionary friends and Haitian neighborhood friends.  There was pin-the-hat-on-the-Minnie-Mouse, a craft, and lots of running around and general noise-making.  There were no presents, though.  That was on purpose.  Being the third culture kid that she is, she doesn't know there are supposed to be presents at a birthday party, and she doesn't have any commercials on television or friends from school telling her that there should be presents.

There has been a lot written lately about third culture kids, with all the international travel that happens now.  For those of you who haven't ever heard of the term, it refers to a child who is raised in a country other than their parents' country of origin.  So, the child is exposed to one culture at home, and another outside the home, leading them to adapt by forming their own 'third culture'.  I think my kids are too young to really exhibit a lot of third culture behavior, but one thing I have noticed is that they are very adaptable.  They are accustomed to bumpy roads, rain on the tin roof, and sleeping under mosquito nets.  But they also do just fine in air conditioning, eating fish sticks and watching cable t.v.  I love how adaptable they are.  I love that living in Haiti means that Eleanor didn't ask for an American Girl doll this year, because she has no idea what that is.  What I don't love, however, is that sometimes living in Haiti means I can't give my kids what they ask for.  This year, Eleanor wanted strawberry cupcakes with flowers on top, and a helium balloon ('like the one Mimi had') for her birthday.  Two simple requests that would have been so easy to fulfill in the States.  Here in Haiti, though, it was a pretty tall order.  Even the fanciest grocery store in Port au Prince didn't carry strawberry cake mix this month, and the only place in town that advertised helium balloons could only fill an order for a large quantity, not a single balloon or two.  So, Ryan and I improvised.  I bought a white cake mix and dyed it pink.  Ryan's uncle Jerry told us that pennies in muriatic acid would create hydrogen that would float a balloon.  Ryan tried this technique, and I was upset that I wasn't home to see his attempts.  Apparently they involved oven mitts, safety goggles, and a mad dash out the door.  In the end, the balloons didn't float.  So, when all was said and done, Eleanor got a birthday party with friends that involved pink cupcakes and nine red balloons (some of which appeared to float using the magic of duct tape).  How did my third culture kid respond?  Well.......

I think she liked it just fine!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Godmother, Part 2: The Graduation

Well, Makenson Luc did it!  He graduated!  And fellow missionary Marie, Samuel, and I got to attend and experience his graduation in all its glory.  We arrived at 9:30am and the ceremony ended at 3:30pm, so it was truly an all-day cultural experience.  The ceremony included the following highlights:
-singing of the national anthem
-singing of the Pocahantas theme song
-introduction and standing ovation for Jean Claude Duvalier ("Baby Doc"), Haiti's ex-president/dictator
-singing of the Lion King theme song
-a sexy dance
-a speech in French from Baby Doc Duvalier, which included a list of all the possible professions these young students might enjoy in the future ('deposed dictator' didn't make the list)
-another sexy dance
-the mash up of a sexy song and Ave Maria
-giving out of diplomas
-a fashion show of outfits from 'around the world', including beach attire (Jamaica?), country attire (Seguin?), city attire (New York?), and a turban and metal arm bands (???).  This particular part of the program was the most popular, winning hoots and hollers from the crowd (and looks of confusion from the Americans in the audience).
-more giving out of diplomas
-reciting a poem about being a student.  The most interesting line of this poem was "the rich in Haiti eat three times a day, the poor in Haiti eat three times a year"
-more giving out of diplomas
-the passing of the 'torch' from the senior to the junior class

The ceremony did not, however, involve the godparents giving any speeches or formally presenting any gifts to the graduates, which was a huge relief to me.  I enjoyed giving my gift and words of encouragement privately.

The graduation may have been long and confusing to me, but it didn't lessen the fact that Makenson finished high school, amidst all the obstacles he faced.  I'm proud of him and I pray God guides him in the next stage of his life and education, which often can be more arduous than high school here in Haiti.  Develop your future, Makenson.  I hope it's a bright one!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Godmother, Part One

   Being a godmother here in Haiti is a pretty common thing.  They have godparents for everything.  Children, marriages, graduations, any big life event.  Not only do the Catholic Haitians do this, but all Haitians seem to do this.  So, needless to say, I've been asked to be a godmother quite often.  It is the responsibility of the godparent to financially and emotionally support the person in certain respects (sometimes in all respects).  Often, I decline.  "No, mesi.  Not this time, sorry!"  That is my typical response.  However, I have said 'yes' on occasion.  I am the godmother to several children here.  Sonson (Margarethe's son) is one of my 'fyel' - godchildren, as well as a couple other children that I delivered.  I have varying degrees of responsibility with them all.
   A few weeks ago, Mackenson asked me to be the godmother of his graduation.  Normally, I would have given him my pat answer "No, mesi.  Not this time, sorry!"  But, his case is different.  I first met Mackenson about seven years ago, when he came to my clinic as a young teenager with an injured leg.  He had been dragged by a horse and had some muscle damage.  I told him he might need to go to the hospital.  He cried. I didn't know it then, but he wasn't crying from the pain or from fear of being hospitalized.  He was crying because he was a restavek and he was afraid that his family would not like spending money on him at the hospital.  He was correct.  Shortly after his injury, while he was recovering, his foster family told him they didn't want him anymore, because he would be more expensive now that he was 'injured' and couldn't work hard.  He had to find a different place to live.  This is when the boys' home started.  We rented him and several other boys a home in Jacmel where they could continue their schooling under the supervision of a Christian chaperone.  Mackenson did well in the home, and has come to his last year of school.  He graduates on June 22 of this year.  Through these past seven years, I've given him advice from time to time, listened to his struggles and hopes and dreams, tried to find him work, and generally filled in the role of a concerned family member for him.  He has a mother who lives very far away and is ill.  His father is deceased.  So, when Mackenson asked me to be the godmother at his graduation, I realized I would be the only 'family' representing him there, and I just had to say 'yes'.
   Here's the catch:  the graduation is a big ceremony.  There will be hundreds of people there.  The godparents have an actual speaking role at the ceremony.  There are specific things I am expected to say and do and bring.  And, ex-president Duvalier (you may know him as "Baby Doc") will be officially presiding over the affair.  So, no pressure.
   I had a big sit-down talk with Mackenson the other day, where I took notes about all that I needed to prepare for.  The big event happens in less than a month.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Samuel George Price

He arrived!  Samuel George Price was born at 2:11pm on Monday, April 1st after 12 hours of pitocin and 6 minutes of pushing.  He weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces and was about 20 inches long (the nurses had to guestimate because he was wriggling so much).  He has been hungry and growing ever since.  He likes to eat every 1.5 hours, which is good for him, but difficult for mommy, especially at night!  He really likes to take in his surroundings between 2 and 6am.  His brother and sister think he's "so cute", but otherwise ignore him.  They are busy playing with their extended family and going to preschool two days a week.

We are planning to return to Haiti as soon as his passport comes, but apparently that might take longer than we've experienced in the past.  We're still waiting on his social security card.  Please pray that paperwork comes quickly.  We love being with family, but we are needed back in Haiti in May.

Thank you all for your prayers for a smooth and healthy delivery and for a healthy baby.  God is good!  It's amazing what He can accomplish in nine months!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bearing Fruit

Well, we're in the United States for awhile.  We came here to wait for baby Price number three to be born.  He's due in early April, and I convinced my OB to induce me on April 1st.  So, it's T minus 4 days till blast-off.  I am definitely ready!

While I've been sitting around, waiting for the baby to come, I've taken up reading.  Lots and lots of books.  Some fiction, just to fall asleep to.  Some non-fiction and self-help books.  One of the books that I've read that would fall into the latter category is "Loving the Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic.  In her book, she mentioned something that really helped me put some of my ministry activities into perspective.  It's the idea that God calls us to bear fruit, and after that, the rest is His job.  For instance, an apple tree that bears apples every year is a great tree, whether people come to pick those apples and eat them, or whether the apples fall to the ground and rot.  Doesn't matter, the tree did its job.  It bore apples.  In the same way, God calls us to bear fruit, regardless of the outcome.  I needed this reminder, because sometimes Haiti can be a bit of a black hole.  Many efforts, little results.

Here's an example:  Since I have had to cut back my hours at the clinic to only afternoons (because of my sweet little ones), I have taken up teaching Creole to various missionaries who were interested in learning the language to better minister to the Haitian people.  In the past year or two, I've taught Creole to 22 students.  Of those 22 missionaries, only 9 of them are still in Haiti and able to daily use anything they learned in our classes.  I was beginning to feel discouraged and wonder if I should keep up the lessons, but God reminded me that it doesn't matter what happens to the fruit... I just need to bear it.

So, as I tell my patients for the eightieth time to eat less sugar, or exercise more, or take their meds correctly;  as I teach more missionaries Creole;  as I make lessons for Children's Church and put them in the hands of the Haitian volunteer teachers.... I try to remember God's encouragement to us all as we work for Him, found in Galatians 6 verse 9:
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hair, Babies, and Missionary Activities

Sometimes, being a missionary means doing some odd things.  I guess that doesn't come as a surprise to people who know me... I've been doing odd things for a long time.  Lately, you will find me showing up to work in crazily braided hair on occasion.  It's my way of connecting with a young mother in my neighborhood.  Marjorie comes to my house every so often to braid my hair, and while she does, we talk, get to know each other, and I offer counsel when I can.

Marjorie and I had an interesting conversation the other day.  She noticed my hugely pregnant belly and asked me when the baby was due.  Then she asked me where I was going to have the baby.  When I told her I was planning to go back to the States to give birth, she asked me "Why?"  I suppose that sounds like a fair enough question, until you consider Marjorie's labor and delivery history.  Marjorie's first baby, Ledson, was born just outside my front gate, on the grass of the parking lot.  It was January 13, 2010.  That's the day after the big quake.  The earthquake sent her into labor, and the morning afterwards she came to find someone to help deliver her baby, but we were all in the church building, wading through hoards of injured and dying patients.  So, she just squatted by our front gate and began to push.  Thankfully, there were a few missionary ladies on the compound that were non-medical, so they weren't at the church with the rest of us.  They saw Marjorie in her distress, called for some supplies, and helped deliver Ledson.  He's three years old now, and doing great.  Marjorie's second baby, Samuel, was born at the local hospital.  It's a Doctors Without Borders hospital that was set up after the earthquake.  Most of the "buildings" consist of large tents. The birthing center is a large tent with ten or so beds in a row, separated by nothing but air and screams.  The women who are currently pushing are placed on the beds, while the women who are in active labor but not yet ready to push squat on the floor or walk around the tent in agony.  When Marjorie and her mother arrived at the hospital to give birth, all of the beds were full.  Marjorie joined the laboring, groaning, milling-about crowd until she just couldn't take it any longer.  She told her mother she just had to push, at which point her mother directed her out of the maternity tent and into the medical-surgical tent next store.  They found an empty bed there, and, assisted by no one but her mother, Marjorie gave birth to Samuel.  After he was born, his cries alerted the staff and they came over to scold her profusely for daring to give birth in the medical-surgical tent.  So, when Marjorie asked me why I was going back to the States to have my baby, I thought in my head, "Ledson and Samuel!  That right there is why I'm going Stateside!"  But I tried to answer her more diplomatically.  I explained that there is better neonatal care in the U.S., and since my first baby had some problems breathing after birth, I feel more comfortable giving birth at a hospital that is set up for good emergency care of neonates.  I didn't mention to her that I am also a big fan of epidurals and pain medicine and privacy curtains!  I would appreciate all your prayers that this little guy waits until we are Stateside (we leave March 2nd) to make his appearance.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tragedy and an Important Question

  On January 11, I met my friends Tim and Mary, along with their group of American medical missionary volunteers, at a gas station near my home.  They were on their way from Port au Prince to Seguin to spend a week giving free medical care to the Haitians in Seguin.  I needed to give them some medicines they had requested, so we met up at the gas station.  Tim and Mary and I hugged, and I spoke briefly with a woman and her husband who were eager to get to Seguin and start setting up the clinic.  We didn't chat long, because they had a long journey to Seguin ahead of them, but they peeked and waved at my kids who were waiting in the car, and then I wished them all a fun week with no "FTA" (fun travel adventures) and a safe journey, and headed home.  Several hours later, I got word that their caravan of four cars had been in an accident.  After some tense moments and phone calls, we finally pieced together a horrible, tragic story.  The fourth car in the caravan had lost control on a steep mountain pass and gone over the edge of a precipitous cliff, killing all aboard, except the driver.  Among those who lost their lives was Mary.  She has two children and a husband at home in the States who have been sending her off with prayers for years on her regular mission trips to Haiti.  The husband and wife duo that I had met at the gas station were also victims and lost their lives.  They leave two children behind.  And the fourth victim was a 24 year old young man whose father was also on the trip, in a different vehicle.  It was this young man's first trip to Haiti.  The driver is a Haitian man who has worked with Tim for some time now and helps to translate during the medical trips.  He was ejected from the vehicle, suffered extensive broken bones and head trauma, but is currently in the hospital and expected to live.
   I visited this driver a few days after the crash.  He was lying in bed, with his head and arm and leg bandaged, but he was lucid and willing to talk to me about what he could remember from the crash.  He told me that the vehicle lost its brakes and that he tried to stop 4 or 5 times but was unable to do so, therefore he had sped past the three other cars in the caravan and tried to take a very sharp turn at high speed, which led to him losing control, crashing through the guard rail, flipping the vehicle, and falling over the edge.  He doesn't know how he survived the fall.  I told him God must have a reason for him to be alive, some purpose left for him on this earth.  Margarethe, who was there with me, began telling him the importance of accepting Christ as Savior and following Him.  We prayed for him and left.  As my mother and I drove back through those mountains on our way home, we saw the site of the accident.  We backtracked from that spot for several miles, pointing out to each other every good place we saw along the way that would have been an acceptable and safe place to stop or even crash a vehicle without brakes.  Places that would have possibly damaged the truck and perhaps a few limbs, but would certainly not have resulted in death.  We asked ourselves why the driver didn't downshift and put on the emergency brake.  And, failing all else, why he didn't crash into the caravan of cars that were in front of him, instead of speeding past them?  Asking these questions only led us to frustration.  And if we were experiencing frustration, I can only imagine what it was like for the passengers in the car in the moments before the accident.
   So, I had to stop asking these questions.  I had to forgive the driver in my heart.  I had to accept that, for some reason, on that particular day, God called four of His servants home.  But there is still one question that I do ask myself, and think it might be an important question for all of us to ask ourselves:  What kind of drivers are we?  Not just actually, but figuratively as well.  As we drive others along the road in our vehicles, do we take responsibility for their safety, to the extent that it's in our control?  And, more figuratively speaking, who are we driving, where are we driving them, and are we taking them there with care?
   I delivered this message to my Haitian patients a few weeks ago, and it was a little simpler to do in Creole, because 'to drive' in Creole (kondwi) also means 'to guide'.  In Creole, you 'kondwi' someone in your car, or you 'kondwi' a blind person, or you 'kondwi' people down a footpath to a certain destination.  So, back to the question:  who are we guiding and are we good guides?  I can think of those in my life that I guide, and who trust me to guide them well:  my children need me to guide them in almost every area.  My patients trust me to guide them to health with the medicines and treatments I choose for them.  My Sunday school students and my Tuesday morning patient crowd trust me to present the gospel to them clearly and accurately.  I am beginning to realize why James says, "Let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment" (James 3:1).
   I pray that the Lord gives us wisdom as we guide those entrusted to us, and that we do it with godly fear.  I pray that the Lord speaks to the driver recuperating in the hospital.  And I pray that Mary, Rita, Jim, and Matt rest in peace and that God grants their families and friends a peace that surpasses understanding.