"There's someone I'd love for you to meet," my Father-in-Law told us.
"Her name is Ms. Elizabeth and she is just right down the street from us. She is a dear friend."
And so, we set off down the road.
We were filled in on the fact that Ms. Elizabeth was in the final stages of breast cancer and told to prepare ourselves for the sight we might encounter.
We stepped thru the curtain-as-door and were greeted by Ms. Elizabeth's official greeters and led into the one room that served as her home.
We met and talked and prayed together. And then we sang...
Amazing Grace and 10,000 Reasons. Creole and English intertwined.
I'll never forget the image of her eyes closed and frail hand raised, worshiping with the intensity of a person who is close to meeting the object of her worship.
We would go back and visit again. My in-laws numerous times, administering meds to keep her comfortable, praying, and singing...always singing.
And then, a few weeks later we got the phone call letting us know that Ms. Elizabeth was free from her struggle and singing in the presence of her Jesus.
Later that week, we were eating dinner listening to music when 10,000 Reasons came on. Jeremiah and I looked at each other and the tears welled up as we mourned and rejoiced the privilege of having met Elizabeth and knowing she was no longer in pain.
Those tears led to questions from the boys. Mom and Dad don't usually cry at the dinner table, after all. And then, the story of Ms. Elizabeth ultimately led them to the story of Jesus and they both started their own story of following after Him that night.
When discussing their baptism, the boys really wanted to do it in Haiti. And so, on our last trip, the boys publicly declared their faith in Jesus. Just down the street from where Ms. Elizabeth lived.
|How cool is it that their baptism was witnessed by so much Haiti family!|
|Pretty cute onlookers.|
After the boys were baptized, Zoe jumped onto the steps, looked directly at me and said, "I want to be baptized too!"
I explained to her that being baptized was a big decision, one that happens after she made a decision to follow Jesus. I told her that we would talk more at bedtime. And then, in the rush that is life and dinner and showers and teeth brushing...I didn't bring it up again.
But she did. As I was tucking her in, she, again, directly looked at me and said, "Remember Mom, you were going to tell me about becoming a Christian!"
And so I did. And in her completely trusting and sincere 5 year old way, we prayed for her to begin her own story of following Jesus.
Ms. Elizabeth never had a single facebook like in her lifetime. She had no bank account, no degrees or books written and died a very painful and undocumented death.
Yet, the legacy she left by her simple faith and joy, found in a Jesus who was real and present to her, will live on forever in our family.
"I thank my God upon every memory of you."