Posted: May 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

The other night, Beth and I had dinner with a friend that we have known for about twenty years.  He is a Haiti friend-meaning that we know him because of Haiti.  He doesn’t live in Haiti, but he is a part of a mission that has been working in Haiti for thirty years.

He was venting a bit, sharing  frustrations and discouragements as there had  recently been several bumps on the road.  Beth and I listened and told of some of our  bump stories, as we have had no lack of bumps in our twenty-two year journey in Haiti.

None of us is immune to discouragement, and when I hear someone say that he never gets discouraged, I figure that means he’s not doing much, or that he is too shallow to get discouraged, or that he is discouraged.

Things will not always go as we would like.  There will be times when it gets hard, times when your efforts are not appreciated or may even be rejected.  There will be times when you will feel let down or even forsaken by those that you thought you could count on.

I wonder if Jesus had such feelings?  Really, from a purely human perspective, Jesus while alive on earth didn’t seem to have done all that well in being God in the flesh.  In the crunch, he was forsaken by the men that were closest to him. We, of course, know that the death of Jesus wasn’t the end but really a new beginning for mankind as Christ didn’t stay dead.

Living and ministering in Haiti can, at times, be rather difficult.  We daily can encounter situations, heartache, sadness and unjustness that can seem overwhelming and which, at times, can seep into our beings.

Just this week among other situations we had the bio mom of a child that went through our adoption program come to our house to see me.  I had seen her about two months ago when I gave her money sent by the family that adopted her child.  She told me that on the day that I had given her the money, she left our house and got on a public transportation vehicle to go home.  A man who got on the vehicle with her, confronted her, and demanded the money that she had received.  It seemed that he had seen her when she counted the money while standing on the street in front of our house.  He grabbed her purse, and when she wouldn’t let go, he pulled out a gun and shot her three times.  All the other people in the vehicle fled and the driver took this women to a hospital where she spent three weeks.  She by God’s grace survived and now she stood before me, showing me the three bullet wounds and wanting to know how I can help her.

This week, as well, the sister-in law of one of our dear, long-term staff members was kidnapped by men that broke into her home at two in the morning as she, her husband, and six month old child slept.  The men cut the electricity to the house, broke in, made her and her husband lie face down on the floor, and  forcibly removed her, leaving her husband and child.  This is not a rich family, but rather a young couple who are trying to make it in a country that often seems inhospitable to those that are trying to build a better life for themselves and for their children.  The initial ransom price is two hundred thousand dollars American.  A ridiculously absurd amount from a family that perhaps takes in five hundred dollars a month.   The family has yet to speak to her to verify her condition.

Today I received a call from a woman, that I had last seen at the funeral service of her daughter who had died of AIDS.   She’s coming to see me this week.

Today I had a Haitian policeman come to the office to see me.  I have known him and his family for a number of years and consider him a friend.  He three weeks ago was on a moto taxi when the driver lost control of the motorcycle.  The moto hit a vehicle parked on the side of the road and my friend in the collision sustained broken ribs, and a broken arm.  He came for help with his hospital bill and to know if we could help his family with food.

As I believer I firmly believe that God’s word is not just good advice to help us through trying times, but rather, it has the power to strengthen us in times of weakness.  It can empower us to hold on when holding on seems the most difficult thing to do.  It can instill peace while the storm rages.

Matthew 11:28

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peace,Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16  Rejoice always, 17  pray without ceasing, 18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Galatians 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

I love these two little quotes by William Carey

The future is as bright as the promises of God.

I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.

There will be times of frustration and discouragement.  But it is in these times that we must find strength, help, peace, wisdom, endurance, and encouragement in God’s word.  Strength to keep on even in the midst of difficulty.  Strength to trust God. Strength to as William Carey wrote, “Plod.”


  1. intersecthaiti says:

    The lady at your gate Saturday morning when we left to run? She had been shot?

  2. johnmchoul says:

    Yeah, about two months ago. We have known her for perhaps 15 years. Her son was adopted by a large family in Minnesota. The same family that adopted Tina who is depicted on the mural at the Maternity Center.

  3. Angela Koch says:

    wow john, i feel like maybe your wrote this one for me. thank you for sharing and encouraging and being here.

  4. johnandjo says:

    “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning”.(Ps 30:5) Praise God for seasons of refreshing that DO ultimately come John! We certainly need them in the face of this sin-tainted world. Sometimes it fells like all we have is some deep down quiet assurance that joy is coming – somehow – sometime – from His hand.

  5. ralberts says:

    Great word, thanks!

  6. …and I miss that place. Love you John.

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