My family and I recently returned from a medical mission trip to Haiti. We met a special person who changed our lives. His name was Edison. He was eight months old but so malnourished and sick that he weighed only 14 pounds, the average size of a four-month-old. His nine-year-old brother, Esky, brought him to our medical clinic in Croix de Bouquets, Haiti, on a Sunday afternoon.
Words don’t come easy when you try to fathom the childhood his brother has lost, having to care for his baby brother, and the heartache he felt as he told the doctors that his baby sister had recently died. The volunteer medical team examined baby Edison and found that he was riddled with disease. Among them were syphilis and HIV. He had been born with these diseases, which had caused his mother to be mentally incapable to care for him, as her body was succumbing to their damaging effects. Our hearts were broken as we wished we could have done more. All we could offer was water to hydrate him, hugs and prayers.
Edison was the topic of many conversations during our short time in Haiti.
I learned more about HIV and AIDS than I’ve ever known, and I was overwhelmed. I believe with everything in me that God creates every human being with a specific purpose, and that every single one of us has an inherent value simply because God created us and breathed life into us. That value is permanent! It can’t be added to or taken away from. So, I knew God had a purpose for Edison; that God knew the number of his days, and that every one of those days mattered.
Oh, how I wished that we could extend the number of those days because they seemed so very painfully short. But God never starts a story without finishing it.
On our way home, 10 out of our team of 30 people missed our connecting flight. We embraced the unexpected adventure after the annoyance of the lack of efficiency of the customs procedures (don’t get me started). This is where the story gets really cool. After pleading with the restaurant staff to stay open late, so we could use our vouchers for our comped meal, they agreed, and we were all grateful to finally eat some dinner.
A couple walked up to us and began sharing about how they had missed their flight as well. I recognized them from the airport in Haiti. We exchanged small talk, and as they explained more of what they were in Haiti for, we found out some incredible news. You ready for this? They run a clinic in Croix de Bouquets where they specifically treat HIV and AIDS patients for FREE! We all gasped and rubbed the goosebumps that were raising on all of our arms. My 15-year-old daughter looked at us and said with certainty, “This is why we’re here. This is why we missed our flight!” Tiny baby Edison’s life was important enough to God that He brought so many people together for His rescue operation. Those who were left behind at the airport became those who got to watch it all unfold from front row seats.
I have seen again and again the way that God chooses to use us to accomplish His purposes.
What may seem like a coincidence to some is actually an obvious work of God. Had we been on that flight home to L.A., we wouldn’t have been in that hotel lobby sitting next to people who run a clinic for HIV / AIDS. Every minuscule bit of our trip was orchestrated intentionally to place us exactly where we needed to be at exactly the right time! Isn’t that amazing! God wants to do the same for you. If God works so hard to rescue a baby with a less than desirable outlook, don’t you think He wants to rescue you? He does, my friend. My prayer for you is that you will know that you are loved, treasured and valued above what you could ever imagine. God is trying to get your attention. He wants to rescue you today. Will you let Him?