New Apostolic Church USA

God Willing

"Tomorrow, God-willing" from the Summer 2018 Vision Newsletter

Following is an article from one of our members, Lacey Smith, who participated in a year-long medical fellowship in Thomassique, Haiti, explaining her experiences there:

On my last night in Haiti, I sat eying a spider in the corner of my room from the thatched chair I had come to call my own. While the familiar whirl of my fan and the din of the crickets filled the heavy air, I thought about the year I had spent in villages, beneath mango trees, and under a sun made of fire.

I thought about the stories I had gathered - stories of hardship and endurance and cholera and malnutrition. Stories of a place and a culture both vibrant and complex. Stories of hurricanes and palm-roofed houses, of health committees and clean water initiatives, of village birth assistants and local doctors that rose above and beyond what was asked of them by their profession.

I thought about these stories, and I understood that, in thirteen months, these narratives had restructured my world view. For despite a life that seemed difficult and unforgiving, the men and women that lived these narratives were stronger and more forgiving. They were kind, funny, and frustrated at times, but ultimately collaborative in a world that seemed divisive and iniquitous. Before my fellowship, I had understood this kind of compassionate resilience in a parabolic way - as one internalizes Sunday School lessons, applicable yet still analogic. During my year as a Global Health Fellow, I was handed the opportunity to witness what “love of neighbor” should, could, and does entail.

My thoughts were disrupted by a buoyant knock on my open door.

“You worry too much about spiders,” my friend Kiki told me, following the course of my gaze. I laughed and un-furrowed my spider-furrowed brow.

“Only for one more day.” I said.

“Only until tomorrow, if God wants.” Kiki said.

In the language of Haitian Creole, one rarely says only the word, “tomorrow.” The phrase in its entirety is always “demen, si Dye vle” or “tomorrow, God-willing.” This linguistic nuance always made me grin. It was as if, embedded in the vernacular of Haitian life, there was a spirituality that framed my experience - that reminded me that the stories I gathered from yesterday, from Haiti, are meant to be a part of my tomorrow. That as a future physician, community member, daughter, sister, and friend, I have every reason to love my neighbor as deeply and as unequivocally as I am loved by God. I remember feeling that this is something that I wouldn’t forget. I also remember hoping that God forgot to include spiders under the term “neighbor.”

The tomorrow after that last night, I left the clinic and ended my fellowship. However, my connection to that place and those people still remains. Currently, the charity of the New Apostolic Church USA, re Charitable Ministry, is forming a relationship with the clinic’s US-based organization, Medical Missionaries. If you or someone you know would like more information on the Global Health Fellowship in Thomassique please go to: http://www.medmissionaries.org/id208.html

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