Today’s post comes from a guest blogger, Kyle Reschke, who is currently serving long term with the 410 Bridge in Haiti.
For the last couple of weeks I have been praying and praying again for the Lord’s peace to reign and for people on either side of the conflicts to have the courage to be a bigger man/woman. To live Biblically – to make love stand out. I talked with Mackenson, William and Berthide about 1 Corinthians 4:12-13 which states “when reviled, we bless, when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat.” That is a difficult verse to discuss, especially with those who know what it means to be stepped on – but it is a beautiful verse to discuss with men and women I consider to be resilient, courageous, and true leaders of their community. I think living to allow this love to stand out and be manifested involves a fine balance. We do not counsel people to just be meek and to sit back and take whatever is thrown at them: rather, we counsel people to strongly stand up in the midst of those challenges and show the Love that is beyond all conflict.
A tally and scoreboard of perceived wrongs from either side of the community will never be a unifying factor for the community. However, a shared concept of blessings and work together as a redeemed people is the only possible foundation for future unity.
With that background, allow me to briefly describe the scene about a mile outside of Leveque. As usual I was riding my motorcycle along a rough road to visit the community. People were out with shovels, wheelbarrows and other implements to try repairing some of the larger chasms found all over the only road that leads to the community. Just as it happens everyday, people along the road stop to wave and give their greetings – as I honked the horn and gave my usual wave and smile, I recognized the several distinct voices of deaf men from the community. I stopped in surprise to find out what was happening.
Immediately, Geovany and Dieffe (two deaf leaders) signed to me saying – “Kyle, look – hearing and deaf working together as volunteers today!!” I looked around to find over a dozen more recognizable faces working side by side with community members from at least 3 surrounding villages working to repair the road. The deaf men beamed at me proudly as I fought back tears and attempted to comprehend the beauty of the scene before me. They all stopped their work to bless me with their bear hugs and warm embraces – obviously proud to show me how they are attempting to step alongside their neighbors.
I think it is awesome that these are the same people who say they need so much more Biblical training and are desiring courses, workshops, and seminars on Biblical leadership. What an honor it is to sit down with them at the end of the day and discuss how they have exhibited Biblical and God-honoring leadership in ways that will inspire church leaders and the credentialed “experts” around the world.
In challenges ahead I will be sure to remind the leaders often of where they have come from and to continue to encourage their beautiful approach to a community that is making history in Haiti. Years down the road, whether I am still in Haiti, or somewhere else around the world, I think the vision of deaf leaders flagging me down to say “Kyle, look – hearing people and deaf people working together as volunteers today” will remain a lifetime highlight and the source of many smiles and chuckles at the ways in which God grows us together.