After the homes in the Village were finished being built, I was put in charge of getting the houses painted inside and out before the new tent city families moved in. I hired six strong young men to do the task for me and then an adolescent girl asked me if she could paint also. After giving the guys rollers and paint, I gave Marjorie a paint brush and asked her to do the cutting in along the floors and windows, not expecting much.
At the days end I was pretty disappointed with the strapping young men as they spread more paint on the floor than on the walls at a seemingly snail’s pace. But Marjorie stayed with it all day doing a great job with no complaints. I paid her double wages for her work and walked her back to her home so I could share with her mother what a great job she did.
As we came up to the back door, we saw a strange sight. There was clothing on fire in the backyard and a teenager off to the side crying. Mom was at the back door and welcomed us in. The home was barren and she asked me to sit on the only bed while she sat on the floor. I’m always uncomfortable with that but understand it to be Haitian custom. As I sat on the bed I realized there was no mattress, only wooden crates with a sheet over it.
Mom was thrilled to hear what a great job Marjorie had done. She said Marjorie was always hard working and a good Christian young lady.
I then asked what was going on outside with the burning clothes. Language was not a barrier as she explained that Marjorie’s older sister came home with immodest clothing. Mom said “We are a Christian family and we don’t dress like that!” I congratulated Mom for taking such a God honoring stance and then reflected how hard it must be, as a single mom, to raise her children as Christians, especially in such poverty.
The next day Marjorie came to me to show me what she bought with the money, a new pair of shoes and enough food for a big meal for her whole family. She was so thankful.
We should always count our blessings.
John H Leininger