Today I was in my worst car accident in my decades of driving in Haiti. Fortunately it wasn’t that bad. I’ve been blessed by not have had any bad accidents while in Haiti, praise the Lord.
I was driving through Gressier, missed my turn and braked hard. A motorcycle hit the back of my truck. The driver came to my window showing his road burns and was quite upset. I knew the custom in Haiti that I would be expected to pay for the damage and certainly more. As I got out to inspect the damage, a crowd formed quickly. A shouting match ensued as my interpreter tried to place the blame on the motorcycle driver for following too close and the crowd was backing the motorcycle driver.
I walked up to the injured man, extended my hand to shake his and told him that it was my fault. He shook my hand and I helped him pick up his motorcycle to inspect the damage. We straightened the front fender, reattached the dangling turn signal and inspected the dints on the gas tank and other parts of the bike. With some difficulty he restarted the bike and he signaled me to go on, everything was OK.
When I shared the story with Pastor Etienne, he said that accidents are always the fault of the driver of the bigger vehicle and ALWAYS the fault of a missionary driver. That is why many missionaries use drivers. Missionary vehicles are told to leave the scene of an accident and go directly to the nearest police station. Pastor Etienne also said that there is ALWAYS a monetary compensation for the damage and duress. He was amazed that things went so well for me.
I can only say that the Lord ALWAYS protects me while I’m in Haiti and I give him the glory and honor for His continued hand of protection on me and those serving here.
John H Leininger