The Family

The Family
Justice, Logan, Jacy Klaire, Joy, Josie Kate, Luke, Megan, Judah, Kerry, Jaxon

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Everybody Loves Louis

Louis was the grounds keeper at the abandoned apartment building that is now "The Mission". A humble man of few words, Louis never really had much to say to or about white people. He had seen missionaries come and go from Montrouis and never really thought much of the version of Christianity they were trying to spread. He just kept to himself and did his job. Guarding an uninhabited building.

Louis has taught me a lot. I had planned to let Louis stay for a month or so until we learned how the property operated. He knew all about the water system and the electrical. I really did not think we would need him after a few weeks because the guys on our staff could do those things. Plus I really did not know him and I could not have someone living on the premises and having access to everything that we did not know. We would eventually have children there and everything and I had to keep them safe. All the good reasons to not take a chance on someone that others overlook. But God had other plans.

I could not open the gate at the mission without Louis being under my feet wanting to know what he could do to help. He would carry water, pull wiring, fetch tools. Whatever I needed Louis was ALWAYS there. Even when what I needed was just a little space...Louis was there. God began to touch my heart for this guy. I still did not know anything about him. I thought he was a typical Haitian womenizer because of the women that I saw coming in and out early in the mornings before the place was ours. I eventually decided that at the end of the month that we would let Louis keep working but he would have to find somewhere else to live.

At the end of that first month I did not have the heart to tell Louis to leave. He was sleeping on the concrete floor in our storage room. When I bought the refrigerator for the kitchen he was so excited... because the box would make a great bed to sleep on. I finally decided to give Louis a place to live and a job on a three month probationary basis. Joy decided that we were buying him a bed and putting him in the apartment with our other guys that stay there. So she took the bed, fixed him a place with a little table and everything, and had his own little living area. He was so thankful. He loves Joy to death anyway. He thanked her and thanked her... slept in the bed one night and asked me if it would be okay if he moved back out to the storage room out back. He did not sleep good in the bed! I said sure and he moved back into the storage room.

The time came for us to open the mission to teams to come. The first team that came was from Atlanta. I had told the team to be praying because Louis was not a Christian but I had been sharing with him. A pastor on the team really took to Louis. Although Louis can't speak any English he really allowed this pastor to minister to him. Before the week was over Louis felt the calling of God to become a Christian. He repented of his sins and asked Jesus to become his "Gwo Chef" (big boss). Louis could not wait to meet me at the gate the next morning to tell me the news. He has not put his Bible down since.

When the team from Tri-City came to work with us for a week, Louis shared that he had never had anyone make him feel so happy. He said no one had ever hugged him like those white people did. He just praises the Lord for sending us to rent that apartment building. He says it was all done for him to become a Christian. He says that Joy's spirit and humility helped him to see Jesus as a reality and God touched him.

Now Louis is of course a full time resident at the mission. He does all of our maintenance and grounds keeping. If the current fails at 3 in the morning, Louis is there to get the generator going. If the water tanks on the roof all empty, Louis pumps the water. And if I need a screwdriver...Louis is always right under me to get it.

He still sleeps in the storage room. We have 12 showers at the mission. Louis bathes out back in a bucket with his clothes on. He lathers up- clothes and all- then rinses- and air dries- clothes and all. Saves time on laundry. Louis now is the best friend of all the kids in the mission. The twins just love him to death. If he is not working, he is carrying around one of the babies. He is a valuable part of our team.

We go to the mission field thinking we are going to give people what we have because that is what they want.

Louis does not want my shower I can give him.

He does not want my bed I can give him.

He wants my love I can give him.

He wants my hug I can give him.

That's why we are here. I could send a bed. I could send money. I could send food.

But I can't send a hug.

I can't send 2 hours working under a sink with him and letting him tell me about his mother and his childhood.

And oh yeah, all those strange women coming in and out of the apartment building, Louis was catching water as it ran off of the roof and keeping it for them and letting them wash their clothes there. Lord make me like Louis!


Jake said...

Dang he was such an encouragement! Praying for his growth to continue and continue. Miss that dude!

Jennifer Toney said...

Wow, thanks again for sharing your lives and experiences with us. God is so good to humble us when we need it.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE send Louis another big hug from Mama Shelly!!! Love him so much!

Kerry Doyal said...

thanks you again & good writing.

Breanne said...

this is beautiful!!! i can't WAIT to meet all of you. I'm coming with john thomas and the team in January and am beyond excited to do ministry with y'all. i can tell you more when i get there, but i run overseas mission trips and would love to start sending teams, but i'll be there in January to scout it. i can't wait to meet you!