THE KID THAT GOT ME
There is a kid named Obenson…actually there several boys named Obenson But this particular young man of about 12 years old “Got me“.
He “got me” not because he was cute, not because he was kind, not because he was Haitian….but because he made me Crazy!
He was one of the first faces to greet me each morning in Jubilee, whether I arrived on the truck, by motorcycle or walked in from the tap tap. He was always there. Sometimes smiling . Sometimes angry. Sometimes telling me things true. Sometimes telling me lies. ( “I have no sandals“…only to find out Beaver had given him a new pair just twenty minutes earlier!) But everyday he was there.
He was there when I needed to have a talk with someone else, he was there when I tried to walk discreetly to visit someone sick he was there when I tried to grab a quick drink of water from my water bottle or eat a power bar without any hungry people seeing. ( missionaries do this and it feels rotten….but the alternative seems to be death…or at least passing out in inconvenient places.)
He was there…And NOT quietly…saying, “Mama Kati“ X 20… every 60 seconds…or so it seemed. Really considered changing my name to George.
He needed a Band-Aid, some water, he was hungry, needed sandals, tennis shoes, money for sandals , money for tennis shoes, school fees, school books, water, clothes….
If I bent down to pick up a piece of broken glass, he would gather a box full. If I asked for a rock to hold something down he would bring me twelve.
He would go where he was told not to, laugh at me when I got angry with him. Roll his teenage eyes when I tried to explain things like speaking the truth, honor and respect.. Slap at my arm to get my attention…. ( I REALLY don’t care much for that) ….At the end of the day he would climb in the truck in high hopes of being unnoticed and could stow away and end up where the white people stay with plenty of food and water and clothes and books and clean towels and real beds. Real mattresses. Not a concrete block pallet or a dirt floor. A real mattress. (to himself?)
And then one morning when we arrived in Jubilee I saw his twelve year old face and he Got ME…and I just decided …to love him. No matter how frustrating, irritating, rude or uncomfortable he made me feel….I decided that he was a good kid, and I told him so
The next thing I knew he was cleaning up garbage from the garden area….helping David. He was listening. He was running errands for others. He stopped slapping my arm for attention ( Praise the most high God)
Sometimes doing “Missions” is directing UN convoys through big city streets, sometimes it is sitting in meetings with the Militaire from other countries and making big plans to feed thousands of people…. and sometimes it is deciding to love the kid right in front of me. The one that “Got Me’.