Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CLEAR AS MUD (07/18/19)
- TITLE: Mwe Rele Ground
By Joanney Uthe
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“Mwe rele Martine.”
“Mwe rele Naphtalie”
“Mwe rele Megan.”
“Mwe rele Wilguens.”
“Mwe rele ground.” Every time the football hit the ground, Ethan said that his name was ground. It was a fun way for the Americans to get to know some of the Haitians at the Youth Conference in Pignon, Haiti.
In preparation for our missions trip, we had practiced several Creole phrases. Chandler had an advantage over the rest of us as he already knew French. Not only does Haitian Creole have many words in common with French, but Haiti uses French as the official language. Chandler could communicate with them much easier than the rest of us.
I felt lost whenever one of the interpreters was not right by my side. Unsure of my limited Creole, I should have at least learned the phrase. “Mwe pa ka pale Creole” but I’m sure that most of them figured out right away that I couldn’t understand anything they said, let alone speak their language.
Megan held and played with a three-year-old girl during much of the conference. This adorable daughter of one of the Haitian youth workers enjoyed the attention. Between speakers, Megan turned to the mother and said something to her in Creole. The mother looked confused. Megan repeated it several times.
“Mwe rele li.”
The mother shook her head.
“Mwe rele li.”
After several attempts, Megan wrote it on a piece of paper. The mother still did not understand.
Sitting on the opposite side of Megan, I took out my copy of the phrases we had learned, or tried to learn, to confirm in my own mind the error of Megan’s statement. I then reached over and wrote “name” above “rele.” She looked at her list of phrases.
As a mother, if someone told me “I name her” about my daughter, my reaction would be to snatch her away from that person’s arms and run. But this mother was patient, knowing that Megan’s intentions were not to harm her daughter, and that her limited Creole vocabulary was to fault for the unusual statement. But she did not know what Megan was trying to say.
Sometimes we may feel like there is a language barrier between us and God. We may feel inadequate in our prayers. Just as I could communicate with the Haitians through an interpreter, we have an Interpreter and do not need to worry about God understanding our prayers. Romans 8:26 tells us, “In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.”
We may question what God is telling us, especially if it does not feel like what we want. We often want to take snatch our lives out of God’s hands and take control ourselves. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you’ -- this is the Lord’s declaration-- ‘ plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” It is helpful to remember that this verse was given to the Isrealites right before they were to be exiled into Babylon. Verse 10 reads, “For this is what the Lord says: ‘When 70 years for Babyon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place.'” God’s plans for us are always for our good, even when they are painful or confusing for a season. We need only to look at what He has done for us in the past, on the cross and in our personal lives, to know that He loves us.
“Mwe renmen li.” Megan corrected her comment to the child’s mother.
Finally understanding, the mother smiled at Megan. Megan had stated what her actions had already made obvious. “I love her.”
** All Scripture from Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
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