degaje — Haitian phrase “to make do with what you have”

Jenny, our missionary in Haiti, stays in a simple two room house when in the mountain community. One room is used to store tools, the other for her bed and kitchen. There was a small courtyard, but the fence was falling down (I use “courtyard” loosely… think mud floors). We rebuilt the fence with roofing tin. Graded the ground and added homemade gravel (a group of Haitian ladies took a sledgehammer to rocks). When it came time to install the door we were waiting on hinges. In the meantime Jenny said we could learn from the Haitians and use a flip flop. It worked surprisingly well. The flop even acted as a door spring, slowly swinging the door closed.

Preparing for and then a week in Haiti, I had missed the coronavirus quickly spreading. We arrived back in the states to fear at Miami airport. Now I’m pondering what it means for the church if our community is quarantined. My week is filling up with meetings – where I am sure we won’t shake hands, passing the peace with be passing the Purell!

We are working on video streaming worship service (everyone will want to see my face, right? 😉  ). Pondering ways for small groups to continue to communicate effectively. Developing plans to help the most vulnerable in our community — like how to provide food?

Still, it is hard to imagine how the church works in quarantine. I don’t have the resources or knowledge we need… Degaje. This is a moment to pray. May this moment pass over us. But if not, may our small acts be a flip flop hinge that somehow work!

May our texts of encouragement… emailed bible studies… playing adult ding-dong-dash, dropping can goods at the door of someone who couldn’t afford to prepare… In so many small ways ways may Chandler be the hinge that opens the door to hope.

Update: Click here to read my letter to the church on COVID19.

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