Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Pallet of Bleach

I need to tell you a story.  Lots of details so I hope I will do it justice.

Bleach.  I need to explain the value of this simple liquid.  It is almost five to eight times more expensive to purchase in Haiti than in the states.  MOH is blessed to occasionally get supplies from Convoy of Hope and bleach is one of the items we get. We use it for multiple tasks, so it is a huge blessing when we get it in large quantities.  We do not get it every time but when we do, it is basically like Christmas.                

Story time. 

Rewind back to Hurricane Matthew, October 4th, 2016.  The hurricane had devastated the southern portions of Haiti and Mission of Hope was working with various partners to help bring immediate supplies via barge to the south.  I remember standing in the warehouse looking at our Mobilization supplies (Mobilization is the department that specifically works with short-term volunteers & sending them to the villages we work with), and figuring out if there would be anything helpful for us to send.  We had a three-fourths of a pallet of bleach.  You now understand that value of this item and if I’m being honest, there was a moment of hesitation when I wanted to maybe keep some of it.  I could easily justify keeping a few bottles but when I thought of moms and dads worried that their children may get cholera, I knew we needed to send it all.  I called the Haitian guesthouse coordinator that I work with and told her that I wanted to send it all.  She too mentioned if we should keep any.  I told her I had the exact same thought but if we were living in the south, would we want someone to send us the bleach or keep some.  She immediately said, ‘we need to send it all.’  I told her that I believed the Lord would somehow return the bleach to us, that if we trusted in the goodness of who God was, somehow we would get more bleach.

On February 1st, I received an email from our stateside support office letting us know we would be receiving some supplies from Convoy of Hope and that they should be arriving by the end of February or the beginning of March.  The items on the list were tuna, paper towels, cereal, and granola bars.  I made a note in my calendar to check on the status of this container at the end of February.  February came and went and still no container.  We knew it would be arriving any day but with customs and fees to pay, it was a guessing game as to exactly when it would come.

Yesterday, March 13th, 2017, I got the call that the container was here.  I was so excited because we are right in the middle of spring break and with over 200 volunteers here this week; the extra supplies arrived just in time.  When I walked into the warehouse and headed to the look through the pallets of supplies, I instantly noticed a pallet of bleach.  Simultaneously the emotion of excitement and doubt entered my mind.  I knew that it might be meant for Mobilization but I also know that many departments receive things on containers and it may be intended for someone else.  I called the stateside office and asked for confirmation that the bleach and also a mystery pallet of Clorox wipes, another amazing item to have in Haiti, were intended for Mobilization.  It only took about ten minutes for the confirmation to come.  It was ours.  Not only did the Lord return the bleach, but we got a whole pallet of Clorox wipes in as well.  I stood and looked at both pallets and got misty eyed.  Here it was.  AND he gave us back more than what we originally gave.

This will be the last container of supplies I will personally see come through for Mobilization.  With my time in Haiti ending in April, there won’t be another container of supplies that I will need to do the paperwork for.  This was it.  The last one I would see.  I get misty eyed now as I think about the Lord’s attention to detail and His faithfulness to provide what we need exactly when we need it.  As I step into the unknown of transitioning back into the life in America, I will remember this day and remember the faithfulness of God.