Guest Post: “Who Am I?”

This awakening post is shared by Gail Wise. She is serving as the Outreach Director at MorningStar Baptist Church in Centerville, OH and leads fundraising efforts to continue building houses in Haiti


It was the third day we were working on building houses in Fermathe, Haiti.  We were out on the worksite constructing 10×20 cinder block homes when I began to feel insecure, useless; my world started to feel very large.

My hands fell to my side, and I said, “Who am I?”

I am usually focused on tasks and want to be productive so I felt a bit like I was failing since I couldn’t seem to be either of those.  I tried to help the masons and put in my efforts on the house by laying the blocks and sifting sand like I had done the first 2 days.  (I will say both of those tasks were quite a workout!)  I wasn’t excelling at any task I was doing, and, at some points during that third day, I was sitting quite a bit because we were at points on the house where the masons didn’t need our assistance. It was a humility-hitter for me, and I was at my end. I began seeking God for my purpose for being in Haiti, knowing that it may be deeper than just the building of a house.

Later on that third day, I was sitting in our normal break time location when a group of women surrounded me and placed a 9-month-old baby girl on my lap.  I looked at my team member, Cathy, and wondered if she was as lost as I was on what was taking place.  At the same time the women were gathered around me, one of them went to get our translator.  I looked at Cathy and said “Oh no, what’s going on?”  Ben, our translator, walked over to me, and I said, “Ben, what are they doing?” He replied, “They want to know if you want the baby.” This beautiful baby girl was on my lap, but I knew I wasn’t prepared to take care of her, let alone legally able to get her out of the country. I sat there for a moment and said “Ben, are you serious?” I didn’t really get an answer to my question, and, while the women continued to talk to Ben, Ben didn’t tell me everything they were saying. I told them that I couldn’t take the baby. The women kept taking the baby off my lap and then placing her back again. A few of them walked away, but the mother and a young girl with her remained.  The mother saw that I had sunglasses and then tried to get me to make a trade—the baby for the sunglasses. I was saddened for the baby girl, Sarah, but overwhelmed by the thought they would want me to have her.

On the fourth day during a break time at the worksite, I found out that one of the women who had been standing in the crowd in front of me the day before was the sister to the woman for whom we were building the house.  We got Ben and began to have conversation. She asked me many questions and told me about herself. She asked me if I had children; I told her no. She asked me if I wanted children; I said yes. She then told me she would pray that I would have children.  I thanked her and laughed saying, “I’d like a husband first.”

After talking to her about my life and work, she told me she wanted to pray for me right then.  But, before she prayed, she told me a story about a missionary who came to her church.  The missionary and his wife were having difficulty getting pregnant.  She prayed over him, and a year later he came back to Haiti with his wife and child. She was trying to convince me that her prayers were heard and answered.  She then began to pray in order over me—a boyfriend that would become my husband, the baby, the house we would live in, the time off from work taking care of the new baby. I was overwhelmed and began to cry. I do think it would be quite difficult for all this to happen within the next year, but I am curious. 🙂

So, who am I?

Well, I am not a mason.  I may be a hard worker, but I soon reached the end of my own abilities in that. Was I really just in Haiti to help build houses? If so, I was sure to leave feeling a bit deflated. But God had a bigger purpose in mind for me.

God sat a baby in my lap and gave me a Haitian woman to pray over me for my future family.  I was overwhelmed, and, writing about it now, I am still overwhelmed.  Neither of these situations took place in my busy, task-focused, “productive” time.  It was in the sitting and waiting to be used time that God gave me the blessings of these relational encounters.

Haiti serves as a reminder to me that our lives are made to be relational. I need to slow down and sometimes just be and allow God to do some of His best work.

2 Responses to “Guest Post: “Who Am I?””
  1. Lisa Harmon says:

    Beautiful story….one that so many of us need to remember…just ‘be’ and allow God to do his work. Thanks Gail for sharing this.

  2. DaShannon says:

    Beautiful Gail. Thanks for sharing!

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