Marc Mailloux's Blog


Mailloux Musings March 2017
May 6, 2017, 2:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

justin-salsa-macho-pub

Son Justin (shirtless) with friend Sebastien in front of their “Salsa Macho” billboard

Dear friends,

We made two trips abroad since our last letter; both to the island of Hispaniola. The first excursion (Jan.16-19) was to the Dominican Republic where our son has a group of acquaintances—including three American couples—who gather together for a monthly Bible study without a teacher. In fact, the group had been victimized in their thinking by a visiting American missionary who confused them with his grossly antinomian heresy. So ours’ was an effort to do some ‘damage control’ underlining the importance of God’s law for the Christian’s sanctification. We were well received and are planning another visit ASAP. Indeed, we were even blessed with opportunities to share the good news at a providential soirée with a few high-rollers from Canada, England etc. to whom our son gives tennis and surfing lessons.

The next trip was to Haiti—just across the island where the fastest route—road conditions oblige—passes through Miami, believe it or not. From Jan.21-28 we taught 16 students for the “Christian Worldview” course in the Master’s Program of Indiana Wesleyan U. at the “Séminaire Emmaus” near Cape Haitian. They were among the best we’ve ever had in Haiti: intelligent, studious, and receptive—the academic trifecta. That made our work fun.
We’re often asked if the situation is improving in that country, especially since the devastating 2010 earthquake. The short answer is “slowly” but requires an explanation. Perhaps more financial aid has been sent to Haiti (per capita) than to any other land. But the vast majority ends up in the pockets of corrupt politicians (there’s a special place in hell for them) rather than being used to improve the pathetic infrastructure. In fact there are few paved roads in Haiti and many Haitians are still without electricity and running water. Still, it’s not a question of what needs to be done concretely as many “can-do” Americans might think. What needs to be fixed in Haiti, as elsewhere, are the hearts of the people. For there, as elsewhere, most problems are essentially the consequences of sin.
An example; our friend and visionary Haitian brother Joseph M. whom we referred to in a previous letter (Dec. 2014) took it upon himself to clean up some of the tons of debris (there is no trash collection in most of Haiti) that litters the streets in his home town (pop.100,000). It was an effort to apply an important tenant of the cultural mandate (‘care for the earth’ Gen.2:15) while restoring a measure of the town’s civic
pride for which he mobilized his church; an altogether noble endeavor. The fallout of his effort: He was castigated by many of the citizens who accused him of trying to curry their favor for latent political ambitions. At least he tried…
Another example: Two Haitian women were struggling to survive selling sugar-cane and mangoes in the market place in a town where we occasionally teach. An American missionary pastor’s wife suggested they diversify, selling something else to separate themselves from the many competitors with the same produce. So they began selling avocados and soon their business was booming i.e., until they were brutally murdered by some locals, jealous of their newfound success.

These two incidents are indicative of a major problem in Haitian society—the green monster of jealously. Not that the Haitians have a monopoly on this sinful human trait—far from it. “Schadenfreude” is a German word and a universal phenomenon.

But there’s a particular danger in succeeding in Haiti where another’s success is often viewed with the utmost contempt. Indeed most Haitians seem far from understanding the example of the likes of auto-magnate Henry Ford whose tremendous success
significantly increased the size of the 20th century economic pie and prospered many. As the late JFK liked to say: “A rising tide lifts all boats…” That may be obvious to many Americans but remains mysteriously occulted from the minds of most Haitians. One missionary told us that Haiti was like a bucket of crabs on which one need not place a lid for as soon as one tried to scale to walls to freedom, he’d immediately be pulled down by the others. So it’s hardly surprising that of Haitians who manage to obtain a university degree leave the country.

Still, there is hope for Haiti yet. The Lord has mercifully raised up some devout Haitian believers who are lucid with regards to the particular problems which beset their country and eager to get involved. In addition to the aforementioned Joseph M., and MTW missionaries Esaie Etienne, Dony St. Germain and Jean Paul working in various parts of the country, I recently met a devoted young Haitian mother from a S. Florida PCA church with an exciting vision for promoting literacy among her mostly illiterate (75%) compatriots. She needs help from a French or Creole speaking foreigner as Haitians–she insisted–are less-inclined to listen to their own. Write to Nicole J. at gesnerjoe@yahoo.com for more details.
Haiti will be changed one heart at a time through the work of the Spirit and the Word. That might take longer than we’d like but one’s work for the Lord is never in vain. Blessings, Marc + Aline20170127_101250

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