::The Haitian Chronicles::
Our first few days were filled with visitors. They were pillars of memories. The evidence that the seven months we slaved through Creole lessons and extreme heat and the lack of privacy were not wasted.
Jelnor and his wife showed up with smiles and hugs and key limes and eggs. “Ze” is egg in Creole and they are an expensive, sought after item. Key limes are plentiful but make my favorite drink, which they remembered.
Those things, however, were nothing compared to the final gift they gave us. I touched the photographs with my fingers and blinked back tears.
“For you, for you.” They told us. Photographs for us to remember.
Jelnor was a Christian but he and his fiancé had been living together for years. We carefully explained that God created marriage. Commitment is important and should not be overlooked.
He asked how we knew.
My husband looked at him oddly, “It says so in the Bible.”
“Oh,” Jelnor said, “I don’t have a Bible.”
“Can you read?” We asked.
“No, no,” he shook his head but he smiled brightly, “but my fiancé can! She’s very intelligent.”
So that night we sat around the kitchen table with a Bible opened between us and we read passage after passage about the importance of marriage and commitment.
We left them two years ago with a Bible and enough money for a marriage license.
“Many people laughed at us,” Jelnor explained over the wedding photos that lay in my hands, “they said it was crazy to marry her when I hadn’t finished our house. They told me she wouldn’t go anywhere. I should just use the money to put a roof on. But I told them what the Bible said. I told them that this was important. And now she’s my wife.”
He looked over at her and she smiled and glowed.
I wish you could meet them. Hard-working uneducated Jelnor and his tall educated breathtakingly-beautiful wife— who looks at him like he’s the most handsome sought-after man on earth even though they live in a mud hut while their cement house sits unfinished.
They weren’t like that two years ago. But God can do a lot in two years.