Luke 15:2 may be one of my favorite verses in the Gospels.
This verse is at the beginning of a chapter rich in love and understanding, showing how our God pursues us and loves us and is merciful and gracious to us. Chapter 15 goes on to record Jesus' telling three parables - The Parable of the Lost Sheep, The Parable of the Lost Coin, and the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
On June 19th, we got to experience our own version of the parable of the lost coin at Haiti Awake. And it had everything to do with the young man pictured below.
This is my friend, Hudson. I call him my "sweet friend," and he calls me the same. There's just something special about our friendship. It's comfortable. It's easy. Maybe it's because he's young (23 years old). Maybe it's because he has a tender heart like his uncle (Steeve Derard). Maybe it's because we're about the same size (I love walking side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, with him). Maybe it's because he's helped me expand my music choices (TobyMac, Lacrae). Maybe it's just because . . . because Hudson hasn't trust Christ yet, and I pray for that every. single. day.
When you pray for someone on a regular basis, they just become so dear to you.
On June 19th, the last Haiti Awake June team went home. After driving them to the airport that morning, Steeve and I decided to do our accounting and pay all of our Haitian staff for a month of hard work. In talking, I realized Steeve hadn't paid anyone on the first of the June, and we decided to pay everyone for June 1 AND July 1, as well as their wage for daily work. It was a BIG payday for everyone.
Fast forward a couple of hours. It was a time to celebrate three successful teams, so Wendy (an American friend who was staying a few extra days) and I asked some of the Haiti Awake staff to go with us to Petionville for lunch.
Here's where Hudson's part of the story begins. He ran home to get ready . . . and change his clothing. And he came back just in time to jump in the back of the truck at 11:30 a.m.
We had a great lunch in Petitionville, and we returned to our home, Hudson and a couple of the other men took a nap. The rest of us just spent the day relaxing.
About 9:00 that night, Polo and I were sitting on the porch talking, and Hudson came to ask if he could have the keys to the truck. It was dark (no city power and we weren't running the generator), and I could see Hudson using his phone to look for something in the cab of the truck.
When he went back into the house, I asked him what he was looking for in the truck. And he told me he couldn't find his envelope. THE envelope. The envelope that contained so much cash. The last pay he would receive until August 1.
Hudson had last seen that envelope BEFORE we left for Petionville that morning.
Soon everyone in the house was looking. And praying. And searching. As we were searching in the dark using various devices to light our way, I was reminded of the parable of the lost coin and how the woman diligently searched by candlelight.
And we found . . . nothing.
And soon it was time for Hudson to go home so that Steeve could lock our gate. When he left, he was so sad. We were all so sad for him. In my mind, I was running through all of the possible scenarios of how God COULD answer our prayer, IF He answered our prayer.
A few minutes later as Steeve and I were sitting in the dark, his phone lit up. It was a text message from Hudson. He had returned to our gate and found it locked, but he wanted us to know something very important:
He had found his lost envelope . . . but not in the way any of us had expected.
Walking home in the dark, using his phone as a light, he found his envelope lying on the road. Lying on the road. All day. And no one had touched it. No one had taken it. No one had seen it. If you've ever been to Haiti, you know how impossible this seems. First, at night dark is dark. Second, the streets are always busy. People are everywhere all the time. Third, there is trash everywhere! Why would one object stick out from all the others at dark?
But Hudson found it . . . in the dark . . . hours later. And the only explanation we had was : God did this.
As we had been searching that night, I had been reminded of the parable of the lost coin. And I had been praying for us to find Hudson's "lost coin." And God had answered our prayers. Just. like. that. Wow.
The next morning, I read through Luke 15, and one verse just hopped off the page at me:
And that's exactly what we did the next morning when Hudson came to the house. We rejoiced together.
But there's more to the story. The next verse (v. 10) - the point of the entire chapter - is this:
Many of the June team members fell in love with Hudson. They saw his sweet spirit, his kind heart, his attention to detail, his work ethic . . . and they loved him. And many of us are motivated in the same way - the need to pray for Hudson every day because he hasn't trusted Christ as Savior.
Will you join us in praying for his salvation? As happy as we are that he found his lost envelope, we will rejoice even more the day he accepts Jesus as his Savior.