A troubling incident recently occurred on Good Vision Farm, site of HarvestCall’s Haiti Dairy Program. At first it seemed really bad, but through prayer and God’s sovereign workings, it turned into testimony of God’s grace. The story follows.
Major construction is underway as the dairy prepares for cows to arrive this fall and milking to begin around February. Many Haitian tradesmen and laborers are involved. There is a tremendous amount of local interest in this farm and the tight-knit community is excited about the progress.
One afternoon, Bro. Les Kaeb, the missionary farm manager, went to pay some workers and discovered that his pouch (large wallet) was missing. It was soon determined it had been stolen by a visiting painter who had just left very abruptly. While the loss of money was disappointing, most disturbing was that the pouch contained Les’ passport – and the Kaeb family had plans to visit the US in just nine days….
An unusual response
Les made plans for the 5+ hour trip to Port au Prince to get an expedited passport. Meanwhile, the community was in turmoil, concerned that this theft would discourage the Kaebs and cause them to leave Hatii for good and abandon the dairy. A gazebo meeting was called. When the Kaebs arrived, they found the gazebo overflowing with Haitians all dressed up. Some had to stand outside and peek between those seated at the wall.
In Les’ words, this is what he told them: “I started by expressing our appreciation of the way this community has rallied around us. I went on to say that just because of this, we were not going to be leaving. The Holy Spirt was certainly there and took over at this point. We talked about forgiveness towards this man. We made the comparison of the violation we all felt from this man stealing in this community to the false accusations and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Reminding all of us that if we want to be forgiven we have to forgive. I mentioned that he can take my passport and my money but he could never take the peace of God and the joy I feel because of Jesus Christ. I did not do all the talking, many of them shared and it was an amazing experience. We talked about giving it to God and allowing him to be the Judge. We need to recognize that Satan does not want us doing good for Jesus and we can expect him to attack us.”
Many Haitians shared supporting thoughts. One man stepped forward and said he was not a Christian, but what he is witnessing has to be the power of God. The behavior Les was witnessing was remarkable. Culturally in Haiti, thieves are shown no mercy.
"God is here!"
Later that day, Les’ right-hand Haitian assistant Maxi came with a big grin on his face saying he had good news. He walked with Les along the canal and then a ways off the beaten path. There, up against an above ground tomb, under some weeds was Les’ pouch. The farmer who had found it kept grinning and saying over and over” God is here! God is here!” He had been drying rice on the top of his wife’s tomb, when a rain shower popped up. He went to pick up some that had dropped on the ground and discovered the pouch. (See photo of tomb above.)
Les said, “I’m so thankful that God brought this farmer, his rice, and this shower of rain – even though we thought we have had enough rain – to expose where the pouch was stashed.” Inside was Les’ passport and important receipts. Only the cash was gone.
After retrieving the pouch and walking back to the gazebo, the community had gathered and was praising God for His goodness. You could just see the joy on their faces. Maxi and Les shared with them Isaiah 40:31. Les said, "I have to believe that God did not want me to be without my passport. He also wanted us to give up something so that He could show the world that it is all His.”
Word of this incident quickly spread throughout the region. An example of this occurred a few days later when Les was filling up his vehicle with gas. One of the security guards saw Les, and he said, “You’re the one who had your passport stolen, and God gave it back to you!” Praise God for finding such unique ways to glorify His name!
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31