photo credit: Beth McHoul
"One of the cruelest effects of severe poverty is that you are
denied access to information and to truth."
--Beth McHoul, (speaking in the Tuesday class to Heartline's women)
Our American minds simply cannot fathom not being able to immediately find information. Want to know how to cook a certain meal? What time it is in China? How long breastmilk stays good in the fridge? Natural remedies for teething? Bible verses about worry? The Headlines in the news?
A computer. Five minutes. Gorge ourselves on answers. Burp. Get up. We're done.
I never realized that having access to truth and access to information is a luxury only the wealthy enjoy.
Every week at Heartline, I get to witness the beauty of fighting lies with truth.
There is something incredibly redemptive about teaching women why they menstruate, that colostrum is good not evil, that women have value and are dearly, dearly loved by God.
Without access to the truth, cultures make up reasons to explain natural occurrences around them. Every culture has done this. We want to make sense of what is going on around us, why the seasons change, why women get pregnant, why some people get sick and die. Without access to truth, many of these explanations are wrong. They are myths. They are old wives tales.
Without access to the truth, a woman in Haiti would not have any way to know how the female reproductive cycle works. If she listened to some doctors and nurses in her own country she would believe that she should pump and dump colostrum, because it's bad for her baby. She would believe since she's a woman she is worthless. She would believe that formula is better for her baby because it comes from the United States and a white person made it.
Until coming to Haiti, I thought when the Bible talks about truth it only meant spiritual truth, as if only some truth belongs to God. How silly of me.
The exciting thing is, God owns all truth. Every drop of it. It belongs to Him.
I still believe that the women of Haiti need the gospel above anything else. I'm just learning that teaching the gospel and living it out in word and deed looks a lot less like sharing a three point gospel tract and moving on, proud of what great Billy Grahams we have been.
Teaching the gospel in word and deed looks a lot more like teaching the truth of the gospel while we stick around and teach the truth about everything else in life as well.
Isn't one of the most beautiful elements of the gospel story the part where the Word, Jesus became flesh, came to earth, walked and dwelled among us, making visible, tangible to us grace and truth (1 John 1:14)?
I think that's why it's so moving to watch Beth, Joanna, and Agathe teach the women of Haiti about God's love, about sin, about Jesus paying a great price to redeem mankind. The truth. It's lovely. It's good. It sets the captive free. It's just as beautiful to see Beth, Joanna, and Agathe join with God as they teach the truth about how babies develop in a mother's womb, or teach about nutrition and how God has provided them with nutrient rich foods in their country to eat in order to take care of their bodies and their babies. The truth. It's lovely. It's good. It sets the captive free.
Every speck of it belongs to God.
In those moments when I hear Joanna firmly defend unborn babies in front of a class of Haitian women I rejoice.
When I hear Beth dispel myths about breastmilk declaring that GOD has created a woman's body perfectly so a mother can feed her baby, it's a reason to rejoice.
Truth. It's beautiful. And yet without people like Beth, Joanna, and Agathe sharing the truth...all truth...with people living in intense poverty, there is little to no access to accurate information. Poverty denies people like the women in Heartline's program access to truth. It keeps them enslaved to lies, legalism, and darkness. I can't get over how God uses a few women committed to teaching truth to the women of Haiti to combat so much evil and oppression every single week.
Tuesday and Thursday mornings I wake up eager to get to Heartline. Eager to behold the beauty of truth going forth. Truth that has the capability of capturing a woman's soul for eternity. Truth that can change a woman's day to day life in Haiti. Tuesdays and Thursdays are like rolling around in a big puddle of truth. It's like we've washed these women in truth, soaked them down in it. If we could hear the sound of truth it would sound a lot like chains hitting the tile floor.
Redemption. It's the theme of what happens at Heartline. We get to redeem all truth as God's truth and boldly declare it over women's lives. We get to laugh in poverty's face and piece by piece loosen its grasp on the souls and lives of the women who sit in class every week. We render poverty, physical and spiritual poverty, a little less powerful every single week. (Can I say again how weepy it makes me every time I think about how I get to witness this every week? Grace. I drink a Sonic sized cup of it every Tuesday and Thursday.)
As we love the women at Heartline we get to join Jesus by doing what He did while He walked around on this earth. One of His favorite things to say...
"I tell you the truth....."
"I tell you the truth...."
"I tell you the truth...."
"I tell you the truth...."
"I tell you the TRUTH."
Many of you have emailed me and told me you are having a purse party for Heartline. Get ready. Tomorrow I'm going to give you an opportunity to advertise your party right here on the blog. Thanks for supporting these women and this ministry. I pray as you hold those bags in your hands you feel encouraged by how God is using YOU to live out redemption, to share truth, and fight poverty in Haiti.