Jared and Jalayne
photo credit: Alyssa Shrock
Last night, Joanna, Beth, Tara and I helped welcome to this world a precious baby boy. His parents, Jared and Jalayne, are a young, American, missionary couple here in Haiti. They run a lovely home for little girls. Our family actually shares a house with this couple. A few short months ago, another young missionary couple here in Haiti, Rod and Brittany, had their baby at Heartline as well.
This is Jared and Jalayne's first baby. All birth is beautiful, but there were so many moments last night when I was overcome with admiration for this young couple. Being pregnant in a country filled with uncertainty, unbelievable heat, malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and unreliable power is no easy task. Delivering here is down-right hard to imagine. Every part of living on this island requires faith. Carrying and delivering a baby in Haiti requires a super-sized portion of it.
What would make a young, American couple decide to deliver their baby in a third world country, in a house with no air conditioning, far from epidurals, pain medication, and the comforts of the United States?
Rod and Brittany
What would make Rod and Brittany make that same decision?
We know these couples well enough to know that neither would consider themselves brave or strong. I'm sure there were times when they were very afraid, frustrated, and really questioning whether or not they were making the right decision. They are regular people. I don't even think they would consider themselves risk-takers who are all that adventurous. There is a tendency to turn people like this with stories like these into something "other than" flesh, blood, fear, and tears. When we do, we fail to see the mystery...the beauty...Jesus...His strength made perfect through broken, ordinary, needy people. Wouldn't you say this is dangerous?
Watching Jalayne's long labor yesterday, how strong she was, how sweaty, tired, frustrated, yet how she gracefully leaned on Jesus, her husband, and her mama...it was an honor. It was one of those moments when faith felt like something that could be held and touched. You could look it in the eyes. Hold it in your hands. Hear its heart beat. There are not many times in life when you get the opportunity to put all you believe...all that is precious in life into Jesus' hands, sit back, trust Him, wait on Him and then see all the provision of heaven...all the protection of a warrior God, all the grace of a caring Savior provide for your deepest needs. There are not many times in life when you get the honor of seeing someone else live out heaven-sized faith right before your eyes.
I don't know what would make these young couples decide to carry a baby or deliver a baby here in Haiti. I'm sure it has something to do with love, hope, and faith. What I do know is that we have learned a lot from them as we've watched their story of faith in God and love for Haiti unfold.
Knowing Jalayne and Brittany, seeing them trust the leadership of their sweet husbands and watching them hold onto Jesus, His plan, His care for them will forever be a part of God growing our own family's faith.
We love you, Jared, Jalayne, Rod and Brittany and we celebrate the good that God has done through your lives and your homes today. God's work through you has shown us a priceless piece of the Kingdom. Is there any greater gift? We have felt God graciously teaching us as He's graciously led, comforted, and taught you.
Right after the birth last night Jared had to kill a massive tarantula in the kitchen of the maternity center. I guess delivering in Haiti requires faith and a flip flop.