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This week’s newsletter is courtesy of our friend Mia, who accompanied us on our recent trip to Haiti.

Besides Jesus, the thing Haitians teach me the most about is love. They teach me how to love God more loudly, more intentionally, more vulnerably, more desperately, and how to love my neighbor better, too. Haitians love their neighbors in such a self-sacrificing way that relying on Jesus is their only way through. That’s the type of love I want to model my life after, and I got to see this kind of love in action when I met Estesia Lorine.

Estesia Lorine is a widow in Coup Gouge, Haiti who cares for her four kids, one of whom has severe disabilities, and several grandchildren. When Estesia heard about a friend who needed help, she used the selfless type of love we all need and took her friend in. This friend, Manese Joseph, lost her vision completely several years ago, and her husband abandoned her and her three children.

Manese spends her days sitting on a thin bamboo mat in the front half of the house. Manese can’t give anything to Estesia in return for her help, and yet Estesia has chosen to provide for Manese and her children. It doesn’t make sense – Estesia doesn’t have the space, the money, or the food. But Estesia is able to love her friend even when it costs her comfort, because she knows Jesus will provide. In fact, loving her friend so well has caused them both to call upon the Lord more desperately.

It is like when God asks Elijah to rely on a poor widow for survival. In serving Elijah, the woman spends all she has. But through her obedience, she experiences God’s extreme faithfulness and miraculous provision. It is when we love to the point of desperation that we truly begin to believe that God can do everything.

Jesus has not forgotten this family. It may have seemed like it when we walked in and saw Manese sitting on the ground in complete darkness, emaciated and helpless. But God sees her. He knows her suffering and he adores Estesia’s selfless love. We are constantly answering prayers and living under God’s will for our lives by simply loving each other humbly. What a God we serve, one that uses only one tool to offer salvation, to connect us to each other, and to provide for us: agape.

Mia McLaughlin

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