The Climb

December 2016

Post by: Jayme Hazen 

We were off.  The mountain road to LaFond is a rough one–16 or 17 miles of up and down, two-track off road terrain, two river crossings, and traversing over slippery rocks from the wet red clay after the rain. Pastor Tom and I decided against cramming into the truck crammed with 20 plus Haitians and all their luggage, and chose instead to take moto taptaps (motorcycle taxis) up the long mountain road.  We hailed three taptaps and six of us took off for LaFond. And yes, if you are counting, there was a driver and two riders per motorcycle…

On our way up the mountain, the sights were beautiful; however, we ran into moments of light rain left over from the night before which forced us to walk a little ways as it was too slippery and dangerous for us to ride the motorcycle down the path. They weren’t long walks and in fact they gave our bottoms a little rest.

We were half way up the mountain when we rounded a corner and saw a girl screaming and crying.  Her heart was obviously broken and in great pain.  We looked around to see what was happening and then saw them– her motto driver standing straddling his motorcycle with a dead woman leaning upon him.  He was holding on to her two wrists so she didn’t fall off.  We were told it was the young girl’s mother.  Somehow, as they were driving home, the mom died.

My heart broke for her.  I couldn’t imagine riding home with my mom–one minute alive and the next minute gone. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to feel her body release its life and go limp right in front of me.

We offered to help the motorcycle driver lay the mom on the ground but for some reason he refused… at that moment a crowd of people began to gather around, and I knew it was time for us to keep our safety in mind, so we mounted our bikes and went on our way. I was sad, but there was nothing we could do for her.

We continued to drive up the mountain, and, although the road might have been rough, the view was breathtaking. I love taking new people up because it makes me remember the first time I traveled the mountain road.  I see it through their eyes, as if I too am seeing it for the first time. I see the corn being stored hanging high in the trees.  I see the great peaks of the mountains surrounding our path, I feel the anticipation as we approach the rivers thinking all the while “Oh my, I hope we make it through!” I see the people passing by; the kids running home from school; the merchants with their bags full of vegetation to sell at market; the girls with the water on their heads. I see the deep ravines and the farmers working their slanted fields. Sometimes we’re even lucky enough for a cloud to come in.  One minute you are basking in the sun, and the next minute a cloud moves in around you. The Haitians call it “Bouya.” It stays for a while but then it too moves on and you are back in the warmth of the sunlight again. The mountain road may be hard, but it doesn’t lack in beauty.

Sometimes life is like that mountain road.  Sometimes the road is rocky and the ride is rough.  Sometimes it’s slippery and you are trying so hard not to fall.  When you slip, a Haitian might call out “Kenbe kow”, literally translated: hold on to your body or hold on to yourself. Sometimes the clouds move in, and even though we know the sun is out there, we can no longer see it. We can’t feel its warmth, and our view is all fuzzy and hazy.  But through all these hard roads in life, God is with us. He never forsakes us, even when we choose to forsake him.  He doesn’t tell us Kenbe kow. Instead, he tells us to hold on to Him. He is the ultimate moto taptap driver.  The road is never to slippery for Him. The river is never too high. And that cloud?  With one mighty breath, he can blow it away.  When we allow God to be our moto driver, it doesn’t mean it will be easy. Nor does it mean we can stop climbing–we still must face our mountain. It means we aren’t alone. It means when we slip down the ravine he has arms long enough to pick us up and set us back on the road. It means when the clouds come, and they will come, he will guide us through them. The road may be rough, but there is joy waiting for us at the mountain top!

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    1. Lisa Thompson

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