The End of the LineRich Stigall
Joe Knittig asks an interesting question. “If you back a food truck into a tent city and fling open the doors, what does the crowd that forms look like?”
The strongest men will push their way to the front. After them, dedicated women, followed by old people. At the end of the line will be children; not all children. Most children have a grown up standing in line for them. Those children, children with a champion, are waiting back at their tents.
The children at the end of the line have no champion, no one to stand for them. They fend for themselves, hoping there will be some food left for them.
The tent cities in Haiti are largely gone now compared to 2010, but the children at the end of the line remain. Sometimes they are “at the end” emotionally, economically, or geographically. Whatever the reason, they are difficult to reach. Yet, these children, often forgotten by society, are close to God’s heart. These are the children He has called us to love, and yesterday, in mountainous, northern Haiti, we did.
Three hours north of Port au Prince is Gonaives. Keep going until the road becomes dirt. Turn left after Ennery and begin a mountain climb so majestic that questions of “How much longer?” are replaced by scenic photo ops you hope will never end. Go past the banana stand, the hillside crops and cows, well beyond UNICEF offices, and USAID food depots and stop at Marmelade, the end of the line.
Children, who don’t get visited often, run to greet you. They will capture your heart. Look into the bright, clear eyes of the head House Mama. She loves and leads. See the small, rural church that started with 7 people, but now has hundreds each Sunday, so many the building can’t hold them; crowds stand outside the door to worship. Walk the humble classrooms that educate 350, wondering how they can, being grateful that they do
Come with us to Marmelade and it may make more sense to you why Jesus likes to hang out at the end of the line.
Matt MacArthur with his little buddy at Marmelade who liked to joke by putting a ball under his shirt.