There's a verse in Isaiah that says "...when the Spirit is poured out on us and the desert becomes a fertile field and the fertile field becomes a forest."
Gonaives is not naturally a desert but thanks to deforestation, erosion and flooding, it has virtually become one. Jubilee in particular, because of the salinity of the soil due to its proximity to the ocean, is a barren place.
My friends and I have prayed that verse from Isaiah over the land in Jubilee and we have made many less-than-successful attempts to cultivate a garden by our clinic and school. But in the last 10 months, under the steadfast labor of our neighbor JB, the garden is finally becoming a reality.
It may not seem like much to you, but to see a dozen trees that are as tall as JB or taller is very exciting for me. These sturdy little plants have withstood being gnawed on by goats and they've proven that they are tough enough to grow in the salty dirt. In the last 8 months, it has only rained once in Gonaives, but with JB's unfailing care, the trees have continued to grow.
My American friends who oversee the garden project are not in Haiti, so I have accidentally become the person "responsible" for it. In reality, all JB needs from me is access to the garden funds and affirmation for what he is doing, and he will keep working. Today he showed me the sights he has prepared for 30 new baby trees. They won't all survive, but even if only 2 or 3 of them do, we'll be thrilled.
As JB and I walked out of the garden, I said, "Just think, JB. In a couple years, our school kids will be able to play under the trees during recess." His face exploded in a huge grin and with shining eyes, he nodded. "That will be a miracle, Miss Keziah!" And he's right. It will be a miracle and an answered prayer. When the desert becomes a fertile field...