One morning recently, Keesha and I were awakened by a commotion outside our home in Port Au Prince. I looked out my window to see a few dozen people in the street, a lot of yelling, and several people fighting. I quickly ran outside and a few of the young men that live with us followed me. The bystanders informed us that it was a domestic dispute between a father, his daughter, and her boyfriend.
By the time we got through the crowd, I saw the young man hit his girlfriend, and the father coming at him with a bat. We weren’t exactly sure what to do, but we certainly were not going to allow it to escalate any further. We stepped in and were able to calm them down enough to speak. I asked them to come into my home to sit down and talk through the problem together.
They agreed, but it still took awhile longer for everyone to gain their composure. We sat them on our front porch, gave them some water to drink, and gave them a few minutes to cool off. We prayed and then took the conversation slow, allowing each person to speak one at a time with no interruptions. We wanted each of them to feel heard.
To make a very long story short, through the conversation, we discovered that Ben and Baby (the young man and his girlfriend) have a child together. They are not married and have a long history of brokenness. We tried to give them some practical advice, but we knew ultimately only Jesus could heal this family. My friend and ministry partner, Jephte, was a huge help and showed great maturity and leadership throughout the conversation. Jephte shared the gospel with them and a few moments later Ben and Baby were both prayed to give their lives to Jesus. Even the father, who held onto his bat during the conversation, put the bat down, forgave Ben for how he had treated his daughter, and gave him a big hug.
After they left our home that morning, it didn’t take long before the whole neighborhood heard what had happened and they couldn’t believe it. We still have a lot of issues to disciple them through, but we are thanking God for how He is working in our community. It was also a great reminder that we cannot fix every bad thing that happens, but we can speak the gospel into any situation. We’re all called to live missional lives, which includes being sensitive to the needs of the people around us and being the hands and feet of Jesus right where we are.