Stuck in a Rut

Posted Nov 08, 2009 by 1 Comments

After driving six hours round trip around Haiti in order to retrieve a box truck full of items for Nehemiah Vision Ministries, we got stuck—badly stuck. A truck full of items ranging from bunk beds to dental chairs that would all benefit the village of Chambrun, the community NVM serves, bottomed out in a ditch only 200 yards short of the finish line.  The school was literally a stone’s throw away.

How in the world were we going to get the truck un-stuck?

The truck stuck in a ditch. (Click to see a larger version of the panorama)

The truck stuck in a ditch. (Click to see a larger version of the panorama)

What we saw amazed us. First, all the kids from the tiny village of Chambrun came out to greet us and we quickly became friends with them, despite a language barrier. About forty people from Chambrun emerged from all over to help.

They cleared dirt with shovels. They got dirt on their hands and knees trying to dig out the back end of the truck. They found wood to wedge under the tractionless left front tire. They pushed and pushed. And pushed.  This truck wasn’t going anywhere.

The sun quickly dipped below the cactus-dotted horizon and it soon became dark. We used headlights from Pastor Pierre’s SUV to illuminate the problem.

For four hours, everyone worked together to get the truck moving again. Eventually, after a dozen attempts (and the help of a backhoe), all the pushing paid off. The whole community celebrated with shouts and dancing as the truck finally lurched free from the clutches of immobility.

The whole community came out to help!

The whole community came out to help!

What struck me about the whole situation that unfolded was how quickly everyone chipped in and rallied together. They knew the contents of this truck would provide practical help and a little bit of justice for the whole community, not just a select few, and everyone stayed until the job was done.

It reminded me of the first church described in Acts 2, where the general statement of unity probably read something like “we’re all in for each other, whatever it takes”.

This image of people coming together for the sake of a greater purpose makes me want to somehow capture this moment and bring it back to the U.S., where we may not even lift one finger to help our next door neighbor, who we don’t even know.

We may have been stuck in a rut for four hours, but I saw what true community looks like.  And it was awesome!

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About the Author: Curtis is a journalist and board member with World Next Door. He graduated in 2003 with a bachelors in religious studies from the University of Oklahoma. He has a strong desire to see the local church engage in issues of social justice.

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  1. Dave Rod said... 


    November 8th, 2009 at 7:43 am  

    That video captured perfectly your point Curtis. Are we too busy to pitch in? Too late to something? Or are we just too important to care for a neighbor’s stuck truck?

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