Sunday, April 29, 2007
After working our way through the illiteracy issues the church threw at us, Pipo will be making his First Communion in 2 weeks. But first, we had to take care of his Baptismal certificate. He is pretty sure he was baptized, as he remembers pictures back in Haiti and has godparents as well. But as is the way in Haiti, record keeping is not a priority. We had friends going back to Haiti this year make a couple of attempts to track down some paperwork, but we knew it was pretty hopeless. So in order to get the required certificate to move on with First Communion, we needed to have a conditional baptism done.
Our good friend, Fr. Austin Fleming offered to baptize Pipo on Saturday. Fr. Fleming had baptized Charlie and Emma as well, and we knew he would make this very special for Pipo. And he did. But what was really special about this was hearing how Pipo reacted to the questions he was asked. With each question Fr. Fleming asked him, Pipo responded quickly, eagerly, incredibly sincerely. "Do you love God?" "Do you know God loves you?" "Do you love Jesus, his son?" Do you believe the spirt of God is inside you?" Each and every time, Pipo didn't hesitate for a second and with a big grin, said "Yes, of course!"
It just blows me away every time I experience this kid's faith. So many times, when life gets hard or tiring, when finances have us feeling down, when it seems like each week I am taking another kid to the doctor for this sickness or that, when any kind of stress is thrown at us, I know sometimes I feel my own faith wavering. I will find myself thinking "Why me God? Why us? God, can't you just cut us a break?" But to think of what Pipo has been through in his 10 short year, and to hear him so quickly affirm his own faith... it is truly humbling. This child has experienced war, famine, disease, hunger, poverty, death, you name it, he has experienced it first hand. And yet his faith is stronger than just about anyone I know.
I watched my son stand there and proudly have holy water poured on his head, hold himself high when he was annointed in the oil and say "Amen" right along with the priest, and mean it... really mean it. And I know I have seen true faith. I know this is the kind of faith I need to work at.