Stories play a major role in the framework of Project 117. It is the story of a boy who had no opportunity for education that led Curtis to build a school in Haiti. We are all telling a story with our lives. Often, it is the small, seemingly insignificant stories that make up the bigger stories; the stories that God wants to tell through our lives.
After a 7-day trip to Haiti, the story I want to tell involves a short walk and a coconut. It happened one afternoon when we decided to venture out of the house and take a walk through the countryside. It wasn’t long and we came upon a coconut tree. I immediately wanted to take a coconut, but Curtis quickly shot down the idea since they belonged to someone else. We continued to walk, and I soon forgot about my coconut craving. A few minutes later, we came across a group of kids playing soccer with a teddy bear head. Gotta love their resourcefulness! So, of course, we went down to watch them play, and a family that lived in a nearby house immediately welcomed us in. They brought us chairs, hugged and kissed us, and offered us a COCONUT. A mere 15 minutes after I wanted one, God provided it. I didn’t pray for it; I didn’t expect it; I had actually forgotten about it. However, God still provided.
He loves us enough to provide the seemingly insignificant things, but it is those stories that God uses to build our trust in him. These reminders offer reassurance to us that if he’s faithful in the smallest of things then he’ll surely be faithful in the biggest of things. He builds schools, and he provides coconuts. He knits together a team of only six people to build a well house, form a road, start a retaining wall, and connect with the local community. He composes a few 20-question surveys to open our eyes to the Haitian culture and give us greater insight into the lives of the people we will be serving. He gives a woman in Haiti a dream to start an orphanage, and then he connects her to a Haitian man who is willing to gift her the land in order to accomplish that dream. However, he doesn’t stop there. He connects that woman to a guy in Indiana who desperately wants to start a school in Haiti. They decide to form a partnership, and Project 117 officially has a place to call home.
It’s the small acts of faithfulness that God uses to write the bigger stories. He reminds us through the water of a coconut that He is the living water who always provides for us in situations, big and small. He will use Project 117 to teach a child who may someday change the plight of the people in Haiti. He will form a soccer team for women on P117’s land that may empower them to go after something bigger than themselves. He will use the success of a school in Lacopa, Haiti to someday build more schools and impact even more children. He will use the small, seemingly insignificant “coconut stories” to connect the dots in his bigger story; the story he’s writing through Project 117.