“On the parable of the Good Samaritan, I imagine that the first question the priest and Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But by the very nature of his concern, the Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” -Martin Luther King Jr.
Unseen on most days -- seen on his worst. Passersby near Bertran viewed him as a useless drain on society. An untouchable liability. There was no hiding his right arm, which was more of an appendage than a limb as it hung, five times its normal size. Marginalized, Bertran had one guarantee living in the trenches of Ouanaminthe, Haiti -- his condition ensured a slow, painful death.
Bertran, absent of family and friends, knew nothing of unconditional love. His only constant? His arm – his societal barrier.
Then…It happened! On a seemingly normal day that was anything but. Bertran would be truly seen. Vapor Ministries team members caught a glimpse of Bertran in a divine moment of peripheral vision. Bertran’s heart leapt as the strangers approached. Before long they were speaking life, encouragement, and purpose over him. His soul awakened for the first time as they laid hands on and prayed for his untouchable arm. He was finally being seen for who God created him to be. From an identity of uselessness to one of divine purpose – Would Betran ever be the same? Is it possible to be healed by hope?
The Vapor team acted swiftly and with compassion as they transported Bertan to a hospital.
Immediate care and financial assistance provided Bertan an army of local medical workers and a team of partners and prayer warriors from an ocean away. Together, the Haitian Vapor Ministries team, armed with love, locked arms with partners, like yourselves. Bertan’s life bloomed into something unrecognizably beautiful.
Not only were Bertran’s medical expenses covered for an entire year, but food and rent were also gifted him, in Jesus' name, thanks to Vapor's faithful partners. His natural response to being seen, loved, and cared for was to pay the Vapor Ministries Center a visit in hopes of becoming a volunteer. To his amazement, the Vapor community did not relate to him in response to his arm, but to his heart. Nothing disqualified him from a life of meaningful work and purpose when he was at the center.
It's no surprise Bertran could see Jesus more clearly when the Gospel fell on his ears and took root in his heart at the center. The Word of God and prayer soon fertilized the Gospel seed. Bertran surrendered his life to Christ. He bloomed in the overwhelming love of God.
Bertan now works full-time with dignity and joy at his local Vapor Ministries Center. You will be hard pressed to find a more joyful man -- smiling at the days ahead, always ready to share his God-sized story.
Thank you for the role you play in life-transforming stories like this. Together, we will reach millions like Bertran.
Bertan serving on the Grounds Crew
Bertran worshipping with the Vapor Ministries Haiti team