Lynn and I were recently invited by the State of Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillan to attend a luncheon honoring Mr. Francois Guillaume, the Consul General of the Republic of Haiti. Other members of the Montgomery Faith Community who have faith-based projects in Haiti were also present.
It was amazing to hear the huge ministries that are taking place in Haiti by Montgomery churches. The Consul General and a member of his staff commented about how grateful the people of Haiti are and what an impact Montgomery is having on Haiti.
Mr. Francois Guillaume shared his own personal experience when the earthquake devastated Haiti a few years ago. The Hotel Montana was leveled. Many people were killed. Two of the top officials with the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission were staying at the hotel and were killed.
Francois actually lives in Miami, Florida. He was in Haiti on that fateful day for business and checked into the Montana Hotel and was meeting with some people. He had a terrible headache. He asked the hotel personnel if they had some kind of medication for his headache, but they stated that they were not allowed to offer it.
This was at 2:30 in the afternoon. At 2:40 he decided to leave the hotel to seek out a drug store where he could get some medication for his headache. Thirteen minutes later, at 2:53, the earthquake hit and the hotel was leveled. The people with whom he was meeting were killed.
The Consul General commented about how fortunate he was to have left the hotel at that time. He then reached in his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Inside the wallet he took out a plastic key card to the hotel. It was his key to his room. He carries that key card in his wallet and takes it out each day to remind him of how fortunate he is to be alive today.
Carrying things with us to remind us of important things is a very good practice. While most of us do not carry a key card from a hotel that was demolished moments after we left, there are some other items we could carry. Let me suggest a couple.
I have always carried a small cross in my pocket to remind me of who I am and whose I am. It is a gentle reminder everyday of what God has done for me through His Son Jesus Christ. I have always passed out a lot these crosses to people. It is not a good luck charm or a piece of magic. It is carried as a reminder.
Another opportunity for carrying something important is a reminder for us to put on the full armor of God. The Chairman of our Board Mike Henig developed a coin on which the armor of God scripture is placed along with a picture of a soldier dressed in the armor of God. I have written a brief little pamphlet about what each part of the armor of God means. Carrying this small coin in my pocket reminds me many times each day that I need to put on the full armor of God – helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, sword of the Spirit, shield of faith, and feet fitted with readiness.
The John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries (334-270-2149) has some of these coins, pamphlets, and crosses if you would like one to carry in your pocket. There is a small cost that pays for these items.
Moses said, “But watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the Lord do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.” (Deuteronomy 4:9 NLT)
Francois pulled out his key. How do you remember?