His name is Coeurcius Jacques Colas (pronounced “cola”). He is sixty-six years old and was born under the presidency of Durmarsais Estimé (1946 – 1950). Brother Colas (as we know him) has been with us since 1991. He is a longtime, faithful church member and his main role in working for us is that of a security guard. He sleeps at our home during the night, yet Colas is so much more than that. He is truly the “go to” man for everything. His jobs range from shopping at the maché for us and keeping our generator running smoothly, to caring for our dogs and fending off the neighbors that come to our gate asking for money. For this reason, Colas is not very popular with our neighbors. They constantly hurl insults at him and throw trash over the wall into our yard just to provoke him. It is not uncommon to awake in the morning to hear Colas outside arguing with everyone in the neighborhood.
Brother Colas came to our church a very sick man. He was under treatment for tuberculosis and was so weak, he couldn’t sit up. But he’d come to our early morning prayer services and friends would lay him on the back bench. There he would lie, soaking in the worship and listening to the meditations that were given. Slowly, his health was restored and he became one of the many marvels of restoration that we have witnessed in our church.
Colas cannot read, yet he has the memory of a steel trap. For some reason, he asks me (Dana) to write out a list for him of the things we need at the “marché,” (an open-air market downtown) even though he’ll never refer to it. But, he will remember everything that’s on that list and return with every item. Maybe in some small way, this helps him retain his dignity for a skill never learned.
Because Colas is so greatly loved, he is often teased by us and everyone else. He laughs along with us, knowing that it’s our way of showing him he’s special. But, there is something else special about Colas. Colas was with us that Sunday night in 2006 when we were kidnapped. The gang that forcibly commandeered our jeep were concerned that Colas (being a Haitian), would recognize one of them. As they raced our jeep out into the countryside at breakneck speed, the gang members wrapped a t-shirt around Colas’ head and forced him to put his head down while sitting in the back seat. At that moment, Colas, terrified and certain they were going to kill him right then and there, began to vomit in the back foot of our vehicle. Fortunately, no one was killed or even hurt, and everyone’s subsequent release was one of the many miracles we have experienced while on the mission field. But because of this incident, the bonds already forged between us and Colas were intensely strengthened.
Proverbs 20:6 aptly applies to Brother Colas and we are happy to share this post with our readers about a faithful man who deserves to be honored.
“Most men will proclaim every one his own kindness; But a faithful man who can find?” (ASV)