The Amazing Power of Grace
By Michelle Hobby
It was 1986 when I went with a group of doctors and nurses to Haiti on a medical mission trip. Tensions were high with the turmoil related to their dictator Papa Doc’s regime. We were surrounded by guards with automatic rifles protecting our group the first few nights in Port-au-Prince.
The third day we embarked on a small wooden boat carrying about 100 passengers, including some pigs and goats. We were going to the remote island of La Gonave for two weeks to set up a medical clinic in a large pig pen.
About an hour out on the water another similar boat carrying the same amount of passengers ran into us. The other boat began sinking and the passengers (all Haitians), began jumping into our already full-to-capacity boat, which then began taking on water, making it sink.
Everyone began screaming in panic. I decided my time was up, so I grabbed some of the children in my arms and held them.
I heard someone singing and turned toward the voice. One of the missionary doctors stood up at the bow and calmly began singing Amazing Grace. Soon everyone stopped screaming and panicking and became silent and relaxed. The boat stopped sinking.
This memory will never leave me. An example of what just one person can do. Just one person with a calm, mindful presence, singing Amazing Grace.