Written By: Missy Wilson, Co-Founder of myLIFEspeaks
You can listen to the audio version of this story, here.
Acho...to know him was to love him! I first met Acho over 10 years ago, before myLIFEspeaks even existed. I was in Neply visiting some of my friends who used to translate for Mike and me. This was when I was introduced to Acho and his brother Cajuste. The first thing I noticed about both of them was their beautiful clear blue eyes. They were so captivating and I felt as if they drew me in from that very moment.
Over the next few years, I was able to learn more about Acho and his family. I began to realize that they believed differently than I did. They believed in more of the mystical, Voodoo powers and not in the true hope of Jesus. Cajuste is actually the Voodou Priest in Neply. It was during these first few years I actually would spend more time talking with Cajuste than I did with Acho. I would always tell Cajuste I was praying for him and I prayed for God to show him all he had planned for him and his future. He would look at me and respond with a slight giggle and then respond with, “Missy, don’t pray for me, Voodou is my life and if I don’t have it then I won’t have anything.” My prayers for him continue to this day.
But for Acho, things were different. I got to know him more as he began coming to our church services under the mango tree on Sunday mornings and then attending our Elderly Program on Wednesdays. There was something different about Acho.
He loved hard, he opened up, and he engaged in a way I never expected. He would show up at church almost every Sunday, sporting his fedora, as only Acho could. Always dressed for success and always ready to share anything we were ready to listen to. He would come up after service each week and say something like, “I never knew that or that really touched me today,” smile, and begin walking back home. I never really knew where Acho stood with his relationship with Christ or if he believed as his brother did but one thing I did see was Acho’s heart to know more about God.
He yearned to more about how he could live his life in a way that was pleasing to God. The more I got to know Acho, the more of an impact he made in my life. He brought a sense of joy, peace, and contentment whenever he was around. He was always smiling, always happy, even when he didn’t feel well.
Acho’s health began to decline due to liver disease, which caused swelling in his extremities. He also suffered from shortness of breath but he continued on with all smiles. He fought to continue coming to church, he fought to continue coming to our elderly program, until he couldn’t make it anymore.
He became very sick and was placed in a hospital in Leogane. I was able to visit Acho twice during his hospital stay. The first time I went in he made sure to tell me how much Pastor Mike (myLIFEspeaks CEO, Mike Wilson) means to him, how much he loved us, and how much he had enjoyed being part of the church and elderly program.
He talked and talked that day and I remember thinking Acho was going to be fine and God was going to use him to impact his brother and others in his daily life. I was able to talk to Acho that day about his LIFE with Jesus and if he had ever accepted him as his personal Lord and Savior? Acho’s response was one I will never forget. He told me he had been converted (what they say in Haiti when you become a follower of Christ) and Jesus was the only one for him. I asked him if he was scared because he was so sick and he replied “I have nothing to fear, my future is in His hands.”
The next time I went to visit Acho, he was sleeping, laying there with a peaceful look on his face. He opened his beautiful blue eyes and at that moment I realized this would be the last time I might see those eyes, this side of heaven. Acho passed away that afternoon. He was at peace with his life, at peace with where he was going, and at peace with how he left this world.
Acho was a legend in Neply. He spent many years sharing his life with so many people here, but for me, Acho’s life is one that will forever have an impact on me. He taught me how to live my life with joy, peace, and contentment. To live my life confident in my relationship with Christ no matter how others around me might live. So many days my mind remembers the sweet smile and those crystal blue eyes which captivated me from the first day we met.
I love you Acho and you will forever be in my heart! I long for the day we will be able to see each other again and until then, I will continue to carry out your legacy in praying for your brother every day!
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of LIFE, which God has promised to those who love him."