Ale Nan Pe!

By Chris Ward, Campus Director, Living Hope Houston

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27

For those who don’t know, my wife and I returned from serving as missionaries in Haiti last August to follow God’s leading for me to step into a new calling as the campus director of Living Hope Houston. It has been quite the transition—imagine drinking water straight from the faucet and having electricity 24/7!

Serving in Haiti was incredible, wonderful, and extremely difficult all at the same time. Part of the difficulty was learning the language. As we learned the Haitian language of Creole, we learned a popular phrase—“ale nan pe” which means “go in peace.” The interesting thing about this phrase is that the word for peace only means peace when used in the whole phrase. If you use the word for peace (pe) by itself, it is translated “fear.”

In the Creole language there’s a fine line between fear and peace. Isn’t that true in our lives? In our everyday lives we can teeter between being fearful and having peace from day to day. We can go for a period of time with confidence and peace and then all of a sudden something happens and fear steps in and we are paralyzed. We might hide the reality from those around us, but the truth is that we all have fears. Fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of death, fear of the unknown,  ________(fill in the blank with yours).

What is more interesting about this Haitian word for fear is that the only time it doesn’t mean fear is when you put the word “nan” in front of it. Nan is translated to the English word “in.” Immediately I think of being “IN Christ” and how that changes everything in our spiritual walk.

1Peter 5:14, reminds us: “Peace to you all who are IN Christ Jesus.” As followers of Christ we are promised a peace that will guard and help insulate us from fear. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).

What about you? Are you teetering between fear and peace in an area of your life today? Ask Christ to guard your heart from this fear, as you trust in Him.

Ale Nan Pe!