God is our strong refuge; he is truly our helper in times of trouble. For this reason we do not fear when the earth shakes, and the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, Psalm 46:1-2

Pou chèf sanba yo. Se yon chante pitit Kore yo pou yo chante tou dousman. Se Bondye ki tout pwoteksyon nou, se li menm ki tout fòs nou. Li toujou pare pou ban nou sekou lè nou anba tray. Psalm 46:1-2

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Haiti Reflections

(back: Andy, JoAnn, Don, Tammy, Lee, Caroline, Dawn, Kim)
{front: Marlene, Ellen}

There is something so exciting about going on a short-term trip.
A new place: Haiti.
A mission: to help.
A week: enable change.
Packing your bags you feel so stressed--do I need that shirt? Did I pack my toothpaste? Do I really need to bring a headlamp? And then you go out and buy some extra things: granola bars, some throw away towelettes, a journal, a new camera battery. And then you lay in bed and think: "Is this really a good idea? What if something happens? What if I get malaria?"

Somehow with our many questions, we convince ourselves that this is a trip we can do. That God can use us, his people, for some display of his glory.

What everyone always comes back saying is that the trip was more changing to the goer than the people we go to. I think that's the way it's supposed to be. The kingdom serving each other and being blessed. Even with the lack of sleep and surprises of new friends, language barriers, food confusion and travel weariness; we are blessed. I was blessed to be part of a medical team, even though I am not medical. We were able to do various things in the hospital: check blood pressure, take temperatures, hold babies, organize shelves, wash hair, rehab, give a new pair of crutches, and jump rope with children.

Is there hope for Haiti? With the thousands of organizations all pooling their money and time, I hope so. What we saw there was broken homes and broken families. Mothers who lost children and children who lost mothers. We handed out milk to children in a camp
and it was so exciting to be part of the hands that give daily bread. To see the children coming unhindered and realizing that the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" is more beautiful in that moment than ever before.

What did we realize in Haiti? That there are a ton of problems. The roads are atrocious, which makes travel difficult. The infrastructure is non-existent. The corruption is prevalent and prevents a lot of good works from reaching their destination. That the church has an opportunity to be a witness in this tragedy. What is the church? It's people partnering with Haitians to make a difference. It's trips going to Haiti and growing a love in their hearts for a people that were once strangers, but now have names: Kervens, Gregorie, Juanito, Bob, Max.... It is a time for us to figure out long-term strategies for what will help people find employment and build homes for themselves and have hope for a healthy baby who will grow up educated.

The Haitians are a singing people. They love to sing. When the earthquake hit, we were told there were songs of mourning being sung in the street. They sing to the radio. They sing in the hospital. I think they sing because it's hopeful and beautiful in the midst of so many things that aren't.

I loved being in Haiti. There are so many thoughts to share. Sorry this is so scattered.

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