That is a super creative title isn't it. I have been a little intimidated to sit down and write this post even though I've wanted to write it since before I even left for Haiti. There really is so much to say that I don't even know where to start. I think I'm gonna just stick with some of my favorite stories from Haiti and what I took away from this trip.
|This was at 3 Cords. The business that employees deaf and disabled Haitians. Many of whom get treated at the prosthetics lab at the Clinic on the MOH campus. Click on the words 3 cords to see their website.|
- Our first day there we got to see and tour all the different parts of Mission of Hope (MOH). On our tour they told us that MOH had tried to dig to reach the well water about 8 times and never hit it. After the earthquake in 2010 MOH hit the water the first time they dug.
|During Sunday morning church|
- The pastor at the church on the MOH campus started out as the gardner for the Johnson family who founded MOH. Through his relationship with the Johnson's he came to know Christ and felt the Lord calling him to be a minister. He is from the village of Simonet (I think) which they said had 13 Voodoo priests. This man took God's truth back to his village and today there is only 1 Voodoo priest. The rest have converted to Christianity. This man has since gone to school in Port Au Prince and received a seminary degree and continues to share the gospel.
- A couple of days in I started thinking that what we are doing seemed insignificant. We were painting houses, playing with kids, picking up trash, and talking with people in the villages. But it seemed like there were so many bigger things we should be doing. Then Jay and Holden (who went last summer) were talking about how they could see a difference from last year to this year. They saw progress and how MOH is slowly reaching it's goal of bringing life transformation in the name of Jesus to every man, woman, and child in Haiti. It made me stop and realize that we are just a small part of a big story that God is writing. I appreciated even getting to be a part at all. It makes me long to go back and share in the rejoicing as God continues to draw people to himself.
|Jay with some of the boys during "kids church"|
- We went to the church on the MOH campus Sunday morning and Tuesday night while we were there. They sang familiar songs, but we'd sing one verse in Creole and one verse in English. It was such a picture of the church (all the people of God) coming together with one heart to praise the name of the one who saves. We sang the song that says, "together we sing, Holy is the Lord God almighty, the earth is full of his glory". These words that I've sung thousands of times have never had more meaning then they did that day. With people all over the United States standing together worshiping with the Haitian people surrounded by such beautiful creation that shouts the glory of the Lord made this song have new meaning.
- I had several encounters with motherhood while I was in Haiti even though I did not have my children. There is an orphanage on MOH campus. One day we went to the baby room to play with the kids and it was just so funny to me to see that kids are kids and moms are moms no matter where you live. There was a girl about 3 probably who was obviously the oldest child in the room. She would grab our hands and tell us to sit down. She started singing a song that sounded like, Are you sleeping, are you sleeping, brother John, brother John... Jay asked her to teach us to sing it with her in Creole. We were all clapping and would sing a line after she sang it first. After a few minutes her room mommy wanted her to take a nap. She went with her mommy and a few minutes later snuck out to come play with us again. The look on the room mommy's face was such a familiar one. I just thought to myself, "I feel ya". If you're a mom you always have something in common with another mom, no matter how different your lives may look.
- One day we were walking around the villages, and we stopped at a house where 2 girls were washing dishes. I got to step in a help. It was just a reminder to me that we are here to not just tell people about Jesus, but we are here to do life with them. I may only be there for a week but many people with the same heart will be coming behind me to say you matter, your life matters, your needs matter and I want to come along side you and do whatever I can.
- We got to see several villages, but the village we spent the most time in was Titayen. The people there know their neighbors. Whenever we would paint a house the neighbors would come and hang out and share in the experience. Whenever we went past a water pump there was always a gathering of people. It just reinforced how important community is and that I need to be better about engaging in every day life with the people around me. I'm gonna be honest and admit that I struggle with what this looks like practically for me. Jay is so much better at this than I am. Maybe that's part of why I married him. ;)
- This last one isn't so much about Haiti but it was part of our trip none the less. On the way home our pastor's son Holden was sitting with his girlfriend and an Air Force medic. Jay and I were in the row in front of them and got to hear the whole conversation. The medic didn't believe in Jesus. He did know the story of Jesus and how sin separates us from God. But I was taken by his constant use of the word religion. I guess following Christ is such a way of life for me that I don't view it as "religion". The medic believed in heaven and that you basically have to be more good than bad to get there. He also said that he had "tried it out before" but it didn't seem to made a difference. I just know there are many others out there like him. The word of God is very clear that it is not our works (our goodness vs badness) that gets us to Heaven. It is by placing your trust in Christ and giving him control of your life. You can not "try" Christ following on like a garment in a store. You either trust him or you don't. I pray you do trust him because He is so faithful to his word, but you have to take him at his word. You can't pick and choose what fits your lifestyle best. The Lord is so full of love for you no matter what you do or don't do. The Lord longs to be gracious to you, but you have to accept his gift.
|Many of the homes had a gate to the walkway like this one. Inside the gate were about 3 different family homes.|
So there it is. My blogpost about Haiti. I have so many more experiences that stand out as memories I'll cherish for a long time, but I figured no one wanted a detailed day by day retelling of everything we did. Haiti is such a beautiful place. It has changed me and I am grateful.
Just for fun I'm gonna share the lists I made. What I won't miss about Haiti and What I will miss about Haiti.
What I WON'T miss about Haiti
1. The smell (everything smells but y'all, our room was out of control stinky!!!)
2. The gnats (everyone was so concerned about mosquitos... not 1 bite but those pesky gnats were awful)
3. The roosters (MOH has a few roosters on campus and God provided an alarm clock every morning over and over that no snooze button could silence)
4. No AC (however it rained almost every evening which kept things relatively cool)
5. Cold showers (at least there was running water... no bucket showers this trip)
6. Bug spray
7. mosquito nets over the bed
8. the benches (MOH has no chairs that have backs on them. By the end of the week my body was aching for a chair with a back on it.)
9. Crazy driving (how are there not wrecks every 5 minutes in Haiti, I will never know)
What I WILL miss about Haiti
1. The kids
2. The view
3. the nonmaterialistic culture
4. unplugged life (I didn't even have my phone!)
5. Our team (the ones we brought and the ones we worked with all week; our interns)
|Our 6 with our interns|
6. Seeing the church- the body of Christ from all over the globe working together