I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to visit Haiti a few weeks ago with an awesome group from my church. I was also blessed to experience this trip with my husband.
I went in with a very hesitant heart. This was something that was putting me completely out of my comfort zone...something that God likes to do over and over to me. I usually like to fight back and get back into my safety box, but then I don't get the chance to learn something new. What a great way to jump out of the box without a safety net. There were plenty of things to not like there...spiders, outhouses, dirt, and cold showers.
But those were actually the easiest things to overcome. The thing that I liked the least of all was seeing the devastating amount of poverty with my very own eyes. There is something so different to seeing it right in front of you where you can actually reach out and touch it. Totally doesn't compare to seeing it on tv from the safety of a warm house and comfy couch. But the smiles and the joy on the people's faces totally made up for it!!!!
Throughout all the poverty and things that I thought seemed terrible, the constant theme I was reminded of was God's overwhelming joy from His people. People who had absolutely nothing but the love of Christ to keep them going each day, and yet they had complete trust that God knew what He was doing and that He loved them enough to provide for them.
Ouch!!! What a painful jab to my heart. Here I am with everything I need and want and I can't say that I have that kind of trust. What a convicting thing to come home with.
Another thing that everyone in our group felt was helpless. We saw so many needs around us, yet we couldn't fix all the problems. One night we sat around and talked about it and came to the decision that God knows we can't help every single need that we see. But He does ask us to do what we can do that day when a need crosses our paths. That may just be a bag of rice and beans that will only last one day. It may not seem like enough to do, but it could be the answer that person was praying for that day. God will send more answers to their prayerson the following days. We just need to be willing to be used on the day He calls us. I know personally I was challenged to really see the needs that are around me and to act on those instead of waiting for someone else to come along and do it.
They all sing in Haiti, from the youngest to the oldest. The joy of Christ just comes out of them while they are singing. Sunday morning we visited a local Haitian church and it was thrilling to listen to them sing in another language and still know that we were worshipping the same God.
Overall the trip was a lot of fun. We sang, visited homes, painted classrooms, helped in classes, handed out glasses, visited a local bread bakery and just had fun being used of God to minister to those in need. Thank you so much for all of you that mailed glasses to me for Haiti. They were a huge hit and it was exciting to be a part of that. It was neat to see the light go on in their eyes when we were able to find a pair of glasses that helped them see better.
If you ever have the opportunity to go, do it. You will come back with such a better appreciation for even the smallest of the small things that you have been blessed with.
Would I go again? I don't feel the call to pack up and move there. But I also want to be open to God asking me to visit again. So maybe sometime in the future!!!