Haiti: Isaiah 56:1

March 14, 2014

To recap my experience in Haiti with one blog post not only be an injustice; it would be impossible. The trip was so incredible that I know it will take me a long time to process. The best way I know how to describe the experience is to highlight excerpts from my journal. The following paragraphs are going to be pieces of my experience, how I felt, what I saw, and what I learned in the moment.

Day 1

“I’m so excited and have such a sense of peace about being here. It’s nice to be somewhere unfamiliar to me. I feel like my heart has already found a home in Haiti.”

Day 3

“All praises to the One who made it all and finds it beautiful. I was helping with construction this morning and had to disappear for a few minutes of thankfulness. I got overwhelmed with the beauty of Haiti, the beauty in the mystery of how and why I’m here, and the beauty of the church working side by side to build God’s Kingdom here. I must have been experiencing the Divine on earth. It felt like a small glimpse of eternity.”

“I went to the nursing school today at MPCA. A lot of the students looked my age and it broke my heart to find out that several of them have multiple children. What will it take to end the cycle of kids having kids? I know this is something we experience because we are a fallen world, but is there nothing we can do? Because this is often what leads to child abandonment, contributing to the orphan crisis. My heart breaks for the orphans. I can already feel myself getting restless to adopt. I know the Lord knows this is my deepest desire and I trust His timing and provision, but I also know I need funds and a husband and I don’t see either of those appearing any time soon. But I wait in hopeful anticipation for the day I can call the orphans He has picked out for me, “Mine.”

The Lord will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior He will stir up His zeal; with a shout He will raise the battle cry and will triumph over His enemies. Isaiah 42:13

God Wins.

Day 6

“I can officially say I hiked up a mountain! We visited one of the mountain schools today and had to take a good, long hike to get there, but the view was breathtaking. We were literally hiking through banana fields. At the school, we talked to girls about abstinence. We got to share God’s design for marriage and how they are so precious and worthy to Jesus.”

“I got to share my testimony at St. Marc church tonight. I never thought 8 years ago that I’d one day be talking about my dad’s death and God’s faithfulness to a group of people in Haiti. The Lord continues to reconcile that tragedy to bring Glory to His Kingdom.”

Day 8

“The Lord is so faithful. I went to bed last night praying for rest, praying that Satan wouldn’t have a foothold on me, and praying that doubt would cease. How big is the God I serve to answer those prayers overnight. I slept through the night for the first time since I’ve been here. I woke up with a renewed sense of purpose and drive. I felt genuinely thankful to have so much time left here, and so thankful for the relationships with my team members. I am filled with thankfulness to the God who hears me and sees me.”

Day 9

I am not ashamed because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day. 2 Timothy 1:12

“This scripture was such an encouragement this morning. Being here for so long makes it easy to get caught up in the big picture and final product, but God’s word says that the One we believe in will guard what we entrust Him with for that day. That means all the things I worry about and hold onto out of my own stubbornness are not guarded because I haven’t entrusted them to God. What a cool promise to know that the things I give Him daily, He will protect because He knows my heart better than I do.”

Day 10

“This morning I was praying that I would be able to find a child to sponsor, specifically an orphan. When we got to Dupin, Madame Mark found the one orphan in the school. This sweet little girl named Madjinie stole my heart. She was so sad and told me that she had no mama and no papa. I was able to lift her face and look at her to say, “No papa” while pointing to myself. She instantly knew what I meant and looked at me with her big brown eyes and we made a connection. I could tell she wasn’t in the mood to play, so I just sat with her. She eventually climbed onto my lap and fell asleep.”

“Tonight I sat out by the ocean spending time with God. I felt like He was drawing me into His presence so I sat and prayed for a long time. I was praying against the voodoo and Satanic worship that has invaded this country and asking God to send His Holy Spirit to change hearts and to claim God’s children. I was praying for Him to win this nation back. As I did this, I realized that God needs to win the United States back, too. Our country may not be as vulnerable to voodoo, but we fill our time with many ungodly things that infiltrate our lives so subtly. We don’t realize the power Satan has on us because we are so good at looking the other way. I’m praying for God to grip our hearts and win our country back, too.”

Day 16

Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Isaiah 56:1

Day 17

After learning more about Madjinie’s family life:

“No little girl should know that much loss. It broke my heart to know all of this and look into her eyes and only see sadness. I can tell everyone at the school feels sorry for her, which isn’t a bit helpful. I prayed over her throughout the day that she would be filled with the Holy Spirit and know Jesus deeply. I prayed that God will fill her with the joy and peace He has given me. I am praying that she can be adopted.”

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8

Day 19

“I’m growing to love the church at St. Marc. They are so family oriented and welcoming. I was so thankful today for getting to be here for a month. I’ve gotten to know so many Haitians and it’s cool to build on those relationships week after week. We sang How Great Thou Art in Creole/English. I’m not kidding, it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen/heard/experienced. I’ve never seen a clearer glimpse of eternity than in that moment. I can’t even fathom the day when every tribe and language will come together and praise our Creator.”

Day 24

“God has done such an awesome job of placing women in my life this month to pour into me and speak bold truth to me. I feel so blessed to have seen these people with eyes and heart wide open. I have seen areas of weakness in myself and have seen examples of my strength displayed. It’s so cool how God continues to see me and reveal more of His character to me through other people.”

Day 26

“This month I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of meaningful work with an eternal purpose. I came across a verse that struck me as I read Romans today:

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the creator. Romans 1:25

“What a great picture of who I don’t want to become. I think in a lot of ways, this sums up the American Dream. I never want to reach a place where I care more about the marketing strategy than the audience; more about a PR campaign than the public; more about a salary than a mission; and more about who I am than whose I am. I’m realizing that Christians in media and PR have to walk a fine line of authenticity.”

The last two days of my journey were spent tying up loose ends, saying goodbyes to my beautiful Haitian friends, and praising the God who allowed me to serve alongside such incredible people. I hope these brief excerpts give a little bit of insight to the amazing journey I had while serving in Haiti. I hope to go back soon, there is so much work to be done. Praise God.