I wish you could all be here with me right now.
I am sitting on the rooftop of Grace International’s Children’s Hospital in Carrefour, which is the same place where our team will be staying over the next several days. The sun, which was relentlessly beating down on us during the day has just slipped beneath the horizon and has allowed the stars to come out in indescribable numbers and vibrancies. Orion’s Belt has never looked so clear and bright, and as I type this post, I can’t help but be distracted by how beautiful our God is.
The breeze is sweet, and I feel…at peace. So amazingly at peace. In the midst of destruction, rubble, and chaos…there is a quiet and stillness in my heart that I just can’t find when I’m at home in the States.
And I think that it’s only when you are at a level of complete vulnerability that you truly realize how much you NEED God. And that there is a peace that comes with knowing how NOT in control you are.
This morning, the prayers and covering that came from all of you have allowed us to experience an uncanny amount of travel mercies. Despite having to get up at 2am, our team had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy our drive to Dulles without any traffic or speed traps. At the airport, we had our very own heaven-sent “angel” of an American Airlines representative, who not only allowed us to check in our extra bags (which were full of your donations and medical supplies) for FREE, but also allowed us to upgrade our plane seating arrangements for free. All of our bags met the weight limit by a few pounds, and even as we went to go through security screening, a brand new line opened up just for us and allowed us to bypass the early morning rush. And when we landed in Haiti, none of our bags were missing any supplies, and the customs representatives didn’t even bother to stop us from bringing anything in.
The first thing I noticed when we landed was how nice the airport was compared to 2 years ago. Right after the earthquake of 2010 hit, there was no roof, no lighting, and no fans in the baggage claim and immigrations area. This time, it was fully finished, and the chaos that used to be was now orderly, clean, and manageable.
When we finally got out of the airport, I saw a sight for sore eyes. My friend Chris, who we met the first time we were in Haiti, was there to pick us up with a hug and a smile. It felt like only yesterday when I saw him last, but he looks older, as I probably do to him.
The drive to Grace International was nothing short of incredible to me. The smoke, the dust, the smell…all of the things that had blinded and choked us in 2010 were gone. The traffic and mobs of people? Gone. The piles of rubble? Stacked and replaced by new construction.
I saw hope. After 2 years of struggling, determination and perseverance, Haiti is finally showing signs of progress and tangible hope.
But for the team members who had never been to Haiti, they found it difficult to join in our enthusiasm, as the remaining signs of destruction were still difficult to comprehend and digest.
Once we were inside the compound, we were immediately greeted by Madame Jeune and her son, Michael, who took us on a comprehensive tour of Grace Village. The most immediate change that I saw was the number of tents that were missing from the campus’ plots of land. And I found out that it was because the 25,000 people that were originally staying there had dwindled down to 10,000, as Grace International provided their people a means to move on and live in actual housing instead of tents.
As we were guided throughout the campus, we were informed of both the latest developments and the recent struggles that had popped up at Grace International. Nevertheless, the running theme throughout our walkthrough was how God had and continued to use people to provide for the needs of the Haitians. Despite the improper use of donations from big-name corporations, despite political corruption, despite the evils of human nature, despite the overwhelming number of issues that still needed to be dealt with…God sent people, volunteers, churches, synagogues, and small organizations that were willing to donate funds and supplies to the one cause that spoke to them most until the cause fulfilled. And the combination of everyone removing one issue each ultimately added up to a very big difference. And it was noticeable.
More than ever, I realize how important it is that we (that means you and me, my lovely readers!) continue to focus on the cause of the Lord’s Kitchen and getting these children fed. This was the one important cause that God specifically laid on my heart, and I want to see this huge issue crossed off Grace International’s list for good.
Tomorrow, our team is going to be doing the Lord’s Kitchen, to feed the children with the funds that you donated. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, and we will do our part on the ground in Haiti to show your love to the Haitian children here.
Love your faces. See you tomorrow!
PS: I was blessed enough to find two of my old friends while in Haiti! Chris AND Big Bebe! I’m still praying that I find Clemen~