2 February 2010
I would like to tell you of the glamour of this trip. I would like to tell you stories of us sweeping into remote villages or destroyed urban areas and saving hundreds of lives, or that each day we arose as the sun greeted us with renewed strength. That all went as planned and nothing was wasted.
The truth is that the area was filled with the smell of burning plastic water bottles, diesel fuel, dust, and the occasional smell of rotting flesh. The nights were filed with the sounds of C-130's and malaria carrying mosquitoes. We were able to help many wounds that left untreated would pose serious threats and will likely now heal. Many who would have lost the use of limbs all together will likely regain some use. This week, orphans will be clothed and fed. They will receive medicine for malnutrition and parasites because of a providential meeting with a UNICEF official, but most of the people we touched left our tent with persistent ailments for which there is little chance of getting medicine for cure or relief.
My prayer is that our presence gives a sense of legitimacy to the local church. That these people would wonder why a group of Americans would come to this place at this time to help them, and that this curiosity would lead them to the body of Christ. For it is the realization that the God of heaven loved me enough to come here to this broken world that once lead me to the body of Christ. It is only in Christ that they will find healing and ultimate relief from this life's sufferings.
Should we go?
Without question the answer is yes for many reasons. First, we are commanded by Christ to care for the poor and orphaned. Second, without the preaching and testimony of the local church, these people will be lost. A thought that is more unimaginable for me than a life in tin houses, is a life without hope and truly without Christ, whether we are American or Haitian, we are without hope without Him. Third, my life is changed forever. I will never again eat a meal without thinking of these people. When I lay my head on my pillow, my mind will travel to the children with smiling faces who tonight sleep on dirt. I will be more thankful and mindful of the hurting than ever before.
This place is a disaster in every sense of the word. Transport is unreliable, logistics is complicated, and plans change sometimes by the minute. Be prepared for this.
I do not know what plans God has for Haiti. Over and over the Scripture is filled with stories of change. In Ninevah, the king said, "Who can tell what God might do with a repentant, changed people." I will want and hope to be a part of His plan. I pray that the Glory of The Most High be seen in this place.
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