Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What is God trying to teach me?

A week has gone by and one question that keeps coming to me is “Why?” My pastor friend Trent Anderson once told me instead of asking “why?”, ask “what is God trying to teach me?”

So that is how I will approach my thoughts of the past week.

When God puts in front of me his precious children who are hungry, uneducated, sick and lack basic necessities of life, yet have the brightest of smiles, the kindest of gestures and pure joy in their heart, what is He trying to teach me?

When God shows thousands of people living in tents and shacks without water, electricity or sanitation, yet Praise and Thank the Lord, what is He trying to teach me?

When an earthquake causes mass destruction to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and they don’t have the capability to manage that crisis, what is He trying to teach me?

When children who have no parents or family to love them can be so obedient, affectionate and caring, what is He trying to teach me?

And when I see “special” children that have no services, therapy or compassion from those that surround them, what is God trying to teach me?

When the elders of a community bring us to the one smelly, dirty and pig infested toilet station for the community that closes at 6pm and charges a fee to use, what is God trying to teach me?

When I meet an uneducated mother with 5 children who can’t pay her rent and will be put out on the street, what is God trying to teach me?

And when faithful elderlies who have survived a tough life, are forgotten by society, what is God trying to teach me?

When hundreds of people tell me they are hungry and need food, but all I bring is clean water, what is God trying to teach me?

Why do I see potential, feel safe and have such compassion for these people, while others dare not go? And why does God bless us with wealth, opportunity and knowledge?

What is God trying to teach me?

I am still learning. I will never have all the answers. Life isn’t fair and God never promises it to be. He does promise to those who follow Him that He will provide for the day...and I believe He does...Sometimes I think we don’t realize how little it takes to get through a day because we have so much of everything.

I think God is teaching me that I must do everything I can. To stay focused. To use the gifts and talents He has blessed me with to work for His people. For years, He has been teaching both Jeff and I skills to prepare us for “such a time as this”. He is continually teaching us about patience. And He has instructed us through His word to care for the poor, the widowed and the orphaned.

We forget that we already have everything we need in Him. I think God is reminding me that He is with those who have faith in Him. He feels their pain and suffering. He never leaves them. He gives us the opportunity to care for His people. To shine His light.

Many are delivered to Him through all of this suffering. Over 300,000 people have perished in the earthquake...I believe Heaven has gotten a bit more crowded.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Humbling Experience...

We have been here for 4 days and what a humbling experience it has been. This is my first trip to Haiti as well as many with our group. We have had busy days but they are days that are full of joy, fun and LOVE. We met Jean and Fanfan, what incredible men. I hope someday they will come to America to meet the many people who know of them and pray for them. The light that shines from them is so bright. They truly are the face of Jesus.

On Saturday, we delivered water to Cite Soleil and Jeremy Wharf, some of the poorest of the poor. The children there were full of smiles to see us. I think of these children who have nothing, but yet still have a smile and the twinkle in their eye. It makes my heart sad to see the older the people become, their smile becomes less. I feel for these people but know that everyone has a purpose in life. Their purpose could be as simple as to break my heart. We will never know the specific mission we have to fulfill our life, so we must remember to be still and listen.

The children touched our hair, they were so curious. Freckles... they came to loud laughter when saying the word. They were so intrigued by Brett and Kristin being married, the children wanted the two to kiss....I do not know if they ever did, but oh they had fun. It was amazing to see how family oriented they are. What a joy it is to see this and to be close to the center of ones life again. It was sad to leave Cite Soleil as the people and children were so appreciative. Watching them run after the truck, oh how I wish I could have taken them home with me. Yet I wonder if their spirit would change, and I wouldn't want it to ever change. These people are selfless and so protective. We were walking to the ocean and I slipped and fell to one knee and all the children scrambled to help me up and wipe off my knees. They didn't want me to be hurt nor dirty. Yet they were dirty. What precious gems the Haitians are, I have learned so much from them, IN ONE DAY!

Monday, we went to visit Guliame's orphanage.The children received Valentine's from the children at St. Michael's in Bloomington, MN. We helped the children also make cards for the children back in Minnesota. The Haitian children were so detailed and excited to be able to make the children something special. Their little eyes were twinkling. They boys went to play soccer as the girls stayed back to do Spa day. The boys eventually came back wanting the Spa day as well. They soaked it all up. We gave them head massages, hand, arms and leg massages, and polished their fingers nails and some even did toenails. I rubbed some of the women's feet, boy did I enjoy this. I was so thankful to have the skills I do to be able to give back to them what people treat themselves to back in the States. They kept moaning and telling me "Mesi Mesi"....Thank you thank you! I thought to myself. When was the last time someone rubbed their legs and feet? if ever? Touch is such a necessity in life I believe. We were grateful to show our love for them in this way, as touch is a way to communicate when you cannot verbally do it. The children kept asking us if we would have to leave soon. It broke my heart to have to leave them. We're maybe only a few people yet there is proof that it will only take a few people to make a difference in the world.

There is so much more to write about and I will post more again soon, but I cannot help but wonder about how I will be back home? I have fallen in love with Haiti. I cry thinking about having to go back to a place that I call home, that is driven by money and material things. I am guilty of this myself. We as Americans are so abundantly blessed with a job that pays more than $2 a day. My goodness, an hour for that fact, a home with a door, running water and toilet, a soft bed... not one that is made from concrete bricks with maybe a 1 inch piece of cushion on top. We have a washer and dryer that does everything for us. As one day we will all be stripped of our material things, I wonder where Americans and Haitians will be? Where will we be? I do believe that we have so much to learn from the Haitians! How kind, and family oriented they are, manners, appreciation for all and all things. It saddens me... the misconceptions that so many have of the people here. I pray that we all will be more aware and awakened to the needs of all people not only in your home town but around the world. Their faith is something that I have never witnessed before in my life. They have nothing yet they still have God and know that He has a plan for them to prosper, have hope and a future.

I leave you with this for the can ones with SO much have SO little, and ones who have SO little have SO much?

Rachel Ray
Healing Haiti Team Member