Monday, December 6, 2010

Prayers Answered

I have been home from Haiti for 2 days now and I have found that I left a piece of my heart there. My heart aches to go back. I can’t express into words the great joy God has blessed me with from simply choosing to be obedient to Him and go to Haiti.

I had big expectations of God before I went to Haiti..expectations for Him to show up in a big way. I had a longing to grow closer to Him..feel Him in a way that I haven’t before. I was praying for Him to change me..mold my heart anew..make me the Christ-follower I should be…humble me. Little did I know that He would do that as well as answer a prayer that I have been praying for the last 8 years.

From the first day in Haiti, I was searching for God-trying to see why He wanted me to come there. I saw the trash everywhere with pigs in the middle of it, kids wearing little to nothing playing amidst all of it, tents/tin shacks crammed together, roads filled with rubble and pot holes bigger than I have ever seen (our ‘worst’ road would still be better than Haitian roads). We waved and said ‘Bon swa’ to people as we rode past on our way from the airport to the guest house…the people smiled and waved back. They smiled a smile that went from their mouth to their eyes-so very beautiful. How could they smile like that when they live like this?

Another day we helped with the water truck. Clean water, something so essential to life, yet not something they are abundantly given. People line up with their 5 gallon buckets or whatever container that would hold water until the next time the truck would come. Many had multiple buckets and-by themselves-would get their buckets back to their tin shack, requiring many trips, leaving their buckets on the side of the road with no one to watch them. Everyone in desperate need of clean water…yet no one would take anyone else’s buckets. It made me think about how we can’t go to an ‘after-Thanksgiving’ sale and not get into a fight over a toy or an electronic item that we don’t even remotely need. How did we lose sight of having respect for others?

Other days we went to schools, orphanages, Mother Theresa’s as well as visited a tent city. The theme was all the same: Haitian smiles that went from their mouths to their eyes, gratitude for whatever was brought or affection given, concern for our team and our well-being..when really we have it all…materialistically. I truly felt God in my life for the 1st time in a long time because He was showing me that I don’t need all that ‘stuff. The ‘stuff’ keeps me from seeing Him..from letting Him work in my life..from letting Him use me for His purpose. Haitians have nothing..materialistically..but they have EVERYTHING. For James 2:5 says’..has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which He has promised to those who love Him?’

It was our visit to the tent city that God finally answered my long-time prayer: LORD, what is Your will for me? We were talking to a woman named Jacqueline who was sick and asking for medication for her fever. Upon assessing her symptoms we came to a conclusion as to what we thought was wrong. On our way back to the guesthouse-God blessed me with a peace letting me know that this is what He wants me to do for Him…care for His sick in the poor areas of our world doing medical mission work. Looking back on my life, I see God was showing me His will for me all along, but I couldn’t see it..a desire to go on missions trips since I was young..allowing everything to fall into line with nursing school..blessing me with this opportunity in Haiti. I pray that He takes me back to Haiti, but I know I have to leave it up to God. I must clear all the ‘stuff’ out of His way so I can see God’s answer more clearly and truly have His joy. He will provide everything I need and will ALWAYS answer our prayers.

Thank You, Father God for not giving up on me and blessing me with this opportunity to truly see You!

Jennifer Schneider
Healing Haiti Team Member