Pulling back from the gate is an odd feeling right now. I am not sure I can describe what I am feeling. Over the past week all my senses were attacked, challenged and forever changed.
As I close my eyes as we are lifting off, I am overtaken by a flash of all the many things I encountered. Children screaming with joy and laughter, babies crying, horns honking, trucks gears grinding and all the warm greetings of the many faces I came across.
These faces have been forever burned into my eyes, along with the homes they live in. Crowded tap taps and buses, garbage and sewage packed streets. Buildings reduced to ruble and more than tens of thousand of tents ever where you look. Pigs, chickens, roosters and dogs roaming the streets. The smell of diesel, miscellaneous things burning and the strong odor of rotting trash.
Of all the senses affected, touch has impacted me the most. in City Soleil, we delivered buckets of water deep into the streets where most people do not go, especially without some sort of escort. Along the way children would want to hold your hand or anything they could get a hold of. All they wanted was to feel that touch, even if it was for 30-90 seconds as you walked back to the truck to grab another bucket. There was no other motive. They did not want your money, your possessions, your food or water. They simply wanted to be touched, loved and noticed. It breaks my heart into so many pieces I can hardly contain it as we have lifted off and are headed for home. I am no longer crying behind my sunglasses. I am just crying with an emptiness I cannot fill or fix. I thought I would leave Haiti with a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of being full of God's love, instead I am broken and feel so much guilt and sadness for leaving them all behind. I never thought I would be this impacted. I never imagined I would get so emotional. How is it possible for me to find it so difficult to go home? I wish everyone could feel this.
So where do we go from here? Where do I lead my family? Do my wife and I pack up our four children and move to Haiti to be the hands and feet of Christ on the ground? Do we change the way we live? Do we continue to teach our children about the many sufferings around the world? Do we get our church even more involved on global missions by leading trips. I wish I knew the answer, but the fact is I have no idea which way God will lead us. A lot of praying is needed.
Lord, thank you for changing my heart and putting these blessings in our path. I pray for you to help illuminate a path whichever it may be.
Brian - Healing Haiti Team Member