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Monday, February 8, 2016

Haiti 2016 - Part 2

A friend used the quote above to help encourage me! I love it! 

The first time I went to Haiti the sites and sounds were overwhelming. There are people, motorcycles & other vehicles all over. People talking, laughing, yelling! Horns blowing on either side of you as they are signaling they are passing you. The smells of open sewer and garbage hit you like nothing you ever experience in America.  The sun is usually shining and the heat of the day hits you, which being from Iowa and it is January, you will get NO complaints from me! It was all foreign and new to me. 

The second time I went everything was a bit more familiar but, still foreign and somewhat new.

This third was like coming home. The sun, the heat, the sounds and the dirt and dust.
As things become more familiar I pray I don't get complacent and become numb to my surroundings. I need to remind myself that behind the smiles of the Haitians there is poverty. Extreme poverty. Most of them have nothing and others have less than nothing. Jobs are almost non existent.

When you drive around the city you see lots of people heading in all different directions. I am not sure where they always have to go but, go they do. As you look you see all the trash and sewage. It is heart breaking. You see people taking sponge baths outside of their homes. Laundry, that has all be washed by hand, is hanging from anything standing still, from roof tops to cactuses.

The homes are pieced together with whatever they can find.

The trash is every where. Along the streets & buildings.

On the sidewalks.

Even in the bay.

Some people keep mission work in a tidy little box and feel it is worthless if it doesn't fit in the box they have created for it. But, there are MANY ways to serve the Haitians. Applying a new coat a paint may seem like silly work for a missions team but, when you see the joy in the ladies eyes because they now have a place to call home they can feel proud doesn't seem so silly! Repairing bunk beds at a church camp might not seem so mission minded but, the day that the young Haitians come to that camp and have a fabulous time near the ocean doing something besides playing in the worth it! Mission work can even be done from home. Raise some money for toiletry supplies. A friend of mine crochets and she is going to crochet dish cloths that we can take down and pass out to the ladies. Save money to give to the church so they can buy food for the homeless and starving people. Send gently used clothing and shoes. For a child to attend school it costs about $30 American dollars which, I believe, includes their a child or two! When the average Haitian wage for a family is $2 a day someone taking are of the school fee will go along way for that family.

Here are posts about my 2015 trip

This one was written before my 2015 trip

Haiti Mission Trip 2015- Matthew 25:40

This one was written after (I never did a part 2 like I intended)

Thoughts from my Haiti Trip 2015 - Part 1

Monday, February 1, 2016

Haiti 2016-emotions

I have just returned from a week long mission trip to Cap-Haitian, Haiti. My emotions are high, I feel like I could just break down and cry. I missed my family and I am glad to be back home with them. But, on my drive to work today I wondered what my purpose for this day was. I go to my job and I sit and do my work. It isn't life altering work, just pushing paper.

Last week I was helping to fix a leaking roof on the Pastor's home so that other people could sleep in that room and serve our Lord in Haiti. Last week I saw the poorest people in the Western hemisphere go through their days with smiles on the faces because we were there working side by side with them to make repairs they don't have the means to do on their own. I am not always skilled at the jobs that need done but, I am able to hand tools & supplies where they are needed or learn how to do a new skill to help finish a job. I helped paint people's homes so that they feel a sense of pride in their tiny little homes. I was able to share a smile, a hug, hold a hand in solidarity with people who truly appreciate the work we were doing.

Now, I am back in the States with all my 1st world problems and it makes me sick. I would happily be right back there without hot water and intermittent electricity, no social media, no coffee shops on each corner, just as long as there are jobs to do to help others. People get after me for not helping more in the States. It is something you will never understand until you go to a 3rd world country. Even the poorest American has it better than these people.

I keep trying to put into words all that is weighing on my heart. To try and explain the inner turmoil I am experiencing. When I try to tell people the ideas I have they just sit quietly, probably thinking I am crazy for having these thoughts or they say negative things about why it just won't work. I don't understand why these things won't work. I am a person who would rather be doing than talking about doing. To make plans, set goals and get busy working on them. I am at a loss as where to start with this.

I believe God has called me to serve Him. Whether it is locally or abroad I feel Him pulling me to help others. Is what I am doing enough? I don't think so. I am going to start with prayer. I am going to search my heart and find out where God wants me to start. I just don't think one week a year is enough.