Jun 26, 2009

Ayiti:2 days

I have not died.  I have not fallen into the ocean and drowned.

No words.  See you in 3 days reality check.

Jun 19, 2009

Ayiti:flawless, fearless

One of my first days in Haiti involved touring the property with Diana and Tegan. At the bottom of the hill was the Hope House - the orphanage on site at MOH. I was still in total shock being in Haiti, and we walked into the yard with kids around, none of whom I could communicate with. Yet I somehow found a little body hurtling her way towards me. She wrapped her arms around my neck and held on for dear life. She chattered words I could not understand, so I just smiled and hugged her. She showed me her room, her bed, her doll. That night I wrote to a friend that the little girl was my most favorite person here.

She has remained special to me throughout the weeks. She has a spirit that is so full of joy and spunk that is so evident in the kids in Haiti. They have so little and exude so much. Their smiles are genuine and real; their hearts are transparent and full of life.

Lately I just marvel every day that I am experiencing joy so real, so tangible, so much so that I want to burst. The joy that the Lord places in his children - it's overwhelming.

I got to spend some time on the playground with the Hope House kids a week or so ago. Rose Berline played hide and seek for a long time, finally allowing me one picture. For living a life in the midst of darkness, how do you not see the hope and joy of the Lord in this?

Jun 14, 2009

Ayiti:i make my own way in the wide world

I feel unable to blog about anything worth reading. I have no deep thoughts, no realizations from my time in Haiti at the moment. I am sure that is not true - I know I am thinking and processing constantly while I am here. I know I have deeper things beneath the surface. Yet today I can't offer them.

I am beginning to wonder what it will be like to go back to Kansas City. As excited as I will be to see my friends and family, how do you return to life with a new set of lenses? It's the question I will be mulling over until I get there. There is no answer. I know part of me will want to be here - and to be torn between two places will be difficult.

One of the things I will come home with is motivation. I have struggled constantly with wanting to leave school, take time off, travel, live in Haiti for extended time, etc. But in talking with the people here, I see my opportunities in education rare and beautiful. What a waste it would be to not take advantage of what I have been given. What a waste to spend my last year scraping by. I return with a motivation to finish, finish well, and to begin preparing for when God does have me leaving.

Until then, this guy will keep me going.

Jun 6, 2009


Last night the head cook made me a cake. I was given a global phone and talked to my parents for the first time since leaving Miami. I most likely wept a lot last night.

Upon shuffling out of bed this morning, I headed to the kitchen for some delicious Haitian coffee. It was a clear morning so I could see the mountains on the other side of the cove. I was greeted by the teams who were briefed shortly thereafter that today was a special day for me.

A chorus of happy birthdays ensued. After a pancake and a second cup of coffee, it was off the Hope House, where I share my special day with one of the girls. A round of "Happy Birthday" in english AND french came from 56 mouths of the most precious kids. I spent the day with them, helping them make sponsor letters.

It rained a lot in the afternoon, but never fear, my fearless friends led the way out of the mission, determined to celebrate no matter what. Then:

1) 3 of our friends didn't show up.
2) We couldn't catch a tap tap.
3) We got a late start.

So...we walked to Source Matelas. We found two of our friends who didn't show up and ate at Gwopapapoul (translation: Big Daddy Chicken). Wicky brought ice cream, Vulcy played "the game" with me*, and Sadrac beat me at the game every time. Sadrac also brought me apples.

* "The Game" is where you keep a straight face until the other person laughs, or vice versa. I am very bad at it. Sadrac is not.

I maintain that the most beautiful part of Haiti is the people here. I have never been wished BON FET so many times. I have never had so many people sing to me. I have rarely laughed as much as I did today. On a day when I might miss my family and friends the most, the community surrounding me made sure I celebrated well. I feel incredibly blessed by God's faithfulness.

Jun 1, 2009

Ayiti:dust on my feet

My last night consisted of fresh guacamole, oven pizza, Step Up, and an ensuing dance party. It was just what I needed, and it involved two incredible people. Today I would like to tell you a little bit more about the aforementioned Diana:

Seriously, this girl is a life saver. I don't know that I really saw how much she would mean to me until yesterday. She has been around almost every dinner time, asking about my day and getting to know me better. She is incredibly generous with all she has, and she is full of life. In all ways, Diana is like a breath of fresh air for me.

My parents are still able to teach me lessons from far away. My mom has been the consistent source of encouragement, offering eloquence and calm when I feel as if the world is more chaotic than it actually is. My dad's most recent e-mail reminded me that "you have a few lines to speak; say them well, and then get out of the way."

I feel like I am so often under the impression that my life, as a whole, matters more than it really does. Not that it doesn't matter, but that I am one in a cast of characters, that I have a purpose and role where I am, but that ultimately, the story is never really about me. So I try to take on more responsibility that I ought to and unfortunately I try and give myself more credit when it doesn't belong to me.

If anything, my time here has taught me that I can't change very much in the midst of the pain and brokenness that surrounds me in Haiti or in Kansas City. But what the Lord continually reminds me to do is to serve, serve zealously, relentlessly, lovingly, instill value into who you can, and understand that it's never really about me.

So Diana introduced me to Brooke Fraser (finally jumped on that wagon), and Albertine has been playing over and over. I have been asking the question "what do I do when I go home?" every day, knowing that living in light of what I have seen in Haiti would be harder than living in the midst of it.

The little girl from Bon Samaritan is someone who will never get out of my head. She's stuck there. I find myself wishing that I could bring her home with me. But for every Wendolyn, there are countless others with the same story. So how do I live in light of what I have seen? I have been given a responsibility, my faith without deeds is dead. How that looks in my life now, I don't know if I have figured it out yet.