April 10, 2010 – 9.37am – waiting on the tarmac of the PaP airport AA#816
it’s my 5 year old Crusoe’s birthday today, and i am leaving Haiti, feeling like i’ve seen a ton of needs and not done much to help it this week – such is the nature of a setup trip i guess. i’m praying that our work might become a blessing as GoGlobal teams start to arrive even this next week. i’m not sure that i like being the outsider though:) coming in for a quick visit to the country, not really understanding ‘how it is’ … having all kinds of thoughts and solutions as an outsider – some helpful, and some not… having been the missionary in the country for the last 5 years, it’s a new role for me.
even more than that, it’s been really hard to not read my Swazi style/expectations/ understanding into life here in Haiti. for that matter, its hard to not look at things with your American/Canadian/western eyes, or whatever frame of mind you might have, and miss the real issues. in the line this morning at the airport, and all week really, with dozens of relief workers, i heard and participated in a number of conversations about ‘the way they should be doing it’ … and “the problem down here…” i guess you can’t slam relief workers and missionaries for trying to figure out the best way to do something … but as for me i sure wish that ‘listening and serving’ came more easily than ‘talking and elevating my ideas’ do.
so here it is: what would you do if you were here … as a Haitian living inside the disaster. what would it be like to be from the church i visited yesterday: the pastor and his wife were leading a discipleship class with the 20 elders/leaders of the church when the quake hit. In an instant all the leaders were gone from this life – called home into eternity.
all your church’s leaders now have widows and orphans. maybe your husband or wife is one of them. who does the funerals? not the leaders – they are all dead! all the schools are closed – the kids are hungry and you have no way to provide anything at all. as you continue to work on the rubble by hand, you try to ignore the reality that five of the church leaders bodies still lie buried in rubble beneath your feet – 3 MONTHS later, you still haven’t found them.
the church rubble 3 months later with 5 church members still lost inside
there is no equipment rental place around to move the concrete, not that you could afford it if there was one, so you use your hammer and chip away at the giant pile of concrete day after day. you are still sleeping in a tent out of fear or another quake – there is no expert seismic report assuring you of relative safety, and so you [and all your neighbors] don’t even plan on rebuilding because of your fear.
take a minute to actually try to put those shoes on for a day.
and then pray, and give, and go as God leads you.