Shortly after Craig's return home, we received a phone call from Compassion informing us that Wichelanda was located. She was healthy but her home was destroyed. Her family survived but they had relocated from Port-au-Prince to a small island located off shore from the mainland. We were able to resume our communication with her, but her new location prevented us from combining a trip to Haiti with an opportunity to see her. Also, the Compassion staff had suffered tremendous loss in the earthquake as well and would not be able to arrange a visit for an indefinite period of time. I was very happy to hear that she was well, but terribly sad to realize that we would not be able to arrange a visit.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” Isaiah 6:8
|Ti Rivier Youth Group|
|Newborn at the new mom's training class we offered.|
When we arrived, we were pleased to find out that there were several other ways that we were able to interact with the people of Haiti and to grow from the experience. We participated in the youth group held each evening and enjoyed getting to know the village youth! We served a meal for a family in the community that had been having many challenges. We helped repair the finger of a young boy that had a large laceration from his father's machete. We were privileged to pray for a family at their home after the tragic loss of their young daughter. We had a trip to another local orphanage and spent time with the kids and held VBS for them. I was able to provide communication templates I created with a coworker to two children that are unable to speak and possibly unable to hear. This will help them communicate with their families and friends. I enjoyed teaching the orphanage "mom" and two of the kids how to make cookies. We also held a shoe clinic where several local people were fitted with new shoes. I had a chance to hold a newborn baby at the New Moms educational session. My favorite moments were captured when I would snuggle up with the kids at the orphanage in the evenings to read books to them. They are all precious!
|Helping make cookies|
|Reading to the orphanage kids|
“…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:10-11
|Little boy with hernia|
It was physically difficult because of the heat and humidity (95 degrees with 95% humidity), late nights and early mornings (thanks to the roosters), and strenuous hiking which led to soreness and blisters.
It was mentally difficult as we were always moving...always on a mission to make a difference and at the same time trying to soak up as much time with the Haitians we were coming in contact with.
Mostly it was emotionally difficult. It is amazing how an experience such as this one is difficult to convey in a narrative. I think it must be impossible to find the words to describe the emotional toll it takes and how it is a blessing to the soul even though it is a struggle. There was no doubt while I was there that it was exactly where the Lord wanted me in that moment! He had a plan for me all along and there was such a peace in my spirit during this time. I was charmed by the Haitian people. Even in the midst of such poverty and hunger, they are a loving, passionate, joyful and giving people!
|Boy with broken leg|
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” John 16:33b
The children in Haiti are beautiful, joyful and filled with a strength that I have never seen before. I learned so much from the people of Haiti and from my experience as a whole. I feel as though I am broken and stronger than ever all at the same time. I feel filled with the Spirit and at peace with His plan for me whatever that might be. I experienced some tough times in Haiti and the Lord was right there with me...even in the middle of the night in rural Haiti when our bus broke down literally dozens of times! He gave me a peace in that trial that is only explained by His presence. I am so small...yet He holds me in the palm of His hand! It will be amazing to see what this experience will lead to.
While in Haiti, the time went by so quickly. I attempted to make the most of every moment and tried to record the memories as they occurred. Once on the airplane home, I reflected on my experience in Haiti. I still wasn’t sure what direction the Lord was leading me and our family. I prayed for clarity and peace about whatever He might bring into our life.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14