Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rebecca's October 2010 Haiti Trip

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

My team
Ti Rivier Youth Group
We decided that the Lord was still calling me to Haiti despite our inability to meet with Wichelanda. We spoke with Pam and began to plan my trip to Haiti. I signed up for a Medical Mission in October 2010. It originally began as a team of just myself and a nurse...but evolved quickly to include a total of 10. We clarified our mission and planned to hold several medical clinics in the village and mountainous schools and to have Vacation Bible School (VBS) at the schools as well.
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 is truly amazing to think of all the experiences we had while we were there. I just got done sorting through some of my pictures and am hoping to post a bunch of them onto the blog. The photos take me back to that time and it is so dear to my heart. It was a difficult journey in so many ways.

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
It was difficult helping with the medical clinic because we saw several children that needed immediate attention for their injuries and conditions but in some situations we were only able to add them to a list to be helped when the funds could be raised. I think of how easy it is for us to go to the clinic for a sniffle or a minor injury and receive the proper attention. I saw a boy with a broken leg and had to tell his mother that we would add him to a list. Another boy had an inguinal hernia that was so large it was considered life-threatening and once again, he was added to a list. We also saw a baby that needed the nurses' immediate attention at the Orphanage but his family didn't bring him to be seen. I still wonder if he is okay. I look at the photos of these boys and continue to pray for them. I am happy to say that the first two boys have had their surgeries now (I worked with a school in Sioux Falls and together we were able to raise the money for their surgeries!)

“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

“Mete espwa ou nan Seyè a! Gen konfyans, pa dekouraje! Wi, mete espwa ou nan Seyè a!” Jòm 27:14

No comments:

Post a Comment