Oh Haiti, how I absolutely love it there!
The second I could smell that familiar trash burning smell, I was reminded of God’s almighty power and His enormous love that is as far as the east is from the west. (Not to mention being there in February was a HUGE plus- not being drenched in a combination of my sweat and mosquitoes)
I was blessed for God to send me to Haiti six months after the devastating earthquake in August of 2010 (you can read about it here). For a month, we built numerous temporary 15X15 tarp “houses.” At that time, we were told the Haitians would probably be living in them for over two years, so I use the word temporary loosely.
I came back thinking I would still be seeing people living in their blue tarp houses. Our first full day in Haiti we got to tour the village of Leveque. It is a village that Mission of Hope has helped build. Their vision is for the village to eventually be self-sufficient. We pulled up in our school bus to a village of blue tarp houses to my right…and then, to my left, rows and rows of all different color houses! By houses, I mean ones made out of concrete, with porches, rooms inside, front doors that don’t blow open in the wind, and cactus lining the yard like a wooden fence. The old blue tarps were no longer occupied – they were EMPTY! PRAISE GOD! I could not believe it.
This was not accomplished because of teams visiting Haiti; this was not accomplished because of the work of North Americans or Haitians. This was accomplished because it is the hand of God. Through Mission of Hope, through our faith and hope for Haiti, and through our endless prayers being sent up to God – He has sent armies to move mountains!
In the fall of 2009, a man from Canada called MOH and told him he had an ambulance he wanted to donate. The director politely declined the request telling the generous donor he felt it would not be put to good use since they only had a clinic and not a hospital. The donor insisted that he wanted to have the ambulance shipped because he felt God had put it on his heart to do so. Not long after this, an EMT called the same director to tell him he wanted to move his family to Haiti so he could offer his services. Again, the director did not think they could use him- that he was over qualified- and again the EMT insisted he wanted to come. In January of 2010, Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake. MOH had one of the only 2 ambulances and certified EMTs in all of Haiti. PTL.
What a blessing that God knows what we need even before we do. God is bigger than we can fathom. He is greater than poverty. He is greater than starvation. He is greater than the number of tracts we pass out or even a language barrier. He is the great I AM. He is our hiding place, a place of peace and comfort for all nations.
We were able to share the Gospel with children and even a deaf community! Lindsey and I were able to share Christ with an 18 year-old girl who thought she couldn’t be a Christian because she had a dragon tattoo and didn’t have any clothes to wear to church. The Lord used our own stories of grace to reveal His truth to this woman!! Not even a language barrier can stop God from moving.
The MOH intern Jimmy- who is awesome and helped us all week- said it best on his blog: Haitians talk about their friends and family that died in the earthquake, and in the same breath acknowledge God’s goodness and provision in their lives. The Haitian peoples’ faith and trust in Jesus is profound and thought provoking. How could a people who have endured such difficulty have such joy and generosity? Their peace comes not from financial security or a steady set of circumstances, but from an unshakable promise from God:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
This is what I was reminded of last week. Heaven is coming down to earth here in Haiti. God is wrecking down the walls of not only lack of education or food or shelter, but more importantly of the Haitian’s souls. They are not only building their homes from the ground up, but God is giving them lives transformed from scratch. New beginnings, new creations – He is more real than the rubble we stand on, than the air in our lungs and He is inside us all. No matter where He has placed us, no matter our past, no matter our struggles, no matter our name.
This is the reality of Haiti. This is the reality of America…Jesus is our reality and we belong to Him and Him alone, every single one of us.