....but, as far as the experience goes, being able to see this hospital and walk where my grandfather walked, was a once in a lifetime experience. I'm sure there are people in my family who have wanted to visit this place their entire lives. Not only did Tom and I get to see it but we were able to meet the new administrator and have Dr. Jerry translate everything for us into English so we could get updates on the hospital and the future plans for it. That was such a gift. Priceless.
I pray that the God who can multiply loaves of bread and fish, will send this town water and resources and his Spirit. The more time I spent there and the more reflection since being home, the more I believe with all my heart that God is in complete control and He is truly our only hope. We, mere humans, can do things to alleviate some suffering and help in the lives around us, but really and truly, the harvest is so plentiful and the workers are so few....the needs are so, so great and the resources seem so small in comparison. I don't want to live or speak in discouragement, but in hope- Hope that He promised to rescue the faithful and prepare a place of milk and honey, rivers of life and streets of gold, and He will fulfill that one day. That is ultimately, our only hope.
Thank you, Dr. Jerry for making this experience in Mombin possible:
Thursday night was our last meal as a "family". Our meals each day were prepared by a staff of local, Haitian women with huge hearts and amazing culinary skills. :) The staple food is rice and beans with a variation of sauces and toppings. They had fresh, local coffee every meal, freshly squeezed juice and a beautifully set table for us. They even made 2 pumpkin pies for us Thanksgiving Day! They took great pride in serving us. What a blessing!!
Dinner was a good time to talk about our days activites. What each of us did and what we enjoyed and learned. Again, this is a universal thing: Table time. From the kitchen in America to the outdoor table in Bohoc, this is a great time to connect. Now, the topics are pretty different. It isn't every day in America when you hear this exchange:
Greg: So what did you do today, honey?....you get it now right?! The things they do everyday are pretty incredible.
Barb: Well, we went to that house I told you about. The witch doctors wife. She asked Jesus into her heart and wanted us to come over and get all of her Voudu stuff out and burn it.
Greg: Wow, awesome.
Barb: So we did. And then she asked us to cut down a tree and we did. It was amazing... So what did you do today?
Devotion on our last night was special. Dr. Jerry spoke about our faith. We all prayed. During prayer, the generator shut off and it was pitch black. No one skipped a beat praying. It was a very special time of communion with everyone in a very natural environment. We didn't need worship music to lead us into communion with God, we didn't need comfortable chairs or lights or cool air conditioning.... we just needed tender, seeking hearts.
Friday morning was a 4am wake up and a 4:30 departure for Port au Prince and our planes. The drive back down was very reflective for me. I tried to absorb everything I was seeing. The beauty of this country. The faces we would pass. The two little boys who were riding a bike to school. And their beaming smiles from the back window to me. The cow we almost hit.....followed by the rooster......and then the stray dog. :) ....the diligence of the workers and walkers, who were up so early to start their day. The school children walking to a school that was nowhere in sight for me. The mountains that were fading from the backdrop, the further south we got. The beautiful lake we passed. The small children lining the streets or stepping out from their homes. The laundry that hung on the trees. The breeze that came through the truck..... I wanted to take it all in, 100%. I wish I could have captured everything I saw for everyone who is reading and for my own children. It was incredible.
I went to Haiti knowing I would grow but thinking I would have things to offer as well. I left taking so much more from the people there, than what I was able to give to them. From the loss of my luggage and the missing of my plane, the Lord was impressing on me that this trip would not be about me. It wouldn't be about my abilities or anything I had to offer. It was about Him. His beauty. His grace. His love. His power. His will....
I was just willing to go...
Last but not least, I am blown away at the support I received prior to my trip. I mailed out about 40 support letters asking for prayer, encouragement and financial contribution if you were able and/or felt led. 3 weeks before the trip, I was still about $800 away from what I needed. I had to trust that "If God led me to it, he'd lead me through it." and the money would come from working and donations. I ended up going to Haiti completely debt free. Even when I missed my flight and had to purchase another ticket, I had just gotten paid for tutoring nearly the exact amount of my ticket. He provided! So thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support- financially and spiritually. I feel very loved. It is my sincere prayer that everyone, at some point in their lives, is able to experience a world- a community, outside of their comfort zone. Not just to have had the "experience" but to be stretched, strengthened and changed and to grow in our understanding of how unique and incredible our Creator is. He has made too big of a world for us to stay in our own little cul-de-sac. :)
Bondje beni ou,
(God Bless You)