Emma and I are going to Haiti! This time next month, our feet will be on Haitian soil. We are so excited for this trip, beyond excited… ecstatic! Tomorrow our devotional comes and we will start preparing our hearts to see and hear the Lord clearly when we are there. Tonights blog will likely be the start of my processing preparations and this trip in a public way.
It seems odd to start with this, but I’ve been so surprised as we have shared our trip with people how many times I have been asked “What are you going to “DO” there?” (Disclaimer, if you have asked me this, please do not take offense to this blog!)
This will be my first International mission trip; at least officially. As I share and people ask me this question I’m so surprised, because the natural assumption is that I need to go there to help the Haitian people. Truth is, I’m not sure I have a lot to offer to the Haitian people. But I AM SURE that they have a lot to offer me. God has made this clear to me.
Emma and I are going to experience the joy and contentment of the people there. I was blessed to have a Haitian Taxi Cab Driver when I arrived in New Orleans in 2013 to pray for Human Trafficking during the SuperBowl. During our 45 minute car ride, I gain so much perspective on the people of Haiti and instantly knew I would go there some day. As Emma and I prepare, we are praying that we will walk away with an understanding that it isn’t “things” that make us happy, but rather our dependence on God that fulfills us. We’re hoping to understand struggle and suffering and joy all in one beautiful, emotional portrait, for even in dust and what we might call rubble, God paints beautiful sunsets… if only we look. Amidst the smell of Haiti, I’m anticipating breathing in the Love of the Lord.
Don’t get me wrong. I totally understand we will see and experience things that are hard; things that are very different from our culture and surroundings. But to be honest, that is why we are going. Sometimes to encounter new facets of Jesus love, we have to look at the world a bit differently. And sometimes doing that means getting uncomfortable, and letting the Holy Spirit work from the inside out.
Emma and I are cut from the same cloth. We love people. Period. And to have the opportunity to simply get to know people, to look in their eyes and hear their stories, and pray with them flesh to flesh, to hold their hands briefly, connect at a heart level, and then leave to pray from a distance, well…. It brings tears to my eyes.
I’m not going to Haiti because I have something they need. I’m going because they have something I need. It’s not because I don’t think God has given me multiple gifts. He has blessed me abundantly. However, my heart is just in a place of wanting to Love my neighbor as myself. Not because they need me, but because HE loves them… and me. (us really)
Emma has a bucket list for this summer. One of her items is to play with the Haitian children. I want a child like heart. My bucket list includes loving the Haitian people like Jesus would have me love them. Period. Just Love. No programs, not building projects, no training, just Love.
God kept it simple – “Love one another as I have loved you…” John 13:34
And that my friends is why I am going to Haiti.