There was something which laid dormant in me for 44 years. I didn't know it existed and had no idea it was even there. None of the work I had accomplished, the incredible sights I've seen, nor the places I have visited, had ever awakened it until I stepped on Haitian soil.
I'm sure you have many names for it but the only way I know to describe it, is something deep within me came to life. My ears heard new sounds, my eyes saw new sights, my body experienced an awesome level of tired, and my heart reached a fever pitch of love.
Our church, CrossRoads Church in Antioch, TN (www.crossroadsantioch.org) has Haiti as our overseas missions focus. I'm not sure anything we've done in the young life of our church has received more criticism than our work in Haiti. Just some of the comments we've received..."Don't you know there's starving people in America?"...or this one back before we built our building..."Why are you giving all your money to those people when you don't even have a building?"...one of the funnier ones..."America should come first. Period."...my personal favorite..."You can't give them a handout, you gotta make 'em work for what they get!" Of course I can't think of one person who has criticized our work who has actually ever BEEN to Haiti, but that's beside the point right? Everyone has their opinion.
These people have no idea what or how God has worked through our church to bring Jesus’ salvation message, first aid, jobs, churches, a Bible school, food, support for an orphanage, and clothing to these wonderful people in Haiti AND in America. But criticizing our efforts makes them feel better for doing nothing.
I have wondered many times how these critics would feel if they could see what we've seen...an 80 year old man, naked, trying to bathe himself in a mud puddle, or having to scrape the skin of a grown man who was burned over more than half of his body, or a middle aged woman scavenging for food through the same trash pile as a wild dog, or seeing a woman get beaten by a belt and a baseball bat because she was trying to push through security to get food for her family, or being caught in a mob because they found out we had food, and I could continue to list these moments, but you understand. My eyes fill with tears at the memory of these sights from over the last nine years we have been traveling to this wonderful country.
These are real people.
This is really happening.
I may sound like I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to Haiti, and yes, maybe I do. But I love these people, I love this country, and I see serving my Haitian sisters and brothers as an incredible privilege.
I pray you find your it before you leave this earth because it is a spectacular awakening you don't want to miss. Honestly, it has changed me far more than I could have changed it.
We are headed to Haiti again at the end of June. Would you please consider partnering with us to finish the orphanage we endearingly call “The Farm”? This trip should put the finishing touches on the surrounding wall and gate. This trip we will also be taking pictures and getting bio’s on 20-25 true orphans that we will then be looking for families to bridge with. Thank you in advance for any help you can give to make this dream come true for so many.
Go to project1418.org to donate toward this endeavor.