This time next week I will be in HAITI!!! It has been a wild, wild month. I have had so many feelings regarding Haiti so I thought I would share a few.
I just want to be real here, going to Haiti is hard. It was hard when I went the first time, but now that I am going back and know what to expect (although all trips are different) it kind of takes the "hard" up a notch. Kind of like when you are giving birth to your second child. You've been there, done that, yet NOW you know what to expect (like, you know what it's liking pushing an 8 pound baby out of you-know-where) (am I going to poop all over the hospital staff again, wow, that was embarrassing).... it's just a different kind of nervous. I don't know.... thankfully, hopefully, there will be no pooping in front of others in Haiti...
Seriously though, this past month has been very up and down. As a family we went through a lot, some personal stuff and some business stuff. I flat out was thinking of different ways I could get out of going on this trip. I emailed my wonderful friend, Tami, and told her I was freaking out. She said that was great (wha???). LOL. Yes, apparently, my fears and apprehension all point to God doing something big in me through this trip.
I mean, I know a lot of people who go to Haiti. A lot. Like several times a year and they love it. They talk about not wanting to leave Haiti. They talk about these strong feelings toward going back. I didn't fall in love with Haiti the last time I went. In fact, I knew it would be a while before I went back. It was that hard. And the stuff I thought was going to be hard wasn't. I can live without hot water for a week. I can live with eating different foods for a week. I can live in the heat. I can live with the possibilty of the generator going out and having no electrcity. That stuff was easy.
Well, I would like to say that reaching out to Tami helped with my apprehension but it didn't. Midway through November I started looking for full time employment. One of the positions I was interviewing for had me starting work the Monday after I get back from Haiti. Talk about skyrocketing anxiety. I just didn't think I could do it. And, thankfully, I won't.
Even after I knew I wasn't going to take a full time position (more on that in another blog post to come) I just flat out attempted to convince myself that I did not have to go. I could get out of it...but what about all that money? What about all those people that helped me raise the money to go? Well, I would pay them back. No biggie. Ugh. I tried thinking about all the things I am going to miss while I am in Haiti during the Christmas season. My son's Christmas play. My work's Christmas party. Surely that is a good reason not to go. Mommy guilt, that's always a good one...
Then something real happened. My dad had a complication with his dialysis. He was having a procedure the day before Thanksgiving. I didn't know if this would impact me going to Haiti or not. If my dad was in the hospital I was not going to Haiti. I sent a text to Tami, who was ever supportive. And in the back of my mind, even though I wouldn't truly acknowledge it, I thought this is my way out.
Somehow, in all of this, I finally reached a decision. I decided I was going to go. I was supposed to go. I wanted to go. I felt peace. I felt even more peace after I heard that my dad's procedure went well and that nothing will really change with his dialysis until the new year. Whew.
This past week I have felt nothing but peace. I am going. I am supposed to go. I want to go. Now that we are back from Missouri I can truly do all the things that need to be done to get ready for the trip.
I don't really know how to explain it, the peace. I am glad it is there though.
Going to a third world country is hard. Seeing the poverty, devastation and under-nourished orphans in less than ideal conditions is hard. Knowing that there isn't really anything I can do to "fix" the corruption in Haiti is hard and frustrating. It is emotionally draining.
But, then I remember that as hard as it is, what if we weren't involved? What if we weren't there?What if we couldn't give. I don't feel like I make a whole lot of difference in Haiti and that's frustrating. But that week that I am in Haiti, as hard as it is, I get to give love freely to orphans that have nothing. As heartbreaking as it is to know that no one tucks them in at night, I can love on the few that "choose me" for the week. I can be a momma to some Haitian babies. Plus, we get to give them stuff, which is always cool. But reminding myself when this gets really hard that I have been so very blessed makes all the trivial difficulties seem, well, trivial.
So, I am going. And it's going to be hard. But, that's okay. I have one week of hard. These orphans haven't known anything but hard their whole lives. The only thing is they don't know it. And God uses them to remind me Who He Is. Because Jesus shines in them. To see them sing about Jesus and experience Him in ways that I truly have never known, priceless.
I'm looking forward to my second experience in Haiti. Thank you to everyone who gave toward my trip. Thanks for all your prayers. Please keep us in your thoughts next week! I will post an update when we get back!!!