“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2: 20
When I initially chose to obey God and move to Haiti I was so excited to be doing something I felt like I was born to do. I thought that when I came to this beautiful Caribbean island everything would be perfect and I would finally be content with my life. However this was not the case. My first six months in Haiti were hard. They were full of fear and frustration. They were full of doubt in God’s plan for me and my own ability to love others. So after a month back in America due to the passing of my grandmother and the holidays, I was ready and also dreading heading back to my home away from home in Haiti. Now that I have returned I see that those months of pain and tears and loneliness were not wasted. I see now that they all had a purpose. In trials and difficulties God grows us the most. When we weather the storm we see how strong our vessel actually is. How much more do we appreciate something or someone when we no longer have it? Being at home gave me time to realize how blessed I am that Jesus is using me and allowing me to be on such an amazing adventure with Him. During that time I was able to realize that the difficulties here in Haiti cannot ever compare to the glory that God is creating here.
Last semester my heart was overwhelmed with the cancer in my Granny’s body, the struggles of being a new parent (to 40 kids), the challenges of a third world country, and the distance between my loved ones and myself. Most days it was so hard for me to take my eyes off of my own self and put them on God and His plans for me. I was too busy focusing on what was wrong to see what was right, like 40 sweet smiles ready to be loved and love me in return. Before I came back to Haiti in January I prayed God would give me His heart and His eyes for this country that He has brought me to. Praying this prayer and keeping my eyes on Him has done wonders for my selfish heart.
Since I’ve been back in Haiti I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with my kids at Have Faith Haiti. I made it a goal of mine for the new year to spend more time with the kids instead of working on grading papers and making lessons because truthfully the kids are why I’m here.
I’ve also been able to meet some other really beautiful children. I was able to go to Jehova Rafa which is a home for children with disabilities. All of the children there were abandoned. In Haiti people with disabilities are not cared for like they would be in America. Here in Haiti we aren’t blessed with the equipment, technology, or materials like the things I had in my classroom when I taught children with autism in America. I was able to meet the sweetest kids who despite their situations were beaming with joy.
I also was able to meet Sophia. She was abandoned on the doorstep of a malnutrition clinic not too far from where I live. She has what looks like hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is something that could be treated in America, but in Haiti the outcome for her is fatal. She is an older girl, who looks to be about five or six. Most babies with this disease pass away early in life so there could be hope for her!! Her story and her laugh when I tickled her captivated me.
These are the ones who are overlooked. They are who I want to stand for. The children who are said to have no chance of life or learning. I want to offer them the life and love of Jesus. The impoverished who are said to have no hope. I want them to have the hope I have in the Lord that no power of man can ever destroy. The outcast that are said to be unwanted I want to invite them into the family of the Father as coheirs with Christ.
One of the most difficult things to understand but the most freeing, fulfilling, and beautiful thing about God is He takes us just as we are. He made us to be who He wanted us to be. Therefore, when we come to Him he doesn’t want us to have our act together or our finances organized or our heart in order. He just wants us; broken, poor, needy, hungry. We all are all of those things.
“Find your self worth in the fact that God so desired a relationship with you that he laid down his own life to have it.”
I look at Sophia, I look at my kids who have been left without a traditional family, I look at the kids at Jehova Rafa and I know that it’s worth it.
The Holy Spirit lives in each one of us so essentially part of Jesus is in each of these people. The King of Heaven and Earth is worth it. The beloved Son of God who laid down His own life for me is worth it. He’s worth the days without power, He’s worth the mosquito bites, He’s worth the heat, He’s worth the homesickness. He is worth it. He gave His life to give me mine and the least that I could have done is live in Haiti and allow Him to work through me.
In keeping our eyes on the Lord we hear truth and we are given strength to endure the trials. When we remain in Him the very loud voice of the world that says it’s too much and we’re too weak fades away so that we can hear “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” God is worth it. The joy He brings from doing the hard things is worth it.
Father, thank you for the way you use even pain for our good and your glory. Lord thank you that you work all things together for the good of those who love you. I pray that you would enable us to keep our eyes on you. I pray that you would quiet the voice of the enemy and make your voice the loudest voice in our lives. I pray you would speak truths into our hearts. I pray that you would equip us, help us to be brave, and send us out on adventures beyond our imagination to give the sweet love you’ve given us to those that are overlooked. We love you so much Jesus. Amen.