In less than two weeks, Todd and I, along with three other team members, will be boarding a plane and headed to one of the poorest counties in the world. I have been in the process of trying to prepare my heart, brain and my bags for Haiti. I honestly am not really sure where to start at times. Thankfully, the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission supplies each team member with a devotional that they require us to read starting two weeks before our expected arrival. Today’s entry really hit right where I am at. They asked the question, “Why are you going to Haiti?”. In searching for my answer, I found myself going back in time, looking for that first moment where I felt “called” to go. It wasn’t some big revelation or mark in the sky. Instead, it was a gentle pull in that direction. I would hear the stories of friends who had been there, see the faces of the people who were hurting, hungry and poor, and my heart began to long to be there. Honestly, it felt a bit crazy that I would desire to step outside of my comfortable home in the Cincinnati area and travel all the way to little Saint Louis Du Nord, Haiti. Why would I want to deal with extreme poverty up close? And yet, the tug continued.
About six months ago, I saw a slide show put together by one of our team members who went to Haiti for the first time earlier that year. I listened to the words and watched the beautiful faces of poverty flash before my eyes. The song, by Sara Groves, “I Saw What I Saw” captured where I wanted to be. I want to experience Haiti in a way that would change my life forever. I want to go there and have the faces, the voices, the need, burn deeply into my heart and not let go. I think each of us has a desire of some sort buried within. Maybe not to reach out to the poor, but to make a mark in this world. To feel so deeply that we can’t help to make a difference.
I will have so many opportunities to contribute to the mission of NWHCM but I don’t want to just contribute, I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who need it most. I don’t just want to hold the hand of the lonely and forgotten, I want to look into their eyes and tell them how loved they are. I want to embrace the children who are unwanted and forgotten and assure them of the worth that God sees in them. I don’t want to “do”, I want to “be”. I’m not sure how I can live up to those desires, but I pray that God uses me so much that I come back exhausted, worn thin and knowing that I couldn’t have felt any more, been anything else or given any more of myself. That’s my prayer.
“I Saw What I Saw”
I saw what I saw and I can’t forget it
I heard what I heard and I can’t go back
I know what I know and I can’t deny it
Something on the road, cut me to the soul
Your pain has changed me
your dream inspires
your face a memory
your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I’m afraid of
(what I am made of)
and what I know of love