Friday, January 6, 2012

A glimpse of my trip to Haiti...

This is a GUEST POST from a good friend and colleague about a little Haitian girl who touched her life in tremendous ways.

The trip was good but such an emotional roller coaster. Some beautiful some very, very sad.

Like being petrified in the Haitian airport as we arrived (misbehaving, angela says). No one there to meet us, two white girls... alone, in a 5th world country, surrounded by a sea of Haitian men all grabbing our luggage (wanting to earn our tips). No way to communicate, Haitian men leading us further and further away from the airport with our luggage in tow. Fifteen minutes of thinking, “this is it...” And then seeing pastor (who I’ve only met one time) and wanting to jump right up in his arms and kiss him.

Seeing a baby with a fungus growing all over the back of his head as I was going to bed and then waking up to the sweet, sweet sound of Mimos and the whole orphanage singing hymns in Haitian.

Children begging for food and then after getting it immediately sharing it with the children standing next to them.
Driving down the filthy narrow streets in Pastor’s truck, seeing starving dogs, wild goats, pigs and chickens searching for food in piles of burning garbage and seeing small children playing in the same piles of trash with no adults in site. Then arriving at the orphanage and seeing the small children run up to Pastor and seeing the love they have for him and he for them and how hard he has worked to get them off the streets and give them a safe place to grow and wait for their “forever homes”.

Young girls, squatting on the floor washing clothes out in tubs in a dark dingy hallway, day after day, hanging them on the rooftop, working harder than I ever dreamed of working......never ending and then seeing them all dressed in their Sunday clothes, hair fixed, smiles on their faces and worshipping their Lord. (Jeremiah 31:25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the heart.)
Women working in the primitive kitchen, from morning to night, preparing food for 100 children. Then watching several preteen boys coming home from school, going directly to the kitchen (without prompting) and giving these women a kiss on the cheek before going to change out of their school uniforms.

Children pushing and shoving one minute and then the next, sitting down to feed a younger child their mush.
Standing of the rooftop of the orphanage looking to the right and seeing such poverty and devastation and then turning to the left and seeing the wonderful scenery of mountains, coconut trees and beauty.

Walking the street to church, stepping over raw sewage and then walking into the church and seeing these people who walked through the same street and live there praising the Lord.

Watching Esther love her Mama, kissing her and say "I love you" and then having to leave her in the dungeon, in the arms of another.
So so many mixed emotions. I think the hardest part we were leaving, sitting in the truck waiting for the others......a mom was sitting outside the orphanage with a little one (maybe 18 months old) on her lap. This baby was draped over her lap, like a wet noodle, not moving at all. The mom was braiding her precious child's hair. The babies hair was orange. Angela informed me that that meant the child was in the last stages of dying from being malnourished. I can't get this out of my mind, I just can't. Makes me cry every time I think of the love that Mom had for her baby and the only thing she could do for that baby was braid her hair.
I am still processing this, still feeling many emotions. Not sure if I will ever be able to “sort” them out. The one thing I do know is, that I am not in control. I am by nature a “fixer”, I always try to find a way to make everything better. Not this time. God is in control, He has a plan, He is a loving God. His word says to call out to him to wait in expectation......that is what I shall do.

The trip was good but such an emotional roller coaster. Some beautiful some very, very sad.

Written by: Bonnie Knight [Waterboro, Maine]


Lord, more often I ask you for blessings,
more often I ask you to take away my burdens
and more often I question why life is tough for even the simple disappointment I get
Forgive me Lord for being ungrateful and selfish
Forgive me for being impatient and unreasonable
But most of all forgive me for not being grateful for the things I have when other have nothing but faith.

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