Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1 Down, 10 To Go

It's my first Monthiversary in Haiti! Four weeks ago was our first day in Haiti. I vividly remember stepping onto the tarmac and seeing my first sight of Haiti, beautiful mountains. My first smell of Haiti, exhaust fumes and garbage. My first sound of Haiti, mariachi band blasting their music from the entrance of the airport. Customs, Baggage Claim, and hauling our stuff to John's car were enough to make me want to curl up under a seat in the airplane and stay there until I was back in Florida. I had to keep reminding myself that, "those who look to the Lord will renew their strength".

Looking back, it is hard to describe the mix of emotions that I feel toward the last month of my life. God has been so good to use all of the tough things for good in my heart and my attitude toward the world. Something about Haiti has a way of taking every comfort that you lean on and hide behind and stripping them away from you all at once. Haiti has a way of challenging the things that you thought you believed beyond a shadow of a doubt. Haiti shines a spotlight onto things in your heart that you wish would stay in the dark. I am so thankful that I have learned to live without so many of the things that I would have considered necessary even six months ago. I feel like if I can live in Haiti for a year I can do anything.

I have become more confident here. Yes, I can leave the house without makeup. I can even be in a group of new people without hating every minute of it. God has been speaking to me so much more here, maybe because I am taking the time to listen. I have met so many wonderful people who challenge my way of thinking and encourage me. Haiti challenges me in new ways every day and I love that I am growing in ways I couldn't have grown if I had stayed in America.

Today really sums up all of the conflict in my heart about living here. We visited Sisters of Charity Mission today for about half an hour. It is a hospital for sick and malnourished babies. It is so hard to see rows of cribs with severely sick babies waiting for their next meal or dose of medicine. They are understaffed, but they work hard and the place is clean with running water. It is so overwhelming and depressing to look around the room and to know how little I can do. I tried to take it all in pacing the rows of cribs and touching some of the babies as I prayed for them. At first I was scared to pick them up, they look so fragile, I thought they might fall apart. When I did it felt good to know that this one was comforted, even for just a few moments. This is where the conflict is, I loved being there because I could make a small difference, but it is so hard to believe that God loves these little ones as much as he loves me. It is hard to imagine that he has a plan for their lives to prosper them and not to harm them. God, where is the justice in Haiti?

I want to end tonight's post with a parable that you have probably already heard, but I need to hear it again and you may need to hear it again too.
A man went down to the beach one morning and saw that the tide was unusually low. Thousands of starfish had washed up on the beach as far in each direction as he could see. The man knew that if left in the morning sun they would all die. Despairing, he knew there was nothing he could do to help them all. Then he noticed a person down by the water. As he walked closer he saw that it was a boy picking up the starfish and throwing them into the sea. "What are you doing?" asked the man. "Returning the starfish to the ocean," replied the boy. "If I don't they'll die". The man said, "but there are thousands of starfish on this beach, what you are doing won't make a difference." The boy reached down and picked up another starfish and tossed it gently into the sea. "It made a difference to that one," he said.


  1. My words fail...
    My heart and prayers are with you.

  2. Corrie,
    Just so you won't think I'm a stalker, my family and I lived in Haiti the last few years your folks lived there. We worked at the orphanage in Cap then. We have a daughter your age, Briana, who you were friends with in those early years. I've always had an interest in how you're doing, so this is fascinating to me. We pass through Port on our way to Cap (in fact we were there twice a couple of weeks ago and we'll be there again in December), but we just go from one airport to the other. Haiti in many ways is a harrowing experience, but the challenges of living there really taught us to depend on God on a whole new level. I hope this time will be a blessing to you.

  3. Make a difference, one life, one moment at a time. Great reminder. Roonie.