Wednesday, August 8, 2012

haiti...according to haley


last week i shared that my sister, haley, and two other friends were in haiti.  now they are home.  when i saw haley for the first time back on american soil i hugged her and we both began to cry.  in that moment i wondered...why am i shedding so many tears?  i was happy to see her but i have been away from her for much longer periods than a week.  here's why i found myself so emotional....
as i squeezed her tight i knew that the girl i held was not the same one i said goodbye to a week earlier.  i knew her life had changed...forever.  i was so overcome with joy for her and also grieving with her for what i knew she had left behind in haiti.  i asked her to share a little bit of her life change with you...so here it is...in her own sweet words...
It's been four days since I arrived home from Haiti.  It is tough. I wasn’t expecting this…but then again it was my first mission trip, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But here’s what happened: the Lord showed up. in so many ways. I learned how big this God I serve really is, and even in that greatness, how much He cares about details. During church on Sunday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. With everything in me, I was trying to restrain myself from the “ugly cry” (unsuccessfully). In the middle of beautiful worship in Creole, a Haitian woman walked on stage welcoming first time visitors. She said, “We may speak a different language, but we worship the same God.” I looked around and I realized that these people knew and loved the same Jesus that I do. I so often put God in my own little American box, and I am so thankful that the Lord opened my eyes to His greatness this week.   As a Christian, I believe that God has a plan for me – one with a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). As much as I believe that, I believe that God meant this for ALL. He has a plan for ALL of us. No one is exempt from this wonderful plan. Praise Jesus. EVERYONE deserves to know the hope that they have in Christ.
[church of hope]
After a week of loving on kids at vbs, doing work projects, and village ministry, I’m back home. To be honest, I don’t know what to do with myself. My room is a wreck and I’ve been going to sleep with makeup still on my face…two things that rarely happen with my type A personality. I just want to be back in Haiti with my hair up, sweat covering my body, feet immersed in dirt, loving on kids and walking through villages. Nevertheless, I’m home…..In a new mission field…..The mission field that God has called me to for this season in my life. So I’m making a resolution to do three things, with God’s strength: Abide. Love. Be intentional. And I have to admit, all three things were so much easier to do in Haiti.
Jesus says in John 15:
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, it is he that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

With fewer distractions, it was easier to abide in Haiti, but I believe that God wants us to abide always...no matter where we are physically. I also choose to love. The moment I got on the plane to head back to the states, we had a rude flight attendant, and let’s be honest…I wanted to slap her. However, I am learning that people in America need to know about God’s love just as much as the people in Haiti. At the mission, I prayed that God would allow me to see everyone through His eyes. Now that I’m home, I’m having to pray that prayer continuously. Lastly, I choose to be intentional in my relationships. The sweet community that I experienced with my amazing, God ordained team of 6, “The Gimpy Chickens”, is something that I will never forget. I want to banish surface level conversations. I desire to truly get to know others and hear their life stories.  
[gimpy chickens]
You better believe that when the Lord presents the opportunity for me to return to Haiti, I will be jumping on that plane in a heartbeat. But until then, I’m in Charlotte…I’m at Winthrop…my new mission field.