*Disclaimer: Sorry that this blog is somewhat scattered/disorganized there’s so much going on in Gressier and I haven’t had the time to be able to succinctly collect my thoughts…but I figured this update was better than no update 🙂 (Also I didn’t have time to proofread)
We walked by a grave that was crumbled because of the earthquake…you could see into the grave. The bones were still there. The skull was still there. One of my Haitian friends, who I was walking with, stopped for a few minutes and looked into the grave. He started talking, so truthfully, saying, “No one even knows who this is. No one knows if it’s a man or woman, if they were beautiful, or what they even looked like.” He said,”No one knows where they lived or what they did or how much money they had.”
My friends words kind of surprised me but then again they were so factual. There was someone in that grave, whose earthly body had now been exposed to us…but no one knew who he or she was. God really used this to speak to me because of the truth of what my friend said and the facts–once we are gone, we’re gone. All we have is NOW to make a difference.
And maybe what I’m about to talk about doesn’t mesh for you, but for me it did big time. After seeing the grave and thinking about the truth that we have only now…that’s what got me thinking about the word ‘Missionary’. Someone called me this the other day, and I have to admit I kind of laughed but then felt funny. Missionary…to me it’s a strange word to be called. To me, it’s an uncomfortable way for someone to “set me apart” from everyone else.
Because…a missionary is one who is sent on a mission. Right? When speaking about Christians…it’s one who is sent on a mission to further the Kingdom of God. Sometimes people put, to a “foreign land” in there too. But really, with that definition…YOU are as much a missionary as I am…in Matthew 28:19 where Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” He didn’t say, oh by the way that’s just for “missionaries”. He also didn’t say, that doesn’t include the nation you currently live in.
With this understanding, even if your “foreign land” is the United States, or it’s another home country or city, the place you are now is your foreign land…(I say this because in actuality we weren’t made for this world, so to a certain degree the whole world is a “foreign land”)…but more importantly YOUR mission field is where YOU live, even If you’ve lived there your whole life…Secondly, because we are ALL called to share the love of Christ, we are ALL instructed to be “missionaries”. The actual word “Missionary” is never mentioned in the bible…but instructions and encouragement on how to share the love of Christ…instructions about how EVERYONE should share the love of Christ is.
With all that said, you can see, there is nothing different between you and me. Nothing.
It’s easier to categorize what I’m doing as something grand and big, because then that might separate you from what’s possible. It might give you a slight comfort thinking that God has given ME a vision but He hasn’t given you one for loving people better or furthering His kingdom. Or you might think I’m on a different “level” or something…but this is not true.
I am here because I saw a need. Truthfully…I did try to run away and close my eyes. But it didn’t work. Why? I’m not really sure…Maybe because I prayed that God would not let me ignore the hurt and pain…I just could not and did not want to ignore the suffering and poverty I saw and so now I am here. I’m here in Gressier where no two days are ever alike. It involves everything from cleaning out wounds that have gone way too long dirty…to giving a granola bar to my 78 year old friend who is trying to rebuild his house…to measuring all my 97 students for uniforms (most who have never had one before)…to teaching my English class Chris Tomlins Our God and hearing the joy in their song.
I don’t go around preaching, pointing my finger or telling people what to do. Many times I don’t even talk (sometimes because I’m drained with trying to speak Creole 🙂 haha). But here in Gressier, I just love. A smile at the old lady thats always digging in the trash, giving a hug to Jefferson, a 12 year old orphan who lives with his grandmothers sisters friend, helping my 7 year old neighbor Dashka carry her water to her house, even just giving out a granola bar…just LOVE…everyones responsiblity and a “gift” everyone posesses.
I am here in Gressier, where every one of my neighbors lives in a tent or half open house. No one has running water here. No one has electricity here. But sadly, do you know what I have that these other people don’t have…a roof over my head, and four walls.
Can you imagine this? I don’t have electricity or running water…but I am STILL “better off” then most of Gressier. Think about that. Even though Ive lived here a while, I don’t and won’t ever get used to that fact.
Most of my neighbors, my school kids and my kids in the feeding program have either fungal infections, worms, scabies or something worse…why? Because it costs $3.00 to go to the doctor…and then another $2-3.00 for medicine…none of the people in my neighborhood have the extra $6 for the doctor visit for one child.
I had a child one up to me and ask if I could help her get some shoes. Flip-flops in fact. I looked down and she had on two different shoes.
I’m not saying these things do you can think how sad it is. I’m telling you because this is the realty of Gressier, Haiti. My kids don’t have shoes, my kids don’t all go to school, my kids parents have no jobs, my kids families have no houses…
Sometimes I think God brought me to Haiti…a country that does NoT speak English…because He knew that if He brought me somewhere that I knew the language well I would have 25 kids in my house now. Having a slumber party every Saturday night with 10 girls who I can’t understand everything they say (sometimes because they speak super fast) has made me realize there is no way I can take in a child now who I don’t understand all or most of what they say…it’s hard. (plus, I am not too good at disciplining children in the first place…but disciplining in another language. Grrr…really difficult!)
My heart breaks for these children that have no where. No one. Please pray that God opens up doors for what’s next with these children.
Jesus. We need you. We need you to OPEN our eyes. Open our eyes. Take off our Blinders. This life is not about us. Help us to see, we are ALL called. Please give us the courage to ask what YOUR will is for our life. We know you don’t GUILT us into action, you don’t PRESSURE us into action. You CALL us into action. To be your hands and feet. We have one million orphans and child slaves here in Haiti. We jar 163 million orphans in the world. This is not a government problem…this is not a corruption problem…if we wait for a “solution” from them, we will always wait. This is not an “oh how sad problem”. This is about LOVING like you Jesus. Unconditionally. Poor, dirty, contagious, however these kids and people may be. Lord, please help us all love better. And the first step of loving better is Our Eyes Being OPENED…because once we have seen through your eyes. We can NEVER TURN A BLIND EYE AGAIN.