We’d been cleaning his wounds for nearly a week. A terrible burn on his heel that was nearly to the bone, infected and dirty. Him and his brother were all students in my school so I knew a lot about him, but not everything. One day he showed up with a beautiful young girl, his sister. As she looked shyly up, trying to have confidence, it was pretty hard to not notice her left eye was not intact.
Luckily we had a nurse with us at the time. As she looked at her eye asking if she could see out of it. The dreaded answer was no. And then the story came out. When asked how her eye became like that, the answer sent shivers down my spine, her mother beat her, and the rigose (whip made out of cow hide) went into her eye and blew her pupil.
Sometimes I feel like my blogs are broken records, telling a story of child abuse here in Gressier and then starting over again, I haven’t written in almost a month because of this. Every time I TRY to write about something else, it’s forced and it just doesn’t come out right.
My heart was so heavy and writing is my way of decompressing, so I KNEW I needed to write soon, I asked the Lord to GUIDE me to something, because I was just about to give up writing all together…how many stories of abuse and violence can I write, how many can people read….and then I heard Him say…Go to Habakkuk.
To be honest, I had never really read this book. As I started reading, I had to take a break because my eyes teared up and I couldn’t see the page. I read the first few verses…and ALL I could think about was my community here in Haiti.
“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will NOT hear?
Or cry to you, “Violence!” and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.”
As I read this, the words could have honestly been coming right from my mouth. I feel so often that I am CRYING for help, and the Lord is not hearing. Crying out against this violence, against this iniquity. There are CONSTANT reminders of the destruction of the earthquake. And the law here in Haiti IS TRULY paralyzed. Justice is hardly EVER seen because of this.
After reading this, my mind raced….What’s the answer to these injustices? This violence? What is next? I continued to read on and saw that the Lord answered Habakkuk…
“And the Lord answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end- it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.”
The vision. I prayed over this. What is my vision here? Why did HE bring me here? As I walk through my neighborhood there are tons of children stuck in terrible situations. The restavek situation is the most unfair, violent and unjust situation I’ve ever seen. It’s not hidden, all who walk by can see the terror of this situation and the injustices these children suffer.
The violence in my neighborhood. The abuse. The COUNTLESS times I am jumping in between sticks, belts, wire and children.
With all of the violence, abuse and child slavery here in Haiti it is SO easy to get discouraged. To feel like what I am doing here is insane. Expecting something to happen that seems IMPOSSIBLE. But reading the words of the Lord saying:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
YET I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.”
The discouraging sites, the hard conversations, the abused children that we see every day in Gressier, it is challenging. Sometimes it feels like my head is not going to stay above water, but then that is when the Lord whispers to me sweetly, “I AM YOUR STRENGTH. You are not doing this Megan, I am.”
The load is lifted again, and that is when I am able to see HIM growing our community. I see the LORD growing so MANY to be able to STAND UP and fight for these children together. It is no longer just Megan who is fighting this battle against injustice here, yelling and starting waves. Now there are other Haitian brothers and sister doing the same…we are, HE IS creating an army. An army of people and children who KNOW what freedom is. An army who chooses to be Christs Hands and feet. An Army Who BELIEVES Christ is who He says He is.
Habukkuk means “to embrace” not in an affectionate sort of way, but to embrace like in a wrestler’s grip, twisting and hanging on in the hopes of winning.