I love other countries. I love brown people. I love languages. I love seeing new things. I love the puzzle that is culture. I thrive in this environment and feel as though I am waking up when I’m in another place. That’s how Haiti was for me yet again. I cannot deny my heart for the nations, and Haiti has been a place near to my heart for several years now. Much to my surprise God has never asked me to move there, but He has been gracious to allow me to go and visit.
Over Spring Break I had the privilege of taking two of my college girls with me, Carolyn and Hannah. The road to get to Haiti included an expedited passport, last minute flights being booked, support letters going out merely weeks before the trip, and lots of prayer in trusting that God would provide. And He did. In hindsight the three of us are still flabbergasted by the way in which God provided for us, so I could talk to you about what we accomplished in Haiti and what we did or didn’t do. Somehow though, I feel as though the focus needs to shift to what God did and how he moved. It was my hope that Haiti would be a marker in Carolyn’s and Hannah’s life as well as mine. That it would be a time that we would look back on and say, “God was all over that, and now I think I know his heart a little more.” I have seen as we’ve returned home that we each learned a lot from God, and we also have remembered why he is worthy of praise. I was impressed by the maturity and compassion that both of these girls showed throughout the trip and was thankful for the way that they worked hard at whatever was before us.
There have been some definite game changers since Haiti for us, and I love hearing Hannah wrestle through these things by asking, “What does it mean having a missional perspective mean in my life?” I also loved hearing Carolyn’s shift from not knowing what missions means to her to having a better grasp of it all, “I never thought about missions. It was hard for me to think about missionaries and about the Bible getting to the whole world. God showed me that I can help children all over the world while telling them about him.”
While working with Alex’s House, an orphanage outside of Port Au Prince, we were able to do some food distribution. Even if you have seen poverty and hunger before you never cease to be impacted by it. As we entered into an impromptu church service that had begun since we were visiting a particular village, we were amazed at the people. They had on their best clothes, their best smiles, and they shared their best music. All I know is that we are truly missing out by not dancing a little more in church!
One of the most powerful exchanges after the service was when a team member thanked the pastor for letting us come and worship with them and also share our food. Hannah explains it best by saying, “I remember after Kendall said thanks for letting us come, I looked at the pastor’s face and he was like of course it’s a privilege for the body of Christ from around the world to come together.” We were amazed how easily these brothers and sisters accepted us and loved us.
In spite of the poverty, hunger, despair, and chaos that is Haiti, God is at work. Carolyn, Hannah, and I would testify to that. We would tell you of the smiles of the street children who are no longer street children but loved children of Alex’s house. We would tell you of the little giggling girl who followed us around a village as we handed out beans and rice. We would tell you of the Haitian adults who are making an impact for their people in the name of Christ by taking responsibility for the fatherless. And we would tell you that in the midst of the darkest circumstances God is faithful. We will continue to praise him even when we don’t understand all of the questions in our heads. We will praise him because to not do so would be wrong, and he is so deserving of our praise.
So in the midst of some construction, playing with kiddos, and food distribution we discovered that the God we serve here cares just as much about his children in Haiti as he does about his children everywhere else in the world. For that we are thankful.
Written by Taryn Blocker