It is always hard to put into words my experience with the people of Haiti. It is as if as soon as the plane lands there is a familiarity as well as a feeling of being completely overwhelmed. So many people, some with smiles and some with an overwhelming presence of weariness or sadness or maybe a mix of both. The streets are always crowded with too many sights, sounds, and smells to take in.
I always am excited to get to the village of Sobier. The children of the village always run as fast as they can to wave and smile at our team. I have had the honor and privilege of getting to serve the people there during the last three summers. Last year, God laid on my heart to begin teaching the ladies the importance of doing life together, of connecting with one another, and helping each other to grow in Christ. I got the opportunity to meet with our sweet cooks in the evenings this year as well as several different groups of ladies in the mornings. As I prayed about the message God wanted me to share, I felt like He was leading me to teach on the armor of God. Each morning and evening I shared the armor God has given us to put on. We spent time praying for one another and again talking about the importance of binding together as women of faith. Showing them that even when we speak different languages and come from different places, God can bind us together and use each of us to encourage the other. I was able to lead a high school girl to the Lord which of course was an incredible honor.
The progress on the medical clinic was impressive, the people seem so proud of their medical center which also serves as a community center and church. Our team was able to assist a nurse with a medical clinic for the community as well. We held several education sessions and gave people water filtration systems. Another part of ministry that we do while in Haiti is to go house to house and check filtration systems and pray over the needs of the people. It is always amazing to me when we come across a family that has put their filtration system to the side. Often this is due to not cleaning it properly after using it or not taking time to utilize it. They have been educated about why it is important to have clean water to drink, and even know there are parasites in their drinking water. However, is it not human nature to know what is best, to be educated about why we should or should not do something, but still we choose against what’s best. So much of the time we do this with God, and trade His best for our own path.
Which brings me to Clauda a lady that seems to suffer a great deal with what she calls persecution. When I first met her she sat on her front porch in a heart broken sort of depressed state. Our team prayed over her and as she raised her hands in the air to praise God her spirit seemed to lift. I got the opportunity to see her this summer, although she seemed better she was still sitting in the same spot on the porch. This saddened me greatly, I had so much hope that she would be smiling when I met her again. I am learning that I can’t always fix things. God calls me to be obedient and in the end there is victory, that there is always hope in Him. So in the midst of some hard things in Haiti, a man that had lived a hard life and had served another god came forward during the church service on Sunday morning and gave his heart to the Lord. He had an instant heart change, and we got the opportunity to watch God miraculously change him.
On the mission field and in life it can be easy to miss the miraculous by focusing on the difficulty, but if we just wait on the Lord, and don’t just work with what we see with our eyes we will not grow weary or be discouraged. There were days that we would see things that are very hard to take in, but God always brought us back to a place of salvation and hope. This is what I hope our work brings to the people of Haiti, hope and a leading of people to God’s best for their lives.