October 26, 2011
Since arriving in Haiti I have been praying and grasping and pondering and wrestling with God over my future. Okay so I've been doing that for longer than just being in Haiti, but of all the things I continually bring before God, is what is my future going to look like... Do I go back to Ohio, Oklahoma, Alabama? Work for Redeemer? Get another job? I wish I could really and truly share what life is like here with you all. But I can't. I can't really express with words or photographs what it is like to watch people 50 feet on the other side of your walls dying from starvation. Filthy from the trash, bacteria, and waste that is all around us. 80% of the ground and surface water in Haiti is contaminated with e. coli and other bacteria making it not safe to drink. There are two (at least) little Restavek girls who spend most of their day walking back and forth getting water from our clean water spigot to the houses where their "owners" live. One of them arrived the same day Saintana came to live here. Human Trafficking is real. We see it daily. Infants die from starvation or abandonment. Malnourished kids. One of our wash ladies' child died because she couldn't get the medication she needed for her child.
Last Sunday some of the other staff and I took a drive. We drove for about an hour going down the coast (eastward). We left the larger villages and began to head up into the mountains and drove through these squalid communities. A car full of Blans (whites) driving in their truck, which was more than most of them could ever hope to afford, looking out, and yet most of the children we passed smiled and waved at us and how their eyes lit up when we waved back! We as a staff here, regularly watch this video, a good reminder of why we are here. The only thing I could think was - how do I go home? How do I leave all of this when there are so many who have such need and I am one of the few who have, now, personally bumped into it. I keep asking God, what about the plan - to do ministry development at Redeemer? What about the plan to go home and be near my family, my loved ones? What would you have me do? (A little bit of complete honesty - if I stay, will I ever get married?) and all I got was "How do you go home from this?" Which is not to say - I never go home again.... but not yet. So then God, What now?
While I am sure this doesn't really shock any of you, and I admit I had an inkling I'd be here more than three months, what exactly does this look like? For years I've prayed for a vision for my life...a vision of ministry - or someone whose vision I could get behind and support and make my own. I love what Hands and Feet is doing here, but what I began to get a taste for was "infant rescue". So many children here in Haiti are Social Orphans, meaning they have parents living, but they can't or won't take care of them. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a place that could help medically with children (like Crystella and the little twins) while teaching parents how to provide care and empowering their parents to find work (through child care or vocational training)? Rescuing babies - not to be taken from their families but to be restored to God's plan for children to be apart of their biological families if possible, and adoptive families if not (and Hands and Feet can be considered an adoptive family).
Where does that put me? It puts me partnering with Diane (and Dr. Ken)'s new ministry - just down the road. Dr. Ken is starting up a new ministry (Surf Haiti) that will put a church on the beach where people won't be turned away for not being clean enough, and street kids can learn to care about their environment by learning to surf - and the best cleanest surf. Diane and I (Lord willing - I sound like my Grannie :-) ) will be opening an Infant Rescue house - yet to be named. We will have a NICU set up and some cribs for other babies who need rescueing. A clean safe environment, with medical support available. Next door to this (in the duplex) will be a team house, for groups to come in - teams of Nurses and medical personnel to utilize the fully stocked medical clinic and baby house, or professional surfers - and surf enthusiasts to come and enjoy the beauty of Haiti while doing ministry at the same time. This duplex is across the street from Ken and Diane's new home about 5 miles from the Children's Village here.
So that is where I believe God is taking me. I must pray more about logisitics - time frames - finances, etc. But It feels right. Like God is doing something here. I'm not sure how, or if, I'll continue to be at Hands and Feet in some capacity, helping - I love the kids here and the ministry. I have much respect for the work and commitment to quality. I pray hard it will continue to grow in God's direction for the benefit and success of the kids and their vision for orphans who will change Haiti for the better.
Posted by Tamara