A Little About Haiti

Heading off to missions, you never fully know what to expect. You have to be willing to go with an open heart and mind, just being willing to let God work through you and in you. If that is your attitude, you can’t help but be changed as your world view starts to open up.
I saw that again last month as I travelled to a completely new world to me, Haiti.
The people wore much the same clothes, as they had mostly been sent from America as donations over the years. Their shoes, when they wore them, were often what we would wear as well, only very often too small for their feet and worn down. Often times people go barefoot though, playing soccer, walking down the road, making their way through the market. Many cannot afford a pair of shoes so they just go without. Just a way of life.

The food is all cooked over charcoal. Most is fried and there is very little meat in any of the dishes. If there is meat it is usually goat. The main substances are corn maize (mush), rice and beans. People eat twice a day, breakfast and an early dinner. It usually is a pile of rice or corn maize with a few beans on the top. Many only eat once a day and they are grateful for even that. They often work long hours trying to sell anything they can find on the street just to be able to buy that plate of food.
Most do not have electricity or running water, which is why the cholera outbreak spread so fast and furious. People go to rivers to wash their clothes, wash their bodies, use the bathroom and get water for cooking, drinking and cleaning. Yes, all the same water. Thankfully, there are some community wells being put in place so people are able to get clean water.

In Port au Prince, everywhere you look there are tent cities. It literally looks like people are camping, and camping right on top of the next tent, as far as you can see. It’s not like our camping where you have a lot, a hook up, a place to park your vehicle, trees all around. Nothing like that at all. Just huge parking lots covered in tents, end to end.

In the towns away from Port au Prince many live on top of each other in brick one room homes. They are probably about 8 x 8 size rooms where there is enough room for a bed and a dresser. The bathroom and the kitchen are outside. Both loosely used terms as the bathroom is a hole in the ground and the kitchen is a charcoal “grill” of sorts. There is no fridge, no sink, no 6 burner stove. Just a grill in the outdoors where women literally stand for hours every day cooking whatever they can find to cook.


The people gather everywhere you look. Outside on itty bitty porches, on streets where they are trying to sell things like used clothes, used cookware and beat up cans of food. There are also markets where you can go to buy and sell things, live animals are slaughtered in front of perspective buyers and voodoo doctors roam around trying to drum up business.
To be continued…
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This Just In…

I was on the radio recently talking about Haiti, you can take a listen here:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/15423957

It starts at about the 30 minute mark. I had a horrible cough and sore throat that day, but forgive that and just enjoy hearing about what God is doing in Haiti!

In Haiti

Every morning a rooster would stand outside my window and Cock a doodle do at 4 o’clock in the morning. Invariably waking me up and making me begin to have the rather paranoid thought he was actually giggling at me, quite unabashedly.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


The water coming out of the shower head feels like ice down my spine and I jump every time it hits my skin.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


The electricity goes out for long hours every day. Sometimes lasting the whole day and even the night too.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


It is the rainy season and my hair appears to be playing some kind of cosmic joke on me.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


There are no popsicles, no air conditioning, no swimming pool.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


It’s Sunday and I’m standing in an itty bitty tent with no circulation, the sun beating town and tarps covering every surface.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.

I have to be careful not to stick my toothbrush under the faucet every time I brush my teeth. I have to have a clean cup, with special water from a system our church put in a jug whenever I even want a sip.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


My body is constantly covered in sticky, smelly bug spray and sunblock.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


The main staple is goat and everything is fried. (Neither of which I’m used to)

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.

All cooking is done in a teeny tiny cookhouse over hot charcoal with no circulation to be found.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


The internet is down in the whole country, my phone doesn’t work and I have no idea how my family is doing.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


My feet are constantly covered in a thick mud that is impossible to avoid as there are no sidewalks to walk on or grass them clean.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


There are no Wal-Marts or Targets or CVS’s to make quick runs into.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


We visit a pastor’s house and there is only an open air, outdoor bathroom.

But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.
Almost no one spoke but a few words of English.
But it’s hard to complain, when I’m in Haiti.


The H’s

Two weeks ago we found out we are going to Hawaii. Yes. Hawaii! As in aloha, lei’s and luaus.
Truly I must say we never thought we’d get the chance, just not a place people like “us” go. However, God bless my husband, because he’s a hard worker. A really, really hard worker. For the last year he has pushed his team of stockbrokers to do their best all year and he earned it. All expense paid, five star hotel on the beach, beautiful Hawaii.

Crazy. I’m still having to get used to the idea.
Two weeks ago I also found out about another trip in my life. Haiti. As in, one of the poorest nations, earthquake struck, spiritually dark and bankrupt Haiti. Our church has had an orphanage and many church plants there for years, and we often do mission trips there. In fact, we have three trips this summer alone. This is my year to go.

I will be doing an English camp and may be doing some technology based things as well. We are still putting it together now.
God is putting together the details. It’s an expensive trip. We don’t have any extra money, yet God is still in the details and is already providing in unexpected ways.
So, less than a month apart, I will first travel to a land of much opulence, proceeded by a land of much desperation. I wonder how God will work on my heart through it.
I’m excited to see.

Haiti

Before going to bed last night I had heard that Haiti had an earthquake. Not thinking too much about it I lifted them up in prayer, asking God to be with them and for his glory to be known more through the devestation.

This morning when I woke up, I saw that it was more than just another earthquake. Oh, the devestation that has been caused to so many people is just heartbreaking. I’ve been listening to reports on Christian radio and am now on my knees for these dear people who’s lives have been turned around in an instant. Many thousands upon thousands are dead, more are hurt, a jail has crumbled and the inmates have escapaped, ministries have been leveled, bodies are lying about everywhere…it goes on and on and is absolutely horrible.

Please consider joining me in praying for these people who already have hard lives, that God will be with them, keep them safe and give them the peace that passes understanding today.