Yesterday I woke up in my nice warm bed in the United states, today I woke up in Haiti. I came to this place not really knowing what God had planned for me in this Country but did I think I he was sending me here to to be of some sort of help.
I also had an idea in my head as to what I thought life here would be like. When I arrived here yesterday I saw things were as I thought they would be but I could never have prepared myself for how it would really look and how it would make me feel. I saw so many people living what appeared to me to be a harder life than I could have ever imagined could be possible. I could not get the the looks on the faces of people we passed out of my mind, the look that seemed to say “please help me”. I so desperately wanted to help but there were hundreds of people lining the streets and I could not help them. I went to bed last night with my heart feeling as if it had been ripped out of my chest wondering how can this be happening and do these people have hope?
Today was a different sort of day. We went to a Compassion center, there are about 375 Haitian children who attend this center and at the center they are able to attend school and learn about Jesus. They play and learn and just get to be children. While there I met some of the most beautiful people I have ever met in my life.
The children put on a show for us and then we were allowed to interact with them. At first I was uncomfortable when left alone to be with the children. The reason for my discomfort is because today I am in a land where I am a foreigner, I speak a different language and I look different than them the people who live here. At first the children seemed shy but something I found today was it does not matter how I look or what language I speak, all they want is what any child wants and that is love. The oddest thing I found was that most of all they want to be the giver of the love.
At first when I tried to talk to a group of little girls they looked back at me shyly not smiling and I was thinking in my head “how do I communicate with them?” Then a little girl placed her hand on top of mine with a questioning look in her eyes. I smiled at her and then another child touched my arm with her finger so I touched her arm in return, that was the moment I realized that they were curious about the way I look. Here I was in this room full of beautiful brown eyed, brown skinned children with my fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes. I am not sure if they even knew a lot of people who looked like me and because I looked different than them and they wanted to touch my skin to see what it felt like.
As the day went on kids still kept touching my skin and feeling my hair. they behaved without prejudice at all only a curiosity as to who I was and why was I there. They loved posing for my camera. Most of them would not smile when I took the pictures but when they saw the picture of themselves their little faces would burst into the largest smiles of joy I have ever seen in my life!
Today I made a ton of new friends. I found that hope is alive and well in Haiti. God is here and He is working through so many who are here. He is working through the teachers, the Compassion staff and the sponsors. But most if all He is working through the people who live right here in this place that yesterday I thought had no hope. Seeing all this gave me hope I never knew I didn’t have. I saw unconditional love of children who appeared to me to have nothing but who really have everything because they have the love of Jesus unobstructed by all the ‘things’ I have and they whole heartedly want to give that love away.
I came here to Haiti thinking that I was coming here to help them but somehow they helped me….
Hope is alive in Haiti and God is here. Thank you Jesus!