I’ll Never Get Over It

Patty-1If you know me, you know that I talk a lot.  Someone said to me recently as I interrupted the conversation again “you should start a blog.”  Another lady overheard and surprisingly chimed in with “Oh yeah, I would so be on it”.  “Really?” is all I could think.  I just assumed that most people would rather me finally shut up than to actually want to hear more.  My second thought was that I barely know how to find a blog to read, much less write one.  So, I’ll at least start with a blog post!

Over the past year, I had the privilege to go on three short-term missions trips to Haiti. These were actually the first missions trips I had ever been on so I am not sure what the norm is for how to feel after they are over (and I have never been normal anyway) so keep that in mind if you choose to read on.

Many people have heard bits and pieces about the trips and may think, “Here she goes on again about that Haiti.  Shouldn’t she be over that by now?”  To that I will quickly respond that while I completely understand that hearing about something over and over again can be deemed as “boring” as the train ride at GatorLand (per my granddaughter’s observation), I can only say that my prayer is to NEVER get over my experiences in Haiti.

Patty-2

How can I erase images in my mind of one of the most beautiful terrains that I have ever seen with mountains on one side and crystal blue ocean on the other, but in between the two, pure poverty of the type that twists your soul inside out?  How can I forget such a stark contrast between God’s exquisite creation showing His glory and the devil’s stamp of a beaten down fallen world?  I do not know how.  I realize that many reading this have had other experiences throughout their lives on short-term or even long-term mission trips in other parts of the world, but this was my first enlightenment.  Maybe somewhere out there is a blog on “how to get over experiencing a third world country” but since I am new to the blogging world and missions trips, I surely have not read it and honestly have no plans to search for it. (Remember my prayer is to NOT get over it.) However, I have read four books about Haiti during the timeframe of this past year in hopes of understanding some of what I saw.  Consequently, I did learn that Haiti is amongst the poorest of countries in the Western Hemisphere and its history is almost unbelievable.  Between Haiti’s struggle for independence as a nation of slavery to the constant corruption of governments and the tragedies stemming from tropical storms and earthquakes, it is a miracle that it still exists.  And, try as we might as a non “third world country” to render aid, it has often made things worse instead of better and the resources rarely fall into the hands of the majority of the people who desperately need it most.

Since their national religions in the past have consisted of a mixture of Voodoo and Catholicism, it is not difficult to understand why most of Haiti not only lives in abject poverty but also a state of spiritual darkness and hopelessness.  Many people adhere to the philosophy of “Why bother with Haiti anymore? Haven’t they received enough financial aid that hasn’t made a difference?”  While I can truly understand their thoughts, I keep reminding myself of the truth that shouts louder “with God all things are possible.”   And, surely, Christ even meant helping Haiti.  But, the help must most certainly include the only truly life-changing entity and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ and not just consist of having more money thrown at a desperate, confused and hopeless people.  They must hear about Jesus, while seeing His love in action.

Patty-3

I ask that you will continue to pray for Haiti and ask God how He would have you be involved in reaching the people of this country and joining Him in making the impossible the possible in a place that is so close to us yet is so extremely far from the type of world in which we live.  We have the hope that they so desperately need, that is, Jesus Christ the hope of the world.

In the near future, there will be a presentation on Olivia’s trip to Haiti during a special service dedicated to sharing what God has done through Flint Hill already in Haiti and upcoming opportunities to be involved with in the future.  For now, please pray!  There is a fierce spiritual battle going on for the people of this country.  It is a very difficult country to minister within.

Patty-4

Just recently, the child that we sponsor in Haiti wrote us a letter.  In that letter, she, being just a ten-year old little girl, asked that we would pray that God keep her alive.  After being in the country, I can understand why she would ask us to pray for that. Before I went, I would have never been able to comprehend that prayer request.  I can barely wrap my mind around life as the children experience it in Haiti. Can you for one moment fathom that being the prayer of your child or grandchild?  I pray God will never allow me to “get over” it!


Leave a Reply