Friday, December 18, 2009

Haiti

Shocked. Overwhelmed. Humbled. Saddened. Broken. Confused. Angry. Moved. Unmoved. Challenged. Selfish. Undeserving. Numb. Speechless.

These words most accurately describe the last five days. There are what feel like many more emotions that are hard/impossible to describe at this point. I've seen and experienced the ultra-poor of Thailand, Mexico, Azerbaijan and Zambia. And now Haiti.

As we walked through the dusty streets and passed the incredibly insufficient housing, I may as well have been on a different planet than Central, SC. There isn't one paved road in the town we were in. No one has running water or electricity in their homes. Infrastructure is almost non-existent. And the poverty/life standard is just numbing.

Little naked children wander around the salt flat, where the poorer live, bellies swollen from malnutrition. A similar quality of life as the mangy goats and chickens that dig around in the dirt and trash trying to survive. Living what would appear to be a life-sentence to that place. And we didn't even see the poorest.

I think the part of me that is most troubling is the unmoved part. The deeply saddened but paralyzed part. I am a man of hope. Because of Jesus there is hope for the hopeless. But I'm just so taken aback and shell-shocked by what my eyes have seen as reality again this week.

Who am I to zip in on a plane, live what is luxury to them while I'm there, then zip back home to comfortable "Me-land"? WHO AM I?

One average day of my life would seem to have more wealth, health, opportunity, food, and comfort than what a 26-year-old on La Gonave, Haiti would have ever experienced even one day.

There is hope. A church that honors Jesus brings hope and is present there. Education is on the rise. Compassion International is present bringing vital sponsorships. Foreigners have given up life elsewhere to bring change and hope. But I am not going to lie; hope was very hard for me to see on the street level of the average day in Haiti.

This trip was a needed reality shock for me. Oh, the trivial things that I so arrogantly complain about out loud or silently; the misconstrued understanding of following God I often live! That I could ever lose perspective (I do often) on how much I have in this world is unspeakable. That I would miss God's heart on so many levels.

Father, change my unmoved, hardened heart. Do not let me be so overwhelmed with what I've seen that I do nothing, change nothing. Do not let me forget the poor, the discouraged, the lonely, or the hopeless. Let my anger be righteous anger. Save me from my wicked indifference and apathy. Help me to know how to live in my wealth and opportunity in the way that is most honoring to You. Rid me of myself. Help me to see as you see. Amen.


Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

Luke 6:20-22

1 comment:

Melissa said...

i can't even imagine. i was moved by your prayer. i know when my husband spent time in haiti when he was in highschool he had similar feelings. it certainly humbled him. he came home with absolutely nothing other than the clothes on his back, because he just knew that they needed it more. enjoy your time, and know that what you are doing is a true calling from Him.