As I mentioned last week, my mind and heart have been reflecting on my time in Haiti. As we move closer to Easter, I have been thinking about hope, peace, and all that I have in my relationship with Jesus. When all our enjoyments and comforts we have are stripped away, it can allow us to reflect about our past, ponder where we are, and where we want to go in life.
I had been working through a really difficult phase of life before I left for Haiti. I was adjusting to my parents separating the previous spring and dating new people. I had quit my career dream schooling. I was put on probation from the Bible school I attended. I felt like I had nothing in life but Jesus. I thought going to Haiti may guide me about my inkling towards missions and other cultures. I thought it would be good to go help others to distract my heart from the pain I was in.
I broke down the day I arrived. We had arrived in the north-west end of the country and I was already in culture shock. Tons of people stood at the entrance of the airport shouting in a language I couldn’t understand. People were surrounding us wanting to take our luggage, some to help and some to steal. Not remembering any French or knowing Creole, I couldn’t tell which was which. Some of my luggage was lost. There was no internet. I felt alone and scared. So, I questioned why I had come the whole rest of the way to the plateau we were staying at.
My mentor and leader of the trip burst into laughter when I starting bawling and sharing my struggle. I asked her how she could be laughing? She said she was excited because I had done the work to prepare my heart for this trip. I was already allowing culture shock to settle in and I was raw in every way. She said that because of this, I was going to learn so much from the trip…and she was right.
My faith grew a much greater depth in the three weeks I was there. I had Him speak to me. I felt His physical presence around me. I learned the importance of letting others serve you too so that they can be blessed. I learned how valuable it is to slow down and listen so that I can actually hear from God and see Him working. I saw miracles.
I grew up in a conservative church that often believed that prophesies, healing, etc. died with the apostles. But I was proved wrong in Haiti. God is still a God of miracles! He is still healing and moving just as He did when Jesus was alive. I would love to share everything that was amazing about this trip, but I’ll share the most profound one that impacted me today.
We were living on a plateau. It was a dry valley with barely any trees or vegetation around. It was pretty much desert. There were hills surrounding the area, but nothing where we were at. We could watch rain come to the hills but not a lick for us.
There was a large cistern under the main house that stored water for the community. We were running a camp for 200 kids that were brought up from Port-Au-Prince. Supplying enough water for everyone meant that the cistern drained fairly quickly to the point that we ran out.
All of the leaders got together one afternoon to pray for rain. Someone brought a guitar. We sat and we prayed. We praised. We worshipped. We prayed some more. I felt like Elijah. It went from a small cloud on one of the hills. The more we prayed, praised, and worshipped, the more we watched the clouds form across the hills. Then it started moving closer. We rejoiced. We shouted for joy and the rain came. I mean torrential rain!
I was utterly amazed! As everyone ran into the house, I sat outside drenched. I couldn’t believe what I witnessed. I sat in the splendor of God’s miracle. My body felt it, but more importantly, I felt it deep within my soul. Like the little cloud that started, there was a cloud of trust forming within my soul that day. I was reminded that no matter how hard life gets, God is there with me. He is faithful. He does miracles and He wasn’t finished with me yet.
Sometimes it can be difficult to see miracles in our day-in-day-out lives within our own culture. But, if we look, they are there.
It was the last appointment with our infertility doctor. She literally just reiterated the same news we were given a couple weeks before. The weight of hearing we couldn’t have kids – again – felt like the weight was dropped on us even harder. We left completely discouraged.
When we arrived home, I checked the mail. I had an envelope from the One Match bone marrow organization. It was a letter from my recipient! I had never heard from him or her before. The letter had been written 100 days after the donation (Dec 2016). I received the letter on April 5, 2018. God knew what we needed on that specific day. He knew that it would lift our spirits and remind us that He was listening, that He cared, and that He was with us.
As we look to Easter in a time of great burdens and unknowns, I pray these stories remind you that God is still alive. Jesus conquered death and raised again to give us life. We now can have the Holy Spirit reside within us so that we can hear from the Father and have eyes to see where He is working.
I pray that we can reflect on the work of the Lord in our own lives and give Him praise this weekend. May we have eyes going forward that are expectant of His work and miracles. He LOVES you! Be blessed in that assurance today.