Mark and I were blessed to have been a part of the team from LifeSong Church on a recent mission trip to Jacmel, Haiti, serving in the community of Morne Oge. The trip may have come to a close but it’s impact goes on forever. ~ E
The mountains here are raw, unspoiled and majestic. I was able to snap off a few pictures as we made our way back to PAP, down windy roads, through small communities with breathtaking landscapes in between.
The airport was busy. Much has changed since we were here last July. Construction is ongoing, and the facility is definitely improved. Security is super tight. We are screened 3 times, our bags x-rayed and inspected by hand, and we are patted down at two different checkpoints.
Time passed fairly quickly and after a sandwich and a Coke we boarded our flight on time. ATL, here we come, Haiti we miss you already.
Back Home – Day 1
By the time we landed in ATL, cleared customs and immigration, made our way to the vehicles by way of airport shuttle and drove back to Lyman, SC it was midnight. Mark and I were too tired to sleep right away, so we quickly unpacked and piled up on the couch to unwind.
We rose early Sunday morning to start what was scheduled to be a full day. As I went through my morning rituals, I made mental note of the conveniences I enjoy every day. By 7:30 I was an emotional mess. The music, the worship service moved me deeply, Pastor Jeff’s message hit home. We continued on through three services, chatting and connecting with people. After a lunch meeting, we returned home, each to our task … Mark diving into sermon notes, Me leaving to shop for much needed groceries.
All day, Haiti on my mind. All day, keenly aware of my surroundings, my blessing-filled life. From the moment of waking in a comfortable, climate-controlled home through a hot shower, in our air-conditioned car — all day — I marked each blessing with great gratitude one by one. The grocery store, full of fresh meats and produce, state of the art packaging and abundance …. All of it. I thanked God for the washing machine that does the work for me, for the fresh water that fills it automatically at the turn of a knob.
I reach for my journal, pushing away the business of the day, feeling the transition back into the life God blessed me with. Food put away, laundry in process, TV in the background I must allow these thoughts and feelings to find their voice. I sit on a sofa, legs crossed indian style, with air conditioning and electricity – my normal. Each morning in Jacmel I would watch people’s days begin and the rhythms of their lives play out from the roof of the Leviya Hotel. Ladies carrying buckets of water on their heads as they return from the community well to cook, bathe and clean. People leading their livestock to forage. Motos and tap taps shuttling people who could afford the fare to their destinations while others walked. Some people wearing shoes, many not. Little girls sitting on the porch while momma does their hair. Ladies laying clean laundry high on the rooftops to dry in the warm sun.
It’s tough not to compare our lifestyles and feel so unworthy. I’m thankful that God has placed me here, yet at the same time I struggle with why? How is it that we in the US are so richly blessed? Not one of us is born deserving more than the other but in God’s wisdom He has placed each of us where He has us, where we are. He gives each of us unique gifts and talents, according to His grace and mercy. Some are wealthy …. Financially, physically and spiritually …. Some are given less.
God’s work is so amazingly orchestrated … complex, intricate and mystifying. I will never understand this side of heaven. But if the Gospel is true, (which it is) if we believe God’s plan for redemption and accept our individual roles in His Mission, then I must conclude that it’s not only an invitation but an expectation that as His church we each accept “the call”.
In love, humility and obedience we each have the responsibility to use the gifts God has blessed us with to serve Him and serve others. Every day, whatever it takes, whatever it looks like. We are each to be disciples and ministers … Hands and feet, living out the Gospel in practical ways, pouring out what we ourselves have received. To build up, care for, encourage and serve the ones God has placed in our lives and beyond. Lord, thank you for your many blessings. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of Your plan. Help me to always keep my eyes on you. Keep me clean and close. Help me to remain faithful, available, teachable, humble and dependent on You always.