Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Haiti Journal

Here is an entry from Caroleanne's journal from when we were in Haiti in November. This was so wonderful that I asked her if I could share this on my blog. Thankfully she said yes so that you can benefit from it too.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

6:15 am

Ok, who ordered the elephant? Actually, it is an insomniac cow who seems to
echo the cry of nearly
every Haitian I have seen so far. Desperation, discontent, anger...a longing
for more. But just as these cows are tied to a stake in the ground, so are
they. Their stake is their sin. It holds them down, locked from freedom,
and they are helpless to free themselves. What am I to do, my God?

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: he will make
your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the
noonday sun. - psalm 37-

....For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
-psalm 36-


I cannot escape him, he haunts my very soul. I hear it, I cannot pretend I
do not. The sound of the cow is this: a plea for help! It tells me to get
up, there is work to do! God's people are not free! There is an enemy at
large pounding the stake further into the ground!
But, my Lord......

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak, the Lord delivers him in times of
The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the
land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. -psalm 41-


This morning we went to a church in town. It was how I have always imagined
Africa to be and I was in my absolute glory! I had to laugh to myself as I
watched a man, whom I have nicknamed the "Pew Nazi", go around and swat
naughty children with a switch to get them to behave during the service. I
suspect that he is self-appointed, as most "nazi" are.

The highlight of my experience was holding a sweet little baby whose name I
later learned was Paul. I am guessing that he was about 7 months old, and
he had the darkest eyes I have ever seen. As I rocked him in the back of
the room to keep him from fussing, I could feel his little heartbeat against
my own. How odd to feel so connected to one I have only just met. I closed
my eyes for a moment and took it all in. I felt drawn apart from my
surroundings and led to lay my hand upon his head in prayer. Lord, I do not
know what kind of life he has, what his future will hold, and at that point,
I did not even know his name. But I had to pray for him. For you to bless
him, my God. That he would not only grow healthy and strong physically, but
spiritually as well. That you would grow him to be a man of wisdom,
integrity, compassion, and courage. A man of God. I knew that I would
probably never know what would become of him, but i still felt it, Jesus.
Espwa...Hope. Possibility.

What if this child that I was holding with his very life line pressed
against my chest, would someday grow up to change the entire country? And
what if in some mysterious way, I was permitted to have been a small part of
it? A fleeting, precious, moment that I could never forget? But on the
other hand, what if he does not? What if he is just an average man lacking
in those things worthy of worldly praise? Does it make him less? No, my
Lord. For to be a man of God is the greatest blessing I could desire for any
young boy.

....He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his
appearance that we should desire him. -Isaiah 53-

Monday, November 20,2006

5:45 am

I sit here this morning under the beloved Mango tree taking in my
surroundings. Though the sun is barely rising, I sense that the world has
been awake for hours. I close my eyes and listen to what it has to say.
These are the early morning sounds of Haiti:

The bellowing cow - Miserable and bound to the ground. Not by choice, it
doesn't know it has one. It may not know what freedom is, but I believe it
knows that it exists. Or does it?

A crying child - Why it cries, I do not know. Perhaps it is hurt or
hungry. But as it wails, it seems to echo that of the cow. Screaming in
unison. I believe that it is about so much more than what it thinks it is,
it just doesn't know it yet.

A crowing rooster- He screams at me to get up! The dawn has come, the
light is here! A new day is before me and once again, he has made all
things new. What will you do with it?

If I could be an animal, perhaps that is what I should desire to be. A
rooster. Awake, you who slumber! The darkness is gone, the light has come!
Your hope is here! Await no longer!
I think back to yesterday's scene of screaming children running through the
compound throwing stones at their dinner and the poor rooster running as
fast as he could. I have to laugh to myself at the absurdity and humor of it
all. But then a sobering analogy comes to mind.

You see, not everyone is happy to hear such news. And sometimes its tough to
be a rooster and be obedient to what God has created you to be. For obvious
reasons, I have nicknamed our resident rooster Stephen. For though he may
flee from those who take pleasure in stoning him, he cannot be silent.
I am reminded of our conversations about the Haitians who have no lights to
see their way. No electricity, no flashlights, and no batteries. I wonder
how long the night must seem to them. They watch and they wait. They
listen for the cock's crow, bringing them the message of hope. How much
longer must it seem for those who are deaf. Lord, give them ears to hear
and eyes to see.

For you are light, and in you there is no darkness at all. -1 John 1-

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

5:50 am

Each morning, I sit here at a picnic table at the New Missions compound, and
I see a fence. Not just any fence, but one designed for the purpose of
keeping others out. We can go out, but they cannot come in, and they know
it. Men, women, children, they all come to the gate begging for mercy, or
maybe even just a bit of attention. They know what is on the other side.
They can see it. They smell it. But I question whether they truly want in.
Perhaps what they really desire is to stay put in the mud and feces of where
they are and ask for what they think will save them to be handed over. And
who could fault them? It is safe and it is what they know.

I wonder if I too am such a fool. Do I stand at the fence of eternity
asking for false salvation? Do I all too often ask for what will sustain my
earthly body instead of saving my eternal soul? I wonder if any have ever
even asked to come in. Lord, let us not stand on the outside asking for the
things of this world. For we have been invited in. Take our hands and lead

If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had
opportunity to return. Instead they were longing for a better country-a
heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he
has prepared a city for them. -Hebrews 11-

It is odd to me that this morning, I can find no children. Only a lone calf
sitting next to the fence. His sense of peace is surprising to me, almost
as if he believes he is already a part of what lies beyond. He is quiet and
waits patiently. He waits because he knows that his master is inside and
that he is important to him. He has not been forgotten. I have learned
that he belongs to one of the men that works here, and I wonder how he feels
having to leave him there. Does he worry? The young calf is so precious to
him. It is different from the others. It is not tied down, but free. It
gets up and wanders around a bit, and I see its master come and check on it.
Always watchful of its safety, never letting it out of his sight. I smile
to myself. I too am precious. I too am carefully watched over. And I am
not like the others, my master has freed me but he loves me enough not to
allow me to stray too far.

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an
undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my
God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
-psalm 86-

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