Initial Impressions of Haiti

22 Jun

Much of the world’s focus has drifted from the devastating images from January 12, 2010, when a 7.0 earthquake leveled buildings in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. As our airplane touched the tarmac, my husband marveled at the empty fields that had been occupied by major humanitarian agencies just weeks before. Passengers were still transported to an outlying warehouse for immigration and baggage claim, and I found myself reliving scenes from my past in other third world countries, wondering what my next week serving in Haiti with Reachglobal/Touchglobal would look like.

Throngs of people speaking a mix of French and Haitian Creole (neither of which sounded familiar now that I’ve lived in Costa Rica for two years), individuals offering their cell phones for a fee, taxi drivers, and vendors hawking food and drink crowded outside the chain link fence which separated the newly arriving passengers from that chaos. My stomach churned as we realized that our neon green-shirted Touchglobal driver was nowhere in sight, and that a wait would include time in the tropical sun with two large duffel bags, assorted carry-on pieces, and Anna, our soon to be ten- year-old daughter. My mind recalled a similar situation twenty years ago in Quetta, Pakistan, and I relaxed. God had brought me through situations there I wasn’t ready for with our infant son in tow, and He would be with us during the week ahead in Haiti.

Crumbled buildings, mangled autos burnt beyond identification, shells of businesses long since vacated or demolished remained, as did hopeless faces. Tents, temporary shelters, and newly erected tarps and organization-branded, Tyvek -wrapped structures dotted the dusty, rutted road to Gressier. Poverty marked indelibly by a major earthquake remains, but Sunday would dawn with a different sound—the sound of praises sung at sunrise, and a worship service with over one hundred smiling Haitians, the joy of Christ evident on their faces, dressed in their Sunday best(be it well worn, torn or stained from lack of adequate shelter)worshipping in an outdoor sanctuary without walls, shaded by a canopy of green trees, cooled by a gentle breeze, partaking in communion with one another and white-faced “blancs” from a myriad of countries.

God is at work in Haiti. Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone?

One Response to “Initial Impressions of Haiti”

  1. The Byrd's Nest June 22, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Oh my sweet friend…what a beautiful post:)

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