I am back…but my heart remains in Haiti

29 May

Lauren, a recent nursing graduate from Texas, shares about her Journey 117 experience in Haiti in May 2011. To read more of Lauren’s blog, check out http://chosenbyyou.blogspot.com/

As I sit down to write this post, tears fill my eyes as I think about Haiti. It has now been two days since I returned and even though I am back here physically, my heart and mind are still in Haiti. The past nine days of my life have changed my life forever. I have seen poverty in a whole new way. I have seen things that are heart-wrenching and at times I had to stop myself and ask, “Is this REAL? Is this really happening?? How can God let this happen to His children? Why God, Why? These people didn’t choose this life.” These questions bombarded my mind while in Haiti and as I fought through tears I prayed for understanding and that God would place within me a love that is so deep. I prayed and prayed for God to break my heart for what breaks His, and that He did. I know the things that I saw and the things I experienced break the heart of God as well. He hurts and this was not his intention for his children but it all goes back to the issue of sin and where it all began, in the Garden of Eden.

Last night, I sat in the hallway of my house, huddled down and surrounded by blankets, as the weather outside got really bad. The winds were blowing like crazy, golf ball size hail, and the tornado sirens were going off everywhere. The power went out and right now we still are without power. My first thoughts were, “OMG! It is so hot in here. I need to take a shower and do my hair. No power?? That means no coffee. What about all the food in the fridge?” but then I had to stop and think back to Haiti. And in that moment, I cried because here I am living a princess life while people around the world are starving, without a place to live, and have one bucket of clean water to last them an entire week. People in Haiti don’t rely on things such as electricity and most of them live without any at all. Right now, as I sit in my hot house, I praise God. I praise the Lord that I have a roof over my head, that He kept me safe last night, that I will always have food to eat, and that I have clean water to drink. We rely so much on things here in the US and take so much for granted.

Yesterday morning, I went on a long run and was amazed at how blessed I truly am. The streets were clean. I don’t think I saw one piece of trash. We have a garbage man. People in Haiti live on garbage-covered streets. Here, people seemed so peaceful as they sat on their front porch enjoying the beauty of the morning. People don’t even know what a front porch is in Haiti. And then I started to think of all the simple things in life I take for granted and don’t even think about. My mind went to thoughts such as, “As soon as I get back home, I will take a hot shower and won’t have to worry of running out.” In Haiti, clean water is hard to come by. People fight for just a bucket and a bucket of clean water doesn’t mean that it is safe to drink. And then I realized how much I was missing those garaged-covered streets and dusty, un-paved roads. There is something about taking yourself out of what makes you comfortable and putting yourself with people who live on less than $2 a day. It will make you thankful and think twice about getting that $4 Starbuck’s Drink. For me, I will never look at a class of cold, clean water the same. Every drink I take, I will make sure that I give all praise and glory to Christ because we are so blessed. Blessed beyond our own human comprehension.

As I continue to debrief my journey and settle myself back here in the states, I am going to blog on a few of the stories that changed my life forever. Read with me as I try to make my experiences as real as possible.

“And I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the lease of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.” –Matthew 25:40

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