Sweetly Broken – Reflections on my Journey to Haiti

2 Jun

Jeni reflects on her recent Journey 117 trip to Haiti in May 2011. To read more of her blog, check out http://sweetlybroken-jenileeann.blogspot.com/

I have been meaning to blog about my journey to Haiti and the amazing ways that God moved in my heart through this trip. I have had a very hard time coming up with the words. But since I have been asked to speak at 3 local churches, I figured it was time to put words to this journey. Praise God that I will bring Him more glory as I share.

I could not have known how God would allow me to be broken when I started on this journey last fall. I knew it would be big, because as I planned and counted the days, trips were never for sure and were postponed. I kept saying, “In God’s time.” I knew in my heart I would get there EXACTLY when He wanted.

I was incredibly sad that I was not able to go in December, but now I see so clearly that He had a greater plan. I ended up going on a Journey 117 trip with World Orphans, totally different than the original trip. It is a journey that is designed to educate you on orphan care and how God wants to use you to bring justice to the least of these.

To say that God broke my heart for the least of these does not begin to explain it. It was so much more than that. As a result of this trip I have a very small glimpse of how God’s heart breaks for injustice. I can’t even wrap my head around how brokenhearted He is as He is up in heaven and watches what is going on.

I often prayed the prayer while I was in Haiti, “God please come back and stop all this pain.”  But the Bible tells us that there will always be poor and needy people among us.

How did this all happen, you may ask? How could my heart break more than it ever has? I honestly cried more in the week I was there and since coming back than I have in my entire adult life. Let me try and explain it.

See, on this trip we went to 5 or so orphanages that have different ways of caring for the children. We also went to Cite Soleil, the poorest slum in the western hemisphere. I am not sure that I can really explain all that I saw.

As I type this, everything that I can come up with to say, seem like words that you have all heard. Words like “be thankful for what you have…so many have nothing.” So many of us have seen so much on tv…All I can say is it is SOOO much different to see this injustice in person.

In one of the homes I went to there were rows and rows of cribs. Everything done in this home was very mechanical and follows a system. As lunch time came,  a bowl of brown gunck and rice was shoved into my hands and I was lead to a crib to feed a child. These children that are so young seldom get out of their cribs. They eat, sleep and entertain themselves in their cribs. This is a home for sick and dying children. Many of these children will never know a life out of this crib.  Many of these babies would not be dying if they had the health care that we are so blessed with here in the United States. It breaks my heart as I think about it. How can we live in a world where this happens?! I just don’t understand! Not sure I ever will.

How can we live in a world where people have to LITERALLY fight over water that is not even as clean as the water we put in our toilets. As I watched I held back tears and wanted to give them every water bottle that I have thrown away because the water just got too warm. Never again will I look at water the same.

As I come back to the States and readjust to life here, I feel like I no longer fit in. Life here is just not the same as it was. I no longer care about the things I cared about before I left. Sure, I still desire to see God’s kingdom grow. I also still long to see students fall madly in love with God. But now I want every person to see what I saw in the ten days I was in Haiti. I truly believe that if we all saw it, we would be living in a different world. You can not see what I saw and be the same person. I feel in love with Haiti and left a piece of my heart there. I never thought I would feel like I do.

We are all called to help the least of these. God wants to use all of us…what is He calling you to do? You don’t have to go to Haiti…but do something to bring justice to an injustice.team

If you live near me (in Grand Rapids, MI) I am speaking at BridgeWay Community Church on June 15th and I would love for you to come. I pray that as I speak I bring glory to God as I share my heart and more about what He did on this journey.


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