When I said I wanted to stay with Haiti and I wanted to listen all those months ago, I meant it.

I have a lively horror of being a here-today-gone-tomorrow poverty tourist with our friends in developing nations. So when I threw my heart in with Haiti 18 months ago, I knew I was in with this grassroots organization and their crew of leaders on the ground for the long haul. I knew that I was going to be part of this tribe for a long time, that we were going to pray and show up behind the scenes and keep showing up as a family.

I knew that I was going to see the same kids in Yahve Shamma grow up in the school that we helped to build. I knew that someday, someday, I would bring my tinies to that school (I am still looking forward to that day). I knew I was signing on be present long after the plane left Port au Prince taking me home to Vancouver.

Haiti has become part of my heartbeat. Not because I’m out to save the world – it’s not mine to save, but because I am listening and because I am learning from our brothers and sisters and leaders, because I found so much joy there, because God doesn’t look the same to me anymore, because Haiti is where I learned about faith that moves mountains by picking up a shovel and just getting to work. And also because Haiti is where I heard stories of human trafficking and poverty that I cannot forget and I learned about evil that must be stopped. Because we were part of something amazing when we helped to build a school there. Because I love and I appreciate Haiti for her very complexity.

So I’m going back.

I’m travelling again with Help One Now. This is the grassroots collective of people and churches and businesses who are dedicated to using their gifts, talents and resources to help end extreme poverty, care for orphans, rescue slaves and see communities transformed by serving our international partners.

I love this little tribe: we’re pretty hands-on, very personally invested, intentional, and relational with an eye on the long-game.

I like that kind of stuff.

We will be visiting our projects in Drouin, Port Au Prince and Ferrier Village near the Dominican Republic border. The plan is to tell the stories of the children rescued from trafficking, from poverty and from a life of neglect and the stories of their caregivers, the day-to-day warriors who live in the trenches with Jesus and with these precious children.

I’ll be with some good people: Erika Morrison, Amber Haines, Laura Tremaine, Sarah Markley, and Krista Smith – along with the guys from Help One Now and maybe Pure Charity again, too.

Palm Sunday will find me flying across the continent, heading for the Pearl of the Antilles. I can’t imagine a better way to spend those days of our Holy Week than in Haiti. We’ll be on the ground April 12-16.

When I remember how afraid I felt about that first trip all those months ago, it makes me chuckle. This time, there is no fear, no second-guessing, no worry. Only peace, only joy, only purpose. I’m headed to visit my friends, tell a few stories, it’s just another small way to make a mountain move (no matching t-shirts required).

This is another chapter of a beautiful story we’re a part of now, one that hopefully will last for a long time. We want to stay with Haiti and we want to listen.

 

In which it's your turn :: How do you handle family relationships when your opinions change?
In which the moments are now ours alone :: on (not) blogging about my tinies
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  • Francie

    Trips like this make me wish I had a blog. What a wonderful opportunity. Will have you and your fellow travelers in my prayers. Please let us know how we can contribute to your work.

    • Thanks, Francie! I’m sure I’ll have some info on that kind of stuff as we get closer to the day but right now your prayers are SO appreciated!

  • Shaun Groves

    This is brilliant! To stay invested as a blogger with one place, one group of kids, to see them grow up before your eyes. I love this.

    And what a great group you’ll be traveling with too. I’ve read Sarah’s blog longer than maybe anyone else’s. Love her writing and vulnerability. Can’t wait to see Haiti through her eyes. Thanks for bringing us all along.

  • Kim

    Sarah-next year, take me with you. I’m serious.
    Kim Bradley

  • Leah

    I’m sitting in Haiti right now, reading this in between chatting with some kids I love, and I am so very excited for you to have this experience. Building relationships in this country is such an incredible joy. So glad you get this opportunity!

  • jamieivey

    Love this Sarah! What a joy to go back again and see what God is doing!

  • Ondrea

    I am beyond excited because I get to go to Haiti for the first time this summer. Our church has partnered with But God ministries in our state. We take frequent trips to share the love of Jesus.

    • So glad you get a chance to go to Haiti! It’s a beautiful and complex country.

  • pastordt

    What a great group! (Need a couple of guys in there somewhere – I guess Chris counts, right?) Looking forward to what you all discover.

  • Jemelene

    Sarah, I think you know how I feel about this. I am so very excited for you but even more for those beautiful souls who’ll be touched by your team. Know that my heart is going with you.

  • Looking forward to seeing it through your eyes.

  • My heart travels with you, Sarah. Working with the Haitian refugees in the DR changed my entire worldview … and changed my life. Poverty up close … personal … Christ’s image reflected from both ends.

    https://sites.google.com/site/holyhugs/poverty-up-close

    I can’t begin to describe what it was like to offer a healing touch … it was, after all, “only” a back rub for an old and frail Haitian man … suffering from (maybe) kidney problems … accompanied by my dear pentecostal-style prayer partner … drenched in Spirit tears. Petitioning. Supplicating. Pleading. Weeping. OK, maybe even wailing … a little.

    One man. Healed? Maybe. Not sure. Language barrier. But the smile on his face and the dance in his step as he returned to his attending friends and family have been indelibly etched in my heart … forever.

    May your connections with God’s children in need of your healing, redeeming touch be blessed beyond your wildest imaginings. May your work there be eternal.

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