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.
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.