I have to tell you after experiencing the last 4 days in PAP – I wasn’t sure if I had made a mistake.
There was a moment during our trip where I wanted to just shake the people and yell – – I’m trying to be Jesus – will you just let me be Jesus to you? Realize what I’m saying – – I wanted to shake them in anger and tell them – LET ME HELP YOU ALREADY!
It’s just so hard to help the people. There is such chaos. You can’t just go downtown and think you’re going to have Bible Study with them and it’s just going to magically come together and you’re going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. You’re not going to be able to just pass out peanut butter without a mass mob trying to attack you. You’re not going to be able to just “play” with the kids and not draw crowds. What sounds so easy – “helping people” – is one of the hardest things to do here.
I can tell you this – these organizations that come in and have no experience in Haiti – there is no way they’re able to really penetrate the reality. Speaking fluent creole, having spent my entire life in and out of Haiti – having a working knowledge of the systems here – I thought I was fairly prepared for this. There were many mission groups staying at the hotel with us in Port-au-Prince. I’m listening to their plans and how innocently clueless they are about what they’re trying to do.
One group’s plan was to just go into a tent zone and give each house a 100.00 bill. Yes – please – can I watch you do this? One group collected 1000 shoes – never been to Haiti before – wanted to just go to a random tent-zone (having no contact person there) and “fit” people for shoes. I watched how excited they were when they left and how sad they looked when they got back. As they were “fitting shoes” people came and stole their tubs. This experience just speaks volumes for missions who have been on the ground for a long time. The way you change Haiti is by giving to established missions because the others really do not have a working knowledge of the reality of Haiti.
On Saturday we gave away our supplies to the last 30 families. The strategy that worked the best for us was to have random pick-up places and random times. We gave all the supplies away at the little airport parking lot and our trucks took them home.
The last group of 10 families touched my heart to its very core. I realized now why satan was fighting me so much. I had some time to sit and really fellowship with the last 10 families.
First of all – this is the lady who wouldn’t let me take her picture that day sitting on the bucket! She is a hoot! She’s very feisty and sarcastic and I absolutely adore her!
There was another woman – maybe in her early 30’s who showed me a picture of her mom sitting on a stool inside her little store. It was taken sometime last year. Then you see a picture of the chair on it’s side and the outline of her mom – covered in concrete. She had pictures of the entire process of digging her dead mom out of the rubble. I could picture it. She’s sitting in the chair – the earth shakes – the chair falls sideways as the concrete falls on top of her. I took a picture of the the picture.
She tells me – “All I had was my mom. Why? Why did God take her? I went to church every Sunday. My father was voodoo and he died when I was little. It was just me and my mom. She is all I had. What did I do? What sin did I have that God punished me like this?”
Then I talked to the only man in the group. He told me that his wife is in the hospital with a broken hip and a broken leg. Then he showed me a picture of his daughter – one they had taken in December – before the quake – before she died under the concrete. She was 4 years old. He asked me – “Why did God forsake me? It should have been me who died. God has abandoned all of us. He does not love Haiti anymore”.
Here is the picture of his picture.
I pulled out my Bible and shared with them Hebrews 13:5 – I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. So we can say with confidence the Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I listened to story after story. I prayed with them one on one. I held one lady and her body just shook while she sobbed. She told me she has no one to talk to because everybody is dealing with their own problems. She is just one of a million people who are hurting. No one notices her.
The chaos that happened downtown – that was to keep me from sharing with them about God’s love. These people are bruised and beaten. They are scarred and broken. They believe they are unworthy of His love. They believe they’re being punished. They believe that God has left them. They believe that they are forgotten.
Oh my heart. They need to be reminded of God’s love for them. I was able to spend 2 hours with this last group of 10 people because our trucks were busy helping the Americans that were flying out. Pulling out my Bible and reading a scripture is not even step 1. I have no idea how to help these people heal – but I know our God is a big God.
The groups that showed up – they weren’t pushy. They were very quiet. They were timid – they were meek – they were poor in spirit – and they were simply displaced and searching….
This is why – this is why it was so hard to help them. Because satan wants to keep them defeated. He wants them to continue to feel like they’ve been abandoned. Satan, ou pedi batay.