Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mwen Grangou

There are those moments when the world seems to stop on its axis. When the very air you breathe is sucked out of the room.


In a room full of people, I knelt face to face with one. She spoke in Kreyol and I fumbled to understand. Fumbling didn’t help. There is nothing in Kreyol that registers with my synapses – lips move, vocal cords utter and I stand blank as an empty sheet of paper. Yet, her eyes were speaking with a want and intensity that I could not deny.

I called Wilson, our very capable interpreter, over to help break this barrier of language and he did. With a somewhat hesitant pause, he relayed words that cut me to my very core - "mwen grangou - I am hungry".

At that very moment, my God took on the appearance of a little Haitian girl and spoke Kreyol to the very core of my soul. As I stood there it was as if the words of Matthew 25:35-40 came alive in full Technicolor.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothed you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

The brutal reality is what small attempt I may have done to appease this little one’s need, is but a drop in the ocean of her life - a fleeting instant that will soon be followed by many more “mwen grangou” utterances. The need in Haiti is overwhelming – physical, emotional, spiritual. It is hard to reconcile my abundance with their want.

What was once printed on paper or flashed upon a TV screen, has become flesh and blood to me. It was easier when I could turn the page or change the channel, easier for me, not for them. What is in my heart now cannot be so easily forgotten or ignored.

I have heard the cry with my own ears. I have hugged the need with my own arms. I have looked the distress face to face. I can’t turn away.

That is where I am right now - unable to turn away and wondering where to go next.

© A Sacred Longing 2009-2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm Home

It is hard to process this last week.

I am glad to be home and yet, I wish I was still there.

The need is overwhelming. Photos and newscasts can never truly convey the harsh reality of life in post-earthquake Haiti.

Still and yet, joy exists there in the midst of life.

I will be spending the next few days trying to sort out where my heart, my mind, my soul and my body have been. More importantly, where do I go from here because surely, my life cannot return to where it once was.

I’ve seen too much.

This video may have been taken in Rwanda but I lived the same in Haiti and sit here in tears knowing "their pain has changed me". 

All too deeply and forever. 

I can't explain it right now anymore than that. 

© A Sacred Longing 2009-2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Lesson in Faithfulness

The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is.

Never have these words meant more to me.

Since January, I have felt God whisper over and over to me that I need to rely on His faithfulness. Something this girl is not want to do. I am a doer. I am a controller. Trust and reliance is a lesson that, sadly, must be reviewed frequently.

When this opportunity to go to Haiti occurred, things moved fast – too fast for me to control. Much of it was and remains a blur.

Last Tuesday, I found out that we needed medical supplies. We had nothing. Having been on a medical mission before I know the difficulty in obtaining supplies and I could feel the anxiety rising. Twelve days doesn't leave much time for acquiring the necessary items.  I sent an email to family and friends, asking first for prayer and if they could – money.

And, I prayed.

Within two days, I received $300. Each day that number grew in size until it was doubled. Many needed supplies have been purchased.  In the midst of this, I remembered a wonderful organization that provides needed supplies free of charge for mission groups and after a phone conversation, I was on a 4 hour trek to pick up more supplies. What an amazing blessing they were!

My bags are overflowing now.  So much so, that every member of our team has been asked to carry some of the medical supplies in their checked bags.

I continue each day to be overwhelmed by the light of God shining brightly into my circumstances - even those that seem most mundane and irrelevant. His grace is overwhelming.

I continue to feel the love of God enfold me.  Sweet embraces through friends – through songs – through quietness. A filling within that soon, I pray, I can pour out in Haiti.

I believe in His protection over the days to come – through the travel that is ahead and for the time in a foreign land. 

Wherever I am – whether at home or in Haiti – God is.

Faithful and true.

He was, He is and He will always be!

And there is where I am learning to place my trust.

We leave for the fractured ground of Haiti on Monday, March 15. This promises to be a whirlwind trip and a sure assault for all our senses and our hearts. I would greatly appreciate your prayers for our safety; for our bags and supplies to arrive in a timely manner; for our health and above all, that God will be glorified and our presence will be of some benefit to the people in Haiti.

© A Sacred Longing 2009-2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In just a little while...

I have waited for the words to come.  A wait which hasn't been easy for this one who finds her expression best in the written rather than the spoken.

And yet, this long pause of keyboard and pen has been necessary. 

For in the days to come, there will be many words, too many I fear.  Because what I have seen from the comfort of my living room, I will soon experience in the rawness of reality.  The images that have been softened for public consumption will become tempered  by the fires of life.

Since the earth began its dance beneath this tiny island in January, I have wanted to go.  In the days to come, March 15 to be exact, my feet will leave the familiar for grace of the unknown. 

I am beginning to understand that my wordless moments have been a needed preparation.  So, I beg for your grace for a bit longer and your prayers for my upcoming trip to Haiti.

© A Sacred Longing 2009-2010