Thursday, January 14, 2010


In 1998 my life was changed forever as I stepped foot off of a plane into a grassy field in the outskirts of Pignon, Haiti. I had embarked on a missions trip with my home church to run a camp through Hosean Ministries. The drive to the camp took 5 hours, despite the fact that it was less than 20 miles from the airport. As Americans, it's easy to complain about things we don't have, as we're surrounded by wealth far more than any other country. But as we drove through the Haitian mountainside, my teenage eyes were confronted with poverty at its core. People were walking to get dirty water, bathing in the same stream they washed their clothes, and sweeping out their dirt floors to tidy up their homes. The kids arrived at camp singing; it was pure Heaven listening to their voices sing. They actually sang the entire time we were there. When they were eating, when they were playing, even when they were walking to the river in the early morning hours to bathe. I quickly came to realize that despite having nothing, Haitians acted as if they had EVERYTHING. They were the most joyous people I had ever been around.
The news this week of the earthquake really hit me hard.  The circumstances of Haiti without an earthquake are sobering; then add an earthquake dynamic to the mix, and it's all I can do not to sob when I see the stories and pictures plastered all over the news and web. What really ticks me off though is the light in which they portray the people; tonight they were talking about how people are packing up what they can and walking in the streets with it... um hello Brian Williams, THAT'S ALL THEY HAVE. What made me smile, however, was hearing the stories of singing Hymns in the street, praising God. They are utterly impovershed, they were just blasted by an earthquake, and they are SINGING. PRAISING GOD. Call me crazy, but pretty sure that if that had all happened to me I'm pretty sure I'd be hiding in a closet, or worse, screaming in the streets cursing God. To have faith that they have... that's what I want.
One of the things I have been praying for is that this earthquake will bring souls to the Lord. Haiti has a major vodoo presence. MAJOR. Spiritual warfare is a very real thing there. In fact, when we were there in '98, we were told not to photograph people without their consent. The reason being is that in vodoo, they are taught that if their picture is taken they lose their souls. The people in Haiti are lost, and they need Jesus. Tonight it made me smile while one woman, who lost everything but whose children were spared from the devastation said, "I have lost so much, but I feel so grateful to have my children. I now know that God loves me."  I pray that people feel God's love in a deep way through all that is happening.
Drew and I are talking about how we want to help in Haiti. If Brayden wasn't in the mix, I can assure you that I'd be on the first plane down there to help. There are two ministries I thought I'd let my readers know about. The first is Hosean Ministries. It is run by Caleb Lucien, the man who we went down to help with the camp back in 1998. The other is Thirst No More. They provide relief for areas that are impacted by natural disasters, among other things. Both ministries have very low administrative fees, and use the money you donate to bring directly to the people who need it (not through the government, like the Red Cross and our government, among others). I urge you to help in some way. And if you're not able to help financially or physically, at least get on your knees and pray.

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