Thursday, July 15, 2010

Haiti Part III: Thoughts and Videos

CNN has been running multiple specials this week on Haiti: 6 Months Later.  I've been captivated at the TV listening to Anderson Cooper, Larry King, Sean Penn and others tell America about the state of Haiti now.  The scenes that scroll across the screen are exactly what we saw, and floods of emotions have risen.  My heart breaks yet again, being reminded of the desolation the Haitians feel right now.  I appreciated the honesty reporting that AC did, showing Americans just what the government isn't doing over there.  I learned a whole lot more: that their main hospital, General Hospital, is on its way to closing.  And that relief supplies are still being blocked and taxed at the port.  And that there are warehouses full of food going nowhere, and orphanages with starving children needing food. 
It's hard to believe it's already been 6 months; and yet it feels and looks like there it happened only a month ago.   Keep praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need of Hope.

One of our teammates on the trip, Laura Grady, took a few videos that we wanted to share.

Haitian school children playing with bubbles
I can listen to their laughter over, and over, and over again! I hope this brings joy to you. Remember the small things in life are the most precious.

Our Haitian friends learning "Mighty to Save"
Some of the lyrics go like this:\

Savior, He can move the mountains
Our God is mighty to save,

He is mighty to save.

Forever, author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Michael took this video; it's of our Haitian friends teaching us a new song: "Alpha, Omega" (disclaimer: don't mind me taking cement out of my ear during the video!)

This sweet, simple song goes like this:

You are Alpha, and Omega
We worship you our Lord.
You are worthy to be praised.

We give you all the glory
We worship you our Lord.
You are worthy to be praised.

 And lastly, we just wanted to share some pictures of the people who impacted us:

This is Jeff Burkhart.  Jeff was the leader Seacoast sent down to Haiti to live for 3 months and act as our contact "on the ground."  God (and Seacoast) could not have chosen a better person.  Jeff lives for God and God alone, and is one of the most spirit-led, prayerful people we have ever met.  Jeff's spirit is contagious and he has this all-consuming love of Christ inside of him.  He radiates love and compassion.  We were blessed to have been led by Jeff all week.

Sitting down against the wall is Mrs. Louis.  This woman is the strongest, most determined woman of God we have ever met.  What this woman has endured is unimaginable. Among many things, her husband was murdered on March 12, exactly 2 months after the earthquake. She and her family (left by her husband) run the churches, schools, and orphanage we worked at.  Her strength and unwaivering faith in God is truly inspiring.  Never did she waste a minute in her Bible or praying quitely with God throughout the day.  But she was at every site and even seen with a shovel in hand.  She is a remarkable woman.

This is "Uncle Leo." He is Mrs. Louis's brother, and was essentially our interpreter and driver for the week. He was also the pastor on Sunday and the welder/cement stirrer during the week.  Uncle Leo has a spirit so contagious you can't help but laugh and smile while around him.  His English continued to get better, and his heart for people is unconditional.   I loved just sitting and talking to Leo; Leo is an incredible soldier for Christ.

This is Wesley , Mrs. Louis' oldest son.  Wes had been living in the US on and off for 20 years and swore he would never return to Haiti (where he was born and raised) unless God stripped everything away from him.  When he got the call that his father was murdered, he had recently lost his job and KNEW the Lord was sending him to his home, Haiti.  Wes is now helping his mother run the orphanage-school-church organizations and is a true testimony of redemption and healing.  Wes is also a great story teller and we learned much about what Haiti was life before the earthquake from him!


We met this mean while we were at the beach.  He makes bracelets with words on them and made one with HOPE for Michael's mom.  His story is amazing-  he lost both of his parents in the quake and lives under a tin roof in Port-au-Prince with his 3 children.  He knows 5 languages and comes to the beach to sell bracelets and share the gospel.  We had a great time talking with him.

These are the neighborhood boys who came up to the school/work site everyday.  They were in their 20's and either out of school or had no school to go to.  We had a blast with these guys.  They were self-taught English and loved learning from the Bible.  They were willing to help us with cement, too, even though they didn't get paid.  I think they just wanted sit with us and talk.  They were so hungry for enouragement and knowledge.  The funny thing is that in trying to teach them about Truth and Christ, they were teaching us!  It's so humbling how little they had but how big their faith us.  We taught them a few songs and they taught us one too.  The day we left them was hard for me. I don't think they understood that we wouldn't be back the next day, which brought tears to my eyes- they were going to walk up the hill- like the days before- and we would be gone.

Our time in Haiti was truly unforgettable.  It was life-changing without realizing it was life-changing.  There's many things we don't know, but Michael and I know we'll be back.

And remember, don't stop praying for our Haitian brothers and sisters.