Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

     "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule." Mathew 5:3 (MSG)

Life in Haiti is not easy. Nothing in Haiti is easy: not baking cookies, or growing vegetables, or putting together bilingual lesson plans for 2 preschool classes, or washing clothes, or gaining the trust and respect of 34 girls who have no frame of reference for boundries or meaningful consequences. But, in light of what others in Haiti have been through this week, my life in Haiti is fairly uneventful.

Earlier in the week we had a pretty big thunderstorm blow through Port-au-Prince one evening, with strong wind and LOTS of rain. Interestingly, there were several posts on FB by friends who were enjoying thunderstorms in various part of the US. The sad reality in Haiti is that no matter how long we've gone without rain, when drops finally start falling the relief is short-lived when the realization hits that there are still THOUSANDS of people living in tents whose businesses, homes, and lives are at risk every time it rains like that. It makes me appreciate the roof over my head so much more, and it makes my heart ache for those that don't have that "luxury".

     "You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for." Matthew 5:7 (MSG)

There are some hard parts of life in Haiti I avoid by virtue of not having a vehicle or driving (or leaving the compound much at all). A couple days ago, a missionary couple sent out a warning to others in the area after the they were robbed at gunpoint, in broad daylight, while stuck in traffic on a main road in PAP. Unfortunately, this in not an isolated incident. With an under-resourced police force and rampant corruption, there's little being done to stop the people behind these attacks. The missionary and ex-pat community in Haiti is a pretty tight group. Although I don't personally know the people who endured this attack, I know others who have had similar experiences and my heart aches for them because they are part of my "Haiti family".

     "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you." Matthew 5:4 (MSG)

Last night there was post on Facebook from the executive director of the Hands and Feet Project in Jacmel. While playing in the ocean yesterday afternoon, a part of their weekend routine, Junette, one of the 6 yr olds, was pulled under by the current and disappeared. After hours of searching, presumably by fishing boat and on foot, as there is no "coast guard" that I know of in Haiti, her body still has not been recovered. The loss of a child under any circumstances is unfathomable, but such a tragic accident on what is usually such a happy day for all the kids is exceptionally heart-breaking. It is a reminder to everyone that this life is short and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. My heart aches for everyone at Hands and Feet as they mourn and cope with the hole that is left in the absence of Junette, who was so dear to everyone who had the privelege of knowing her.

     "You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom." Matthew 5:10 (MS)

A little closer to home (literally and figuratively), a missonary friend of mine in the neighborhood has endured several days of physical and verbal threats to her safety from people who are power and money hungry, who despite previous ties to the mission where she serves, clearly care nothing for safety and security of the children under her care. I do have to say, in spite of feeling heavy hearted by this situation, I am also quite proud of my friend, who is nearing the end of her commitment in Haiti. Rather than packing up and high-tailing it out of here, she is standing her ground and trusting God to vindicate her and give the "all clear" before she returns home.

Please pray for Haiti. Pray for people who serve here year in and year out. Pray for the spirit of Adoption to be poured out on this country, that people would no longer feel compelled to steal and threaten others to get ahead in life. Pray for comfort and peace for those dealing with the loss of a loved one. Thanks for all your love, prayers, and support!

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