Written by Sara Anderson, Team Lead Educational Programs. Sara is in Haiti for 2.5 weeks serving with the staff.
Hebrews 13:16 (CEV) But don’t forget to help others and to share your possessions with them. This too is like offering a sacrifice that pleases God.
Early in this trip, I encountered Jesus, as I was offered a chair. A simple gesture turned into a holy moment in Haiti. While I waited for help after a flat tire, I noticed a woman leave her home carrying one of her few possessions. Soon it was evident she had noticed my situation and come to share her chair with me. Her act of noticing and sharing struck me like a spiritual tornado. I felt unworthy of her humble offering. This woman was fully present in this moment and willing to share her life with me. Two lives met on a dirt road. It was a gift that cost nothing monetarily but meant everything to me spiritually.
I am learning to live in the mystery that is Haiti. Learning to recognize God in the simple and the unexpected moments like this flat tire. God is a faithful teacher. I pray I can pay attention and open myself to the “free” lessons of Christ’s love that cannot be learned any other way. His presence grabs me here like no other place. Serving in Haiti brings with it a risk that is great and very real; and knowing God becomes the reward.
There are no easy formulas here. No guarantees that your efforts will work or be received. Here, I must trust God or I would fall victim to despair as I looked at the environment with the eyes of a first-world citizen. Jesus’ eyes are needed here. Lord, help me to see!
And He is faithful to answer this prayer…in the smiles that greet me on the road, in the excited hollers and waves from children, through the worship in a small Haitian church, in the hugs from Nelta our housekeeper…the list goes on and on. I am finding Christ here. He is changing me through the small stuff and breaking my heart open wide.
Just today, I met Jesus through a working man on our land. I had a need to take about 2 pounds of clinging mud off my flip flops and he had the hands of Jesus and a shovel to help me. Another offering of love to this white foreigner who chose to wear the wrong shoes. Gently, he holds my ankle and scrapes off the mud. First one foot, then the other. I am humbled.
I take these simple, free experiences that are eternally priceless and try to figure out how to return to an affluent, efficient culture that tends to forget Jesus. No, Haiti does not need me. I need her.Matching shirts seem to be the theme, as Sara, Heidi Schulte, Ebens, and Woody pose for a picture. Hellos and goodbye party, as some of these people are just arriving to serve and some are going home after serving for a year. We rejoice in the work the Lord has done. Woody, Sara, and two of the principals at schools we sponsor children at through our 180 for Haiti program. This road wasn’t safe to cross on the moto with two people on it. Walking through it, with flimsy flip-flops wasn’t the best answer either. 🙂 The results of walking the road this morning. So many smiles, as we received a new container of food from Meals from the Heartland.