I returned from Haiti a week ago. It wasn't just a mission trip for me. I really had no idea why I was called to go beside the obvious- helping people. And I am still finding out the reasons why even after I have returned. There are several people within our church body that have gone on a mission trip recently or are just returning and the focus of each of them is caring for the fatherless, the orphan. This is something that is absolutely close to our God's heart. I don't think it is a coincidence that there are that many people from one place going and fulfilling God's will in caring for the fatherless and the poor. There is a bigger plan behind these mission trips, I know it. Some are already getting involved with adoption agencies and doing what they can to raise awarness and help where they can. I am excited to be a part of something like this. The heart of God: ''Pure and undefiled religion is this , that you look after the widows and orphans in their affliction and to keep yourself spotless to the world' (James 1:27). I venture to say that he said this because the orphans and the widows are a true example of raw religion and praise and if you have been in contact with them, you can't help but be changed as well and get perspective on true relationship with the Father. They understand more than anyone what it is like to truly need a father and can probably relish that relationship like most of us cannot.
I am definitely not the first person to ever go on a mission trip and will certainly not be the last to experience what I did while in Haiti. But this experience is unique because it's mine. From the day I knew I was supposed to go until a week after the trip even, I see God working in ways that to me, are miraculous. I knew of God's sovereignty but actually knowGod's sovereignty now. His mercy, his grace, his uspeakable joy and unfathomable peace. I am starting, just starting to really grasp these things he lavishes upon us. My heart started to break for these people months before I took the flight to Port au Prince but when I walked out of the airport into the sea of people inPort au Prince, that's when my heart really broke. It's unexplainable really, but at the same time my heart broke, it was restored and mended back together by the little hands that slipped into mine as we walked, by the smiles of the people, by their praises and adoration of our Savior, by those little bodies that grabbed so tightly to mine.
Haitians are a true demonstration of joy. They live out mercy. They have peace that passes all understanding. They have hope for their future even though their present is overwhelmingly bleak. While Haiti is a poor, malnourished, deprived country it is a beautiful place that has some of the most satisfied people in the world. I have stories galore from my time there. But the main point of all of is that they are content because of their Savior. Not because of things, Not because of good health. Not because of plentiful food. Not because of amazing living conditions. They have none of these basic necessities yet still praise their God and love him and his people with vigor and zest.
While I would love to say that hundreds of babies are now better off because I held them as they shivered with fever in my arms, or that the people are now going to be happier because of the loads of supplies we gave them and the money we gifted them, I can only say for sure that I am now better off because I held those babies, I am happier because I obeyed and I am blessed because I gave. They let the God in them radiate and I couldn't help but leave forever changed.
What will I do with this change? I don't want to hang on to it like a trophy. I don't want to let it wear off. I don't want it to be a short-lived spiritual high. I want it to stick. I guess it's only by living it out everyday that this will happen. Memories will fade and details will get lost eventually but I don't want to lose the perspective of the truth that I now have. I have to live out the change for it increase my faith and for the change in my heart to soak into every fiber of my being. My heart has never broken so completely and been so joyful at the same time. I cried a lot. Tears of joy, overhelmdness and repentance. The daily grind has already ensued and I find myself awash in routine and plans. Finding where my already established life fits into this new perspective is hard at times. I think that's the way it's supposed to be though. God is sovereign and I am leaving the details to him. I am so thankful to have experienced this. I am so thankful to have been called to experience it. I can't pinpoint when the change happened or how it happened but I am so glad that it did. My cup runneth over.