Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hello Haiti, Hard to Meet You.

I'm a little afraid

of saying

or writing

or trying to put the words together to describe our trip.

Afraid because there is no way to paint Haiti through a blogpost or a couple thousand of them to help anyone understand.

Afraid because my emotions are raw.

I want to be able to write, but I'm afraid I'll say something wrong...that some self-proclaimed Haiti specialist or longtime resident will read this and think I'm an idiot.

I went to Haiti for four days. I'm not claiming to be an expert. I know very little about Haiti. In all honesty, four days in Haiti has made me wonder if I know anything about anything.

It seems all the rage to talk about what will fix Haiti. That thought makes my mind numb. That's like asking someone to sweep away all the sand at the sea.

I don't know what will fix Haiti. I didn't go there with that question in mind. Even my type A, let's fix this, Bob the Builder personality realized within 1 hour of being in Haiti...there may not be a way to fix this.

Imagine the Bob the Builder song blaring loudly...boldly...then you look out on miles of broken homes and tent cities and that song suddenly sounds like..."Bob the Builder...Can we fix this? Bob the Builder...wha-wha...

long pause


I know many people...sweet friends who have been to Haiti.

Visiting the country is always difficult. Coming home, even harder.

I'm not wanting to minimize anyone's experience in Haiti by the words that I say here.

I'm praying for a lot of grace.

I keep wondering if I would be able to recover better today, at home in the life that is familiar to me if our trip last week was just that...a trip...a visit.

But our trip was a little different.

From the moment I entered the country the soundtrack playing in the back of my mind was this odd ditty that went a little something like this...

"This is where you're coming to live, Heather...this is where you're bringing your boys...this country will be your new home...the setting of your new life."

I saw Haiti through the lens of "a long time" instead of through the eyes of a visitor.

Can I live here?

Can I bring our boys here?

Can I do this?

The short answer is this...

I went to Haiti hoping that it was going to be worse than I had imagined. I have a great imagination. I excel in creeping myself right out, scaring the crap out of myself and daydreaming up new, exciting identities. A few weeks ago, I had it all worked out in my mind what our life would look like, down to the fabric on my couch, if I became a politician.

I was hoping to leave Haiti and be able to tell my friends I had totally siked myself out. It's not going to be as hard to live in Haiti as I thought. I can totally do this.

What I went there to find, and what I came home with turned out to be different things.

It will be a lot harder to live in Haiti than I thought.

Everything I thought would be difficult has the potential to be terrible.

One and a half hours on an airplane and we found ourselves on what felt like another planet.

I kept asking myself if I just got off an airplane or a rocket.

literally, right outside the airport

A few steps outside the airport gates and the "not like your world" seemed to climb me.

24 hours in Haiti and I felt raped by the poverty and overcome by rage that all the king's horses and all the king's men are not putting Haiti back together again. My ears longed to hear the sound of horse hooves...the rhythmic, pounding that sounded like comfort and meant someone was on the way. In that noisy city the sound of rescue is silent.

There is no one coming.

The "view" from right outside the house where we were staying.

The short answer...

We're going, but it's going to be a lot harder than I thought.

The long answer...


That will take some time to tell.


Diane said...

I am praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

"It is conveivable that God might have ordained to preach the gospel directly to man through dreams, vision and revelations. But as a matter of fact he has not done this, but rather has committed the preaching to man, telling them to go and disciple all nations. The responsibility lies squarely on our shoulders." J. Oswald Sanders

Love y'all!

Molly said...

Oh man. I love reading this stuff. You are SO good Heather at writing out whats going on in that head of yours. I feel like I am right there. I mean, I know that obviously I haven't experienced what you did just because you described it so well. But you did describe your emotions so well.

Praying for you friend.

Elizabeth said...

One day when my parents let me, I'm coming to visit. I'm staking a claim to a spot on your floor. For now, I'm praying. Praying for strength and faith in God's perfect plans, in His provision, in His peace, in His time. I love you and am praying hard for you, Aaron, and your boys.

Lena Wright said...

You wrote "My ears longed to hear the sound of horse hooves...the rhythmic, pounding that sounded like comfort and meant someone was on the way. In that noisy city the sound of rescue is silent.

There is no one coming."

I disagree. YOU are coming (going). Of course you can't fix all of Haiti. But God will use you to help one person at a time. One day at a time.

Someone IS coming.

Thank you for serving, obeying and going. You will be blessed for your obedience....(that does not mean it will be easy, just that you will be blessed.)

Grace Family said...

Praying for you and Aaron... and those sweet boys. May God give you peace as the plans come into order.

Anonymous said...

I didn't dare call to ask how it went. I assumed you'd not only have a ton of those calls, but if it was anything like my trip to Nicaragua recently, you need time to process. I made a statement while in Nicaragua that I know is true: the wife of a missionary has to be a "hoss." She has to be tough, yet loving, ready to face ridiculous hardship, yet joyous, physically fit, yet soft and gentle, an unfailing helper to her husband, yet ready to help any stranger in her path.

I love you, Heather. I'll be in Haiti in a month, which is so freaky to me, and I'm thankful I'll have some kind of reference now to the life ahead of you.

I love you,


Ursula said...

WOW. Praying for you. Want to help more practically when the time comes.

Melda said...

Love you girl!!

Erin said...

Just want you to know we'll be praying for you and having our church family praying as well...thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts and heart - your words always help keep things in perspective and convict my heart of what I place as priority in my life...God is going to do great things in and through all of you!


Susan, wife of 1, mother of 4 said...

Heather, you have been on my heart for several days now, and I've been praying for you, Aaron and your boys FREQUENTLY.

If God called you to this, then He will equip you for what He wants you to do. You don't have to do ANYTHING on your OWN STRENGTH.

By loving one individual at a time, you will impact Haiti in ways that only God knows.

Your rewards won't be here. They will be in heaven.

When life gets just too tough, retreat to God's word and remember WHO HE IS, and REST in Him.

I'm still praying.

Keep up your blogging. You are such a terrific writer. Don't be afraid to show us the hardness. God will redeem all of the ugliness and make it all good.

God bless you and your family!

Remember - you CAN'T do anything to improve Haiti. God CAN, and He will equip you to do everything that He calls you to do. REST in Him.


Alanna said...

I second Lena's thoughts. You all are going and you all have hands and eyes and ears and hearts and voices to lift to heaven, to bring Haiti before the throne where you find mercy and grace in a time of need. Haiti needs. I'm sure you will all find yourselves in the middle of intense need. I pray God's name will rise as the answer to the need, even if one life, one day, one moment at a time. I pray He will be glorified and that your lives will be changed eternally.

You don't set out upon an easy road... I can fathom little that would be harder to face in this world today. But I know God's grace will be sufficient though I cannot imagine the journey and won't pretend to know the great need for it you will have. I pray that your lives will be so richly blessed that "easy" becomes less than a blip on your radar screen. At the same time, I pray you peace in great measure, strength as you need it moment by moment, and a life filled with the "aroma of Christ" that blesses the nation of Haiti.

I've been so encouraged by the prayers Andrew Murray wrote about missionaries and how to pray for them. Know your family will be on our constant list. You do not go alone - God has moved many to the throne before Him with you to cry out for Haiti. I pray the prayers of the saints cover you all and God meets you there. Hebrews 11&12

LD said...

I love you and I am glad you are back, even if it's only for a little while. I promise to come visit as soon as you're ready for me and help you unpack or clean or figure out how on earth you're going to do this.


Rachel said...

Right now you are thinking...I can't believe that we are moving to Haiti...and you are right it IS unbelievable. It will be hard, often. However, ONE DAY you will be going about your normal daily life (in Haiti) and you will sit and think...I can't believe that we ever thought about not coming to Haiti. I have heard many people say that Nicaruaga and Haiti are very similar...although Haiti is one step below from what everyone says. I know I don't live in Nicaragua permanantly but already I can't imagine not coming here...and for that matter I can't imagine ever living in the the US again long least not during this phase of my life. I will be praying for your family along with all these other people. I also celebrate with you the ONE DAY, although it may not come for awhile, when you sit and think "I can't even imagine not coming/living here" God is so awesome in how he changes us and creates in us a new heart!

The Hargrove Family said...

We've been wondering how your trip went but wanted to give to you time to unwind before calling and 20 questioning you. Hope to hear more soon. Love you guys!

Jeanie said...

When are you going? What do you need to make this move happen? Do you have pets you need to find a home for? How can people help you and Aaron?

Ruth said...

Heather, you have exactly the right attitude. Thanks for writing about it.

Debi said...


God doesn't give you the grace you need until the exact time that you need it. It's's stretching....and it's the perfect place to be....trusting your precious Savior who holds the whole world (including your family)in His hands.

When you know in your "knower" that you are exactly where God wants you, there are no words to describe the peace in the midst of the unknown.

I've never actually met you, but as your sister in the Lord, I am praying for you.

Eternity will be worth every sacrifice made on behalf of souls in this dying world....