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Impressions of Haiti- an open letter

Impressions of Haiti- an open letter

A friend of mine asked me to do a follow-up email to share some of our thoughts and feelings now that we are home so here goes…

Home on American soil once again. I have had the blessing of traveling out of the country before on a few mission trips and it is always good to be home but this time it is vastly different. I was ready to come home. I was ready to leave the long days of being on my feet and working in the hot humid air. I was ready to leave the sight and smells of such despair and pain that we faced each and every day. I wanted to be home and “be normal” again. Don’t get me wrong, I was so happy and blessed to have the opportunity to go to Haiti and do the little part I could to help these dear children of God but you know the saying, “there is no place like home.” The only problem now is that since being home, all I do is think about the people in Haiti. I am always thinking about the patients that we cared for and wondering where they are now, how they are doing, are they feeling any relief from their physical pain, are they getting any relief for their emotional and spiritual pain? Bob and I find that we are drawn to the television whenever we hear the work Haiti – to catch a glimpse of what is going on there and even scanning the pictures to see if we recognize anyone from the small hospital where we worked.

I have learned many things from this trip. I have learned what it is to put your own feelings aside and be drawn by God to help even the least of these. I am not the person ANYONE would have thought to be working in a hospital on such traumatic injuries. I am the most unlikely person to be able to keep my emotions in check to be able to function at all under these circumstances, yet God chose me for such a time as this. I am humbled at His calm and peace that surrounded us as a team and me personally. I saw God more in this week than I think I have ever seen in my life. This was a Spirit-orchestrated trip from the time we said yes until we got home and even now continues.

I have a quote on my desk at work that kept coming back to me while in Haiti… “the will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you”. WOW just think about that for a few minutes. That makes me want to sing out a verse or two of the song “what a mighty God we serve”!

When we were in this small airport waiting to leave Haiti we had time to kill so I was just walking around. I wandered outside the airport to the parking lot and stood by the street just taking in the sights and sounds of the normal day living in Les Cayes, Haiti. All of a sudden I was struck that I was hearing a sound that I recognized but couldn’t put my finger on it immediately. Then it came to me, that was the sound of the theme music for Focus on the Family. A few minutes later I heard a song on the radio playing in English… “I stand, I stand in awe of You” I just stood there and sang the song softly in a moment of worship to God for the tremendous opportunity He had given to me during the week. Even that was a gift from God.

Don’t wait for the time to be right and everything to be just perfect…if God brings an opportunity to serve Him, grab it… even if you are fearful and best of all if it takes you outside of your normal confines and surroundings. Change is good and being stretched by God can bring amazing results. He can and will do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or think…there is no better place to be than where God is and where He is moving powerfully.

Thank you for your prayers — they made the difference.
Charlene
May you always be overwhelmed by the Grace of God rather than by the cares of life.

One Response to “Impressions of Haiti- an open letter”

  1. Ken says:

    Charlene,

    Thanks for your comments. I am a pilot that flew into Les Cayes the first few days after the earthquake and returned a second time this past week. The first Sunday after the earthquake I was at the Les Cayes airport unloading my plane when I heard sings off in the distance. They were having a church service and singing in French (I think)How Great Thou Art. It was a surreal moment for me to think that they were worshiping God in the midst of all that they had gone through and to think that my church, way back home, was worshipping at the same time. I was humbled by their intensity and feeling even though I couldn’t speak the language. I didn’t need to. Even though I’d flown into Les Cayes 12 times, I hadn’t taken time to go into town. The last trip in, I was able to spend some time there. It is an experience that will stay with me a long time.

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