Thursday, February 28

the same Haiti

I am here in Haiti and I want to spend the next week or so telling you some stories, but I need you to know something first.

I need you to know why I have kept this gut-wrenchingly personal but deliberately public journal through the years.

I have written for myself as a means to process all that I have experienced. I have tapped out my joys and sorrows on a keyboard just to put them somewhere outside of my heart. I also write for you too, because I think it is important that you know about this place. I write to connect you to the amazing people I get to serve with, to tell you about the atrocious things that happen to the people here in Haiti and to tell you about how I experience God in ways I never have in America. I write to advocate for the Haitian people, because to keep the injustices of everyday life here a secret would be wrong. I hope to be a voice for those whose stories should be heard and I hope you’ll ask questions like why are things like this happening in the world and what can I do about?

But more than anything, I write and share all of this to make most of our God. If all this blog does is make you think “oh those poor people, what a good person she is to go help them” then I will have failed. I invite you to read and engage and be so moved that you must take another look at Jesus. You may know nothing of this person Christians call God, but I hope to show you a glimpse of Him through these beautiful people. That’s really what I need you to know.

So, I’d like to tell you some stories…

It’s been a year and a half since I was last here and some things have changed but most are still the same. The same feelings of excitement I have felt each time I have flown over that crystal blue ocean and landed on this island came flooding back. The sites and the smells and the faces brought so much joy as we drove the same drive out to Cazale I have made dozens of times. There are a few new landmarks, but I still remember each curve of the road to get here. After saying hello and hugging my favorite people I went to get some water upstairs which of course means I have to walk past the ICU kids. And as quick as the excitement had come so it left, and my heart sunk into that deep place I don’t even know exists most days. Twenty or so precious little ones whose bodies fight severe malnutrition, TB and HIV suddenly before me. My eyes are immediately drawn to a small one standing next to the bed of a critically ill teenager here recovering from TB. The teen girl is writhing in pain and wrapped under three blankets in this ninety degree weather. The small one stood and stretched out a small limb and small fingers wrapped around the hand of this teenage girl, as if dying for any human connection. You see the small one is called Nadia and she was brought to the clinic on Tuesday and admitted for severe malnutrition.

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Her eyes are sad and her solemn face doesn’t begin to tell the story of what is going on in her body. Her thin, fragile hair reveals how long she has been hungry. She is small but her molars give away her age. She is 2 years and 11 months old and weighs 16 lbs. She has 2 sisters and one brother that has died from diarrhea. The day before she was admitted she only had cheese puffs to eat. Her parents brought her to Real Hope for Haiti in faith that she could be healed.

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I would love for you to pray with us for Nadia, that God would restore her health and she would know how much she is loved. I am so grateful for the nannies in the Rescue Center who love these little ones like their own and I pray for sweet Nadia’s heart while she is here away from her parents. I can’t imagine the sad and scary place she is in right now, nor can I imagine what her parents have experienced leaving their child near death in the hands of other caretakers. She has an awesome appetite and I quickly discovered that she is a sassy little thing, praying that it will help her to fight.

Thanks friends.