Monday, May 10, 2010

Haiti 5/10 Slideshow

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Just Show Up

I just showed up…

I've said that phrase quite a few times this week in Haiti. Every time I come here I wonder as I'm headed over on the plane if it's worth me coming. I mean let's be honest - I don't have all that many skill sets that are useful in Haiti. I'm not a contractor, a mechanic, a doctor, or any of the many professional trades that are in such demand here. I love making music taking pictures, but what is that in Haiti?

But each time I leave with a similar experience. I just show up.

I just show up and God arranges these crazy divine appointments. These things that could never happen unless we just show up.

So many times this week, Douglas and I would make eye contact and just say, "we just showed up". Time and time again - like our meeting with Water Mission International (read day one). I mean who in there right mind comes to Haiti without making some arrangements for where you will sleep that night (side note - if you do come to Haiti - make arrangements =) ).

We just showed up, knowing very little about this organization, and had no idea how important that connection would become (or that we would be able to stay that night).

Yesterday - same story. We ran over to the mission to check email and get a video home for Sunday's service. I saw a mac guy, so naturally I had to strike up a conversation (nerd - see above). I asked him what he was doing in Haiti - in a thick california surfer accent, he told me he was down here for a year working with two organizations. One was the mission and the other is an organization called Outside the Bowl. Outside the Bowl provides organizations & churches with food to distribute to the community around them. He asked what I was doing here and I told him about the church, about Jean, and about the kids at our school.

After we talked a while, he asked if I thought the school might be interested in distributing food to the kids once or twice a week. I told him I wasn't sure, but I thought it would be something Jean would be very interested in.

Once Jean arrived to pick us up, I made the introduction. He was so excited about the possibility of serving their kids at least one nutritious meal a week. He was so excited about the connection. Now, Siloe Missionary Church and School may very well begin providing their community with food - all because I just showed up.

We do very little here in the way of intentional choices beyond just coming, listening, watching, and being obedient.

I wonder in what ways I loose this mindset when I'm home. How often am I looking for where God is working. How often do I give myself fully to the wind of God's Spirit and allow it to lead me through my day - content just to follow His movement.

We fight the idea that it is not enough. Its not enough to "just show up". It feels irresponsible…reckless…lazy - and I suppose if given over to selfishness or complacency it could quickly become such. But after "showing up" a time or two, I will say - it is much harder (at least in the beginning) to follow God's plan than it is to follow the ways I believe are right, responsible, and wise.

Proverbs says, "There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death".

I encourage you to think about that as you find ways in your world to "just show up".

Grace and peace


Been To Haiti, Drank the Water, Got the Bug, and I Didn't Even Get the T-Shirt

Oh yes, I've been to Haiti. The handful of times I had been before this one was just preparing me for this trip. Crazy things this time - lost my iPhone, had to sleep outside in the rain, 3 hour church services every night (and some days multiple) almost entirely in Creole, and now the stomach funk.

I spent most of the night last night wearing out a path to the toilet. Good news - I'm headed home and tomorrow it will all just be great stories.

(Side note - Having "the funk" made me even more determined to get clean water to these people who have to regularly fight through what I've been whining about having the last couple days)


PS - Douglas said, "Been there done that…"

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Day Three

Day three was fairly uneventful (compared to the previous two). And we were more than ok with that. It started at the mission enjoying the company of other groups who had come to help in Haiti. We had some breakfast and got to talk with the mission director for a bit. Interesting and extraordinary lady who has given her life to Haiti. She told us how busy the mission had been since the earthquake, and that there was a large group leaving and a larger group coming that day.

Maybe it was the three hours of sleep talking, maybe with was the crowd of people we tried to sleep in last night, maybe it was a God thing, but Douglas and I both had the same idea at the same time…get out of there. Jean had told us about a hotel that someone just opened at the top of the same mountain the mission was on. So we decided to walk to the top.

Now the reason we hadn't stayed there the night before was because Jean could not find a vehicle that could make the climb. So lets not call this a walk - this was an all out hike to the hotel. We would get to the top of a steep climb only to find another steep climb to make. Turn by turn, we made our way to the top of the mountain in the 90 degree heat. The thick humid air was oppressive.

We finally made it to the top and found a very nice hotel with a killer view. Douglas and I looked at each other and just had to laugh - it looked like we had jumped in a swimming pool. We got a room here (cheaper than we could stay at the mission) and got to just relax for a bit.

After cleaning up and a quick power nap, we got on the hotel shuttle (yes they had a shuttle) and made our way into town. After dinner at the Pastors house and made our way to the church to get ready for the service.

Service was excellent. Worship was inspiring. I hung out in the back this time - I wanted to be able to get some film and video (ended up not getting anything great). It was absolutely packed. Every seat, every inch of floor space, the isle, the balcony, people were literally hanging out of the building.

As loud as the speakers were, the worshippers were every bit as deafening. Beautiful songs with rich harmonies… it was awe inspiring. I worshipped right along side them. They would occasionally sing a song I knew in creole, but most of the time I was just listening and praying. It was beautiful.

Douglas and I both walked out with our ears ringing. I had a splitting headache. We were exhausted and looked forward to our beautiful hotel (and more importantly, the beautiful AC that we were told works after 10pm and until 5AM.

We made it back, AC did eventually come on, and we were all asleep very quickly.

It's a nice thought today that we are more than halfway home. I'm always happy to be here and happier to be going home.

Grace and peace