"How blessed is he who considers the helpless..." Psalm 41:1

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Shaken and Awakened

This was written on May 13, 2010 in Kampala, Uganda.

"I haven't journaled "since I've been back." I keep wording it like that as if people know what I mean. What I mean is since the earth shook under me and all around me. I also mean since I became a full time single mama. I mean I've blogged, I've spoke numerous times about my account in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but I've skipped things, forgotten events... some maybe purposefully.

How do I truly describe some things? How I felt?... More alive, more disbelief, more out-of-body, more horror, more praise, smaller than I've ever felt in this world, more important, more strength, absolute helplessness, NUMB, butterflies, calm, nausea... I felt more human.

What do I say about my young 12 year old girl? The Lord made me nauseous enough to sit where she had been treated and left. She knew she wanted to be nearer to me. She inched her curled up body closer and closer to me. I have never cared for someone like that. I did not play nurse, I played her mama. I covered her and God allowed me to care for her for hours while she moaned and cried in pain.

In my extreme uncomfortableness I looked out the back window of the jeep where I sat at a young man, alone, no blanket, no sheet, only a cement block as a pillow. Just a few yards away lay a severely burned woman. Would have believed she was dead with the exception of the slight rise and fall of her chest. I wasn't aware that dark brown skin burned away would reveal such a pink flesh underneath.

What about the young man from a local language school? He was so curious mid morning the next day why this young girl with her IV tied to the tree branch called me over and laid awkwardly on me. Who was this blanc? And why was I caring for her like family? We talked a little in strained English and Creole until the realization we could do so much better in Spanish. None of his family knew where he was. And I was encouraged by his questioning and his approval. Eventually his brother and father came to the hospital. They found him in the shade talking with me, making friends. He was an intelligent, young, Haitian man. He knew Christ. He is what Haiti needs. It's been so few and far between finding children who were with hope and opportunity. Now all I think is how many children were given hope only to have it stripped away. These children beg for a chance to go to school. Our children often complain and dread it.

I am a confident and very capable woman. Don't get me wrong, God blessed me with it all. But sometimes, even still, it takes stripping it all away to realize and to grow.

I can never judge those who hurt. I've been hurt and Jesus did not judge me. He loved me. I now know what only a mother can truly know. I feel made for this. I love being a mama. And I also want to the Lord to bless and expand my family that I can care for and hold down day in and day out.

It's like I've been awakened. Shaken awake. Literally and spiritually. At the same time it feels like a dream. My own dream. Many of the same characters in my life before are still there, but they don't know this dream. The don't see the fog. Or they don't see for the fog. Their vision of before has remained in tact.

But I am forever changed."

This was over a year and a half ago and I feel the same. I want to be healed from the pain of suffering I saw, but I don't want to lose my new perspective. Maybe I can't have both.

Haiti: 2 Years Later

It's already been a hectic morning. I got up early to watch the CBS Morning Show which featured H.I.S. Home for Children, Isaac's orphanage. Then on to work for more "to dos" than I think I can handle today. So I'm spending some time just relaxing. Before I get into my own recent personal news I think it's important to talk about our people of Haiti. Yes, we are all one race, the human race.

Haiti: 2 Years Later, Where's The Money?

This article touches on what I rant and rave about when someone inquires or has the patience to sit and listen to me. What have "WE" done to the people of Haiti before the quake ever hit? Why were there millions forced into a city built for only a quarter million people?

"But the economy of rice in Haiti says everything about the condition the country is in. The US government subsidizes and "donates" ton after ton of rice in Haiti and in so doing has through the last several decades completely undercut Haitian rice farmers and left them destitute and migrating into cities where they live in hovels that were destroyed by the quake."

And all that money that caring Americans donated to the US, Unicef, Red Cross, etc? Where did it all go? Why is there so little progress where it's needed most?

"Not that the people of Haiti didn't benefit from all this money and assistance. But, really, over the last two years, the effort to assist post-earthquake Haiti has mostly benefited - or at least subsidized - the aid and relief institutions and private corporations that nominated themselves to help Haiti in its 2010-based time of need.

"In the end," says Robert Fatton Jr., professor of government and foreign affairs at the University of Virginia and a son of and authority on contemporary Haiti, "if you read the reports - the UN Report and so on - you'll see that actual Haitians got less than 1 percent of all the American money pledged.""

So I guess my question is when is giving really giving? At what point do we stop patting and scratching each others backs in the name of charity? Who is held accountable? So many people cared to give... who is going to care to follow through and ensure that the giving goes to those in need? This seems to be an issue outside AND within our own borders. As much as I dislike the media as a whole, reality is more stories like this, and maybe more leaders and influential people can change the mindset of the general public. When you know better, you do better. And I still strongly believe we CAN make a difference, on our own, and even more so collectively.