One year ago today member of the HORT (Haiti Orphan Relief Team) and I were shaken awake in the middle of the night by a violent aftershock in Port-Au-Prince. I blogged about it here if you missed it.
I’ve been reflecting a lot about Haiti and my experiences there, post quake, over the last several weeks. Truth be told, I’m afraid of about a million things. Countless things that don’t make any sense, like sticking my hand into the cardboard box under the sink to pull out a dishwasher tablet. Other things that make a little more sense, like doctors. Others are things that friends like to make fun of, like escalators. And then the one that always amuses everyone—given my job, flying.
Following the heartbreaking earthquake in Haiti last year, I spent 3 weeks in Port-Au-Prince with HORT and then with a Sweet Sleep team. I confess, as I write this blog now, I don’t really know if this post is about fear or obedience or prayer. Maybe it’s really about all three.
Going into Haiti so soon after the quake, everyone on my teams accepted some level of risk (among other reasons, aftershocks from large earthquakes can continue for an entire year). I know each of us served out of obedience and also, out of the faith that God walked before us, with us, beside us and sometimes even FOR us. I know there were many days when God carried me through what my own weak body couldn’t endure.
Last night I sat in tears, watching the coverage of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. So many familiar thoughts raced through my mind and my heart. I immediately began to pray for those who were trapped, those whose lives would be lost in the precious hours to come, those who would survive, the injured, those who will find that their loved ones have died and for all those who now live with trauma from experiencing so many aftershocks from the original earthquake in September 2010.
I’d like to share a simple excerpt with you from my blog a year ago:
Friends, I cannot urge you enough to continue to pray for these people. Be intentional in remembering the hurting, praying for the hope Haitians are seeking as well as the wisdom needed as Haitians rebuild a country.
The same prayer is true for Haiti today. The same prayer is true for New Zealand. The same prayer is true for so many other parts of the world today. I urge you to put yourself some place quiet today and let yourself be in prayer for those things God brings to mind that need some love, wisdom, hope and prayer today.
I pray for Haiti all of the time. To be honest with you, sometimes my prayer is for God to not send me to Haiti. Then again, if I’m really being honest, sometimes my prayer is that God would never put me on another airplane (or escalator) again. I’m grateful God doesn’t honor prayers that are like that. Grateful because God knows what to do with my life far better than I know what to do with it. Grateful because trusting God in my greatest fears only enables me to trust Him more and grow my faith. Grateful because of the way He ultimately uses my freakish little self to share love and hope and faith with the world’s most vulnerable children of the world.
While you’re praying, I’d encourage you to pray about opportunities to join Sweet Sleep on mission this year. We’ll be going to Haiti in April/May, Moldova in June, Gulu, Uganda and Kampala, Uganda in July. Whether you board one of those planes or not, find your role in caring for orphans. Sweet Sleep has many opportunities for you to do so without even packing a suitcase.