God does not give us more than we can take. I know the truth behind this. But sometimes God trusts me with a surprising and overwhelming load.
Today was one of those days. Today a vast scope of the destruction left by the earthquake was revealed to us. Unfortunately, what we saw was only a glimpse of the entire story. Our driver told us that in one nursing school building, 2500 lives were lost when it collapsed. And seven more were lost in the house across the street. In that one block, the Haitian people lost about as many as were lost when the Twin Towers fell. And the destruction went on and on. But within that destruction there was hope. The streets are now filled with bustling traffic where two months ago they were desolate. Shop vendors line the streets selling their goods outside their fallen store fronts. And outside the Palace gates within a perimeter in which country people were not before allowed, tents which those people call home lie in the shadow on the once great building.
Exhausted emotionally, spiritually, and physically we returned to the OTV and prepared for the second part of our day. Our prayers had been answered and Pastor Calix’s (excuse the spelling) orphanage had been completed and was ready for beds. Finally we would be able to fully carry out Sweet Sleeps mission: to share God’s love by providing beds to the world’s orphaned and abandoned children. We sang songs, danced, worshipped, and loved each other. It was such a joyous time! Then we traced each child’s hand onto a sheet, along with the orphanage’s name, each child’s name, and Pastor Calix himself added his hand! The children giggled with delight as they each pointed to their mark on the bedsheet. Then it was time for the beds. Bunk bed frames were in place and mattresses added. And each bed was made up with the clean, healthy, colorful sheets that YOU, the supporters who donated hundreds of sheet, provided. Each child also received a Creole language Bible. We were able to explain God’s love to the children and that each night when they lie down they will know they are lying in God’s lap. We explained malaria prevention with the life saving mosquito nets. And we prayed over each child, room by room. And at last, before we departed we gave every child a lovely handmade doll given by a loving group of women. It was a blessed day!
But of course, now we are preparing for our return home. We are preparing for our goodbyes and are trying to understand what we have seen. Our hearts have been broken and will always be scarred. But because of those scars we will never forget.