Sunday, February 3, 2013

Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken some risks and lost than to have done nothing and succeeded at it. -erwin lutzer

This sums up the motivation we come away with as we round out our week with the beautiful people of Haiti. We are changed. And better for it. The risks taken to come here are well worth the growth in faith, relationships and memories etched in our hearts. Someone on a previous trip said to me before I came that the most amazing feeling was to, at one point, feel so completely broken but by the end of the week so wholly restored and renewed. The Haitian people are rich in God's love in a depth we have never known and poor in material ways we cannot imagine. These contrasts exist to teach and remind us of what is truly important in our time here on earth. What lies ahead and exactly how we can carry forward all we've experienced only God's plans, patience and trust in Him will reveal. We are off on one more adventure today - Admittedly I'm most excited to first attend church with a message delivered in English. We need to listen.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The word of the week should be PROGRESS!  There has been a lot of changes here from a year ago. First starting with the airport. It was nice to arrive in Haiti and not have to wrestle in a small space to get our luggage. We grabbed our bags off the baggage line and off we went. When we reached the Healing Haiti guest house, we saw that there was a tap tap that had pads on the seats. Wow! After unpacking, we were able to go and see the construction of the new guest house. Amazing! On our trips I have seen that there has been some clean up efforts. New walls have been constructed throughout Haiti. Progress! After going on a tour of Grace Village, (Healing Haiti's orphanage) we were able to see glorious change. A new medical/dental clinic is being constructed. A new school on campus is open for not only the children that live at Grace Village, but also well over 200 children from the surrounding village of Titanyen. A blessing! There is an awesome new hydroponic system that has been built to feed the orphan children. The waste from the fish is then filtered through and supplies the plants food to grow. Incredible! We went into Citie' Soliel (the poorest city in the western hemisphere) and visited a school that Healing Haiti has sponsored and were told that if Healing Haiti didn't sponsor them there would be no school for the children. They would have had to close the school (due to the earthquake in 2010). At the home of sick and dying children, they use to have to function in a substandard building. Now all the nuns and children get to be in a beautiful building with a lovely playground. We also visited an orphanage for disabled children. The children use to get to play in a small 'driveway' and were crowded in a small first floor of a home. Now, they get to go to school in a brand new building and play in a big space with a swing set that even has a swing for wheel chairs!! Fantastic!

Haiti has endured so much throughout the years, but this very poor country is still not giving up. There is still hope. I heard today that Riser Relief donated a toy to every child in Citie' Soleil for Christmas. Can you imagine the impact? Can you imagine being a child that literally has nothing and receiving a gift especially for them? There are so many organizations and people here in Haiti that are doing God's work. Unbelievable!!

My last experience here broke my heart to pieces! This time, I feel broken, but know that God is here. He is here taking care of his people through many people. Many lives are being changed here. As the Haitian people love to sing....God is so good, he's so good to me! The people of Haiti have so much right here. They believe in God so deeply. They dedicate their whole being to our Lord. While there is so much that still could change, there is so much good here! I love the Lord myself, I just need to work at praying deeper, engrossing myself in his word more and live the life that he sacrificed so much for! I am a work in progress!

Rachel Krueger