Sometimes we go some place hard and we see miracles. My husband gets to see them almost every time he travels to Haiti. Sometimes we go and we just quietly serve and God meets us there in small, secret ways. That is almost always my experience in Haiti. And I’d lie if I said I wasn’t ever envious of his “Wow, God!” trips but there is simple beauty in the “wow, God” moments I have as well.
This trip to Haiti was stocking the clinic and counting pills. It was cards with my dad and several nights of heavy rain. It was getting to know old friends better and making new friends. It was cleaning toilets and wiping tables and washing dishes. It was being made less, while God became more. It was medical clinics and the Creole word vagen (lots of female issues treated on this trip). It was holding sweet brown babies and watching tweens braid hair. It was ten year old boys who look like they’re eight and some seriously impressive Haitian futbol (barefoot, no less).
It was watching an adoptive grandpa bond with his future grandson. It was devotions on Heaven and one day being invited into the homes of those we were there to serve and sermons on the dying, conquering sheep. It was Psalm 23 said simultaneously in English and Creole. It was worship and being prayed over by a beautiful teen girl in a language I could not understand but deeply stirred my soul.
It was diesel smells and unbelievable dust and drought conditions. It was mountains and trees and fresh mangos. It was food distributions and Pastor Daniel guarding the door and thoughts of Teddy Roosevelt’s exhortation to “walk softly and carry a big stick”. It was a day at the beach and watching these children whose lives are anything but normal be normal for one whole day.
And it was watching two precious boys be united with their forever family. It was seeing the huge, unbreakable smiles on their faces when their parents arrived, and remembering that exact.same.look on our own Amania’s face just a year ago. It was their unspeakable joy as they said farewell to their friends, and it was their friends’ returned joy for them. It was hope and beauty and a reflection of Heaven.
This Haiti trip was like going again for the first time. Without Amania there, I was free to experience a team as a team member, not an adoptive parent. I was able to spend time with any and all of the children. And I was able to walk away and not feel guilty if I wasn’t “bonding” with my child. It was a gift and a privilege to be there again. It is a hard, messy, special, wonderful place, and it gets in your blood and gets a grip on your heart and you can’t ever forget. You don’t want to ever forget. These kids, this place, they are all amazing. God is here.