Haiti Journal: The Other Side

Jun 15, 2009

Though I’m stateside again, my heart is still in Haiti. I’m struggling to find the words to describe last week’s journey. This week I’ll be posting more about what we witnessed and experienced. Hopefully, over the next several days I’ll be better able to sort out the thoughts swimming in my head. For the moment, my noggin is in chaos.

You may not have noticed, but I ran into some difficulty posting in Haiti. Missionaries Charlie and Rachel DeTellis’ son, Jeremie, generously allowed me to use his office/apartment to access their wireless (Thanks, Jeremie!). However, severe thunderstorms interfered with the satellite connection. Often I couldn’t get online at all and posting pictures was out of the question. To further complicate matters, the thick mosquitoes and ants made it nearly impossible for me to sit still for longer than a few moments to type. Take a look at my legs and you’ll see I was seriously outnumbered!

In many ways this was a physically tough trip for me. Four of the six members of our group got sick at some point, Jacob and I were covered by severe bug bites, the heat and humidity were intense (us Colorado folk aren’t used to air that thick!), not to mention the emotional impact of feeling so small against the vastness of Haiti’s need.

Don’t get me wrong–it was truly amazing. A great week packed full with rich moments you’ll be reading about for a long time. But it took focused determination a few times to keep the ministy at the forefront while pushing the discomfort aside.

All these annoyances forced me to face the fact that I’ve become accustomed to a life of absolute comfort. If I don’t like the heat, I turn on the air. If I’m hungry, I walk to the refrigerator. If I’m sick, I run to Walgreens. If the bugs and critters are thick, I call an exterminator or grab a pair of large shoes. On the whole, Americans have an incredibly low tolerance to anything that makes us the least bit uncomfortable, because at all times we have access to whatever we want to make life a little bit better.

In Haiti I had access to what came in my suitcase. That’s it. This forced me to tolerate challenges with little more than faith, determination and ineffective bug spray. I discovered all ran thin after a couple days.

They say you know the strength of your faith when it’s all you have to hang on to. This is probably true, but the problem is we are surrounded by so many vices that few of us ever get to the place where it’s all we have left.

1 Comment

  1. mandythompson

    I just wrote a huge flipping reply and lost it. dang.

    Two points:
    1) we’re spoiled rotten
    2) we no longer have internet at home. And I kinda like it that way. Removing a creature-comfort can make room for other important things!

    And I’m glad you’re back. 🙂


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