February 17, 2010

Scenes from Haiti - Part 1

Even though I stayed safely within the comfort of my home and community, the reality from Haiti was very much in my life yesterday.

I had the privilege of spending hours speaking with friends who have just returned from their mission trip (with the Foundation for Peace) to Haiti. Through their words and tears and our shared prayers I saw the immensity of the brokenness and loss. But I also saw the tremendous hope of the Haitians, not hope of a bright future, but hope in a God who loves and a Savior who saves.

Now my husband is in Haiti. Though the marvels of texting, I heard from him yesterday. It was his team's first day of real work. He was really looking forward to getting busy and being useful. The plan was to go into one of the refugee tent camps and dig latrines and build showers, just the thing he hoped to do. But not enough people volunteered to stay behind to do patient transport in the hospital (moving patients to and from OR, recovery, x-ray, tents). So Dan volunteered

My husband is a doer. If a problem needs fixing, he wants to help fix it. I knew the last place he wanted to be was in the hospital among the patients. In fact here's what Dan texted me the night before:

Change of plans. Not enough hands went up to do patient transport tomorrow so I took it. Was a little chapped at first cause u know how much I love the sweat and the dirt. Now I think it's God telling me to do what I fear and do not understand...patient care and empathy. When I came here I prayed to hear God's voice. I hope I heard right! I'll feel sad watching the bus pull away tomorrow. Won't dig latrines until Wednesday. It can wait. Got to learn something here I think.

Yesterday here at home we covered Dan and his team with prayer. On many occasions and with heartfelt passion. He texted me mid-day and all was going well in the hospital. He learned some Haitian Creole, watched a surgery and made a friend with his little Haitian buddy Peter. It seemed the day was fairly quiet and uneventful.

I'm beginning to sense that calm and normal are a fleeting commodity in Haiti.

At the end of the day I sat in my car outside my daughter's voice teacher as she took a lesson. (No, my daughter won't let me inside to listen!) Dan sent me a text:

Little baby was just rushed in--dehydrated and in shock. Was watching them treat him when they called it. Giving him morphine now so he's at least comfortable on his way to the Lord. Pray for him. 

The mother just asked the doctors to work for 10 more minutes then it would be in God's hands. She wanted to hold him until he died. The doctors just finished. While they worked I was in the hallway watching while parents were singing praise songs across the hall. I'd heard about the Haitians faith and now I've seen it. I'm humbled. I think I have faith. I don't.

After reading I sat in my car and sobbed. For the baby. For the mother. For all the parents losing children. For my husband who was there. For all the sadness and suffering. And most of all for the goodness of God, visible even in the darkness.

Last night was a prison night. After the day I'd had I knew I had to go no matter what! Lately my visits to the prison have been disappointing because the spirit of disruption and disrespect have overshadowed the worship. But last night, from the first inmates who walked in I knew the Spirit of God was in control. The inmates came to praise and praise we did!

During the service I had a chance to share with them about the experiences of my friends and husband in Haiti. As I spoke about the situation there, the complete loss and utter brokenness, the room was still and all eyes focused on me. I shared about Dan and the little baby. And the unwavering faith of the Haitians who despite having absolutely nothing still proclaim victory in Jesus. He is their portion. It's hard to describe, but it was a holy moment. Not because of my words, but because the Spirit of Truth testified to God's goodness and faithfulness.

To be continued tomorrow...


Kelly said...

wow, Kel, I am speechless. You and your husband do so much good in the name of God. God works through us (as humans) to comfort others, and both of y'all are such a resource!

Thanks for sharing, I am looking forward to more of the updates.

Donna Teti said...

Hi Kelli,

it is wonderful to see such an outpouring of love for strangers!
The world is truly filled with so much of God's love and spirit!
you must be so proud of your husband...how brave and selfless he is.
I wrote this poem for my dear friend Elieen when she went to Keyna this summer...it reminds me of your husband's journey as well.
I will add him to my morning prayers

Love and Peace

Eileen’s Journey

The challenges are many
The hands may be few
But with God’s abiding love
I know you’ll see it through.

For God has led your footsteps
To bring joy unto this place
So He will help you meet their needs
With His guidance and His grace.

For when you started on this journey
Our Lord was by your side
His Presence will remain with you
His Spirit is your guide.

Copyright ©2009 Donna Teti
July 20, 2009

Gail W. said...

Hi Kelli! What a wonderful post!!! Thank you for sharing these stories. It's easy to watch the news and not grasp the reality of the suffering occuring. Tonight, I'm praying for your hubby and especially for the mother whose baby went to be with Jesus, leaving her still here and undoubtedly broken-hearted.

Apowers said...

I am so happy that Dan went there and is offering help. Every hand means so much. It is obvious to all that yours and Dan's hearts are in the right place! God Bless both of you.

Runner Mom said...

Oh, Kelli! I am so glad to have read your post before heading off to bed. What a blessing! Wow! I'll be praying for Dan and the rest of the team--you and the kids also. And what an amazing testimony for your prison ministry. Mercy! Sending you hugs, sweet friend!
Love ya,

Saleslady371 said...

This is an interesting account of what's going on in Haiti. I don't know anyone personally who is volunteering there so I find this fascinating. I'm praying for Dan and the team and these precious people.