Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Break in Haiti!

Hey Peeps—

Spring is in the air, flowers are already busting through the dirt, and I am wearing shorts.  I feel like I have arrived early for an event that isn’t supposed to happen for at least another month.  My long underwear sits in the drawer, unworn, and the task to “shave legs” is no longer an option I can put off till May.  Spring is here people.  Embrace it!

Good old Jefferson County schools will be spring breaking in a few days, much to my children’s joy.  Mine too.  We love Spring Break.   And how fitting that this year’s first day of Spring Break is going to be “possibly the wettest day since May 2016”? I love Colorado. 

We don’t do much during Spring Break at our house.    Lazy mornings, baking cookies, hanging with friends—nothing fancy, but completely satisfying.   I plan on enjoying this break more than I ever.  Every day will count and every moment will matter to me.  Lord willing, on the last day of my kid’s break, I will say my quick goodbye’s, give hugs and kisses, and head to DIA for an 8 day Medical Mission trip to the country of Haiti. 

Why Haiti?  Well, I’m glad you asked!

Last summer I met a new friend who has taken multiple trips with an organization called Haiti Lifeline Ministries.   They support medical staff, construction crews, and youth groups that take trips each year to this impoverished part of the world.  While we are in Haiti, our team will live at an orphanage run by a Haitian Christian woman and her staff.  There are kids of all ages who live at this orphanage, some of whom will be adopted into a family, and some that never will. 

Our trip consists of a team of medical and administrative staff.  Because I’ve never been before, I have no idea what to expect.  I suppose I should take my stethoscope, and maybe some Neosporin.  I was told to bring 4 sets of scrubs, and be ready to sweat.  Growing up in the church, I have gone on many mission trips, but never to a country such as Haiti.  Even more, I have never gone as a Registered Nurse!  

The other day in church, my dear friend Christy described Haiti as having a “fourth world” kind of poverty.  I have read several books and talked for many hours with Christy, but I know none of that is going to fully prepare me for what I am about to witness. 

I am beyond certain my heart is going to break.

Billy has been completely supportive of this trip.  He has told me from the moment I said the word “Haiti” to go.  Sometimes I wish he wasn’t so easy.  As the days get closer and the countdown is on, I have asked him “why don’t you ever tell me no?”  He laughs.  Out loud.  This annoys me to no end. 

Lucky for Billy the only real issue he is going to have while I’m gone is remembering to turn off the oven once dinner has been made, and to pick Will up from school at 3:15 every day.  Once I figure out the time change, I’ll probably text him regularly to remind him of his daily tasks.  Some might call this “micromanagement”, or “extremely controlling”.  And unfortunately for me, they would be right. 

Christy and I have met on a weekly basis now for months.   We have prayed desperately that we would be used by God to serve these people, not so that we come home feeling good about ourselves, but because it is a way we can honor God.  Loving the poor and healing the sick—these are two things Jesus exemplified during His time on earth.  What an immense privilege it is to go where there is a need and follow Jesus’ leading. 

I look forward to going and I look forward to coming home.  My family is my purpose, my ministry, and my favorite place to be.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to go and when it’s time to leave, I will be thankful to come home.  I’m sure this week away is going to cut me to my core, and my prayer is that I will allow the eye opening experience to transform my life.  How amazing would it be if this trip helped me to love others better, give of myself more generously, and live with wild abandon?  What a shame it would be if I came home exactly the same as when I left.

So I go to serve, learn, love, and be transformed.  None of this is out of my own power, but that which comes from a God who fills me daily.  For this trip I claim the verse in Isaiah 52:7, “ How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peach, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, Your God reigns!”