This bucket full of water means life for one more day. Clean water in Haiti is very hard to come by. It is not uncommon for a family to have to walk miles to fill their bucket with water. Most of the time the children go to collect the water. One bucket can weigh up to 70lbs. Can you imagine carrying that on your head?
This sweet little boy was just about to get a bath.
This little man ran and jumped into my arms as soon as we entered his village. He was starving for LOVE and ATTENTION. Not to mention, he climbed onto my back all the way up to my shoulders. The first thing I noticed about him was that he didn’t have any pants or underwear on. He was filthy and all he was wearing was a shirt. My mind told me “Lauren, you can’t pick him up, he might pee on you.” But then through his smile and childlike faith you push past your comfort zone and pick him up. He wrapped his arms around my neck and held ever so tightly.
My heart was so touched by this little girl. She had some type of disability; you could tell she was not normal. As she ran up to me, people around her were screaming, “Fou! Fou!” which means “crazy” in creole. They were laughing and pointing and running in all directions. She made her way over to me with this biggest smile and my heart broke. Within the community she lives, she is labeled as “crazy” because of her disability, something she can’t control. I spoke to her, although she didn’t understand a word I said, telling her that she is not “fou!” that Jesus LOVES her so very much and that in His eyes she is valued, cherished, loved, chosen, and redeemed! Her life has purpose, she just doesn’t know it…yet! :)
Jesus says that to whom much has been given, much will be demanded. -Luke 12:48
Whoever finds his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for His sake will find it. -Matt 10:39
I have spent the last 8 days in Haiti with an amazing team serving the “least of these.” Every time I go to Haiti, Jesus teaches me something new. This time he taught me about leading and that the “harvest is plenty, but the workers are few,” Matthew 9:37. Throughout the week, he reminded me over and over again that He is the Potter and I am the clay, Isaiah 64:8. He arranges each event of every day to form me into who He desires me to be. Yes there are tough days; Yes there are days when I wake up an wish I was back home in the comfort of my own bed; Yes there are days when I don’t want to serve and I just want to be selfish, BUT one day in a village, loving on children and orphans and being the HOPE to the lost, changes all those feelings. Then I begin to think, this is what I am meant for; this is what we are called to. As I enter a poverty stricken village and see naked children, filthy, soaked in their own urine, I try to understand why things have to be this way?? I begin to think, “they didn’t chose this life; they are trapped, unable to get out.” When a child runs up to me and points to his/her protruding belly (because of worms and malnutrition) I cry because I know they are hungry. Their sweet face stares at my water bottle in my backpack begging for a drink. Then I am broken. Back home water flows freely and food is in abundance. My own refrigerator “is packed full, and here, right now, I am standing before a child that is starving and thirsty.” I knew that the situation before me was impossible for me to do anything by myself; God was stretching me and increasing my FAITH in the POWER of my own prayers. It is hard sometimes to say a prayer and for nothing to happen before your own eyes. You feel like God is silent or your prayers don’t reach heaven. You feel inadequate when you know you have a desire to help, but the task before you is too big. And then I began to realize that the emotions and feelings I was experiencing were just tools in the hands of the master potter. It is not just about the situation I can see in front of me or the situation these people wake up to, but it is about the wonderful work that the Potter is doing. He wants us to trust in His wonderful hands even when we don’t understand what he is doing. He is using what we are seeing and experiencing as a team to mold us and make us more beautiful and more valuable than we could ever imagine. And each man, woman, children that lives in the villages of Haiti, He is molding and growing and through everything He will be glorified!
Even in the hurt, the pain, the poverty, the starving children…there we find HIM.