So, first things first, we've been back for nearly a week and I've yet to make a post about it. Things have been busy, busy, and they aren't slowing down any time soon. Still, I feel like the worst blogger in the world.
So to make up for it, I figured I'd say a little something now about how I feel about the trip and follow it up soon with a more detailed account of what we actually did the rest of the week after Emily's last post!
As you are all aware, there is great need in Haiti right now for hope. As a team, our goal was to in some small way bring hope to the people of Haiti through simple acts of service which would point to Christ who sent us. And so we undertook a lot of projects around the church complex, which either Emily or I will explain more a forthcoming post. But one of the words that kept coming back to mind as we were serving there was Restoration. Restoration of a country that had been through disaster after disaster. Restoration of a people who have been broken and beaten down time and time again. Our short term missions team got to see a glimpse of this restoration happening through the long term work being done their by Foursquare Church as they've poured out into the church leaders there, who have in turn poured out into the rest of the community. And simply put, it was one of the most inspiring, God-filled sights I've ever seen.
The people there have an inexplicable strength of spirit which is evident in the way they do everything - from worshiping God to simply giving a firm handshake. Despite the overwhelming circumstances they face, all the people we met looked to the future with optimism and confidence that things were going to get better. Most of the people we interacted with on a regular basis were church members, and so it should be no surprise that the foundation for their outlook on life was a hope in Jesus Christ. These people were so solid in their faith that half the time it felt like they were ministering to us instead of the other way around. And in the way that they looked to the future I was able to see the restoration that God is working in that country - a restoration that begins with his children simply coming together and proclaiming that He is God and He is in control, and a restoration that will not cease until God has claimed the entire nation for His Kingdom. That's what I believe anyways. That's the kind of confidence that I was filled with because of my experiences in Haiti.
Remember - we serve a God who took His people out of their slavery in Egypt, was with them while they were lost in the desolate wastelands where they toiled for forty years, and led them back out through the other side and into the promised land. What great things will He then do with the people of Haiti, the poorest nation on this earth? What great things will He do in our own nation, which is itself so poor in its own right? I don't know, but I believe that complete, unreserved restoration is the desire of His heart for all His people. I believe we saw a little bit of it in Haiti in our brief visit. I believe we'll see more of it in the days to come.