Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Haiti recap - Part 1

Now that the dust has settled--and perhaps even more importantly, my stomach has settled after a bit of a rough transition during the first week back home--and the holiday busyness has come to an end, I'm finally going to try to formulate what I'm sure will be a less than complete summary of our trip to Pignon, Haiti, in November. I discovered that when people return from a Third World country with pictures and you think you've got a bit of understanding what it's like there, it's actually quite true when they say you can't fully understand it until you've experienced it for yourself. I suppose it's like when someone tells you to enjoy your kids while they're young because they grow up so fast; one day you realize they really are growing up so fast that you should've listened! Anyway... there is much to share, so I'll try to stay focused. :)

Before we even arrived in Haiti, I felt like God began to open my eyes to see the world from more of a Kingdom perspective. It was like He was showing me the world from a heavenly view as I looked out the window of the plane and peered at the tiny world below.

Our world feels very "normal" when we live in it day to day, but I was reminded that there is nothing ordinary about it--it truly was beautiful in a way I've never experienced before. I'm sure I looked nothing like a seasoned traveler as I leaned forward in my seat to stare out the window of the plane at the scenery below. Glancing at tiny buildings which now appeared to be no larger than a Monopoly house, school buses the size of a staple and fields that now seemed to be the size of a postage stamp, I thought about the God who made it all, and I was humbled--actually, that isn't nearly a strong enough word--to think how often I live my life as if I am somehow in control.... How I forget about the God who made it all, sustains it all, and can give or take any of it according to His perfect will.

As we began our descent toward the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, huge homes with private pools, tennis courts, and who knows what other luxuries peppered the landscape. As is often the case for those of us in the middle class who have more than plenty but not nearly as much as some, I seldom think of myself as wealthy. But our affluent life in the United States--mansions and tennis courts or just a comfortable house and a used mini van to get us where we need to go--is far from normal compared with the rest of the world's standard of living. I again considered what my attitude toward my life and "stuff" is with the realization that the next day's scenery would look very, very different.

A first glimpse of Haitian life from the runway at the Cap Haitien airport: