10 mid-trip thoughts on the Help One Now Haiti bloggers trip:
1. You all-- Haiti is beautiful. I love the long pink ribbons tied in the little girls' braids. And the way the sheets hanging in the doorways blow in the wind. The little people's bare feet, all dusty and worn. Even in the broken down places, there is this cultural beauty that I want to bottle up and bring home to share with everyone. And the landscape literally takes my breath away.
2. Driving in the back of a SUV in Haiti also takes my breath away. There are no road rules, just horns. I know a lot of people who travel are not phased by this because they have seen it in other countries, but I have not. So I am both freaking out and totally mesmerized. There is not a single trace of road-rage, but everyone is cutting everyone off...Incredible. Haiti can cure road rage peeps.
3. There are true and worth-emulating leaders here. Americans should be getting on airplanes to learn from them. They are changing their homeland and have the most faithful hearts you can find.
4. Worship is worship. It doesn't matter that I did not understand a word of their music this morning in church. The tunes were familiar...but the words, so different. And yet, my heart felt like it might overflow with praise for my King. All our hearts connected, even with real barriers like language and culture between us...just worshiping God. That is holy stuff.
5. Haiti people are beautiful.
6. I still hate airplane rides. It does't seem to get better with each ride, either...I am a mess, so pray for me. PLEASE. (Wednesday I have three flights. Yikes.)
7. Help One Now is the most intentional organization I have ever leaned into with my heart. I knew before going on this trip that I loved their work. But, seeing it on the ground...hearing real, live people tell us about the changes they have achieved with the backing of this organization-- I want to grab all my friends and tell them to get on board with this.
8. I have so much to learn from the ladies on this trip with me. They are further down the path of leadership and loving others well...and I am running -- running-- after their words and conversations, just trying to absorb all the wisdom in these women. This team is amazing.
9. Some moments I think, Am I really in Haiti right now? I grew up liking the comfort of a hard wooden pew in a church that really offered very little outreach to the world around them (and my heart, if I am honest with you, liked words better than action anyways). It is easy to wish goodness to others, to think Christian words like "mercy", "justice", and "hope" without ever having to go there and wrap those words together in "experience." God get us out of wooden pews and religious places and heart-stances that wish the world better. This trip, at times, has been uncomfortable for me, but I am so uttery thankful for it. Living in a comfort zone is not really living, friends.
10. We played with kids from the school Help One Now built with a local pastor today. They loved my tattoos. And my iPhone. And the videos of my kids I played for them. All these little people clinging onto pictures of my regular life, pointing and giggling. Little hands trying to trace and rub away my tattoos. Braiding my hair. Holding my hands. I could have played with them the rest of the trip. This was my most favorite part yet. Seeing the love and genuine relationships between Help One Now's people and the people here. Tears were cried. Hearts were full. This is goodness overflowing.
Click over to the Help One Now site for ways YOU can help them do their work in Haiti. This is a creative and different org altogether, friends. So there are various and unique ways you can get involved.