10 April 2012

Excerpts from my Journal of my trip to Haiti

Excerpts from my Journal of my trip to Haiti

March 29, 2012 Arriving in Haiti
When I first arrived in Haiti, I had such idealistic expectations because I had visited Jamaica and the Bahamas and I expected the city to be much similar. My eyes were opened and reality set in when I begin to drive down the streets of Porte au Prince, Haiti.  The devastation and surreal living conditions rocked my ideal and I felt emotions of sadness that overwhelmed me.  “How could people live like this, what in the world could I do, and why was I even here”? The situation, I thought, seemed hopeless. It is a city that lies in ruin, tents, the smell, trash everywhere, and the people are just trying to survive. People were rustling for food, bathing in the streets, using the restroom wherever and whenever, women were walking while balancing large baskets and bags on their heads, and children just roamed the streets not even aware of the distress around them.

As I begin my ride from Porte au Prince to Jacmel, Haiti which would normally take us maybe 1 hour or so, but it was a 3 hour trek from the capital of Haiti up the hills, terrains in a van through bumpy, muddy, dusty roads. As we traveled, my emotions ran a gamete of thoughts that went from one extreme to the next. I thought, “what in the hell I am doing here?” I was angry, scared, disappointed and became internally and self-focused. Instead of coming to Haiti, I wished I had booked a ticket to a fancy resort to relax, pamper myself, and indulge in the pleasures of life; however, I found myself on an island away from the comfort of my king size bed and far away from the comforts that I am accustomed to. However, two things made me smile. First, I peered out the van window and saw a young boy holding a hand of a young girl and he smiled expressing his love and admiration for her, so I smiled also. Then, we arrived in the home of Elmiteau and met his lovely wife and kids. He beamed with pride bragging about his 2 bedroom, door-less house where his wife had prepared us a meal. The simple things—such a joy to him! We were welcomed and ate a delicious meal and I smiled again and embraced Elmiteau’s two year old son. On to my hotel as we tried to get a good night’s rest.

March 30, 2012
I know that God is doing something in me, what—I am still here on the journey to discover as I enter my second day of this trip. I realized that I still have not died to myself and I have not fully let go of my warped perception of ministry and what it truly means to die, surrender, and pay the full cost or price to follow Christ and reveal Him despite what it may cost me. Am I really ready for real ministry in the market place and what difference could I make in such a humongous, overwhelming situation in Haiti. I asked God to do a few things in me. 1). remove all bitterness, contempt out of me because of my unanswered self dreams and ideas that have not manifested. 2). Deliver me from my fears and anxieties when it comes to some thoughts and feelings that overwhelm me. 3). Give me purpose from this trip that not only transforms my mind but transforms my spirit that I can become a different person who embodies Christ to make an eternal difference before I leave this earth. Here lies your vessel and I am open to you Lord—do it to me, in me, and through me in Haiti and anywhere else you deem to use me. I need Your courage and Your heart. 

Sunday March 31, we left for the countryside.
Well to my surprise we got on a truck to drive to the countryside and I was not at all prepared for what lie ahead. Can I say that I was not ready to drive through rocky roads, little lakes of water in a large truck and up and down the mountain side with no rails or gaurds! OMG, this is surreal and only God knew He had to make me believe that Haiti was similar to another place and I can honestly say, "if He hadn't done so-- I would not have come”. Now I understand why God doesn’t show us everything in advance because if we knew all the details about this Christian journey and what it actually takes—then we would not do it. But once we start the journey, how can we turn back and to where can we go.  I am out here now in the middle of nowhere still trying to wrap my head around the reason(s) I am here. I am a bit nervous and want feel the same until I get back to America.

Another awesome thing about this trip was the fact that I was able to ride the two hour treacherous terrain of a drive with Richardson, a young Christian who has such an awesome testimony and heart for God and his people. He shared with me about the day of the earthquake and how he was suppose to go to school but decided not to go to and invited a few his friends over to play dominoes. And the earthquake hit and they felt some shaking and things moving and he said: “what is that?” but later he found his family; however, he lost many of his friends at the school. He said, "God must love me, because I didn't go to school on that day!" He also told me the story of how he was able to help a young girl who lost her legs and he rushed her to the hospital on a motorcycle to get help for her and she was able to survive. But what most compelled me about the conversation, between Richardson and I, is the fact that he has a desire to come to America and study and get prepared to work and do something to help his people. He has such a heart and trust for God and really wants God to use him and he even trusts God to bless him with a wife one day when it is time. He so loves the Lord and told me how he likes Kirk Franklin, Michael W. Smith, and Israel Houghton.

April 1, 2012
If not for anything else, I know I am here to be some type of catalyst to help Richardson come to the states to pursue his degree. Tomorrow holds yet another adventure. I have learned that the God in me has instilled some courage in me but I am still dying to my flesh as I am in the countryside living in home without lights, air, electricity, running water,  perched right beside the ocean. The problems are so humongous here and I now know that there is nothing I can do to attack the big mountain but just do the little God has put in front of me. I am open and listening. Prayer is a tool, my heart now knows specifically what to pray for.

April 2, 2012
The next day we woke up to sunlight and a beautiful sunny day and ready for what lie ahead. As we brushed our teeth with bottled water and bathed with buckets and pots—I was beginning to appreciate the amenities of life that we take for granted in America.

Then, we walked in the village to meet the people, go to the church and see the work that had been done. Eventually, we had an opportunity to meet the pastor and elders of the church.  This is another purposeful moment that again brought perspective for me.  The pastor and the elders were very sincere and first shared their praise and adoration to God for the things He had done. Pastor told his story of how he would look at other large churches and wonder if he would ever have a building or church the size of others he saw and he prayed to God to bless him.  He pointed at the building and looked around and said look what God has done. He was grateful for the family of KT and others who helped to build the church and give them a home to praise God in. Then, the pastor spoke of the needs they had to marry 6 couples who needed to get married first to please God and then they needed the necessary gowns and suits for the wedding day.  Also, he shared that they had a desire to build a school and train teachers and give the children an opportunity to learn and grow.  Wow, our desire as well.  We have sown a seed for this Haiti community to have a church building and I know God is going to multiply that seed and bless us with a building of our own at KT in America and a school likewise.  After meeting with the pastor and elders, we took a journey to many of the villages and spoke the word and prayed with many of them.  Michelet was our translator and it was a wonderful experience preaching the gospel in the streets of Haiti and see so many come, hear and kneel in humility to receive prayer. God is so awesome!

Later that evening, we went to a night church service.  The people came from all over the community, kids, families and the like.  We sat in the dark for about 1 ½ until they could get the generator to turn on the make shift lights that they had place in the building.  The people sat with patience and joy singing songs to the Lord. Finally and God said “let there be light” and light was.  The generator was able to produce some energy to turn on the lights. We had praise and worship and we heard a word preached from Pastor Shawn Adams and it was powerful. Then at the end of the service, we erupted into a praise and worship explosion- dancing and praising God all over the church.  It was a joyous occasion. After we finished the service, we proceeded back to our home to enjoy a peaceful night’s rest.

April 4-5, 2012
Yesterday and today ended our journey in Haiti for this trip and I can honestly say that when I came, I was under the impression that I would never come back because it was too overwhelming and so many fears and anxieties were bothering me.  However, I was open to what the Lord might do and I decided to see what lie ahead to overcome my fears and insecurities. This trip put so many things in perspective for me and I have connected to the people in Fontal. I’ve learned to be 100% content with the things that I have in life and that real ministry is stretching beyond your comfort zone and moving in territory that is sacrificial and not always pleasing so that others lives may be changed. I overcame my fears, anxieties, and plan to take a team back in a year or so with resources and a strategy to fulfill the vision God has given me.  If you desire to join us and if God puts it on your heart to go, email us @ blossomingvines@gmail.com and your comments are welcome below!!!!

Blessings,
Pastor Sonia

Link 1 Pics from Haiti
https://picasaweb.google.com/102572348517511665297/PicturesFromHaiti?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ6Gpdaam7OY4QE

Link 2 more pics from Haiti
 https://picasaweb.google.com/102572348517511665297/PhotoAlbum2FromHaiti?authkey=Gv1sRgCNXZ1rSy187X2QE