It's been one year, almost to the minute, that I heard about a huge earthquake in a tiny little country that has become so important. I remember sitting at the computer and receiving a message from a friend I hadn't heard from in years that said: "Oh Rachel, I just saw on the news about the earthquake in Haiti. I'm so sorry." I was lost. I had no clue. I told Brian and we turned on the t.v. and saw the devastation and hurt. Brian had just come returned from Haiti the night before. We were looking forward to a few weeks of him being home, little did I know he would be back in the air headed to the Dominican Republic and then on to Haiti within about 36 hours after the quake hit.
All we knew were there were friends that are like our family there and we have no clue of their safety. We have friends with children there. There are beautiful, Godly people there who deserve more than to be shaken to their core.
There was not much sleep here while we tried for hours to call with no success. Until very, very early the next morning when either we or one of our friends (not sure now, everything runs together) finally got through to the orphanage that our home church, White Stone, supports and the place Brian and a team were at not 24 hours earlier. The orphanage had fallen and one little girl was lost in the collapse. Atanie, the baby of the group. I can't imagine what the other girls went through, losing a little sister. I can't imagine what her Mama went through.
Just a short while later Brian got through to a sweet, sweet friend, Pastor Moises. He had the horrible news that Pastor Ronnigue, Brian's close friend and partner, and his wife had also lost their lives in the earthquake. What in the world do we do with all of this...
In the past year we have learned a lot about God. We have learned that He is still in control, even when we're not. I learned that while my husband was in Port au Prince and I could not contact him. The news reports did not help. We have learned that He will never leave us... we leave Him. When we have those times that we feel like He's not there, it's because we have walked away. We have learned that even when the future is unclear, He knows. We have learned that He works all things for His good, even when it hurts like crazy and we just can't see it yet.
In the past year we have learned a lot about the people of Haiti. We have learned that they are strong beyond belief. We have watched as their faith has grown, not wavered in the wake of devastation. We have learned that Haitian parents love their children beyond understanding. Mamas and Daddies who covered their children with their bodies as buildings fell, Mamas and Daddies that love their children so much that they will give them up for adoption so they will have a chance at a life with opportunities. I am constantly amazed. We have learned that hope is something that cannot be crushed by falling buildings and the earth shaking. We have learned that the Haitian people have such beautiful joy in the face of adversity, affliction, destruction, injustice, take your pick, they still have joy.
To say the past year has been hard is an understatement, but God has been patient. He has taught us much through the struggles. I am thankful that He has shown me His strength and power through some of His most beautiful people. As difficult as our year has been it can't compare to the struggles the Haitian people faced in the last year and that they face with each day. All I know is that God's mercies are new every morning and I pray that He pours that mercy over these people.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~Isaiah 40:29-31