Haiti 8 years after

Eight Years ago today marks one of the worst days in Haitian history.

8 years ago Haiti experienced an earthquake centered in Leogane that shook the whole country to a scale of 7.1 magnitude.

Roughly 300,000 people died on January 12, 2010 but no one will ever truly know the count.

Everyone I know in Haiti has a story about the earthquake, those they know who died and how God spared them and others. Citizens that pitched in to help for days, weeks, months without a paycheck.

An entire generation, multiple generations who know trauma up-close and personal.

Expats who were there during the earthquake and maybe still are there now and what a powerful impact this had on their lives... and maybe are still in need of healing from the wounds and trauma that were experienced.

After the earthquake, the world raised 15 billion dollars for Haiti relief. Ask any Haitian and they'll tell you they never saw a cent of that money but the Red Cross workers sure did stay at the nicest hotels and ea…

Jwi Moman an

There's an advertising campaign by Coke in Haiti stating 'jwi moman an' which means enjoy the moment. That's where I'm at right now. I want to embrace every single moment and yet my heart is breaking.

It's crazy how much you love things when you know you won't have them anymore...

I am less than fourteen days away from moving to the US from Haiti.
This still feels impossible to me even though I have been processing this decision for a long time and am currently grieving.

I'm soaking up every single moment.

The sunsets, my friends, their children, church, locals, culture, traffic, last minute moto rides, the fact that I am finally speaking Kreyol pretty well.

I love it all. And yet, I'm leaving it. How can this be? It makes no sense at all... I keep telling God that.

And yet it's time. It's time to move. It's time to transition ... for now.

And I feel like I love so many things about my life here. It feels impossible. How in the world wil…


An unwelcome character has been knocking on my door since June 
Frap, frap, frap!!
Hello? I respond, wearily.  Hello Rachel. It's time, he whispers.
I slam the door in his face and tell him he's crazy and I'm not ready.
Over months, he keeps knocking. And each time I answer, we speak a little bit longer.
Gradually, I find the courage within myself to face the dreaded words - re entry, transition, leaving.
How could I leave this beloved country?
When will I be back?
Why now? I'm just getting good at this thing.
And yet the Father of Time continues to knock gently and speak tenderly. 
Finally I ask:
Father Time- will I make it?  Will this whole transition be okay?
What about all the people I love and care for?
You'll be okay. Better. stronger. But not until you rest, heal, re-integrate. 
I have good plans for you. I am preparing you for something great.
I love all of my children. I love all humankind. I will care for your friends. I will watch over them and protect them. 
Ok F…


I want to be a minister of light, of Justice.

I desire justice.
I crave justice.
I want to see God's justice every day in Haiti.

There's a common question I get asked: What's been the hardest thing about living in Haiti?

I've answered that question in so many different ways. It's always hard to summarize an experience that is wrought with paradox - joy and pain, tears and laughter, beauty and tragedy- often in the same day or even in the same experience.

But the answer I gave once that I think was the most honest and nearly brought me to tears (probably why I don't give that answer very often) is "seeing injustice up close and personal every single day."

At times it feels like injustice reigns in Haiti. I hate injustice. I hate injustice against me and I think I hate it even more for Haitians.

Injustice happens in so many different forms:

- the woman who has no access to maternal healthcare and delivers her premature baby at the only government matern…

The Road: Looking back on 2 years

I got to the end of a road and looked back
I looked back on the journey
the new, fresh, naive person I was two years prior
I thought about the missionaries I idolized then
Their calm confidence
ease of speaking Creole
their ideas, faith, their lives in action

I realized I, while far from 'perfect' or 'arrived,'
(both myths)
had come towards the end of my road
and am so much more of the person I wanted to be
the person I'm meant to be

The girl that is able to laugh at the insanely frustrating aspects of life in Haiti
The girl that is more spontaneous and flexible, the only way to live here, sanely
The girl that can go for a jog in the neighborhood without fear,
can hold a brief conversation with women walking down the street with their goods for sale
The girl that can laugh in a very appropriate Haitian-culture sort of way

The woman that looks back on the road fraught with abuse, pain, and trauma
and see the depths of courage and strength that she has found inside h…

Wanted: Brave People

I've decided one of the most needed attributes in cross-cultural work or 'on the mission field' is bravery, courage.
To step up, to show up, each and every day. Whether that's showing up to lead a medical clinic, to deliver a baby, to go get groceries, to leave your home takes courage.
Because living in a foreign country as a foreigner, there are many assumptions that are made based on the color of my skin.
In Haiti, there are a few things assumed of me:

1. I'm rich
2. I am educated
3. I haven't worked very hard for anything in my life
(These are generalizations for a reason and do not apply to each individual Haitian's thinking)
4. I want to help and am able to help...or give a handout
(DISCLAIMER: some of the above is true. I am rich in the world's standards. I am educated. I do want to help. I have worked for things in my life but I have been afforded incredible opportunities based on where I was born, into what socioeconomic class, and the color of …

God's Economy

I've been learning about God's economy lately. It's really so different than mine and I think it's really different from America's economy in many ways.

It's easier for me to accept gifts and donations when I feel like I am working very hard and showing progress and outcomes in the clinic in Haiti.

It is much more difficult for me to accept gifts, donations, blessings, a free dental appointment, free dinners, love, acceptance, and affection when I am a compassion-fatigued, less-than-normal functioning version of Rachel.

But I'm pretty sure (~ 100%) that's not how God works.

He loved us far before we loved Him. He sent His son to die on the cross far before I submitted my life to Him. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and this is how God demonstrates His love for us (Romans 5:8 paraphrased).

My friends still love me whether I'm a weepy grieving missionary or not. My friends love me if I'm staying on the mission field or not. My God lo…