There are moments when I talk about Haiti when I light up - inside and out. People can see how passionate I am, how much I love this country, how much I love the community of Onaville, how thrilled I am to be partnering with what God is doing through the Onaville Community Health Center and beyond. My eyes have been opened to how the rest of the world lives and I'll never unsee it and I'll never be the same. How special that God is allowing me to do something He has specifically called me to for this season..something He has hand-picked for me to do.

And there are moments, though they are few, when I talk about Haiti to someone who understands Haiti and I express the deep pain I have experienced and the need for healing and rest I am so desperate for. I choke up and cry and can't even begin to express the way my heart feels. The suffering and loss I've seen, the pain I've seen, the injustice I've seen. The loss I've felt, the confusion I feel when I try to explain my passion to someone, even a family member, and they absolutely don't get it. Living in a culture where trauma, pain, loss, suffering is seen and experienced on the regular means that missionaries/humanitarians/expats experience those things as well + the loss of independence, control, understanding of culture, freedom, sense of safety, sense of home, and much more.
In these moments when I'm with someone safe, I cry. I cry about the "orphans" who are mistreated. I cry about the state of the country. I cry about the plethora of painful experiences I've had while trying to serve and help. I've gotten mad. I've gotten mad about how people in America who don't understand what my world in Haiti is like. I've gotten mad when people don't undersand poverty and are just downright scared of "the poor."

I recently had a Haitian ask me why I was still in Haiti. He said 'it's all good to serve for a year or so but you need to get back to building your life in America.' Even he (a Haitian) couldn't understand why I was so passionate about the Onaville Community Health Center and serving in the ways I do in Haiti. It was also hard to impossible for me to explain that I did that. I did the American life, the American dream, the advanced degree and the good job at the big hospital. It's not that I won't ever go back to that. It's just that while I was doing it, I felt there was something more, something different, something else I was supposed to be doing. While I longed for missions, I never imagined opening and directing a clinic is what God had in mind. I don't know how to explain it to my fellow Haitian because it doesn't make sense unless you know the God that I know. And my God knows my heart and called me to this.

My word for 2017 is "Heal." The idea that healing can take place in the midst of the chaos may seem counterintuitive, but I've seen our God heal. Sans counselors or close friends to talk to all the time and verbally process everything, God has healed and He will continue to do so.
Haiti will continue to be Haiti- a beautiful mess, a tragic hope. But I look forward to seeing how God calls me to rest and to His presence and to His healing in the midst of the daily demands.

I'm so excited for 2017. Here we go.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:8 NIV


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