Ever had your heart so full that you couldn’t write about it? Expressing the jumble inside me seems impossible right now. In two days, I will step onto a plane & head toward the rest of my Life.
That’s how it feels, anyway.
Those who know me well understand how much this trip to Haiti means to me (since I’ve monopolized every conversation talking about it! Ha). God has a way of nudging us toward where we’re meant to be – and it’s not always a logical journey.
Last year, thanks to a simple exchange on Twitter, I joined a mission team within weeks of the earthquake. During that trip (oh, what a journey just getting there!), I met a dignified young boy whose calm shattered my own.
Everything in me railed against the apparent reality that I could never see him, again. That I couldn’t help him. Encourage him. Extend any hope.
Then, when God showed up & did His thing (as He ALWAYS does, when we invite Him), my own world expanded into something I no longer recognize. When I think of Markenley and all that is occurring, I feel joy that’s …
… well, it’s beyond description.
It’s full of hope. And appreciation. And happiness. And awe. And childlike faith. And strength. And, well… joy.
I feel happy, just knowing that God has the reins and I’m joining Him to do my part.
Fighting to help one unnoticed kid is launching EFFECT in directions I never could have dreamed up. I’m surrounded right now… literally, physically surrounded… by stacks and bags and heaps of items being sent – by crazy generous people who care – to other kids in Markenley’s makeshift school.
I call them crazy generous not just because they gave what they could, but because they acted. Simple as that.
Where everyone else thought, “Gee, that’s a cool story – I wish them well” or even “She has lost her mind – she’s getting involved where she doesn’t belong and will surely regret it,” they said, “Here ya go. I believe in you. I don’t have much, but let me help.”
Some of the packages in this room right now are from people I’ve never met – and UPS is still showing up. In fact, I’m leaning on God to soften the heart of someone at Delta, so I can take three duffel bags, instead of two.
Crazy, isn’t it, that a luggage requirement might unhinge what so many have sacrificed to achieve? That sounds silly, until you look at the contents of these bags and imagine the glow in each Haitian child’s eyes who finally feels seen. I don’t want to walk into that school without something for every single student.
On Monday, together, we will make 47 children smile. Laugh, even. They’ll kick a soccer ball that’s new and hug a doll that smiles back. Yes, what they especially need is food – and I’m cramming some of that into the nooks and crannies of these bags, too – but doesn’t every soul need to be appreciated? Celebrated? These are kids who have no agency serving them or hope of being found.
I met a woman at a writers’ conference last week who feels she knows people who will want to invest in micro-loans to help some Haitian women claim dignity and strength through businesses of their own. I feel giddy when I think of just ONE woman being empowered through this! Just imagine the ripples!
Yesterday, my husband called a business associate and mentioned my trip. Turns out there’s a young Haitian man working with them, so we called him together to chat.
…I love this part…
Of all the people & places in the world, he grew up in an orphanage just down the road from Markenley’s slice of slum outside the ragged edges of Port au Prince! Literally minutes away. He says he used to walk to get where I’m going.
He was never adopted and so lived his entire youth in those broken walls. A missionary who visited through the years helped him move toward a college education in America and he has been here six years! Without that one person caring enough to help him, everything would be different.
I can’t waaaait to meet him in person and hear his whole story.
But there’s more.
He is coordinating a trip to Kentucky for some of the orphans where he grew up to visit a local church and sing – and, if I can get the right paperwork for Markenley in time, there’s a chance he can join the group and visit America next year!!
::cue head spinning, heart soaring::
Yes, I know to pause here. No one KNOWS what will actually happen.
It’s part of the coolest part of all: God’s plan is ALWAYS better than my own – and He has one unfolding. I totally trust Him to ease me toward the direction He prefers.
If He had shown me the whole picture a year ago and asked me to step up, I would surely have felt overwhelmed and shied away.
All He asked me to do was Remember… and invite Him in for the rest.
(If that feels preachy to ya, go write yer own blog… haha. I’m just sharing what has been crazy real for me!)
Thank you for your prayers and support in this journey. I have felt God’s Hand every step of the way and feel secure that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be and doing what He intends…
Haiti, here I come!!!
Update: OK, just had another conversation with our new Haitian friend in Kentucky. Because they are actually bringing the group of orphans to the U.S. in August of this year, there’s no way Markenley can join them. He doesn’t know the songs and paperwork takes awhile. See? I prayed that God would swiftly close the doors He wants closed & open those that have His blessing. All is as it should be.