Seven years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to India. It changed my world - by expanding it. No longer could I believe that the world was made up of just places I had lived. To see real people living real lives in someplace as, well, foreign as India was mind-boggling. To see God in that place, in those people. To realize that He was not just "mine," but was known in real ways, in a completely different language.
Tomorrow, I have the privilege of traveling to Haiti. We are going to put the finishing touches on a home for special needs kids. In telling people about my trip, I have gotten various responses. Some people have been really excited, but also among these responses are ones like, "Haiti?? Why would you want to go there?!", "Did you know that the government has a travel advisory against Haiti?", and "Haiti is a hopeless place - there's nothing you can do to save it."
Yes, I know Haiti is a hopeless place. There is no saving it. I don't hope to save the world, and I know I can't even save Haiti. But in Haiti, live people. People that God created, people that I believe God loves just as much as He loves you and me. "For God so loved the world, He sent His Son..." Jesus came to a world that, at the root of it, wasn't a whole lot different from Haiti. God Himself put on dirty human flesh to BE WITH US. He loved us enough to come down to this place that we, in our selfish ambition, have stripped bare of even hope. And in loving us so recklessly, He was killed.
I'm not going to Haiti to be a martyr. That is certainly not my intention. My only intention is to touch the lives of a handful of special-needs Haitians. Jesus said, "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me." Well, if Haitians are the least of these, the special needs kids are the least of the least. I am going because I feel called to go. I want to touch people from a different world and be touched by them. I want to love as I have been loved.
In struggling with all of these thoughts - along with my fear that I can't love in that way, that I can't be selfless enough to leave my comfy home and my amazing husband for two weeks to serve people the rest of the world couldn't care less about - I heard a song (by Sanctus Real) on the radio that made me cry, because it is my prayer:
You are the face that changed the whole world
no one too lost for You to love
no one too low for You to serve
so give us the grace to change the world
no one too lost for me to love
no one too low for me to serve
let us be your face
Thank you for your support and prayers. I can't wait to see (and be!) the face of God in Haiti...
I hope to be able to write again soon!