I am So Tired of Haiti


You felt it, didn’t holzfigur-980784_640you?

When meteorologists began predicting the size and path of Hurricane Matthew and we could all see Haiti was going to take a devastating hit. I felt so weary. I knew without any doubt that I could not care about this tragedy or feel it as much as I did the earthquake.

I wanted to close my eyes and ears to pretend I didn’t know that so many people would lose every inch of ground they’ve recovered since 2010. I also knew I wouldn’t be alone in my weariness. Of the millions of Americans stirred in 2010, only a portion will likely rally to support the aid they’ll require once they assess the damage done by Matthew.

And I could do that, too – switch the channel, turn off the radio, refuse to read the news, ignore the cries of a nation. In all honesty, I want to do that. I have my hands full. I meet with American poor every day. My husband and I have problems. There are people in my own family, my church, my community who need my support. I could just stick with them. I may actually help solve some of their problems and I like the feeling of being a problem solver. I don’t like the feeling that all my effort and resources are a drop in the bucket, often futile, feeling ineffective and useless, a drink offering.

But, I represent Jesus. And that makes all the difference.

So first, I cried out to Him to have His heart for this situation. He promises in Ezekiel 36:26 “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (ESV). I asked for that heart even though that invites pain. I would rather experience pain than stone cold apathy.

Second, I confessed that I’m tired of Haiti. I’m tired of gigantic situations that are slow to change, glacial even. I’m weary of interceding, and knowing, and seeing the everyday struggles, and suffering and I haven’t even done a shorthaiti-14023_640-term trip across Haitian borders.

I’m tired of knowing that while the American poor have it bad, the Haitian poor would see their impoverished situation and wish they could have a just a portion. The relentless trial, the endless political maneuvering, the countless debates in American churches about how to help and when help is too much, the vast spiritual oppression that keeps so many in darkness. Enough! I’m worn out defending loved ones who have devoted their lives and made sacrifices to be light and comfort in that land only to have others scorn their efforts, judge them, or dismiss them as foolhardy.

I’m tired of it all, I said to Jesus, and Jesus replied Imagine how they feel. Imagine their weariness as the storm approaches knowing their helpless in its path. Imagine the deep fatigue of my workers in the field as they watch years of work be undone by a single storm. Can you continue in your weariness where you sit surrounded by walls, running water, and abundant food? Are they not my children, too?

So third, I offered myself to Jesus – heart, mind, body, and soul – to be renewed in compassion, mercy, and grace. To receive forgiveness, healing, and fortitude for my soul. He taught me in that moment that it’s perfectly human to run out of strength but He is the source of all strength.

hand-453220_640He had no condemnation for me because I belong to Jesus and He reminded me how much the church, especially the American church, has to learn from the suffering church. Lessons about faithfulness in trial, about perseverance and endurance, about how He can provide and about how He doesn’t measure us by our achievements but by our continual willingness to love and to put that love into action.

He doesn’t expect us to solve Haiti but He does expect us to serve Haiti. He doesn’t expect us not to tire or become discouraged but He does expect us to come to Him to be restored.

We’re all called to be involved in different ministries and you may already be fulfilling your calling in other places. But some of us are called to love Haiti – either from within its borders or from afar. It’s hardest to love when it doesn’t seem to make much difference. We must have faith that it does.

Every light pushes back the darkness. Every act of mercy is a raised fist in the war for souls. Every prayer of intercession rises to the Father. Every sacrifice and gift reminds those who suffer that God hasn’t lost sight of them. The darkness does not hide them from Him.

Let us learn to love with endurance. God offers us this encouragement in Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due seasonsunset-50494_640 we will reap, if we do not give up.” (ESV) The secret is taking our hearts to Him to be revived.

Others may weary and turn away but you and I represent Jesus. Jesus wouldn’t give up on us and He won’t give up on Haiti.

Amen?

**Please, if you serve in Haiti or are Haitian or serve with an organization ministering to Haiti, I encourage you to share ways the church can help in the comments below. Mercy and grace, Lori

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13 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Beth McHoul says:

    Thanks for this honest blog. I’ve lived in Haiti for 27 years and I love this precious little island. I am a midwife with Heartline Ministries and a native of Boston. Heartline and other smaller organizations are starting to bring aid down south. It is devastating.
    In every disaster we have been through (and there have been many) we keep seeing God show up and reveal Himself in beautiful ways. We need His people to stand with us.

    • What a wonderful ministry, Beth! Thanks for letting me and my readers know about it. My son-in-law’s parents recently move full-time to Port au Prince to open a home for young adults/older teens called Espere Kay. Here’s their website everyone: http://heartlineministries.org/ I once dreamed of being a midwife but, you know, I’m a writer and a crisis counselor for families. May God bless your work and energize you in the midst of another tragedy! Please feel free to send me any stories of God at work in Haiti and I’ll pass them along to readers.

  2. Here is the website for Espere Kay, the ministry of my son-in-law’s parents, David and Deb Kreyssig. http://helpinghaitisorphans.com/our-ministries/espere-kay

  3. Rose says:

    I am tired of the thieves who steal aid sent for Haiti. It has gone on for years. My old church had missionaries there and the only way to get medical supplies to them was direct delivery by a member flying there with a suitcase full. It never ends. Pray for the evil to stop! Stealing is bad enough but why do the evil steal from the least of these!

  4. Judy says:

    Heartline Ministries, located in Haiti, was fortunately spared major problems. They have mobilized a team that has gone out to help those have lost much. Heartlineministries.org/relief

  5. Cathy Chung says:

    This is so true. We’re weary. It’s healthy to admit it and groan, then turn to Jesus. I’m so glad you expressed these emotions many are thinking but are ashamed to admit. Now let’s go get ’em.

  6. Judy says:

    I read somewhere that there have been hundreds if Christian ministries in Haiti. I know there is a history of witchcraft and governmental corruption. Is the frequency of natural disasters further evidence of Satanic oppression? Why so much evil aimed at this location?

  7. I love your honesty, Lori! I thought I was the only one to be so callous. But you have shown me the way to a heart of compassion: focus on Jesus’ heart!

  8. Stephanie Taylor says:

    Thank you for this! I live in Haiti and am weary this week – this article is great – CRUCIAL way of helping is sending MONEY, NOT STUFF. Things that are sent can be bought in Haiti and to send supplies is to cripple Haiti further with hurting an economy – no one can compete with free. Unemployment is a huge thing in Haiti and we NEED your help to help in HEALTHY ways.

    Everyone is worried money will be misused – find grassroots organizations! One that I respect is “little footprints big steps” and they are on the ground in the South, coming alongside in the areas hit worst. There are lists going around of organizations you can TRUST, that empower and help in healthy ways and will not “steal aid money”.

    The work is definitely tiresome. But sticking through – and striving to do it in a healthy way – WILL make a difference little by little.

    Thank you!

  9. Sid Wood says:

    Lori, your comment about years of work being destroyed by one storm touched a nerve for me. I spent some time on Montserrat after Hurricane Hugo (1990). The island was devastated, but Christians from around North America went to that tiny emerald island to offer help and prayers for the 12000 inhabitants. Things recovered and the towns rebuilt. Churches grew and people praised God and gave thanks. Then, several years later, the volcano that had lain dormant for 400 years blew its top and wiped out the entire inhabited portion of the island. People displaced (a few tens killed), towns buried, life destroyed. All that rebuilding work undone by one volcano eruption. Nothing is ever permanent; but we can still rejoice in what we have been given stewardship of for a time.

  10. Marla Darius says:

    I have been on and led medical missions to Haiti for 9 years. The need is always great and the people appreciative, many with an incredibly strong faith. With the hurricane causing such broad and far reaching disaster, the human impact Is now water and food issues. The next big problem will be contamination, and disease. Partners in health, world vision and samaritans purse are amazing organizations already in country and equipped to respond to this global need and have workers trained to help. We support these organizations and would encourage anyone wanting to help to do the same.

  11. Missionary Flights International. Wonderful organization serving hundreds of missionaries on the ground in Haiti. Because of these affiliations, they were the first ones on the ground with relief supplies after the earthquake (working in conjunction with Samaritan’s Purse) and they had the infrastructure in place (those affiliated missionaries) to actually get the supplies out to those in need rather than having them sit on the ground at the airport to rot. We have worked with them for years (we are also affiliated with them) and can recommend them in total confidence that every donation will be used in the best possible way to help the victims in Haiti. http://Www.missionaryflights.org

    I would also like to add that we had a team in Haiti during all of Mathew (myself included). We were in Northeast Haiti and had many, many people praying for us through the whole thing. We were receiving messages from many of them telling us that the radar images they were seeing showed that we were getting pummeled. But we weren’t. Barely had any rain an absolutely no wind. It was hard for people to believe when they were seeing evidence to the contrary on their television and computer screens. The husband of one of our team members is the director of emergency management for a city in Florida and all of his data was telling him we were being hit with rain and tropical storm force winds. But God, in His mercy, decided to spare us. Why? I can’t answer that question. I know people were also praying for areas that did get hit hard. But I can say this with confidence – I have seen God move storms in miraculous ways more than once and I will continue to trust Him fully no matter what the “facts” are telling us. And if He chooses to allow us to go through the worst of it ohe day, I’ll continue to trust Him fully in the midst of the storm.