Waiting in the Presence of the Lord // Hope For Haiti

God. Is. So. Good.

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I am just returning to the states after a week spent in one of my favorite places in the world: Bercy, Haiti. My first time traveling to Haiti was last summer, where I followed a call from the Lord to go there. I loved my stay, and it opened my eyes to the Lord’s love for His people. I went expecting to change Haiti, but the Lord used Haiti to change me. Some fears that I had held on to were revealed, and God used the following year to meet those fears and provide comfort and peace there. But, despite all of that, I had spent the week selfishly. After realizing that fact, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to Haiti again. But, I heard another calling.

So, I went. No longer was I holding on to the false hope of “saving Haiti” (which isn’t possible for me to do, by the way. God saves. I can only love). I had one expectation for my trip: to experience my Savior like never before. And boy, God provided more than I ever imagined.

I’m still processing through a lot of the feelings that my trip evoked, but what I can cling on to is the love that my God has for me, despite my sin and short comings. I fail Him daily, and yet He still so perfectly provides for every desire deeply held in my heart. From the hugs, kisses, and smiles from the Haitian children, I began to see a glimpse of the joy God wants me to feel. From worshiping with Haitians at church, I saw a glimpse of eternity and the beauty of ALL of God’s people. From the convictions I felt from the idols I have been turning to, I was reminded of the sovereignty of the Lord and how nothing else matters. The list goes on and on, and I’d love to share everything I learned with you, someday. (Just ask!)

I went to Haiti wanting to bring Jesus to the people there, but what I learned is Jesus is already there, and He’s actively changing Haiti. This is where my hope for Haiti stems from. Here’s a list of changes I’ve noticed between my two trips:

  • Last year, we were kept up all night because of the sound of voodoo drums coming from the neighbors. This year, we did not hear them. They are still actively practicing voodoo, but by the Spirit of God they have been quieted, and because of that I have hope.
  • One of the girls I met last year was a little hard to connect to because of attitude problems. When I would talk to any other kids, she would either hit them or pretend to faint so that she would have my attention, all of the time. But, by the Spirit of God, her heart has been totally softened, and because of that I have hope.
  • I remember being totally uncomfortable in the city of Cabaret (We stay in a village outside of the city) because of the overall bitterness from the people in the city. And while there were a few instances this year that still seemed to be true, I noticed an overall change in demeanor in the city. By the Spirit of God, people seemed much more positive and were generally very welcoming, and because of that I have hope.
  • Last year I learned about Moringa, a super food that grows well in impoverished areas. Basically, it has the ability to eradicate malnutrition in Haiti (learn about it here: https://cpr-3.com/moringa/). But, the people of Haiti didn’t know to/refused to eat it, and it didn’t seem like it would take off. But, this year there are many more people eating it, and the changes it’s bringing to those people is astonishing. Something that broke my heart last year was the number of kids I saw with bleached hair, a sign of extreme malnourishment, but this year I noticed less. By the Spirit of God, Moringa is taking off and helping Haitians, and because of that I have hope.
  • Last year, my heart broke for a 15 year old boy I met (you can learn about him here: https://cpr-3.com/simons-gospel/). Basically, when I met him he was homeless and beaten by his voodoo priest dad for accepting Jesus into his life. But when I returned this year, he was back to living with his dad, and on the second day of my trip, SIMON’S DAD ACCEPTED JESUS! Please let that sink in for a second. My heart is singing for joy!! (Please be praying for both of them, by the way). By the Spirit of God, an abusive, voodoo priest accepted Jesus as his Savior, and because of that I have hope.
  • One thing that really captivated my heart last year was the church that we were supporting. I loved it then, and I love it now. People genuinely want to know more about God, and they passionately want to worship Him. All of that is still true, but by the Spirit of God, the church has grown from 20 people to over 60. With this kind of growth, it’s beyond obvious that God is moving in Haiti. And because of that, I have hope.

Even if none of these things ever occurred, or I wouldn’t have gotten to witness them, I would still have hope for Haiti. My hope is ultimately rooted in my Hope in Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is yet to come. Because He has already won the battle over sin, I know there is victory that I can bask in. And so can the people of Haiti. And so can you. Jesus’ victory stands whether you accept it into your life or not; but just know that accepting it has been the greatest decision of my life. I have Hope in the Risen Lord.

 

So, right about now you’re probably wondering why this is partially titled “Waiting in the Presence of the Lord”. Lucky you, that’s the exact question we’re going to dive into. So sit back, relax, and get ready to ride.

A lot of my life is spent questioning “What’s next?”. I tend to miss out a little on every moment because I’m constantly trying to search for the relevance of the moment and what it could mean for my future. I so desperately want to “Get it right” that I miss the lessons that God is teaching me in the moment, and the joy that could be had by just being present. If you know me, you probably know that I’m not crazy about my major. But, for some reason I felt called to pick it up, so I did. Every day I battle what I should switch it, if I even want to finish college, and if I’d rather just pack up and move to Haiti and become a full-time missionary. Or I struggle with all of my friendships, my relationship, and literally every aspect of my life. Obviously, part of the reason I had to go to Haiti was to see if it could satisfy the hunger I was feeling in those areas.

Here’s the crazy thing: DOING can’t satisfy me. Only BEING can do that. This simple message came to me at some point during my trip, and while I don’t remember the exact moment I felt it, I do know the crazy amount of life change and potential it holds. When my mind is full of the things I need to do, or need to be, I end up so tired. This is especially true when I’m trying to find my identity in the world.

BUT, my identity can never be found in the world. My identity is found in JESUS CHRIST. Without Him, I am nothing. And, because of the Holy Spirit, I am found in the presence of the Lord no matter where I go. When my thoughts are full of Him, the less space I have to stress out about me. I can stress out as much as I want, but God is going to have His way anyways, and all I have to do is abide in Him.

For me, that means waiting exactly where I am right now. I know God placed me at Ohio University, and led me to major in Chemical Engineering, and even though none of this makes sense to me right now, I know that God is with me. And as I choose Him every day, He reveals Himself to me in new ways. I am so thankful that He is so patient with me, and that He chooses to be yoked with me in this life.

Until Next Time,

Ali

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