What is God asking me to do with my experiences in Haiti?
Six months ago (today, in fact) I was busily packing my bags, making a week's worth of lesson plans for my substitute, and stressing about this trip to a third world country where I had no idea what to expect. My St. Susanna community, lifelong friends and family had all backed me with more financial support than I ever thought possible. The students at St. Susanna donated Tshirts to the Haitian children and I even received old backpacks and suitcases to take my stuff in so I could leave it all there!
Despite everyone else's excitement, I remember feeling confused...and a feeling that actually still sticks today. Why me? What can someone so limited in life experience (especially world travel) and limited in vision to "save the world" (really, this just doesn't interest me...maybe I'm too selfish...) really do for the Haitian people?
I still don't have an answer for myself, but I can sense that my heart has been opened. There's a little crack of compassion and personal sense of responsibility for the people of Haiti. So much so, that I cried when I heard about the cholera outbreak. Thinking, "Really, God? Haven't they suffered enough?"
And this crack of compassion that is in my heart HAS to find an answer somewhere...
Will it be another trip to Haiti? Would it be a longer stay there? Am I going to be a missionary teacher? Will I raise funds and send OTHERS to this country? Will my mark even be made in Haiti, but elsewhere? Regardless, I know that my experiences over six months ago in Haiti still get me thinking, "What was all that about?" These people suffer. I raised money for them. I met them. I shared my experience. Does it just stop? That doesn't seem right.
Like I said, I'm not much of a visionary myself OR really ambitious for that matter...so I can hardly see myself writing up grant proposals or talking with the United Nations for some solutions on the Haitians water supply. Some people's gifts are there. In fact, a few of my friends from the May mission trip are already doing things similar to this.
My "style" and the way that God gets me is through invitation. When will He invite me to be part of this third world journey again? I know it's coming; I just don't know when. Until then, I live my life right here, right now, as a middle-class suburban teacher as a missionary. By my understanding of God's love in my life, I'm helping my 4th grade students understand what it means to love others--even their "enemies." God asks me to live in REAL relationships with my family and friends where we are constantly correcting one another, fighting, but also joyfully giving and loving. There's hardly anything selfish about my life here in the United States and as long as I'm always focused on the true source of life's happiness, I can't stray from the overall plan for my life.
So, Lord, if you want me back in Haiti, show me. I'll be here doing my other work that you have so graciously blessed.