Last night I watched and listened as someone stopped believing in the potential to change Haiti.
I watched a young man who has spent the entire past year, on top of a lifetime here, fighting to love others and react differently and plant vision and push through difficulty….I heard a tone in his voice as it cracked and broke and the sound of hopelessness.
Changing dreams and vision, “I always said that everyone wanted to leave Haiti but I would stay. That I could visit other places but I’d always come back here because there is work to be done. I can’t. I can always visit, but I can’t stay here.”
In the middle of pain, hurt, the reality of day to day, the way that corrupt systems trap people in the middle of a rock and a hard place, he kept talking. Saying things I have never heard from him. It all came out at once.
“Haiti resembles a place to put your cattle and goats. It’s not for people.”
This is not said lightly. This is not said after the first hardship. This is not a rambling talk to a group of people. This was one person, in a moment of hurt and weakness and exhaustion, being done. He literally said, “I’ve been trying to have strength, and I know God gives it, but I am done. I don’t have strength anymore. I can’t find strength anymore.”
I say this because we must hear this.
We cannot imagine.
Our presence, our encouragement, our prayer matters.
Deep, deep truths and pushing to CHRIST matters. Christ – and a deep theology that includes suffering – is a MUST. It is not an option and stopping at efforts to love and give without this leaves people at the end of themselves.
These emotions will come to everyone. Betrayal and corruption and jealousy and even just the strain of poverty are so real.
We MUST come alongside.
This is why your presence matters.
This is why disciple making matters.
This is why staying in hard places matters.
This is why experience trips and connections in partnership matter. Our American worldview cannot comprehend the hurt and hardship. I’m not talking food and water and heat – I’m talking people and systems and communities and family. Both the beauty and heartbeat of it all and the very thing that can eat and destroy your courage and wring you out when it is filled with darkness and not light.
Syrian disciples and the less than 2% of disciples in Turkey may comprehend this worldview. Inner city pastors wrung out in the middle of relationships with addicts and broken family cycles may comprehend it. I could start listing but the point is so many of us, including myself, need to hear the worldview of our brothers and sisters.
I have been here about three years and am just STARTING to comprehend it (and let me tell you…just starting to comprehend is heavy. I cannot imagine a lifetime).
There is a hope and Jesus is SO real and active and God will not leave or forsake and there is an active plan and purpose even in this. I do not want to post this and leave everyone feeling hopeless.
I don’t want to post this and say it’s the end for my friend – that he won’t be infused with strength yet again by the Holy Spirit.
As he says “Mw pa kapab anko”, my heart shatters for how he feels now and my soul clings to Jesus and says, “Please do your work”. (Mw pa kapab anko – I cannot anymore)
I KNOW that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot distinguish it.
But as we talk redeeming spaces…oh, friends. Oh, community. I want to be real and open you to this glimpse.
This is why we beg for your prayers, thank you with no words sufficient for you doing life with us, and why it must be Jesus. There is no other.
This is not the end of the story. The end of the story is in Revelation 22, “No longer will there be a curse on anything…”
But it is a part of the story. And I want to share it as 1 Corinthians 12 talks about the body of Christ… “This makes for harmony among the members, so that the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.”