....Haiti is not Perishing. This slogan has appeared on a numerous shirts and billboards here since the earthquake. We shouted it out as we sang in the "bens" on Wednesday night, united together in prayer for this amazing and complicated country. Many Haitians perished last year, from the earthquake and cholera, but the country and its people are still fighting and showing a beautiful tenacity to live and love with joy in the midst of crushing sorrow.
One year ago today our world seemed to crumble around us. Rather than write all over again about those minutes and the days following, you can read it here, here, and here. We are recovering and God has brought beauty from ashes, as he has promised. We cannot forget though, and we shouldn't. Everywhere around us are broken buildings, cracks in walls, rubble, and hurting hearts. This week Bill and Susette Manassero took five children- two girls and three boys- into the boys and girls' orphanages who lost their mom and dad in the earthquake. We won't forget. One of our other little boys moved into the orphanage in June. His mother died months after the earthquake, but we met him because he and his mother stayed in the "bens" (sport court next to the boys' home) with our kids for the week after the earthquake. We can't forget. Do I want to forget? No. I don't want to forget how I saw all our neighbors come to help strangers when they were bloody and losing limbs. I don't want to forget how children and teenagers, our kids, asked to translate or to hold hands or to help adults go to the bathroom after they'd had surgery. I don't want to forget the doctors who rescued us from our insanity but also brought necessary laughter to the long days.
On Monday and Tuesday our children and staff gathered together in the mornings to pray and worship, to cry out to God in thanksgiving and to ask him to bring about change in our hearts and in Haiti. Both mornings kids and adults shared their earthquake experiences and how God had brought blessings through this experience. On Wednesday the kids and staff walked around our neighborhood, singing and praying for the country. Throughout the city churches were in session and many schools also conducted walks similar to ours. In the evening, right before the time of last years' earthquake, those kids and staff who had lost friends or family in the earthquake lit a candle and shared the name of their loved one who died. Five year old Tiu, one of the new boys, lit a candle in his mother's honor. I almost lost it then. Ti-John shared that he could light candles forever in honor of all his Haitian brothers and sisters who died. It was an important time for us to share together and to grieve together.
Pray with us as we see the discouragement the Haitians face every day and that a new Haiti that glorifies God will be rebuilt and restored.