Tuesday, October 4, 2011

mi familia

When I was asked to write up a blog post to describe my experience here, I was a bit overwhelmed by the task at hand. How can I encapsulate everything I have witnessed here- the people, the depth of their eyes, the warmth and graciousness of their smiles, the poverty of the barrios, the countless starving dogs, the array of smells, the heaviness of the Holy Spirit, etc. The only way I can begin is with one word: thankful. As I watched these people, marveling at how creative they can be to make things work with what we would consider dirty old trash (that wouldn’t even be fit to sell at a yard sale), I began to realize how easily… that could have been me.

Why God? Why did you choose to give me one of the biggest blessings of being born in the US? I have often prayed for God’s favor and blessing- and yet I’ve just now realized that He already has favored me- just by determining the place I was born!

It makes me feelcompletely foolish for some of the things I pray about whenever I hear the Haitians’ prayer requests. Out of the two pastor’s we’ve met, the biggest needs they have are safety, water, and a roof that doesn’t leak. Americans wouldn’t step foot in a church that didn’t have these basic needs. But what makes us any different from the Haitian people? We just live in a different location and have different skin tones- but that doesn’t really matter, does it? We have the same father, and love Jesus. Therefore, that makes us brothers and sisters in Christ, right? Yet we are living totally different lifestyles, and our problems have a magnitude of difference between them, and so on. As I first encountered these horrors I witnessed, I leaned towards the thought: “Oh those poor people”. But after praying that God would allow me to see through His eyes, I began to think more like this: “that could have just as easily had been me”. This simple change in thinking not only allowed me to see how I am so blessed beyond measure, but it has also started me along the right path towards truly loving my neighbor as myself.




favorite (possibly only) toy


Sunday, October 2, 2011

“Dios te bendiga”

“Dios te bendiga”

“God bless you”

I have never handed out Christian tracts to strangers. Except for today. This morning, I was handed a stack of tiny booklets which explained the gospel in espanol and french creole. Then, the local missionaries taught me one sentence, “Dios te bendiga.” Apparently, that was all I needed to know in order to be prepared for short term missions work.

I was far from prepared. I don’t think anything could have prepared me. I’ve seen films, heard stories, read books, and looked at pictures. But as I waded through an open air market in the slums of a third world city – I realized that nothing could prepare me for the poverty, sickness, or chaos that I was encountering.

I stared deep into the eyes of men, women, children and even stray dogs. They all returned with stares of excitement and curiosity because I was “Americano.” However, I could still see the despair and pain that they held within. Unfortunately, the only thing I could offer them today was a christian booklet and a simple statement, “God bless you.”

…I hope he does.

-Bill Rose