Dear Haiti

We didn’t know what we would find, but we expected nothing like what you gave us. We came with the idea of bringing life and love to a broken land and a hurting people. Instead, we leave broken ourselves, humbled and challenged by what we have seen and who we have encountered.

You are a lovely, gracious, beautiful, strong people. You are survivors in a way that redefines the world. You exist in community, lifting each other up. You endure, always moving forward, always persevering. And you smile. You smile beautifully, with your entire being. Even standing on rubble, even while hungry or thirsty, even in the face of hardships that we will never understand, you smile.

Haiti, we love you. We love you deep in our souls in a way we cannot understand. All we know is that we will not forget you. We cannot and we will not; this we promise, for you have a piece of our hearts. We commit to you that we will pray for you and advocate for you and fight for the justice you deserve.

J Louis, Sylvestre, Gelin, Odney, Sam, Marckens, Dario, Jean Philippe, Ben, and Claudel: you challenge and inspire us to keep moving, to hold on, to endure. You are not alone! Pastor Gaetan, you showed us how to care for the fatherless. Pastor St-Cyr, you taught us to get down, to get our hands dirty, to truly light the darkness. And Pastor Jean-Alix, you showed us how much God can use one person to change lives and improve communities all over Haiti. You are not alone!

Haiti, may you be blessed! May you find grace for today and hope for tomorrow. May your joy change your country. May you hold on! Hold on to God’s grace, mercy, provision, strength. Hold on, our brothers and our sisters, for Jesus is holding on to you tightly. The winds, the rain, the earth cannot take you from His grip and cannot change who is our God!

From all of us — Chris, Blanca, Stacy, Katelyn, Karen, Becky, Savannah, Lisa, Rebecca, Emily, Stephanie, Susan, Sage, Scott, Jason, Chris, and Ken — we love you and we will be together again, this life or with our Father.

(by Ken)