Today was tough. We didn’t realize how hard it was until we had our team meeting tonight and we all discovered that we were sitting in a room full of people that had just been collectively broken for the community of Yahve Shamma.
The brokenness came as we were able to dive deeper into relationship with our interpreters and Pastor Gaetan. The stories of what happened to them and their families both during the earthquake and in the months that have followed are harrowing and nearly unbelievable (like in the way most Hollywood blockbusters can hold your attention without making you actually think that live sized transforming alien car/robots will actually one day invade earth). But they were real, epic in their tragedies, and far too common. No one single nation should have to suffer like the Haitian people.
Pastor Gaetan, on the other hand, has to be from another planet. His humility, his dedication, and his overwhelming concern for his children is truly otherworldly. A few of us were able to spend more time with him and there is not enough hyperbole in the English language to describe the amazing work he is doing with his children. He keeps thanking us for our sacrifice in coming to Haiti when the reality is that he will spend nearly every waking minute for the forseeable future feeding, bathing, and teaching 30 children that he now proudly calls his own.
A few months ago, the Pastor and his wife were offered residency in the Dominican Republic. It’s a chance that many Haitians would jump at because the quality of life is so much higher. He talked about it with his wife, and they both said, “But who would care for the children?” He continued “God gave me these children for a reason, so that I can save their lives. There will be time to go later.”
There are more stories to be told from today, but they are stories that deserve more time and care than I and the rest of us have the capacity to give. Please pray for us because we are weary . . . not from the work, but from the emotions behind it. Since we’ve been back at our missions home tonight, some of our team members have not been able to stop crying from the emotions of what they experienced today. Also, please pray for our safety tomorrow as we visit the largest tent city in Port-au-Prince with one of the most prominent pastors in Haiti.
We know that you all have been praying for our health and safety, and let me assure you that we can tell. We have been blessed with the connections and the encounters that we have had already and anticipate many more in the coming days.
Talk to you tomorrow.
(by Ken Nussbaum)