I miss Haiti. I miss hugging my friends, her people. I miss seeing the beautiful smiling faces of the students at Hope Rising Christian Academy. I miss worshiping with brothers and sisters in Christ at Hope Rising Fellowship. I miss hearing the band playing in the airport to welcome me to a land I love. I miss sitting on the back porch of the Hope Rising guest house, staring at the mountains painted by the Creator. I miss Kerlande’s freshly baked bread and plates of rice and beans and chicken legs. I miss the rainbows, sunrises and sunsets that adorn the Haitian sky. I miss feeling safe and secure driving through the streets of Port au Prince, Carrefour and Martissant.
I’ve been so frustrated, to say the least … Will I ever be able to experience these things again? Why should I stay so invested in a place to which I may never, or at least for several years, be allowed to return? Why should I continue to be involved in and support an organization that has changed lives in Haiti, even though I may not get to serve on the ground again? Why does my heart break every time I see a Haitian friend’s post on Facebook or see the pictures of the students I sponsor hanging on my refrigerator?
In a series of totally unrelated events over the last week or so, God has clearly answered my questions. WHY? … Because HE is there. He’s there in Pastor Mondesir and the deacons as they lead Hope Fellowship Church. He is there in Jeff and the teachers at Hope Rising Christian Academy as they pour into the students and teach them the love of Jesus. He is there in the hands of Dr. Jude and Dr. Odne and the nurses as they treat patients and point them to the Great Physician at Hope Rising Christian Clinic. He is there in Phito as he manages and oversees the property to make sure everything is taken care of. He is there in Roody, who is one of the reasons so many of us fell in love with Haiti 10 years ago. He is still there in every sunrise, sunset and rainbow, and in the mountains seen from the back porch that I like to refer to as “mine.”
“Even when I don’t see it, You’re working.
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working.
You never stop, You never stop working.
You never stop, You never stop working.”
So I pray. I pray for peace and order in the land, because God tells us in I Corinthians 14:33 that He is not a God of confusion and chaos. I pray for God to turn the hearts of the leaders like rivers of water as He promises in Proverbs 21:1. I pray for God to bestow beauty instead of ashes and the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of despair as He says in Isaiah 61:3. I pray for the nation to humble itself and pray, seek His face and turn from its wicked ways so He will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land as He says He will do in 2 Chronicles 7:14. I pray, as Psalm 40:3 says, that He will put a new song in the mouths of the Haitians, a hymn of praise to our God, and that many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.
Maybe we can’t be there now. Maybe the Smithsons, the Lunsfords, and other American missionaries can’t be there now. But God is still there … He never left and He never will
Cara Kay Copes, Executive Director