Monday, February 14, 2011

Getting ready to go

I cannot believe we’re about to finally leave in three days. After so many months of planning, the thought of going to Haiti isn’t any longer some distant after thought. It’s very real and I’m incredibly excited and nervous. My clothes are on the ground ready to be packed and I’ve gotten all my shots. I’m sure our hosts will be happy to know that I’m immune to both rabies and tetnis and am ready to enter any work site regardless of how many rabid squirrels or rusty nails present themselves :).

I find that I’m bracing myself right now to have my faith both challenged and affirmed. One of the challenging aspects of our faith is grappling with the fact that a loving and merciful God could stand by and watch such suffering happen. Even more than this earthquake, it comes down to centuries of injustice that the Haitian people have been exposed to at the hands of the French and US governments. I don’t have an easy faith answer to these dilemmas. I doubt I will in a week a half. At this point, I’m open to just getting some perspective.

That said, being part of the VIM team has already strengthened my faith. To this point, this strength has come through our community. We have a very amazing group of people going down there. While a bunch of policy wonks going down to build a school sounds more like a Chevy Chase comedy than anything else, I think we have a lot of gifts to offer. The team seems ready to support each other in both our strengths and weaknesses. Beyond our VIM team, it was very humbling this week to get the send off from the Foundry community. I go to the 5 o’clock service and as members’ hands lay on my shoulders, I felt so fortunate to be part of such a radical, authentic, loving, and real community. God has really blessed me in more ways than I can imagine.

In that vein, as we get ready to go to Haiti, community is obviously not the only blessing to be thankful for. I’m so humbled by my stress at work, getting logistics together, and getting vaccines and feel guilty at how relatively trivial these concerns are when compared to what the people we will meet are facing. I’m a progressive because I believe that God could have just easily created me in those circumstances. To that effect, I wonder what my role is in this global suffering. As Christ said, “to those whom much has been given, much will be required” and as Spiderman said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” I wonder how I’m doing at following Christ and the prophet, Spiderman’s teachings :).

On a final note, if you’re reading this I ask your prayers and your voices. I ask these not only for our team going, but also for your continued prayers for the Haitians who recently hit the one year anniversary of the earthquake. The tv cameras are no longer covering the earthquake after effects and it is a calling of people of faith to not forget our brothers and sisters in their time of need. Their need unfortunately does not turn off with the cameras. If you’re still reading this, may God’s peace be with you.


Sarah said...

God's peace and strength be with all of you! Looking forward to reading about your trip!

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing so intimately, Ace. Blessings on the rich confusion of this all.

Barbara Cambridge said...

Prayers of many Foundry members are with you during your work in Haiti. You represent all of us well as you puzzle through the justice of horrible events and the mercy of those who respond with care.