Saturday, October 15, 2011

With God EVERYthing is possible

It was a running joke this week between team members and those in the community we met. It was possible for it to rain hard, and it was possible for it not to. With God, everything is possible. It was possible to go to bed and possible not to. With God, everything is possible. It was possible for a young man, Eagens, to carry a large TV and DVD player hundreds of yards through rural Haiti so that we could watch a movie together and possible for him not to. With God, everything is possible (and as it turned out in the case of Eagens probable).

This running joke about possibility defines my Haiti experience. It reflects that with God, the seemingly impossible can happen... or it could not. It’s possible for people who don’t speak the same language to come together and sing joyously together. It is possible. As I got violently ill by mid-week, it was possible for the women in the community to run to me, wash my head, and wipe my face with their bare hands as I knelt and vomited. In Haiti that kind of love was possible. It’s possible for people who have been beaten down by years of injustice and desperate circumstances to continue to have faith, to work, and show such great love. It is possible.

With our Haitian brothers and sisters, these weren’t mere possibilities. They were miracles that happened that created inextricable bonds in Mellier and why we felt so strongly about questions we would ask back at the Methodist guest house. How had the teachers we’d met last time still not gotten their fair pay? How was it that though we’d paid for workers to get 5 days of food, that they hadn’t eaten the last day? How had the work not progressed more since our February trip?

We reflected on these questions with Tom Vencus, the UMVIM Director in Haiti, for over two and a half hours. Together we wrestled with the difficult questions of how to make sure that the people we came to love and share community with could be served and engaged at the level they deserved. Our role in this was clear. It is not simply to move dirt from one place to another for a week and come home. It is to create and nurture the deep relationships we made and through these relationships become advocates for the people we met. Our presence and questions serve to continue to help hold leaders feet to the fire and more effectively serve those whom we came to know and love.

With God everything is possible. We learned that this week. Yet it’s not divine grace alone that creates these miracles. It’s a combination of divine grace and persistent human action and willingness to make the hard decisions. Through these decisions and actions justice is possible and yes, injustice is possible. Authentic community is possible and yes, deep distrust is possible. Love is possible and yes, indifference is possible. With God everything is possible and we as a church and ministry team must do our part to make justice, community, and love here in Haiti the possibility we know it can be and that our Haitian brothers and sisters deserve it to be.

(Note I'm responsible on reflecting on day 8 of our trip here. Stay tuned for other members entries for other days!)

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