By Rebekah Gardner
TBMB events and communications coordinator
On June 30, I had the opportunity to go on my fourth trip to Haiti. This year 12 people went to Haiti, with my sister and brother-in-law’s ministry, Higher Hope Connect Ministries. We had planned to fly back to Charlotte, N.C., on July 7, but God had a different plan. With the extra time the Lord opened my eyes to things that I needed to learn and be reminded of. One thing the Lord reminded me of in Haiti was that I can trust Him.
As most of you know, we had the opportunity to stay in Haiti longer due to protest, riots and road blocks happening because of the increase in gas prices ($10). We had days where we were not sure if there was going to be extra water or money for food, but the Lord always provided. Our Haitian friends and my brother-in-law went over and beyond to make sure we were taken care of. Those guys who served us have not had easy lives by any means, but they demonstrated to me what sacrificial love looks like. I have such little faith; the people of Haiti have such true, organic faith in the Lord. Their faith in God is so genuine and true. They do not depend on anything but faith in Christ.
We have so much at our fingertips. Most of us will never experience the things that the people of Haiti have experienced. I am not saying this to make you feel sorry for the people because, believe me, Haitians are proud of their country. The people of Haiti are some of the most hard-working people I know. Nothing has been handed to them. They have worked so hard for everything they have, and they ultimately trust the Lord and know He is the provider of all things.
Deuteronomy 8:17-18 reminds us, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
One thing I think about is how these people are getting to experience Christ in ways I will never get to experience. I am so connected to too many things. We have so many electronics and conveniences that are not necessarily bad, but I feel as though are slowly distancing us from community. The people of Haiti remind me what community looks like. These people live out Acts 2, where it talks about the people lived in community and shared what they had. There was one day our amazing friends (translators) bought us ice cream. We were so excited and grateful to have it. I went outside the orphanage because I kept hearing the kids on the other side of the fence say, “Hey you.” I went over and tried to say the few creole words I knew with some added acting out moves. One of our translators came out where I was and spoon fed three of the little boys some of his ice cream. I stood there in awe of this beautiful picture of what it looks like to share everything you have. In America, we would not have shared our food with someone we did not know well, and then use the same spoon to get more for ourselves. My friend did not once think about himself. He saw deep into these kids’ hearts and felt great compassion.
I am so thankful to God for the extra time He gave to us in Haiti. I was reminded once again that we serve an almighty God, who is the provider of all things, compassionate and relational. All of this was on display for me as I watched the Lord teach me through the Haitian people.