Day two has come and gone. We are settled in at the Mimosa Hotel outside of Les Cayes, really roughing it here with the air conditioning, the wifi, the pool, the food – I guess if the word gets out, more people might sign up for a mission trip like this.
Today was another adventure. We rose early in the morning to catch our flight from Miami to Port-au-Prince, made it through customs and immigration without a hitch, got all of our luggage, and quickly found our ride our final destination. That’s when the real adventure began.
To discover that Haitians have an assertive characteristic, you have only to see them drive. Never again will I complain about Nebraska drivers, not after today. I felt like I had a back-seat in a real life Mario-Cart game. It was either foot on the floor with the gas, or it was slam on the brakes to avoid the unannounced speed bump or the 50 foot stretch of gravel on an otherwise paved highway. Eventually, one gets accustomed to that breakneck pace of travel, and I was able to catch a few Z’s on the ride.
(I’ve attached a couple of pictures I took on the iPad while in the car. See below.)
I could go on with some of the eye-opening things we saw on the 87 mile, 5 hour drive (the bathrooms, the Tap-Taps, the desolation), but surprisingly, that is not the thing that impressed me the most.
No, what really spoke to my heart was the beauty amongst all the brokenness. Living in the ruins of a broken world are a beautiful people.
Tomorrow, we visit the Consolation Center, and orphanage for orphaned, abandoned, and rescued girls – and everyone we’ve spoken to tonight has told us to prepare to have our hearts broken again and again, with every hug, every song, every smile.
It sounds ridiculous, why travel a thousand miles to go have your heart broken. Why leave the comfort of your home to feel that kind of pain. Why take on this kind of costs for the sake of love?
Because He did. Jesus crossed the span that separated fallen man from a righteous God so that he could seek out and save the lost. Jesus set aside His eternal glory so that He could become like one of us, suffering even to the point of death, of death on the cross, so that He could bear our shame, our reproach, the very wrath of God for our salvation. He gave His life for the sake of love?
That is a redeeming love. By coming here, loving here, I don’t claim that I will be bringing any kind of redeeming love; Christ has fulfilled that. But we do come here, having been made new creations by faith in the grace of God in Jesus Christ, having been made ambassadors of Christ to the world, so that we may join in this ministry of reconciliation.
Ours is a ministry of love. Here and at home. A costly, broken, painful, love. It is the way that He loved us, it is the love He calls us to share.
Pray for our day tomorrow. It will be difficult, but God’s love will be the source of ours.