Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Journey of Faith Haiti Trip Day 3 - Shannon Maier

Today was our first Water Day of trip!!  And what an incredible experience it was!!

To be honest, I woke up with such mixed emotions.  I felt excitement and was eager to share in the day that God had in store for us, but also I felt nervous and a bit of fearful.  The nerves totally caught me off guard, as the clean water initiative that Healing Haiti has built is one of the main reasons why I decided to come on this trip.  God has blessed me with a hospitable heart, so meeting the basic needs of others is something that pulls at my heart strings in intense and emotional ways.  This was the moment that I have been waiting for, to live out my God given gifts and to share His love with others, but I just couldn't stop thinking, 'I don't know if I can do this?  What if I fail?'

As we embarked out for our first water stop, in our always exciting ride on Tap Tap vehicle, I took a moment to focus my attention on the presence of God and He gifted me with Psalm 73:26 'My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever'.  A dear friend shared this wonderful promise with me right before I left on this trip.  It is one that I have been meditating on throughout the journey, thus far.  When I said the words over and over, I was reminded that I am eternally accepted just as God made me, nerves and all, and it was a reminder that I would fall back on over and over again as the day continued.

The first stop, in City Soleil, was right outside Hope Church and we visited the pier area for our second.  At both stops, I was startled with how fast the water started flowing, how many buckets were being filled, and the life felt all around us.  Darling kids came running up to us all, asking to be held and have their picture taken, or to help carry filled water buckets to their houses.  It was a beautiful whirlwind!

Instantly you could see the joy, hope, and life we were able to bring to so many lives.  I think I picked up my first three children and buckets purely on adrenaline!  The heaviness of the bucket was definitely felt by bucket number 4 both times.  WOW was it heavy!!!  I came to find out, at the end of the day, that each bucket probably weighed close to 37 pounds, which is well above my max lifting weight.  At those moments, the previous nerves started to flood in that 'I just can't do this'...'I am, obviously, not strong enough, at least physically!'  But God, just as He promised, reminded me of Psalm 73:26.  It didn't matter how fast or slow I was carrying that bucket, whether water was splashing everywhere or not, the only thing that matter was I was trying to carry that bucket to bring God glory and to share His love with others.  He would get me to where I needed to be in His strength.  What unconditional acceptance!  From there, I was able to carry a few more buckets, with the help of one of my teammates (way easier to work in pairs!...should have thought of that earlier), and pick up a hand full of sweet Haitian children along that way.

Water Day 1 surpassed my expectations on so many levels.  The hearts I got to touch, which also touched mine, the act of service I was able to be apart of for the City Soleil community, and just experiencing the beautiful island down by the water with one of the cutest Haitian children was just too much!  Water Day number 2 is tomorrow, so I will take the lessons learned from the first day, along with Psalm 73:26 to hold that close to my heart.

One more between both water stops, we had the opportunity to visit the Hope Church facility.  One of our leaders, this evening, called Hope Church an anchor for Christ in City Soleil, and it totally struck me cause that description does not fall short of the impact that this place is making on the community around it.  When we walked onto the property, I instantly felt an overwhelming feeling of hope that only Christ can bring to life.  This place is not only creating and growing hope in the local community, but also for all the missionaries that step onto their grounds.  I am looking forward to hear and witness what God continues to do through that property for the Haitian people and His kingdom.

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