Thursday, April 30, 2015

In the Midst

I wish there was an easy way to start this post but I just keep deleting and retrying. I am not sure I can even get the words out clear enough to make you understand. Yesterday was a day of experiencing joy, anxiety, sadness and pain. Yet in all of it came comfort.

I believe for you to even try to understand what it was like yesterday I must be real and share even the parts you may not want to read, but for me it was a reality. It was not hidden from me, it was not hidden from kids and it shouldn't be hidden for you. 

We started our day preparing to bring the boys we care for back home. We were so excited to know that Ricarduo is on the road to recovery and that we can hopefully help educate his mom on how to care for them to assure this won't happen again. Of course this will be a much longer process but it was a start. We had arranged for them to go home for one week and see how things go. We equipped her with things that the boys needed for the week in hopes that over the next week Ricarduo will gain more weight or atleast maintain his week. Our goal is for him not to lose any weight this next week. 

Our first stop of the day was the clinic to have his weekly check in which of course was a success. The kid loves food which means he is gaining back the much needed weight he needs. Yahhhh, everyone is excited and now next stop is bringing them home. 

It's pretty common here in Haiti to see police officers doing some sort of check stop. You really never know what they are looking for and to be completely honest sometimes they are just looking for an easy way to earn some side money. Today was our day for our check stop. I was thinking no problem, you aren't going to get me this time. Chris has his license and our truck has proper up to date license plates. Then came the question. Who's two little boys are these? Our translator explains that we are on our way back to drop the boys off to mom. Then comes the idea... the idea that we kidnapped the children. Wait? What? This is a joke right? Surely you don't think I am kidnapping children while I have my own three children with me with a chance of getting us all in trouble. But Jo-Anne your tattoo is showing which leads them to believe that you are not a good person, because anyone with a tattoo is not good. As this is going on the anxiety starts to kick in and all I know I can do at this point is ask for prayers. And in that moment I ask everyone on my Facebook to pray for us at that moment. It's moments like those where you know you have no control over the situation and the only one who can help is God. It's in the midst that that I know I must control my tongue and watch what comes out of my mouth. 

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19
As we wait to see what is going to happen we are sure that they are waiting for us to offer them money and let us go. Sorry, but not really, these children will not be used as pawns just so you can earn a few extra dollars. In my head, I say book 'em! I wish I could tell you I was joking but I am really not. I was preparing to see my husband and our translator go to jail because I knew if I was to pay them off I wouldn't have been any better than them for using the kids. We eventually are led to the police station and speak to the man in charge. All I hear is Creole Creole Creole, then out of no where he starts speaking the clearest English I have heard a Haitian speak. I wanted to cry in that moment to know that I directly had the opportunity to speak in my language about the situation. It was in that moment that God was at work. After some discussions and lessons learned even if I still question them now we were let go. We learned after leaving that the guy in charge is a Christian and was so clearly in the presence of the Lord to have such grace and understanding for what was happening. 

On the road again we go. I can always tell when we are in Port Au Prince. We go through this busy section of the city where you never know what you are going to see. I like to look out at this part, see what people are selling, what people are wearing or just to see what they are doing in general. We see this group of people standing around this one area, not really doing anything, just standing. I look at the ground where two police are standing and I see a man laying on the ground and i think he looks so peaceful, while I am completely oblivious until I look more clearly and see blood streaming down the road from his head and knowing at the moment I just a dead body. At the moment, the only thought that came to my head was "I wonder if he knew Jesus?" And then it made me sad, to think that this young man was laying out in the open with everyone to see as they past by. It was like he was a nobody, but he is so far from a nobody, we are all so far from being a nobody. 

And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18

Our day continues and we have finally have met with mom and drive her to as close as we can go to her house, which I might add is not close considering she still had a 30 minute walk up a mountain with the boys as there is no motos or vehicles that can go up there. We give all the stuff she needs, we hug and kiss the boys and tell them we will see them next and then we get in the vehicle to leave and all of a sudden my heart is broken. This wasn't suppose to happen, we knew this was going to happen a week prior. I was ready for this, I was excited for this,  I wanted this... I was completely doing this on my own. It took me until just now as I write this and hold back the tears that I did not ask God to be a part of this day. I did not ask him to prepare my heart, I did not ask him to prepare my children who later sobbed that night, I did not ask him to prepare the little boy who watched us drive away and looked completely confused by the whole situation and had a lost look on his face. He brings me to the bible verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

I have to trust that in the midst of all these emotions that the Lord is with me. I have lean into Him in this times of confusion. I will never be able to understand this life in Haiti or this life in general and the experiences we have on my own. I must seek Him, seek in everything I do. I need to know that in the midst of everything that goes on no matter the situation that He is right beside me and I can call upon his name.