Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Daily Struggle in Haiti

Today one of my fears have come to a reality, my RA is flaring up. It’s Wednesday and I am lying in bed throbbing in so much pain, my feet and hands and feet are swollen and I just want to cry and I want Obe to come help me. It’s the Wednesday before my birthday and I am supposed to be preparing for a big bash on Friday for the kids and I am laying in bed.

The reason Haiti can be so challenging for me in contrast to many others is not the heat, the garbage or even lack of electricity or water for me it’s walking in Haiti. Walking on dirt roads with holes, walking on rocks and lack of a flat surface to walk in. Walking is my daily struggle here. I fear it. I feel it in every joint from my lower back to my toes. Before two years ago, I never thought about everything it takes to walk, run or even stand now (unfortunately) I am very aware of every move that even my toes make to walk, stand, and (I hardly ever dare to) run.

I also think it’s kind of humorous that God called me to come serve Haiti the same year I got diagnosed with Rheumatoid. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder (over reactive immune system) that primarily attacks the synovial fluid in your joints. For me it is generalized where it attacks all my joints from my neck, to my spine to the rest of my joints. It’s been a painful transition from being physically active to sometimes being completely inactive (like today). It’s been painful physically, emotionally and mentally along with relationally.

I thought to myself many times, “How can I be useful to anyone when I sometimes need help getting dressed?”, “How can I be a good friend if many times I have to cancel activities because I can’t walk well?”, “How can I serve God if I can’t even get to the meeting to learn about what I can do?”. Yet, He called me, chose me to go serve the people of Haiti! Where I have to travel 10 hours to get to my destination, lug around luggage, leave the comforts of my tempra-peudic bed, and to go walk in this terrain. A place where the humidity, almost instantly, swells my feet and hands into ugly deformed tamales.


So in conclusion, I have learned that no I can’t plant the trees that will help the kids obtain fresh food, I can’t haul around dirt in wheel barrels or even carry a bucket of cement to help build the church building and no I can’t even carry babies for more than 15 minutes but I have learned I can love a child that is orphaned or abandoned with all my heart. I can administer vitamins to the kids every morning, teach them the importance of good hygiene and help administer first aid to their daily wounds. I can sit and read a book to them, color with them and solve puzzles with them. I can sit quietly and pray for them.


He has called me to be His hands and feet and to be the voice of the voiceless. Even though my hands and feet most days are hurt, I remember His hands and feet also hurt for me. I also remember Rheumatoid Arthritis could never take my voice away and I will use it to be His voice. So even though I struggle daily in Haiti my God is my strength to finish the work He has assigned me.

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