3 Years Ago

3 years ago I boarded a plane bound for Haiti with a few suitcases and a heart full of passion and excitement for the adventure of a lifetime.

I left America behind- my job, friends, family, the life I knew. 

I was so sure and nothing could stop me. 

I arrived in Haiti with all my American glory (sarcasm), my biases, my white fundamentalist evangelical Jesus. I showed up to Haiti with a heart truly wanting to serve and learn and no idea how to do so (I probably wouldn't have told you that at the time).

Under the pressure of leadership and without any clue of what was normal, we worked to open a medical clinic within a week of moving (solo) to Haiti. The building and donated supplies were there but I went to the bank, wholesale food distributors, wholesale pharmaceutical supplier, many meetings with local business people and interviewed employees (note to self: behavioral interviews do not translate well in Haiti). It was a whirlwind.

I'm so thankful opportunity to start something from scratch, a true once in a lifetime opportunity.

I also realize that the amount of work and responsibility I had was totally insane, I was not qualified, and I almost worked myself to death.

The early days of getting systems going for the clinic, working all day every day, having no outlet, and being surrounded by a totally foreign language, culture, temperature, and food makes my brain tired. Memories of those days are truly a bit foggy. 

I'm sure I made a ton of mistakes. 

Drinking from a fire hydrant doesn't even cover the feeling.

When I think back, I truly don't know how I did it.

There's a lot of misnomers about missions in our culture. When I engage in missions conversations, I hear common verbage such as,  "great job you are doing overseas." "You are helping so many people!" "You are doing such good work!" etc. etc. It tends to be a very one-sided perspective. 

We miss the whole piece about mutual transformation, the whole piece about God weaving our story together in a way that transforms us, the missionary.

We miss the whole piece about God first and foremost wanting our hearts to be fully in love with him.

What if God draws us out into the world to not only serve but to transform us through his people- through nations and tongues and tribes. Through different expressions of faith and his church. There's so much more to the story of missions.

Though it was painful and extremely difficult, I'm so thankful for how God weaved Haiti into my heart and my story. And how He used this experience to shape my view of Him, my view of me, and ultimately, who I am today.

Picture from opening day of the Onaville Community Health Center, September 17, 2015

Picture from opening day of the Onaville Community Health Center, September 17, 2015