Sarah checks in with an update as the Eastern College DR team wraps up their week of service.
Hola! So I was asked to write another update about our trip so far. However, I am a procrastinator of the worst kind. So, this morning, as I considered all the things I have to pack up before we grab a hasty breakfast and wave "adios" to this beautiful island, I was trying to think up a way I could use my words to bring glory to God AND give an idea of our trip--a way to express the things we have felt as we watched this week turn into a memory.
But how could I do that? How could I possibly explain what it was like to feel the sun pierce through my dirty clothes as I tried my best to shovel cement into the wheelbarrow? The relief I felt when a small cloud would guard us from the sun for a minute as we mixed cement, and poured it into the cracks of the cinder block school?
How could I begin to explain the poverty we saw in the two Haitian villages? The way some of the children looked like the joy for life had already fled their eyes? We passed out Beanie Babies and cross necklaces and crayons and did our best to show them the perfect love of Christ as we held them and colored with them and sang songs like "Father Abraham".
How can i explain the stark realization, as we drove away in our bus, that those beautiful people cannot ride away from their reality? But let me explain this: it was beautiful to hear that many of the villagers have the hope of Christ in their hearts, to know that I will see them someday in heaven, and we will finally be equally blessed, and our dirty, unfair world will be merely a distant memory.
I don't know how to express these moments and one million more to you all. We met the most genuinely loving, Christ-like people down here. We saw sadness and sickness, but we saw a plan that is much more majestic than our own beginning to unfold. and we saw hard work pay off as we rejoiced for the breakthrough in funding for the school--new hope for the children we have fallen in love with here! We saw hard work pay off as the cinder blocks began to look like a real structure rather than a taunting pile that told us we could never get the grueling work done.
We felt tears on our last night in Catalina, the church service that wrapped up the relationships we created with the people we worked with, the people who fed us, the people who traveled with us to the beach: our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I don't know how to express them to you, and maybe I don't have to. Maybe God is preparing a trip just as beautiful for you, so you won't just HEAR these moments, but you can LIVE them. Or maybe He is preparing the perfect situation for you to walk into--sharing the gospel with a friend-and you can experience the joy that only comes when we trust God to flow through us and to hurting people, because you certainly don't need to travel to a third world country to find suffering.
So even though I can't express each of these moments to you, I hope you are encouraged to know that our work was all in God's name, and that He will use our human hands to create opportunity for the beautiful people of the D.R.
God bless, and thank you.
-Sarah and the team