Sunday, February 24, 2013

Worship. Honor. Praise.

The sun is coming up as I type & there is a party happening on the street in front of my house. Music, dancing, singing, drinking, & overall loudness that started at about 4:15 am. The joys of having no real windows & the season of Rara, the anti-Easter/voodoo celebrations that happen late into the night. Or apparently early into the morning. So those who can't sleep get to write.

It is always interesting the things that pop into my head when I slowly wake up. This morning it is a woman in Jubilee in her 30s. She was diagnosed with AIDS about a month & a half ago. My visits to her involve her descriptions of the pain she feels deep down in her bones. The diarrhea that takes all the nutrition that enters her body. Headaches that never go away. Tiredness that comes from somewhere deep inside. The dreams and concerns she has for her 3 kids if she dies. And my only offers to her are visits, prayer, TUMS to help with acid reflux, and Ensure to help give her strength. Solid foods take so much effort. It is a painfully beautiful thing to see her oldest daughter quietly attend to her Mother's needs. It is a terrible thing to watch someone become a skeleton.
Depending on the day, sometimes it makes me achingly sad. Other time insanely angry at her HIV positive, promiscuous husband. Helpless at my inability to take this from her. Desperate to ease her pain. Hoping that the meds she is on will kick in.

I am currently reading a book, a Christmas present from my younger brother, called Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol. It is full of stories of life in the South Bronx. Beautiful writing. Haunting stories. One particular story that stood out was a teenage boy telling of his family. The struggles his HIV positive Mom goes through. And his attempt to describe them to his peers at his school through a paper. 
When asked how his class reacted, he responded:
"Everyone seemed kind of speechless."
"Did they believe what you wrote was true?"
"I think that they believed it but they did not comprehend it. They didn't understand how this could happen."

Let us begin to comprehend the world in which we live. Not remove or distance ourselves from it. Full of beauty and pain. It is an example that is set for us. And the promise that comes with this is that it will produce Worship. Honor. Praise.

"Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death- and the worst kind of death at that- a crucifixion.
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created things being in heaven and on earth- even those long ago dead and buried- will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father."
-Philippians 2:5-11-
The Message

*photo credit to Kelley & Tyler Caruso*

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Friday Night Entertainment

We have started doing a cookout every Friday night with everyone. It includes the teams, some of our Haitian community, a few Canadians, & the Americans. Last Friday night, the team from Missio Dei Community & our Gonaives Community had the privilege of getting a one time only, musical performance from Chris Greene & Keziah Furth. This came about because of a special request for Cole, an incredibly creative 9 yr old boy visiting Haiti for the first time with his Dad. The performance involved music, costume changes, laughing at ourselves, spectacular acting, & some hilarious stories. I feel as though the laughter we experience here in Haiti comes from deep inside & creates life as it leaves our mouthes. If only every Friday was this fun.

"Life is worth living if there's a laugh in it."
-Anne of Green Gables

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Companions Required

This past weekend, I was sitting, reading, & felt a sense of overwhelming thankfulness. For people who come to visit and play such a huge part in what is happening here. This past week I had the privilege of working with a group of friends- who also just happen to be physical & occupational therapists. They took on the challenge of seeing a variety of patients with developmental problems, difficulty with daily activities, physical deficits, & a variety of other issues. Not to mention they spent time in the 3 & 4-K rooms at the school. I loved hearing them think and then get to work. They came up with recommendations, exercises, games, etc.- then they made it happen! Many trips to the market, measuring feet (length & width), construction projects, & exercise checklists. They started & finished their programs. And the best part is that this is consistency at its finest! Meaning the next therapists we have come can piggyback their work- see what has been done & implemented, & then adjust. Consistency is severely lacking in the medical world here, but we are being diligent. And simply creating consistency where there has been none. Overwhelming thankfulness.

"To walk alone is possible, but the good walker knows that the great trip is life and it requires companions."
-Bishop Camara