Hi DW's! As many of you already know, recently I was in Haiti on a missions trip with friends. I was part of a small group of four people who independently traveled there to help out friends at The Apparent Project. The trip proved to be overwhelming on so many levels considering the large amount of poverty and the mass rubble still present from last year's earthquake in Port au Prince. This past week I have shares with you the writings of my bunk-mate and fellow DW friend, Jennifer, who wrote a daily synopsis of the experience (from her viewpoint) in order to update family and friends while we were there. Today, I would like to conclude this blog series with a blog written by DW Shelley from The Apparent Project. We all hope and pray that these writings will bless your hearts to further help the poor, the widowed, and the orphaned as mandated in James 1:27.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
Ladies, each one of us is able to make a difference in the lives of others! We must only be willing to follow God's call wherever he leads! May you be richly blessed by His love as you enjoy Shelley's blog entry regarding her beloved Haiti... and now also my beloved Haiti. Blessings! ~Victoria
(Pictured above: Latina in Haiti)
Beauty By Shelley Clay at The Apparent Project
This woman has no teeth. Her eyes are unproportionately large, her hair, pure grey. She obviously skipped her last few sessions of botox, is half the height of a super model, can't remember who she is, has huge calloused feet from walking in the dirt barefoot her whole life, has nothing really to offer in terms of productiveness or service, her hands are crooked and wrinkled, she has no womanly figure to speak of any more. And she is the most beautiful, breathtaking thing that I laid eyes on this year.
Her name is Latina.
What is it about brokenness, about things ancient, used up and yet still somehow unchanged that is so attractive over time?
I feel the same way about Haiti, about the earthquake rubble, about the lady in my neighborhood with stubs for arms, the precious little girl with orange skin, the piles of trash to pick through for new recycling ideas, the teasingly inconsistent everything here, and the way that my life in Haiti only half accomplishes what it should in three times as long. It has become my place of rest. This broken country so beautiful to me.
I loved China. The efficiency, the cleanliness, the amazing streamlined production, the meticulous importing and exporting of everything, the starched collared guards at every corner. But it was not home. It was not comfortable. It was not something to sink into. Haiti is comfortable to me.
The thought of this scares me as I know that in order for Haitians to someday move past the bondage of poverty, things have to change. Marketing, importing, music, clothing, internet, jobs, food.. it's all changing. People are being trained, leaders rising up, tents going down, buildings going up. And all of it is so tearfully good. So good.
But there is something to the idea of timelessness. Of leaving a piece of the Berlin Wall in tact, the sacred space of Ground Zero undisturbed, the scar from a horrible childhood incident not erased, the broken pieces of your heart still on your sleeve that brings something living and real to what the fabric of Haiti is.
May Haiti be all that she can be. May Haiti rise up to be the cool breeze that refreshes the Caribbean and blesses the world with her beauty, people, and culture as her kids start to receive education, her moms and dads fill their calling to work, the young and old alike need not die for lack of medical care, and her plants and animals need not be broken and abused anymore.
But may she never lose her wrinkles, her scars, her weathered feet that bring all that she is becoming into a new kind of beauty. She is not broken to beautiful, but rather beauty because of her brokenness.
She is my Latina.
And may the stunningly gorgeous Latina live to be 300 years old (if she's not already) so that every time I venture into the paradise of the Furcy mountains, I can see her face and melt in her glow.
Thank you, my online DW's for taking this "journey" with us the past week or so. Additional pictures from our trip can be found on my Facebook Fan Page under "Photos". In months/years to come, my prayer is that we at DW will be able to introduce you to other areas of the world that also need prayer, support, aid, help, etc. We are the hands and feet of our Master. Let's learn to love others... ALL OTHERS... as He first loved us! Many thanks to DW Jennifer and Shelley for sharing their hearts (and DW Sara for her pictures). It has been a great honor to serve alongside you, my dear sisters in Christ! Love you, gals! XOXOXO ~Victoria
For more information on how to help the Haitian people through The Apparent Project, please visit www.apparentproject.org.