Over the past 6 days, many of you prayed for the FPSM team who travelled to Haiti. You may have prayed for productivity on the chicken coop and the community gardens, successful meetings with Haitian business owners and medical experts, or professions of faith at VBS. But it’s not too likely that you prayed against rain. To be honest, I almost left my rain jacket at home.
Thanks to the combination of American ethnocentrism and the impending presidential election, the weather in Haiti probably didn’t make it anywhere close to your news feed. In the past 4 days, the areas around Cap Haitian & Milot have been devastated by pouring rain. Floods have emerged everywhere and countless people have been displaced from their homes. Schools and businesses have remained closed since last Friday.
As Americans, rain is often nothing more than an inconvenience. In Haiti, 4 days of consecutive rain can be life threatening. On Monday morning, we awoke to the news that a family of 4 had been killed when their house was overtaken in a mudslide. As we drove the streets of Cap Haitian, countless men, women & children were wading through water the color of milk chocolate that was well above their knees, many of them barefoot. It was as if I could literally feel the cholera pouring into the city. I glanced at a man who stumbled on something. Not knowing what it was, he fished into the muddy water and pulled out a large piece of barbed wire fencing. The image haunts me.
As I dug trenches for the community garden in downpouring rain, I found myself looking up at the heavens and begging (somewhat desperately) “Lord have mercy!” This task-oriented American wanted it to stop raining so we could be more productive. Incredibly, none of the Haitians were whispering that. They were doing what they do: walking through life together.
The rain may have stopped the children of Milot from going to school, but it didn’t stop them from coming to VBS. Neither did it stop the members of the FPSM evangelism team from working tirelessly alongside us, laughing and singing until the work was complete.
I am struck that 4 days of rain can remind us of our powerlessness…and the utter beauty that comes from relentless collaboration in the name of Christ. In this moment, it feels like the closest thing to the kingdom of God that I’ve seen in a while.
On behalf of the 14 Americans who made the trip to Haiti this past week, thank you for your support, your encouragement, and your prayers. Please, as you think of it, lift up the people of Haiti. Current forecast show no end in sight to the rain. May we look up, faces to the heavens, and walk alongside one another in a way that reflects the beauty of the Rainmaker.