March 15, 2012

Do They See?

I spent two days in Haiti last month. It was a bit of a last minute trip. My purpose was to go with Reid, our newest member to G.O. Ministries. Reid is shooting G.O.'s new comprehensive video and was paired up with me to get the footage he needs.

I was overwhelmed by this trip. To the naked eye, we were simply surrounded by poverty, desolation, humility, hopelessness. We interviewed one woman living in the community and when we asked what her day consisted of, she said "in the morning we search for food, but we don't find any. We fish, but many times, there are no fish." Her daughter, about 3 years old, stood near her legs. Everyday she lives the same life over and over again.

As the sun began to set and darkness fell upon this shanty camp of a "town," there squatting over a pot sitting atop a pile of rocks, sticks and fire was an old woman. She was cooking food for her family, but she had only rocks and sticks and fire. She had no stove, no fancy bakeware, no cooking utensils, just sticks and rock and fire. Every day, she lives the same life over and over again.

The final day I was there I stole a few moments to myself to walk around the town and bid goodbye to a place that has come to teach me so much. As I walked, I saw an old woman smoothing out a tarp on the dusty dirt floor, laying out carbon to sell. I have seen her many times. They cut down the trees and burn their branches and trunks, smoldering them away until it turns into charcoal. This is how she finds her income and supports her family, and she too, lives this same life each day.

Amidst all of this despair and pain is a beautiful world around them. Surrounded by mountains and cacti forests intricately growing and forming walls surrounding homes. The water from the bay laps against the rocks in beautiful shades of blues and greens. You can watch the sunrise over the water and if you walk up the hill to where the mango trees stand, you can watch the sunset over the mountain range. It is magical. In a song Dave Crowder sings, the lyrics go "heaven meets earth with an unforseen kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest." I have seen and experienced this many times in Phaeton and every time I wonder, do they see the magic and wonder of their savior amidst the tragedy in which they live? Do they see the beauty of heaven colliding with the plight of the daily fight to exist? Do they even count it as tragedy as I so readily do, or do they simply accept life the way it is? Do they know there is a world outside of Phaeton vastly different from their's?

We interviewed the Pastor, Lucner Jean Pierre about his partnership with a church from the states that travels to Phaeton and works alongside of their community. The church was there while we were there shooting video and I asked Lucner, what do you think this church gains from working alongside of your church and community and he answered, "There is nothing I can think of that they could gain from us, but I believe the Lord is preparing a special place in Heaven for them and for G.O. Ministries." Trying to hold back the tears and continue the interview I knew I would never be the same.

Oh Lucner and people of Phaeton, if only you knew how much we gain, how our lives will never be the same, how we could never return to the states and live as we once did, all from our time serving alongside of you and the beautiful people of Phaeton. You may not see the beauty of the land or what you could ever have to offer, but I do.


  1. Jackie - so beautifully put. I will never be the same for having visited this village and am looking forward to returning this summer. How right you are - they may never understand what they give to us but thank you God that we are able to receive it.

  2. Awesome blog Jackie! Truly love your heart! And like you, I have gained sooo much from the beautiful people of Phaeton, that it makes me want to give back to them even more. Looking forward to serving there with you again this Summer!


Related Posts with Thumbnails