As most of you know, I am spending a season of life in Haiti to do ministry and come alongside Mission of Hope in the pursuit of reaching every man, woman, and child there with the transforming power of Jesus. Days here are filled with great food, sweet conversations with the teams from America, and splashes of exciting and encouraging interactions with Haitians. Today marks day seven that we (nine other interns and myself) have been here on the ground in Haiti.
There have been so many memorable things that have happened during my time here so far ranging from stories ending in laughter all the way to situations ending in apprehension. I have ridden on canters through the bumpiest roads, worshipped in a foreign language, swam through what seemed to be a sea of jellyfish, encountered conversations where the language barrier brought me to a point of some discouragement, had chill hammock time with the other interns, made friends with some of the Village of Hope orphans, seen more beautiful sights than I can account for, laughed until my stomach hurt with the other interns and staff, been poured into by the Executive staff at MOH and the other full time staff and team leads, held Haitian children almost as tall as I am, saw and chatted with sweet familiar Haitian faces, already said a few hard goodbyes to some of the sweetest people that came to visit and serve at Mission of Hope, and now currently fighting off tons of bugs as I attempt to use a lit up computer in a dark room.
One of the things that I have been experiencing here in Haiti that has been so intriguing to me is the dust. Right now, in Haiti, it is dry season, which leads to a lot of dust flying around everywhere. Sometimes, it sweeps across the grounds through gusts of winds, and sometimes it isn’t always so obvious to recognize its presence..but yet you know it’s always there. After a day of being outside, my hair feels like quite the dust mop. Even my clothes and skin end the day with a nice tint of dust. It is so dusty that the Haitian children can cover their bodies with it to pretend to be “blan”–which is the creole term for “white person.” I remember coming last year and having a hard time feeling comfortable with being so dusty, but this time, it’s been more of an interesting thing for me to walk through.
That might seem silly or odd, but as I was walking and looked down at my dust covered jeans, I remembered that the dust is exactly what we were made from, and it humbled my heart.
At first, I had a reaction of “ew dust” to then end with a reaction of “wow dust.” During my time in Haiti, it’s so easy, even being involved in ministry, to forget why exactly I am here. In such a beautiful country, it is easy to feel as though I am on an extended vacation. It’s also easy for the enemy to peak in and give me insecurities of my lacking ability to speak Creole or my tiredness throughout the days. Walking around, looking at the dust covering my jeans, and remembering that God remembers we are dust reminded me of my being compared to His being. Psalm 103:13-14 say “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.” I choose to be confident in knowing that He knows my frame, He remembers that I am dust, and He has compassion on me. He has safely brought me to Haiti with a purpose, not just to let me fend for myself. There will be easy/fun days to come, and there will also be tough and heavy-hearted days to come, but my God knows what I am able to bear and will walk along side me through it all.
The reminder the dust here has given me has brought me to have such a content heart to rest in the fact that God has me right where he wants me. He is my creator and my perfecter. It has also brought me to a humbled heart, because He is in total control and it is by His grace alone that I am even here to begin with. My frame is weak and I am made from dust, but God loves me and knows what I can bear. He knows my every fear and my every temptation, and he gladly walks through them with me and reminds me that he loves me. The fact that we came from dust paints such a beautiful picture for me. He made creatures in his image out of dust– tiny particles of earth that lie on the ground or swift through the air. Instead of expecting perfection out of us, He came down to be perfect for us. His death and resurrection brings us life, and it is life that we can experience in full if we put our hope in Him alone.
To most, dust is just something that makes us feel dirty and is something that we want to get rid of at any chance we can get. But to me, dust has been a beautiful reminder that we are loved and have a Heavenly father who handles us delicately and lavishes us with grace upon grace.