EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the first blog from Jessica Vanderpool, assistant editor for the Arkansas Baptist News, who is traveling with a mission team in Haiti to report on the ongoing work.
Arkansas Baptist News
I woke up Saturday morning (May 5), to see the world through a haze of pink. I’ve never slept under mosquito netting before, much less pink mosquito netting, but it is an interesting experience. It’s a little like sleeping in a canopy princess bed. But maybe I just have an oversized imagination.
But there is no imagining away the reality of Haiti. Flying in from thousands of feet up, Haiti is a beautiful paradise. Descending into the ravaged country shows a different story. Trash is strewn on the sides of the street, sometimes piled in mounds in empty lots. The people are poor, many even sleeping in tents and makeshift houses. Sanitation is virtually nonexistent.
We met a man who lived in a dingy blue tent on the street corner in the city. We also met his two children and his grandmother. All said they were Christians. The man had lost his wife in the earthquake that devastated the country a little over two years ago. His young daughter had a scar on her leg where she was injured as a result of the earthquake, and she had a hernia due to malnutrition. Our team prayed for them before saying goodbye. His story and those of so many around him show that reality of what the people of Haiti have to deal with every day.
But in the less than 36 hours we have been here, God has already shown us amazing things – not that that is surprising, but it is awesome to see. Today we were supposed to go into the prisons to distribute hygiene kits. However, there were some hold-ups getting permission to do so. We knew God was in control and had a plan, but His plan far exceeded ours. We met with an attorney today who is a Christian, and God really opened doors to possible future ministry. If we had been allowed to go into the prison today as planned, we may not have met him and received these opportunities.
Today has been a great day, though we are all very tired. I know we all look forward to the great ways God is going to move. Please pray for us to have the right words at the right times for the right people.
And as you go about your day, remember the reality of Haiti – a poor country of poor people who need the rich love of God.