Monday, October 17, 2011

Sacrifices for Haiti

Lately, my pastor at church has been talking about sacrificial giving of our time, talents, and treasures to help people in our communities and abroad. Although rewarding, I have found that sometimes gifts of service can also be painful. I have had people tell me, "I could never leave my family behind to serve in Haiti ... I would miss them too much." Believe me ... it's not always easy. In fact, last night before I was about to leave for my third trip to Haiti, my 7-year-old son cried for an hour begging me not to go and this really pulled at my heart strings. "Please mommy ... don't go to Haiti," he tearfully pleaded, "I can't sleep with you gone."

My 11-year-old daughter was more understanding and told me that she was happy that I was willing to help the poor. She gave me her rosary to take with me again as she has done for previous trips. This act of kindness and concern from her always chokes me up.

As my son continued to shed tears, I felt like my heart was literally being ripped out and I was actually thinking ... "How can I leave him in this condition?" However, then my thoughts drifted to the orphans in Haiti that crave attention from a mother figure like myself. I had one orphan girl approach me in July with a big smile on her face as she said, "You family!" She then proceeded to hug me. Other orphans passed notes to my team members referring to them as "mama." So tender and sweet. Is sharing a few weeks of my life with these beautiful children too much to ask? I don't think so.

I gently praised both of my children for their sacrifices in letting me go to give hope, encouragement, and love to the people of Haiti. And ... I'm so thankful to my husband for the sacrifices he makes to support my trips. He wears many hats when I am gone, from cook to activity planner, and I truly appreciate his efforts in comforting our children so I can continue on with my mission.

Giving can be painful, but at the same time, so rewarding. I get back way more than I give to Haiti and I guess that's the beauty of it. I trust that God is taking care of my little ones by filling them with peace until I arrive home to embrace them once again. Looking forward to tomorrow and what the day will bring in serving the least of these in Port-au-Prince.

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