Thursday, July 16, 2015

Entering the mystery

Another in-depth look at life in Haiti from our 40 Day Immersion Team.  This time, from aspiring nurse, Bailie:

I am a fourth of the way through this immersion trip! I already have learned a lot about myself and life and culture in Haiti. Life in Haiti is slower and the days seem longer- there are no pressures of time, and it truly forces you to slow down and take in your surroundings- the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly. I have made friendships that already are strong and I know will be life-long. I have fallen in love even more with the people of Haiti and their hearts for each other and for the furthering of the Kingdom. It has been an INTENSE ten days and has been filled with ups and downs and I have learned way more and way quicker than I expected to!
Bailie and Nurse Magdalene
As an aspiring nurse and a person with a heart and desire to make Haiti my future, I have the unique opportunity to see what medical care is like in Haiti. I am thankful that just across the street from the compound, there is a clinic that serves both the Foundation inhabitants and the surrounding community and is ran by Haitians. I have been taking simple vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, etc.) of patients that come into the clinic and then observing as the nurse treats the ailment at hand in various ways. Although there is still a significant language barrier, it is really cool for me to be able to learn what Haitians believe about medicine, see what my future could involve, and to begin to figure out what role I can play here. I have also been checking in on the children who currently live at the orphanage- we had a few sick babies (who, thanks to a couple great nurses on a team that stayed at One Family this week, were given antibiotics and are doing much better!) and want to ensure it will not spread more. The kids LOVE hearing their own breath sounds and heartbeats through a stethoscope- perhaps there are a few future doctors and nurses in our midst!  
Marc, With his hand-made 'stethoscope.'
During my time in Haiti so far, I have been reading and studying the book of Job. A man of privilege and opportunity, he is suddenly plagued with “unnecessary” and “undeserved” suffering. He cries out to God and is direct and persistent in his questions to Him. There is much to learn from Job and his life, but The Message version of the Bible has a passage in the introduction that I feel accurately sums up my personal purpose of this trip.
“So, instead of continuing to focus on preventing suffering- which we simply won’t be very successful at anyway- perhaps we should begin entering the suffering, participating insofar as we are able- entering the mystery and looking around for God. In other words, we need to quit feeling sorry for people and instead look up to them, learn from them, and- if they will let us- join them in protest and prayer. Pity can be nearsighted and condescending; shared suffering can be dignifying and life-changing.”

I am not here to “fix” Haiti- I could not and will not do that on my own. But to enter their suffering, to live life the way they do for a period of time and support them on their journey to and with Jesus…that is how one intricately learns about the people and place they have a desire to serve. It is only after we have entered into that suffering and understand (as much as my American experiences will allow me to) that suffering and becoming part of the community can we even begin to do the work that is planned for us. I knew that coming into the experience, but actually attempting to live it out has made me believe in the mission my team and I are on. I am grateful to be part of this immersion trip and to have the opportunity to learn about this place and the people I love so much!