In my last post, I talked about what it felt like waiting and not knowing if my parents were safe, hurt, or alive after the earthquake rocked Haiti on January 12th. As I mentionned, I will never forget how I felt in those moments. I spoke with a counselor friend of mine a couple of months ago, and she said that something like this happening to those you love changes your life, your security forever creating a new reality, a new view of the world that HAS to be accepted in order for you to move forward with your life.
And as intense as it was in my life -- we waited 18 hours; some people waited for days. Some have never found their family members --dead or alive. And then there are others that have been reunited after months of thinking their loved one was dead like in this story.
This catastophic event is filled with triumphs & tragedies, joys & sorrows, agony & hope from the miraculous stories of babies found alive & alone days after the initial quake, to the flattening of the most well known tourist hotel outside of the capital of Port-au-Prince killing many instantly and others days later, to the people trapped in a grocery store who were kept alive eating peanut butter(and other grocery items) waiting for rescue, to the emergency workers of ALL kinds & nationalities who tirelessly searched, treated, fed, organized for days, and to the missionaries and expatriates and nationals still rebuilding this nation cracked to the core.
After I knew that my parents were safe (and even in the hours before), the magnitude of what had happened to "my" people, "my" country was impossible to grasp. It still is to me in so many ways. I haven't been able to go back yet, and I try to think and to imagine the "life I knew" so changed -- my high school partially collapsed, the grocery store we frequently patronized completely collapsed, the home & ministry building that I grew up with extensively damaged with partial collapses, families split in half by death, and approximately 300,000 people gone in one incident, one shift of the earth. I have seen the pictures, watched the videos, read the reports, and heard the stories like many of you have, but like any photo or story, it captures & paints a moment and an emotion but not the full magnitude of the reality of what those there saw and felt.
I don't claim to have all or really any easy or quick answers for exactly HOW this island is going to recover physically, emotionally, mentally...it WILL take time. However, in my search for hope, I can tell you that I have found it in God -- in His Word, through the Holy Spirit, in the faces of the people of this beautiful island who have chosen, in spite of it all, to put their trust, their faith, their hope in the God who has never abadoned them in the face of their deepest trials.
The nation of Haiti is moving forward............