Sometimes All You Need Is A Comforting Bosom
Mission work is a complex amalgam of love, hard work, spiritual warfare, travel, giving, and joy. Throw in some pain, terror, sacrifice, heartbreak, privation, and laughter and you start to get the idea of what it really is like to leave your home behind, get on a jet with a bunch of strangers, and then eat Pringles as you bounce across rotten roads with a load of orphans.
This week in Haiti was my second one in three years. It won’t be the last unless I get lucky and meet God in person before next year. It cemented my impressions and love of the country, and people, that occupy this fragile island.
Two years ago it was a different place. Where there were stinking canals full of garbage on the first visit, there is water flowing and backhoes clearing away the sewage. Pounded collections of rubble from the 2010 earthquake have been replaced with small markets, new homes, and plantings of corn and sugar cane. Smiles have replaced frowns. Blue skies are no longer darkened with the clouds of burning plastic.
Best of all, the national color of Haiti has changed from the blue of tarps in a tent city to the reflective vest of the construction workers and their matching hard hats. The country is cleaner, more vibrant: they are coming back from a terrible tragedy and a history that mixes despair, despotism, and liberty in unequal parts.
One thing hasn’t changed: the hearts of the people who come here on missions. Tender, caring, broken people who give their time and money to help Haiti climb out of the pit. A national mass grave has been left behind in a move toward a future of growth and tourism. All with the help of people like Tamara and Stefan.
They are the two very tired missionaries who have children, also asleep, draped all over them. A soft bosom to comfort the children of Haiti, as they grow toward a future of joy. Two very different bodies, two different people. One spirit. The spirit of Jesus as he uses us as his hands and feet. And his comforting breast.