Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day Three by Kristi Carstensen

Today was the water truck day. I've been looking forward to this day for months. I'd say since August when I finally said yes to the call to come, but in all truth, it's been since I boarded a plane to go back home 18 months ago. I have this little boy I've connected with each time that I've given the name of Max.  It's my favorite day.

We visit areas, delivering water, in Cite Soleil, the poorest of the poor here. There are tin shanties built on garbage, babies playing on the same space as the pigs and goats, walking on broken glass, tarps and tin and wood sticks making homes. Yet, the children bring great joy. The people have faith that could move mountains. We talked tonight of how they have to have the faith that God will provide the next meal. The next bucket of water. The health and good weather for the next day. The other stops were in a tent city- where there are those still living in tents from either having a damaged home or no home prior to the earthquake. The other areas where the sewage is along the side of the streets. Where there is desperation for the provision of water in some places.

My word today was missing. My heart aches every time for their lack in the essentials we take for granted every day. I don't have to think about a bucket of water to feed my family. I don't have to think about where the next meal is coming from. I have the good fortune of a stable, clean, spacious home that is warm or cool depending on a switch. They have none of this in these areas. I'm so thankful that God has done a number on my heart that I am able to be ok with just doing something instead of fixing all of it. I want to throw my activator fix it on Haiti in the past and it has taken God's grace to be at peace with helping for the one day. I can do this knowing another team is not far behind to help. That my one day, the one, two or ten buckets of water was one, two or ten more than they had yesterday. It isn't forever, but it is meeting the basic need of the day. If I've learned nothing else, it is the resourcefulness and the lack of waste in the Haitians. They'll make the water last. Missing this basic of needs.

Missing. I didn't see Max. It took the ride back to the water stop to process the loss of not seeing him this time. It may have been that there was water brought yesterday. It could be that he finally can go to school. It could be that they moved in the last 18 months. It could be that something happened. Missing. I generally don't like having my hair touched and it is this surrender that happens on each trip in having my hair done. The girls didn't this time. Missing. The hand slapping game with the kids. Missing. Some of the faces at the last stop since I was working with the water buckets.

Missing. Direction in some ways. I had said I'd keep coming for Max. Haiti feels unfinished right now.... this unclosed project that I'm supposed to continue to work on. Bringing my kids. Working through the work of this mission that has captured my heart. Part of the reading this morning was the feeding of 5000 where Jesus said "Do not send them away, YOU find them something to eat" (paraphrasing here). I underlined the word you three times. As if I was being told that this is something I'm called to, much like the rest of the ladies. I can't do everything, but I can pray over a water truck and do it thus that, should I ever hit the faith of a mustard seed, God could make the water flow and flow and flow until they had enough. I'm convinced of it. I wrote today a prayer that there would be enough water... twice over. And all but one stop? There was enough for all the buckets.

Oceans that was played as part of our devotion seems to end up fitting right in.
"Your grace abounds in deepest waters; Your sovereign hand; Will be my guide; Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me; You've never failed and You won't start now.

So I will call upon Your name; And keep my eyes above the waves; When oceans rise; My soul will rest in your embrace; For I am Yours and You are mine...." Oceans, Hillsong United.

Asking for strong enough again today... I can only ask that I become so small in the days ahead that God can be so big. Asking God to be strong enough for the both of us and to lead me out into the great unknown where my feet will fail because I'm not strong enough. Where my feet may fail because when I have my heart broken, the more cracks in this armor that can happen, the more God gets to work and be seen. Sinner that I am, He still calls me to do this work.

Work in progress. Until tomorrow.


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