Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day Two by Kristi Carstensen

I woke up this morning with the song "Strong Enough" by Matthew West in my head... but mostly just the part of the chorus that goes "I know I'm not strong enough to be everything that I'm supposed to be; I give up; I'm not strong enough..." Some days I don't know where the song comes from, but some times can end up being the theme of the day.

Yesterday was filled with actually a split team for how we started our day. Several went to the Home for Sick and Dying Babies, while others of us went to do water therapy with the orphans from Gertrude's. Both places were started by nuns, both work with hurt children, just in different capacities. I love the Home for Sick and Dying Babies. It is something special to hold a child that may or may not have a family, that's in a crib, usually suffering the effects of malnutrition. Praise God in this trip, I was hearing the ladies who went say that all of the orphaned children there have been spoken for with families in the States.

I went to do water therapy with the orphans from Gertrude's. My first time down here, I had a really hard time with being there. The second time, it was better... this time? So blessed to have been a part of it. We had three of the five children suffering from Cerebral Palsy, one that was severely behind due to malnourishment, and fifth child confined to a wheelchair. We carried them in the water, bouncing with them, swimming with them, but all in all, just putting them in a space where they were weightless and could relax their joints. The smiles... there aren't words almost to describe the kilowatt smiles these children had in being played with, loved on, and held. There were some who stepped out of what was comfortable for them and into a day of blessings in working with these children.

The rest of the day was spent first doing a little shopping with an organization here that employs Haitians to make different items, and sell them not only in their store, but back in the States as a way for them to earn money. I love the idea- it isn't charity- but a means to help the Haitians have an income source where they otherwise wouldn't. Next was a new orphanage Healing Haiti has partnered with. I don't recall if we are supporting them, or not, but we made crosses with each of them, and then played some outside with a jump rope and soccer ball. Soccer, is as always, a second language to these kids.

My word yesterday was health. I have two kids- Chloe (12) and Chase (10). They are extremely healthy kids- rarely getting a cold even. I have lived a life enjoying good health. My family, even most of my extended family has had the blessing of good health. These kids- living in poverty- can't say the same. I've asked before why I was blessed with living in the US, but even more so, why was I blessed with good health for myself and my children when I live in the country that has the medical facilities and research to help? I couldn't imagine being trapped in your own body in many ways. I broke down last night, feeling unworthy of the good fortune God has provided us in this. I'm missing Chloe especially this trip. I'm still mom, and she's still the kid, but she's turning into a friend in many ways. She's been asking to come and I've said no for years now. For the first time, I'm wishing I had her here to talk through the day and watch her face as she sees what I've experienced here.

So... strong enough. The day yesterday was exhausting on a few different levels- it is tiring to be in a pool for a few hours, emotionally draining to be at orphanages in any capacity. People are gracious with their conversation about how great it is of me to be coming here, but the truth is, I do very little. The work God does is very big. The work the Haitians do to my heart is phenomenal. I just hold kids and today, deliver water. I'm not strong enough to do any kind of work down here. It has taken a big God to work in my heart to accept that I can't fix it, I can't make it better, I can't do anything. But He can. Just as those babies at the Home for Sick and Dying are all spoke for, each of us are as well. God has our names written on His heart, asking for us to pursue and trust Him, as He is relentless in his pursuit of each of us. How awesome that the God who created the world is interested in the pursuit of my heart.

".... I give up; I'm not strong enough. Hands of mercy won't you cover me; Lord right now I'm asking you to be strong enough... for the both of us."


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