Big Haiti Love by Kerry Rossow of HouseTalkN
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by Kerry Rossow of HouseTalkN
I have wanted to join a mission trip since I was in high school. I graduated high school with big hair and blue eye shadow in 1990 so I have had a lot of years to make excuses for why I couldn’t go.
The time wasn’t right.
I couldn’t afford it.
My family needs me here.
I have to work.
What if I accidentally drink the water and get diarrhea?
So, I watched from afar.
I watched as my friends shared photos from their trips.
I listened to their stories of their life changing experiences.
I felt the pull. I ignored it.
I heard the whisper in my ear. I ignored it.
Sometimes, God knows that I need more than a whisper.
Sometimes, God has to skip the whisper in my ear and shout in my face.
This year, I signed on the dotted line. I bought a plane ticket. I got 87 shots and took Malaria pills. I fretted and obsessed.
I forced myself to read everything I could find about Haiti. I made myself look at pictures of hungry Haitian children. I read AIDS statistics.
One of my biggest fears was that I would not be able to serve. I feared that I would be the sappy American, rendered useless by my sorrow.
As we landed in Port Au Prince, I braced for impact. The impact of poverty and all that comes with it.
I spent the week in shock. Not the kind of shock I had braced for. I was shocked by what I had not expected to find.
Joy was everywhere. Despite all of their struggles, they greeted us with great warmth, overwhelming joy and what I can only describe as “Big Haiti Love.”
They shared their stories with us. They asked to hear our stories.
I thought of my own children, worlds away. My children live in a warm home. They have access to clean water, food, medical care, and education. While they are at soccer practice, these beautiful children are walking for miles to carry jugs of water to their families.
I saw children running barefoot through the streets and thought of the basket full of shoes at my backdoor.
I listened to the stories of Haitian mothers and realized how similar our stories were. We all want the best for our children. We all want to serve and be useful. We all want to make the world a better place.
I returned home a different woman. For the first time in my life, my words failed me. How could I possibly put into words what I had experienced? I was so grateful for my camera. Even though my words have been failing me, my camera has saved me. I have gone back to these images over and over, again.
These are the images that I will hold near and dear to my heart. These are the images of Haiti that I hope will inspire you to say a prayer for the Haitian people. These are the images that will remind me to search for joy, even in difficult times. These are the images that will remind me to listen to the whisper in my ear.
This is joy.
ABOUT KERRY: A recovering teacher, Kerry Rossow blogs about houses and her life shenanigans at HouseTalkN. Fearing her mother’s disapproval, she secretly shares irreverent and incriminating posts at In The Powder Room. Kerry is a contributor to the chart topping, I Just Want To Pee Alone book and was recently cast in Listen To Your Mother!
This piece was written by Kerry Rossow of HouseTalkN exclusively for Bonbon Break Media, LLC.
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