“Welcome to Port-Au-Prince Haiti. We are happy you joined us today and hope to see you fly with us again.”
And just like that my world spun around. One hundred and eighty degrees around. I came to a fork in the road. “Right or left?” Which would I choose? Many nights crying out to God, asking Him which way He wanted me to go. They would both be right; both leading to the same place, but which would be the best? As I began to veer down one of the paths, I got scared. “I can’t do this!” I said to my Father in heaven and my father on earth. “How can I do this? I’m not ready. I’m not old enough. I’m scared.” But my earthly father counseled me, “At one point in life you will go. Whether it be now or later, you won’t always be home because you are growing up and when the time comes you have to learn to trust. You will learn to trust God because in circumstances you can’t change you have to trust God.” So I bought a ticket and chose a path; the path I knew God was calling me down, even though it would be the harder of the two paths, it was the best.
So there I was, stepping off an airplane and into Haiti for the second time in my life. Before I came the first time I was wrestling with coming because I felt like God was telling me, even before I was there, that I would return again for several months. I didn’t want to do that! But I came. Sometimes I make life harder for myself. Guess what? The moment I met Mary Jane, I knew 100% that all my other plans were being thrown out the window and I was going to come back. I wanted to learn from this couple. This couple that rises at 4 AM to fill water buckets for school children, who work even when exhausted, who preach the truth even when it’s hard to hear, who love God more than anyone else, and pray like warriors. Andris and Mary Jane are missionaries for Jesus. They have given up themselves for Him, and I wanted to learn how they lived.
The immigration line…the long and dreaded immigration line. The Haitians had four booths to go too, we foreigners had one. By the time we reached the front of line, my bag seemed to have gained ten pounds. (Travel tip: invest in a carry on size bag with wheels.) I handed the guy my papers. “What address?” “I don’t know!” I replied. I didn’t have the address to where we were going. (My Dad always took care of such things before. I didn’t know what info I needed…) “Go to immigration office,” the guy told me, so we went to immigration office. The guy there told me that he could get me a hotel until I found my address, but Mary Jane was just downstairs, I didn’t need (or have money) to pay for hotels. So we agreed that I would leave everything with Kat and go find Mary Jane at the baggage claim, get the address, and return.
I arrived downstairs to realize that Mary Jane couldn’t get in the baggage claim and I couldn’t get out without papers. Now what was I to do?! I chose to do it my way first. I freaked and walked around in circles trying to figure out on my own what in the world I was going to do. After ten minutes of nothing and probably looking like my puppy just died to everyone else, I heard a little voice, “Do you trust Me?” And it hit me like a lightning bolt, this was a test. Did I trust God to get me out of this predicament, even when it seemed impossible or way too complicated? I stopped in my tracks and said, “God I don’t know what to do. Help me find Mary Jane.”
No light bulb of what to do hit me. Nothing. If I was honest, I would say that my faith dropped as it seemed my prayer wasn’t heard. “Oh you of little faith…” I was heading back to the stairs to go see if Kat could figure out what to do, and a young man at the bottom of the stairs said “What do you need, miss?” He was the only person in that area of the stairs, and I was suspicious of him, but for some reason I replied to him “I have to get out and come back in, but don’t have my papers.” He quickly said, “Okay. Follow me.” And so I followed him, right past the lines and security and through the doors to Mary Jane. I got the info I needed and he led me back to the immigration office. We got all the papers within seconds and the guy helped us find our bags and back outside. He was a godsend. I don’t think there was a coincidence that he was sitting there just seconds after I put the situation into God’s hands. I knew from that moment that this was just the first of many trust tests to come. I knew that it would not be easy interning at Living Hope. But I know that God never gives me more that I can handle, and I will always say “Bless the Lord, oh my soul. Oh my soul, worship His holy name. I will worship His holy name.”
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5