For Us to be One


painted view in Haiti

When we walked out of the airport in Port-au-Prince, it began, an explosion of color, the rumble of people. Pastor Gaetan met us there to give us a ride. It was a new airport. It was city. I expected poverty in large spreads but I didn’t expect to see tin on tin as homes strung along the sides of main roads in many directions. I didn’t expect the roads to look as if they had been jig-sawed, how they dipped and slung to the side. Broken boards and spindles from the backs of broken chairs were nailed up into walls. There is art at every turn. Even in the thick of poverty, there’s a man humming. There is the smell of spice. The faces are so beautiful it’ll make you school-girl nervous.

There’s an easiness to the personalities here, a desire for connection. I believe I’ve made real friends in only a day. I can’t imagine never coming back.

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I didn’t exactly realize I wasn’t coming here to tell you a story about Help One Now. I thought I was, but now I know how small they are. They have only come here as friends and supporters of the ones who are really doing the work. Help One Now is the friend who keeps coming back. They are the friend who walks with and supports.

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Something about watching Marlow with the pastors here (Pastor Gaetan and Pastor Jean Alix) feels like watching a first century sort of brotherhood. I didn’t realize the actual structure. Chris Marlow is the head of Help One Now, yes, but I feel like I witnessed a man who has come to submit to the shepherds (apostles?) of this nation. If you were to meet them, you’d know what I mean. If you could hear Gaetan speak about Gospel and training leaders, or if you could see Jean Alix with his arms around the orphans who have become his many sons, you would know what I mean. Today we met Gaetan’s wife, and after nearly being blinded by the joy of her face after she had cooked a meal for 31 children, my eyes went straight to her feet. I have never so desired to kneel straight down and wash feet. They are not famous and don’t belong on pedestals. They are humble, desperate, persevering disciples of Jesus Christ. To know them is to respect them and to want to show them honor.

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Seeing the church in Haiti has brought about a New Testament language in me. I saw a woman pick through garbage, gathering it with a bag yesterday, and right on the same island I see a church so healthy that I wonder how to get every single church leader I know to come and witness the discipleship. I want you to see the families passing babies, fathers raising their hands. Young men read scripture. It seemed that everyone has a place, the young and the women, too. I didn’t understand but three words throughout the entire service. Amen. Hallelujah. Hosannah.

“Hosannah in the highest!” we all sang. They in their language, and me in mine.

I want you to see the woman who led worship this morning and the young men in the band. I want you to hear them worship. I want you to hear us all. Imagine it, how we swayed and sang even when we didn’t know the words. Imagine glory. I received something near the gift of interpretation, because never before have I understood so few words while also understanding everything. We are clothed with the same spirit, all of us. I felt interwoven into something much greater than an island, than my little state, my own little nation. 

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Church, we were all there. You in my heart, I was thinking about you, how we’re reading along and deciding whether or not to engage. I saw with my eyes the benefits of churches coming alongside other churches. I saw with my eyes, unity. I saw the school we builtYahve Shamma Orphanage and Williamson Adrien Academy, and I held the hands of future leaders.

I saw them, and it made me long for you. I long for us to be One. I came to Haiti to write about you.

We travel to Drouin today and have to leave at 5 AM! Whew! Also I kind of feel like crud on a stick, so keep up the prayers.

Hop over to Help One Now to support the work of these leaders in Haiti, and I’ll be back soon to share more about what I’m seeing.

All but the 2nd photo belong to good ole Scott Wade.
amberhaines
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14 Comments

Scott Carothers
Reply April 13, 2014

Amber, this is so colorful and beautiful! I pray that God moves in you there. Love you.

Bethany Bassett
Reply April 14, 2014

This is all kinds of beautiful. It makes me want to be there myself, fiercely. I'm keeping you and all the rest of your community there (North American and Haitian) close in my prayers.

jdukeslee
Reply April 14, 2014

Goodness.

Had to read this one three times.

Once, due to the beauty of your language,
Twice, due to the beauty of your heart,
Thrice, due to the beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jean Wilund
Reply April 14, 2014

This post is so beautiful, and to hear the hearts and discipleship of the people there makes me yearn for them to send missionaries here to us in America so we can learn how to disciple so fully. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into what God is doing there. I will pray for the people there and thank God for their faith!

chad markley
Reply April 14, 2014

Amber you really make me feel like I am there and create a desire in me that makes me want to be there. Thank you for that

Annie Barnett
Reply April 15, 2014

Grateful for the way you see the world, Amber. Praying for you, friend, and listening here.

dougspurling
Reply April 15, 2014

The title, "For Us to be One" grabbed me...or perhaps it wasn't the title but the call of HIM who prayed it. Wasn't Jesus final prayer, hours before His crucifiction, this very thing--that we'd all be one? As I read His prayer in John 17, I can't help but think, 'every prayer You ever prayed--even raising Lazarus from the dead--was answered...except this one. "I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one..." (vs 21). He was praying for us, "all who will believe in me through their (the disciples) message." (vs 20).
But...when I read this, what you've just shared, I see that He is still at work--making us one.
Thank you for sharing, His call, His heart and being an answer to His prayer.

Ann
Reply April 15, 2014

Glory.
*Thank you*

Colleen Mitchell
Reply April 15, 2014

Amber...so, so beautiful. Love you. Love Haiti and its beautiful people and pastors and love Help One Now's model. Keep on keep on, soldiers.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply April 15, 2014

Kingdom come. There it is. Well done, faithful beholder, who sees with her heart and shows us with her words.

Diana Trautwein
Reply April 23, 2014

Ah.ma.zing. Thank you.

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