Oh that “Haiti High”

On the last evening of my first mission trip to Haiti, I recall one of our trip leaders sharing about the “Haiti High” that we would all go home with.

We’ve all seen it and there is an equal possibility that we’ve all experienced it before.  I’m talking about the euphoric excitement that permeates our minds as we experience being “on fire for God” as well as being flooded with ideas, goals, ambitions, and visions on how WE can each go home and do better at making a difference in the world. You know what I’m talking about...that deep heart burning burden you feel to make a forever impact in Haiti after your first trip.

Accompanying the new found desire to change the world, there’s a chance you are making massive changes in your home. That pedicure you got every month is now a total waste of money when there are orphans that are hungry. Of course, you’ve always known there were hungry orphans in the world, but now you’ve held them, sang with them, prayed with them, and you know them by name. That light switch you typically left on during the day is now turned off to save those few extra dollars. After all, those dollars could be used to purchase rice and beans to fill a hunger-pained belly. Or what about that unnecessary load of laundry you don’t need to do? You’ll bypass that so you won’t be wasting water and detergent. Clean water and detergent is a luxury in Haiti! You’re going to make every conscious effort to reduce your frivolous spending too. Go out to eat? Forget it. There is no possible way you can go out to eat at a restaurant without feeling a deep pit of guilt in your stomach, as you imagine what it would be like for the children that just stole your heart in Haiti to have the opportunity to eat at a restaurant...AND...be able to order anything they want off the menu. Can you even imagine?! Don’t even get me going on what it felt like to take a warm shower. Not only do we not need to bathe ourselves with a bucket of water, but we have WARM, limitless, clean, sanitary water. Countless scenarios flood your mind of these precious people getting to experience the privileges that we have every day in life.

Your worldview has been forever changed.

The “high” is common…as is the return to normalcy that all too often occurs. So often it dissipates when we return to our normal schedules, with our normal acquaintances, and our normal habits. How can we fight this return to routine?

Deuteronomy 4:9 says  “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children.

WOW. I read this scripture recently and it stopped me in my tracks.

Have we forgotten? Have we returned home from our trip, settled back into the normalcy of life, and essentially “forgotten” what we had witnessed? Have we forgotten the deep heartache we felt as we came face to face with rampant hunger and despair? Perhaps you have suppressed your feelings of sadness because the weight is too much to carry everyday.

This verse reminds us that we are directed, not suggested, to never forget what our eyes have seen! We are directed to never let them depart from our hearts! We are commanded to make them known to our children and their children. It is our responsibility to not ignore the burden that God has placed on our hearts.

I want to challenge you, friends. Perhaps you’ve experienced this “Haiti High,” but life has returned to normal.

Never forget.

Never forget what your eyes have seen and your heart has felt.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

Jocelyn White