Are you kidding me? Another mission trip? She looked at me with wide-eyed disbelief. Are you sure you want to take that kind of risk again? And to Haiti, no less? I hear the terrain there is worse than Honduras. (And yes, it definitely was!)
That’s how my doctor responded when I told her. She stopped writing out my prescription, pen in mid-air, looking at me with genuine concern. Still recuperating from full hip replacement surgery in June, I was about to take my next out-of-the-country adventure. With heartfelt compassion, she urged me to be more careful this time, refrain from working with children (she knew all about my fall in Laceiba), and to hang on to my husband for dear life.
For me, this was about geting back on the horse. The trauma I experienced in June couldn’t hold me back. Fear should not and would not prevent my future travel or ministry. Not one to promote foolish risks, I just had to get on a plane (or horse, so to speak) and do it all again.
The last time I flew over the ocean I was flat on my back. Mission of Mercy sent a leer jet to medivac me out of Honduras. It was a nightmare of pain and uncertainty. After two days and nights in a primitive, seven-room hospital, all I wanted was to be home again. Back to a sanitary environment. Back to where it was safe. Back to familiar surroundings. I didn’t plan to leave the country again. Ever.
But my husband and I were invited by Rev. Tom Paino to attend a Bible School dedication in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A brief three-day trip to see for ourselves the building Action Now and CRF had helped erect. It seemed harmless and full of blessings. So we agreed to go. There would be a fourth member of the “team” traveling with us. Someone we hadn’t met yet.
A supporter of Action Now, Dr. Jeff was a friendly, easy-to-get-to-know traveling companion. In our introductions before boarding the plane, he said he was a surgeon. A hip and knee replacement surgeon! Oh, you have got to be kidding! Shocked and a bit amused, I stared at him and asked, Where were you when I needed you?
Isn’t that just like God to provide someone who would understand what I had been through to accompany me on my next adventure! I felt like God was smiling down on me. I smiled back. Now I know the Lord had deeper, more profound reasons for Dr. Jeff being there, but I love how He works. He let me know how much He loved me. He gave me an experienced expert to watch over me. And that’s just what Dr. Jeff did. He noticed where I was weak and recommended needed exercises to stabilize my strength. He made sure I didn’t overdo, along with everyone else who knew my story. And we spent three days crying and laughing as we shared Haitian experiences with our new friend.
Just think what I would have missed if I hadn’t saddled up that ole’ horse again!!
- Conquering fear and getting out of my comfort zone
- Forming new friendships with missionaries and workers
- Experiencing Haitian culture firsthand
- Witnessing survival amidst extreme poverty and earthquake rubble
- Watching the Haitians use their heads for transporting goods and wares
- Maneuvering broken, narrow roads with cars coming at us in all directions
- Participating in a three-hour dedication service in a hot tent
- Listening to music and sermons in French
- Worshiping with Haitian believers thanking God for the new Bible school
- Having my life changed because of it
Do not be fainthearted or afraid;
do not be terrified or give way to panic before them,
for the Lord your God goes with you wherever you go…