Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Norm written by Debbie

Water truck day is always one of my favorite days. Even though it can be frustrating or seem like we're not doing enough, I take confidence in the fact that that 5 gallon bucket of water I carried for a little kid made a difference to her in that moment. The 15 minutes I spent holding a little boy and teaching him to count in Hmong were 15 minutes of love he probably wouldn't have had otherwise. I loved seeing familiar faces at the stops today ... and having some of the kids recognize my face as one that was familiar. I loved shouting "Hey you!" and trying to teach them the Macarena with Olivia Fixsen and Sophie Fixsen. I loved seeing the smiles on the faces of everyone on our team as they immersed themselves in the people. I cherished singing "God is so good" with them on our trash heap. My word for today is "norm", and not because that was some little boy's name (although that would've been pretty sweet). It's actually the word that kept entering my mind as we wound our way along the narrow pathways between the small metal huts, carefully chose our steps across a trash heap, straddle-walked along a sewage culvert, and cringed as children walked barefoot along a "road" of shells with us. This is the "norm" here in Cite Soleil - trash, dirt, sewage, poverty. The question came to my mind as we strolled along the trash heap "would I ever do this in Shoreview, Minnesota?" Yet this is the "norm" here. In a lot of ways, life is like Haiti - dirty, smelly, with lots of trash and poverty. MY life is like Haiti. But although that's what's come to be accepted as "normal", it's not what God ultimately intended. Yes, Cite Soleil is in rough shape, but there are glimpses of the Garden if you look - older boys helping younger children carry buckets, proud moms and grandmas showing off their little ones, laughter and singing of God's greatness, kindness and love overflowing in hugs and kisses and high fives. The challenge is now for there to become more and more glimpses of God's original intention in my life. Less dirt, filth, and trash. More caring, generosity, and love.

Written by Debbie Peterson

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