There are times when you feel crippled by the weight of brokenness in this world. For our family and staff here in Haiti, feeling crippled is a smidge of what we are dealing with emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
Haiti is in CRISIS. It’s been in crisis for some time, but this is another degree, another level all together. The country is still locked down. Has it been seven or eight weeks now? It’s hard to remember because it’s like Groundhog’s Day down here, the same thing over and over and over again. When will it end? Only God knows.
I find both comfort and frustration in that.
The people are weary, they are hungry, they are dying, they are hiding out and they are waiting for a change. Some of them are marching and begging for that change. Sadly, some are taking advantage of the weakness and fulfilling their own selfish desires. What you see on TV & social media (which I am sure is minimal) doesn’t scratch the surface of what is happening here in Haiti. The devastation that has taken root and overgrown across the land is leaving an impact that will be hard to overcome for quite some time.
We have seen with our own eyes increased hunger, death, violence and misery among the people we serve. It takes a toll in every way imaginable. We are clinging to worship, prayer and praise because, for us, there is no other way.
This past week our own family has suffered heartbreak, tragedy, and moments of unspeakable trauma. And yet, we know it pales in comparison to what is happening across this island we have grown to so deeply love. We cannot discount our own suffering because it doesn’t meet the level of others, so we find ourselves talking through it, praying through it and asking God to give us grace and courage to keep on fighting for His people, even if fighting doesn’t look anything like we thought it would when we arrived.
I’m not going to lie, there have been times I have wanted to throw in the towel. Times that grief and fear have tried to swallow up the hope I have when my eyes are fixed where they should and need to be. Watching your husband’s ache brim over and hearing his cries will humble you, anger you, and motivate you to your knees. Knowing that the suffering is increasing each passing day can be too much to bear and can overtake you if you aren’t careful. This morning I woke up with “Five Loaves & Two Fish” on my mind. It’s easy to look at the issues that surround you and to feel swallowed up by them. It would only be natural to instead of seeing the victory, to focus on the victimization and great need that is prevalent.
About the author:
Sami Rigelsky is co-founder, along with her husband Joe Rigelsky,
of Upstream International.
Sami is a fierce mama bear who fights for the needs of children and families across the globe. She is passionate about being a voice for the voiceless and bringing hope to the hopeless. Sami loves supporting Joe in any capacity he & Upstream needs, while pursuing her personal dreams and goals for family, life, and ministry.