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Monday, June 24, 2013

Well hello there.

I'm back!
And apparently my blog post letting you guys know I was going awol didn't actually, sorry about that.
I've been in Haiti!  I went on a medical trip there with my husband (a medical student), and we were a part of a team that pretty much set up a little clinic in a different village each day where people could see a doctor, get medicine, and do other things they don't have resources to do over there.

I could write a lot about Haiti.
I could write about how it was really wonderful.
How beautiful all the places we went were.
How amazing it was to get to help people who were really, truly in need.
I could write about how hard it was.
How it was scary to fall asleep with people screaming bloody murder and playing voodoo drums outside.
How heartbreaking it was to have to turn hundreds of people away that probably won't be able to get the help they need.
I could write a lot about it, and eventually, I probably will.  But today, I want to write about something else.
About how it feels to come back from a trip like that.

I started thinking about this while I was still there, because I know how hard things like that usually are.
You spend a week immersed in utter poverty, and then you come home to America.
And for awhile you feel passionate and purposeful.
And then you feel guilty.
And then you just forget.

I was read this while I was over there:
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." -James 1:27

That verse always encourages me so much, but when I read it then, it honestly made me sad.  Because over there, it was so easy.  Orphans and widows were everywhere with great needs, and it was easy to look after them when that's what the whole purpose of being there was.  But here?  In America?  Not so much.
Because realistically, am I going to be able to take care of orphans and widows every day of my life here?  No.  So is it ever going to be possible to have real and pure religion here? That just bothered me.

So I did what I usually do when I get frustrated with something I read in the Bible: I kept reading.  And I found this, and it was exactly what I needed to hear:
"But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well." -James 2:8

I may not come in contact with widows and orphans every day.  I won't always be able to hand out medicine to those that are sick.  But love people?  That I can do.  And here, I think that can sometimes be worth more than food or medicine or anything material, because the good portion of people I run into on a daily basis aren't lacking material things.  But love, a love so pure that it's the same love someone would show themselves--that is rare.  And that is something everyone needs.

That encouraged me so much.  I may not can help people as much as I would like to be able to, but I can sure love the heck out of them.  And if I love them--really love them, without motives or requiring anything in return--then hey, I'm doing okay.


  1. This was so moving & it really hit my heart. Thank you for this!

  2. Loved this post and your writing! This is the first time I landed on your blog - I think it will become a fast favorite!

  3. I love this. It's so true, the process of guilt and then eventually forgetting. I love those verses. I'm glad you had a good trip and made it back safely!

  4. Wow! This was great! You write so beautifully. I got a little teary eyed at the end, because I love how real you are. Keep it up, girl!

  5. It sounds like you learned a lot. And it sounds like they gave you just as much as you gave them.

  6. Such a good truth you discovered...and such beautiful photos <3

  7. I just found your blog through... well, really I don't know how haha... I've just been browsing around today!
    I cannot tell you how perfect it was though to find you and to read this post. I am currently trying to open the doors for myself to get involved with mission work and traveling overseas. Working with orphans and ultimately international adoption is my biggest passion in this world. It is so nice to hear stories of people actually out there doing it as well! It just reconfirms to me that this is what I need to be doing.

    Your thoughts on coming home and back to America after something like that is so honest and real. I have often times thought about how I would feel coming home from such a trip (when I someday actually take one) and this describes how I believe it will be perfectly! It is amazing how we can make a difference each day, no matter where we are, just by loving others. In my opinion that is truly the only way to show God's love to other people.

    I could go on for days about such a topic! But just know that I admire the work you've done and the love you're spreading. It's awesome!
    And you have a new follower :)


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