I am one of those people who have no problem being transparent. I love telling people about myself, my family, and the awesome opportunities God has given me. My most favorite thing to tell others about is how my husband and I (and now Baby Fisher) have been called to live and work in Haiti. Not surprisingly, their first question is usually:
"Why on Earth would you do that??!?!?"
Why ARE we going to Haiti? Why am I going to Haiti?
I mean, its not the safest place on earth for a small, white, blonde American girl. The government isn't the most stable, and, in light of the 2010 earthquake, neither is the island itself. The water isn't that safe to drink, and the risk of getting some sort if illness is very real. McDonalds, well cared for roads, and reliable internet are out of the question, and the fact that you are a minority is very, very apparent.
Yes, many who know me know that: Jay + Kate= Marriage + Haiti = Finally! (Never thought about in an equation before, huh?) But in reality, it is so much more. And sometimes I need to take a step back and actually think about it.
You might say that Haiti has changed me.
Seven years ago I wanted to be an architect, live in San Fran, become rich, and learn how to surf. Then I was given the opportunity to go on my first international missions trip. It was 2007, I was a month shy of being sixteen, and honestly, I was just going for the excitement. I longed for the bragging privilege that came with a stamped passport. Yeah, yeah, I was going to evangelize and help people and all that goodie goodie stuff, but it was the "International" in "International Missions Trip" that caught my eye. It was a perk that I was going to be one of those awesome Americans who this country "needs" to come rescue it from demise. Boy did that change.
My first dose of reality came before we even left the country. We had flown into the Miami, and because of the length of our layover, our team found a secluded portion of the airport and bunked down for the night. It was miserable. The florescent lights blared down at us, the ground was hard, and the obnoxiously cheerful voice on the P.A. system reminded us of the time in a loud tone. Every. Fifteen. Minutes. Yeah, it sucked. It was the kind of "Welcome to the rest of your life" that I never expected.
When we finally arrived in Haiti, all I could do is take it in. The sites, the smell, the people. To me it was a crazy jungle, and all I was here to do was experience it and have the people fall in love with me, the awesome American. I still hadn't quite gotten the point of it all, but that would soon change.
It may sound funny, but my realization of what this trip really meant came because of a moto (a Haitian motorcycle) and a little boy.
Our team was hosting a three day VBS for the children in the neighborhood. The first day was lot of fun! There were many crafts, games and teaching of bible stories. One little boy had gained the attention of some of those who were with us. To be very honest, I don't remember him, nor did I personally pay much attention to him at the time. I'm not even sure if those who took notice of him then would remember him today. I'm sure he was sweet. I'm sure he was crazy about these blans (white people) who would let him sit on their lap. All I remember about this little boy is the fact that we noticed when he did not show up the second day. We shrugged it off. No big deal. We knew the likelihood of EVERY kid coming EVERY day was not huge.
But, he came back.
On the last day of our mini VBS, I remember seeing him walk in. I remember the bandage that covered part of his face. I remember being told that he had gotten clipped by a moto on his way to VBS the previous day. I remember being told he was patched up by a voodoo doctor.
It hit me. Slowly at first, but as the days went on, even after we departed that small island and I went home to my bed, I came to realize that the people didn't really NEED me. They didn't even need Americans. They needed God. I was supposed to be a humble tool to be used by Him, and I had failed. I was not humble by any means, I was doing the things I did to make myself look good. I was in desperate need to change.
I wanted to do something to help. I wanted to find something here in the states that would allow me to be useful for if/when I went back to this beautiful country. I thought back to that little boy, and how he had turned to voodoo to heal him. It scared me. Even though I did not know very much about voodoo then, I knew that it was not from God, and that was not ok. I knew it would be nice to go into the medical field, but I had a problem with it for two reasons. Firstly, I was not much of a school person. The thought of many many more years of schooling after high school really put me off. Secondly, all I had known about the medical field was nursing homes. (My father had worked as an LPN in many nursing homes when I was younger).
I told my parents of my concerns and they helped me figure out what I could do. Emergency Medicine. It was practical, fun (Being the oldest of so many kids, the goriness aspect was intriguing) , and would not take forever to accomplish. I prayed about it long and hard, and was met with a resounding YES! So, throwing out any ideas of architecture, San Francisco and surfing, I started college. After passing my basic prerequisites in the fall, I happily went on to my EMT-B training. It was tough. Having no previous knowledge of anything remotely medical, I had to start from scratch.
On January 12th, 2010, my heart sank. Barely a week into my training I learned my country, my Haiti, the one I now knew I was going back to, the one I had come to realize would be my future home, was shaken. I was so frustrated with God! Why, did this happen? Why couldn't he have prepared me sooner so I could be there, to help, like I wanted. Why was I even doing this???? Then, exactly a month after so many lives were lost, so much frustration had been lashed out, I received an email. The email was a newsletter update from Terry Snow, the base director from where we stayed in 2007. In the email, Terry talked about how the base was receiving aid for the earthquake victims, and along with that aid was an ambulance. AN AMBULANCE. I literally cried for joy. I knew it was God telling me that I was on the right track, that he hadn't forgotten about me. The rest of the semester, though demanding, seemed to go by easier with this knowledge. My need and want for God's calling on my life seemed even more important than before.
THAT is why I am going to Haiti.
"Wait!!" you might say... "What about the last three years? What about you and Jay? What about your DTS? "
There are many things that have happened with Jay and I and that happened in my DTS that do attribute to my love and calling for Haiti, but my main goal with this post was to show the beginning. To show where it all began. To look at the time when I myself first asked the question so many others ask:
I was looking through some pictures the other day that I and some others took of that first trip, and GUESS WHAT!!! I found a picture of that little boy!!!
Yeah, I'm doing my "God is so AWESOME " happy dance right now!!!!!