Last week, I joined a team of 45 others on a short-term mission trip to Haiti. I’ll be completely honest…I am having a hard time adjusting to being back home.
There are faces that are emblazoned on my heart. The faces of children who consistently face starvation. And others who know a life that is difficult to put into words.
They live without air conditioning…and running water. Some live in shackles, barely a roof covering their head. They don’t have any modern day conveniences. Like t.v., iphones, education—there is none.
But the one thing that is gripping me most is the hands of a few young girls we touched skin to skin. They are the faces of girls ranging in age from five to sixteen who are enrolled in MyLifeSpeaks 72:14 program. In Haiti, they are referred to as a restavek.
Restavek = a child in Haiti who is sent by his or her parents to work for a host household as a domestic servant because the parents lack the resources required to support the child. However, many restaveks live in poverty, may not receive proper education, and are at grave risk for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. The restavek system is tolerated in Haitian culture, but not considered to be preferable. The practice meets formal international definitions of modern day slavery and child trafficking, and affects an estimated 300,000 Haitian children. See more at wikepedia.
It is tearing me up, y’all.
I want to help each and every one of them.
The group of women from my church reached out and treated them with respect and dignity. We doted on them by rubbing on lotion, massaging their necks and back, and painting their nails. We tried to be the hands and feet of Jesus as best we could. And yet, each one of us mothers struggled with what these girls would encounter when they walked back into the place they called home.
Sexual abuse is real. And it rips you to shreds when you feel entirely helpless to make it stop.
I don’t have the answers to life’s difficult questions. I cannot always explain why bad things happen to the innocent. But this I do know more so today than I did so yesterday.
Satan is lurking around like a lion, seeking whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:7). Do you care? Call me crazy…but I believe in a good God. I believe in a God who does care. I believe in a God who still answers prayer.
God caught my attention this morning. Look at the text below from 1 Peter 5:6-11...
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
Listen up…here is what God has to say.