Much More Than That

MARCH 2017

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by Allison Ambler Allison's team is part of a 6-Month Caribbean IMMERSION journey that will eventually take them from New York City to Haiti, Jamaica, and Belize, living with host families and learning to live the local way.

I've spent the last four weeks living in Haiti—the country most people know as an impoverished one that went through a devestating earthquake in 2010, a country affected by malaria, starving children, and a corrupt government.

I've lived in host families while being here, truly living the Haitian way, and I can say Haiti is more than that.

Yes, trash fills the streets, I hear the drums of the vodoo worshippers late at night, kids beg for money because they have no one to care for them, and I'm reminded of the malaria in this country when I take my pills every Monday and sleep under a bug net. But Haiti is more than that.

Haiti is also people dancing through the streets, cooking a meal that takes hours but taste delicious, swimming in the water that surrounds this whole country, eating ice cream with my host family, sleeping in a bug net on the roof under the stars.

Haiti is a lot different from the U.S., yet it's not. It's full of people with skin much darker than mine and lips that speak a different language than me. Yet these people are not much different than me. They want to experience the fullness of life. They want to eat good food, have dance parties, get a good education to help make this world a little brighter. They want to love and be loved, they want to cry and laugh until they cry, they want to be understood.

6 Month Mission Trips

So Haiti is more than you think. It's more than I thought. There are vodoo worshippers who worship the ruler of this world, but then there are many people who dress their best on Sunday mornings to worship the One True King (and again on Wednesday afternoons in my front yard for choir practices). There are kids who go to bed hungry, and then there are also plently of kids who have very full stomaches because Haitians eat huge meals. There is trash on the streets that leaves my feet covered in filth, and then there is the beautiful ocean water that washes my feet with its salt and sand.

Haiti is impoverished, broken, and in pain. Yet it's full of beauty, rich in Christ's love, and His great joy.

So Haiti is more than that. The truth is, even a wealthy neighborhood in south Austin is broken, impoverished, and in pain. This life is more than that. If you're living in a season where the pain cuts a little deeper and the joy runs dry, remember life is more than that. We can all experience beauty, love and joy—found in rich relationships—with people and, more importantly, with Jesus. So tune in to those relationships, take the time to listen and care for people, and listen to God and how He cares for you. Life will be much more than that.

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