Thursday, August 4, 2011
V is for Vodou (Voodoo)
is for Vodou (Haitian name for voodoo)
Now, the first thing I want to say is that I do not practice or have any belief in voodoo, but it does bring up a strong memory. I feel that by including this in my blog, it will be a reminder to me of Haiti's greatest need.
In 1993, after watching the slides from missionaries that were based in Haiti, I had a strong urge to go there. I honestly felt such a calling, if you will, to leave my family and be part of a team from our church that was going on a 2 week trip to assist the mission already based there. I told my husband that it was not that I really wanted to leave, but that I wanted to go. I have rarely felt so strongly that I was supposed to do something as I did then. It was in July, and I traveled with the second group from our church. Most had left a few days before, but due to some prior commitments, 4 of us traveled later.
Here I was, arriving in Haiti, when I had barely traveled anywhere else. This would be my first real plane ride, and many other firsts. I must admit that the first day there, I wondered what I was getting myself into. I developed a serious migraine on that first day, and wondered if I could make it.
As the days went on I knew I was supposed to be there, yet I still was realizing that our cultures are so very different. Everything was different, the poverty, the lack of communication abilities, the landscape, and the religion.
One night in particular, while we were trying to sleep (we slept on the roof of the mission on cots due to the heat) we could hear voodoo drums in the distance. That was definitely a strange experience for me, and to be honest , I felt evil around me. I prayed very hard that night, Although I knew that my God is greater than any evil around me, I needed to speak His name over and over for my own peace. I also prayed for the people of Haiti. We think sometimes that their biggest problem is their poverty, and that groups go there just to meet physical needs. We see and hear often of humanitarian groups that provide food, and medical help. Yes, these are real needs, and the poverty was overwhelming. But their greatest need is for the Lord God to rescue them from the evil that is all around them.
It has been many years since I returned from that trip, and to be honest, I do not think of these people as often as I should. There have been quite a few people that I know that have gone on similar trips since then, and each time it causes me to remember Haiti. I hope that somehow the focus of this post will also help me, and perhaps for those of you who read it will remember the Haitian people as well.