On January 11, 2010, Emmaus Biblical Seminary's new campus was finally dedicated. There were TONS of people, lots of rain, many friends and so much to celebrate. The future felt so huge, potential for impact and change limitless, the biggest unknown being that nobody knew tomorrow would change Haiti forever.
January 13th was the day we realized it wasn't so minor everywhere. Was NOT minor only 80 miles away in Port-au-Prince.
January 16th was the day I went, the day I saw, the day I smelled, the night I slept in the courtyard of the hotel, the day they started realizing that a few hundred was a few thousand...that maybe a few thousand was a few HUNDRED thousand.
I remember sitting in the main soccer stadium in Port, trying to catch my life-breath, watching thousands of people trying to do all of life. There was nothing to fall on that field, so it had become a refuge of sleeping and cooking and crying and playing soccer.
I remember looking around at the cheerily colored seats, 1000. I pictured every chair full. Then dead.
Full again. And dead. And full again.
I was stunned by the magnitude, I was stunned by the destruction. Most, I was completely and utterly stunned by the will and the work and the beauty of the Haitian people to survive.
Haiti knows how to struggle. And she does not quit.
We ended up with nine.
With literally everyone in Haiti having lost some loved one, today being five years is no small deal. The nation that has been celebrating loudly the New Year and the hard and bloody independence has grown quiet, remembering, thinking, shuddering, welling.
Never realized that Leme feels as grateful and blessed to have us in his life as I have always felt about having his in ours. Never had really thought about how God brought such beauty from ashes for Leme, how He used our community to do so, never really thought about that for so many.
Because He is. not. finished.