Sunday, January 19, 2014

End of the year reflections- written December 4, 2013

I recently read that someone asked Mother Theresa how she could see all the poverty in the world and not get depressed. And she replied something to the effect that she just does the work she has in front of her each day. I have been thinking about the implications of that for our work here in Haiti.

I have been told that my face is an open book and I am very easy to "read". Sometimes this is aggravating because anyone can tell if I am sad or uninterested or happy, etc, and I would like to think I am more mysterious. I think everyone in the house had a awareness that I was having a "down" time last week, no matter how hard I tried to hide it.  There were suggestions like, "You need to get out of the house and do something unrelated to work." 

So I did. I went to the feeding center to play with starving children, I played a game of cards with everyone that had me laughing so hysterically I was crying, I had a lovely visit on the porch at the orphanage with the Brothers Harry and Bill. But the relief was temporary. This morning I received an email from a volunteer who saw through it all and wrote a note to me:

Nadene, Thank you for all you do! It is such a joy to be a small part of such a wonderful organization.
There was a meditation that I read yesterday that seemed so fitting for you-
Clearly, the apostolic mission exceeds our own ability and the capacity of any human means. Therefore, we will not put to one side, as if they
were secondary, the supernatural means. We have not placed our trust in our personal talents and energy, or in any of the other means which support
apostolic enterprise. Our hope rests in Divine grace. We can rest assured that God will perform incredible miracles with inadequate means. Let us believe
in the power of His grace and never become daunted by the apparently insurmountable obstacles. Do not let the lack of instruments stop your work. Begin as well as you can. Let us ask Jesus to give us whatever we lack.
I so often forget it is not me and that I need help. Your are doing wonderful work. Just do not forget to get help from the source!  (KC Shinners, CNM)
Volunteers KC and Bobbi, who have been here before and truly "get it" about the distance Midwives For Haiti has come in the last few years, were very perceptive. They know from their own life experiences that unless you have hope in "Divine grace" this load is too heavy to carry. I want to believe "that God will preform incredible miracles with inadequate means". Why shouldn't I, when God truly has shown that it is true with the Midwives For Haiti program? The mustard seed has grown into a tree!
Last week Pastor Jude reminded me that the mobile prenatal clinic is the "heart" of Midwives For Haiti because it carries love and skilled care to so many women who need it so badly. Today the Jeep came rushing back from Fonbrun with a woman who has had prolonged and obstructed labor for several days. Without our midwives and Jeep, she would be just another statistic that no one even enters into the books to get counted in the data on Haiti's maternal mortality. Why can't I just find joy in that and not carry the weight of next year's budget and next year's problems on my shoulders? Why do I find it hard to "consider the lilies?"
Bien Aime Guerlie is a graduate of our very first class and now one of our preceptors. She came to me last week with some advice. She is concerned about what will happen to Midwives For Haiti when I die. She suggested we have an advisory board here in Haiti in addition to the one we have in the U.S. She says there are many people who are interested and care about what we are doing and will do whatever they can to help us. 
This is something we have talked about before and is actually necessary if we are going to get official NGO status. So she inspired me to start a committee here. I think it will do two things: 1) We will not feel like we are carrying the load alone, and 2) it will give us some really good ideas and community support for some hard decisions that have to be made next year.
So here's to not carrying the load alone. You and me- we are all in this journey together and we have a Source to lean on. Without it we will fall.