It’s been eights year since my experience in earthquake devastated Haiti. Ironically, Haiti is in the news again for all the wrong reasons. I’m still unable to put into words the experiences I had over the course of those two weeks in January of 2010. There are nights that I still hear the crying of babies trapped inside the rubble and remember being absolutely powerless and furious over the helplessness. Every time I pass dead animals on the side of the road the scent carries me back to when all my senses experienced unspeakable horrors. I still don’t talk much about the details to anyone nor do I desire to. I experienced Haiti in its darkest “shithole” and I’m proud that it’s still stuck to me.
I still pray for baby Moses, who's life was saved yet orphaned. He should be about 9 years old now. I pray God raises him up to lead his people. I still pray for every child that survived the collapse of the orphanage, wherever they are today. I was assured most would be adopted into French families, but wherever they are I pray they’re healthy, happy, and full of life. Every time I use a Dewalt drill I’m taken back to the triage surgical tent holding medical tools while an eighty-year-old German surgeon used a Dewalt and some stainless steel screws to put a femur back together. That man and his German team saved countless lives. I am grateful for those I met from all over the world and for experiencing a unity of heart that I can only express as heavenly.
My life has taken many turns and I can probably trace every one of them to this restarting point of my life at 33, a curious number. In some ways, it feels like a lifetime ago as a new life sprang forth from that moment. And yet my life is strangely stuck in that moment. The playlist that comforted me on nights of eerie quiet in a city of nearly one million people is the foundation of the playlist I listen to every day. I am both more of a man and less of one eight years later. All the lessons I learned a year later are lessons that I still cherish and that continue to teach me. I’ve never been freer yet wrung out. The old keeps dying. I know the new keeps coming and I’m hopeful even in the midst of a lot of darkness. Haiti, eight years later, thanks for helping set me free.