As some of you know, for safety reasons, the expat staff had to reluctantly return home for almost a month due to political unrest in February. But “for such a time as this” Back2Back’s leadership in Haiti who stayed behind didn’t miss one beat in ensuring the children were loved, seen and known while we were stateside. I am one proud sister.
Evacuating a country due to political unrest was definitely not on my bucket list, but praise the Lord, God is in the business of working bad things out for good. He used the time stateside to create a newness and rowdiness inside of me to care for the orphaned and vulnerable child.
After a month of resting, doing what I could to support Haiti remotely, and meeting with ministry partners, it was finally safe to return.
I was ready.
Ready to embrace all of God’s dreams and intentions for me. Ready to go wild doing what He called me to. Ready to tap into the tangible love of God. So, I stepped off the plane, took my first breath of that hot Haitian air, and I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Since being back I have spent a lot of time learning how to better care for children who come from hard places. This is not for the faint of heart. What I’m learning is children who have experienced trauma, need more than a “time heals all wounds” approach for healthy healing and restoration.
The children we care for here in Haiti have experienced traumatic events in their lives, such as abandonment, loss, abuse, and neglect. These forms of trauma have the potential to impact every developmental area of a growing child. It can change a child at the core of who they are, impacting how they communicate, attach, and behave. Due to past trauma, orphans and vulnerable children have unique needs that require intentional caregiving strategies.
Combining forces with Texas Christian University’s Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development and leaning on more than 20 years of working directly with some of the toughest situations the world has to offer, Back2Back offers what is called Trauma Competent Care training. This is training and education on how to serve children with painful backgrounds and how to instill the best practices on nurturing and holistic care. Back2Back strives to teach each boy and girl that trauma may be a part of their past, but it does not define their future. All Back2Back staff members are trained in Trauma Competent Care.
This month I completed this training course along with our staff. This will have an impact on over 100 kids in Haiti. Bringing the hope and healing only Jesus can give. Learning about how to better care for children, who come from hard places, will take a lot more work, but nothing worthwhile happens in this life without endurance, courage, and energy.
Pretty soon we will be offering these training classes to organizations and individuals in our new multi-purpose building on Back2Back’s property in Haiti. We’ve had some construction delays, but we are back to the grind and construction should be done soon.
Leaving Haiti due to the civil unrest was emotionally and physically tough. It was a good reminder though that in the end, no matter what, Jesus always gets the W on the other side of our struggles and fear of the unknown. He also doesn’t just win from sitting up on his throne in heaven, He rolls up his sleeves with us, parts the waters, and fights for us and with us. Just like He did when He left heaven to carry the weight of the whole world’s sins and conquer death.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you may have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world” ~ John 16:33
So, since we know that in the end Jesus wins and is in control. We have the freedom in Christ to go wild doing what He has called to do.
Loving others like He does.
Friends, it’s Holy to be wild and free.