Haiti Update #4: Live Simply

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Hello again!

I am back in cold, nasty Pittsburgh. Of course this makes me sad, but not nearly as sad as leaving my new friends in Haiti. I absolutely loved my time there, and I loved getting to know the people we got to know.

Anyone who has ever done a mission trip like that before knows that it is all but impossible to boil everything you saw, experienced, heard, and learned into a single take-away. But as we traveled, I was reflecting on it, and realizing how the concept of living simply came up again and again on our trip, and how my life back here in the 'Burgh has a tendency to be anything but simple.

Take for instance eating. In Haiti, we had three square meals a day, and that was really it. There wasn't a whole lot of snacking in between meals. The meals we did have were amazing! Pasta, barbecue beef, stuffed shells, and all kinds of sides to go with them. But for all the more I ate at meal time, the removal of snacks from my diet for a week made me lose weight I'm sure (I've been to scared to step on the scale and be proven wrong!), and just made things a little bit easier. I was in the airport on the way home, and thought about getting my usual road-trip snack of twizzlers or m&ms, and realized that I didn't need them, I just felt like I did. (That's a theme that might come up again and again in this post!)

This morning I woke up and turned on CNN as I often do, and started to feel a little bit sick to my stomach. Every morning in Haiti I would wake up at 6 AM, grab a cup of Pastor Pierre's famous coffee, and go to the roof to do my devotions and watch the sunrise. After about the third car advertisement this morning on CNN, I wondered if I really needed to put myself through that. Wasn't it much better when I was just simply watching the sunrise?

I have heard tell of people coming home from Haiti and selling all of their clothes. I left everything I took with me in Haiti, and I'm beginning to think that my closet might under-go and over-haul. Do I really need 20 $15 shirts? Or could I sneak by with a little bit less?

The temptation is to react wildly I think, to throw everything overboard and start over. But sadly, that's not practical or even possible in a lot of cases. My take away is that for an entire week, I lived as simply as I could, with Haitian people who have mastered living simply because their situation demands it of them. To truly live in honor of the trip we took, I'm going to do all that I can to live simply. To spend less and to give more. To worry less and to love more. To shop less and to pray more.

I'm sure there will be more thoughts as the week goes on. But for the moment, it was an awesome trip, and I thank you all for your prayers while we were away. If you wouldn't mind transitioning and start praying for the paper that's due in two days...