It has been some time. Lots has happened this summer and fall and lots of things I needed to process not on a blog. I will be writing soon about my Half Marathon and my new adventure, Crossfit. Get excited.
One of the most exciting things that has happened in the last month is I have decided to go Haiti with my church family, Westwind. I have been contemplating what I would even write in this blog, as Haiti gets me so exciting I sometimes can’t organize my thoughts into coherent sentences. This is my best attempt…
To be completely honest, Haiti was no where in my mind until 2010. My roommates and I at the time had been visiting a church and a man from Haiti came to share about his ministry in the country. I remember feeling bad that I couldn’t fathom what it would be like to live in a 3rd world country, especially after a devastating earthquake.
My roommate, Sarah and myself talked briefly that day about how if we ever got the chance to go to Haiti we would take it. A few months later we had settled at a different church and were given that opportunity. It was the first mission’s trip that church had taken, lots of things were up in the air, and we couldn’t come up with two dimes to rub together between the two of us, but we knew we were going. We did a bike-a-thon in the middle of November in Iowa, wrote lots of letters, worked extra hours, and thanked God for checks we never expected to receive. Finally we were ready to spend 10 days in Haiti helping currently missionaries with a school project and digging a foundation for a new church.
As December 2009 came we were nervous. The turmoil in Haiti was and still is very real. At the time, they were in the middle of elections and riots had been breaking out resulting in lots of violence. The day before we were supposed to leave our trip was postponed. The missionaries thought it would be best to wait until the President was announced before we came to help. God taught all of us patience and flexibility, as the trip would be delayed another time in February before we would finally put our feet on the ground in April. What only God knew is that they we would arrive that Saturday in April and the election would be pushed back from December and be announced that Monday. I can remember being in the kitchen with the Haitian cooks listening to a crank radio, as the government had turned off power to the city (their way of oppressing people during announcements). They were speaking Creole, so I had no idea what was going on until one of the three women started to cry, tears of joy. The women then began cheering. We knew at that moment, the people’s choice, “Sweet Micky” had been announced. Moments later we heard what sounded like fireworks…gunshots in the streets, their way of celebrating.
We worked on a couple projects, building a roof for a school and digging a foundation for a new church. It was an amazing experience to meet another team from Louisiana, the Haitian workers, and the missionaries who have lived there over 20 years.
Short term missions has always been a struggle for me. I have been on a couple other trips besides Haiti and have debated whether it is beneficial to go to a place for such a short amount of time. Haiti definitely changed my view on that. The physical labor we provided was helpful I am sure. The more important part I saw was the encouragement and hope we provided to missionaries and people of Haiti. There are plenty of wonderful people, doing great work in other countries but many of the people we encountered were happy to just be acknowledged. The idea, that we came to their country and while we will never understand their hurts, fears, and lives, we were present, we showed up. Reminded me of a great page from a book, Kisses from Katie by Katie J. Davis. Katie explains the feeling of being overwhelmed by a broken world better than could have thought to…
God was opening my eyes to a whole new world and way of living and most important to a whole new way of living out the Gospel. Every day I have spent in Uganda has been beautifully overwhelming; everywhere I have looked, raw, filthy human need and brokenness have been on display, begging for someone to meet them, fix them. And even though I realize I cannot always mend or meet, I can enter in. I can enter into someone’s pain and sit with them and know. This is Jesus. Not that He apologizes for the hard and the hurt, but that He enters in, He comes with us to the hard places. And so I continue to enter.
This brings me to now. I have been given the opportunity to go back to Haiti. Much like the words from Katie Davis, the mission’s group we are going to help shares the idea that each person is important and from God. Westwind Church will be taking a group of people, myself included, in April of this coming year. We will be working with Mission Starfish Haiti and helping them with upcoming projects including teaching, work projects, evangelism, and more. It will cost me around $1500 to go on the trip. If you’d like to support me you can do that a number of ways:
1. Pray for Haiti, our team at Westwind, and Mission Starfish Hait
2. Support me or someone else from Westwind- you can use Dwolla or write a check and mail it/drop it off to Westwind Church at 185 NE Dartmoor Dr, Waukee, IA 50263 (Please make sure to put “Haiti- Sara Zika” in the memo of the check or dwolla site)
3. Support me by donating to my fundraising site: Youcare Site
4. Buy a pumpkin roll or hire me for an odd job- my skills include but are not limited to painting, babysitting, cleaning, and cooking. Details can be found on my facebook, feel free to send me a message if you need my contact info.
5. Share the news and information with your friends and family.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and support.