Onions, Life and Nail Polish.

On January 28, 2013 by Bethany

Haiti Earthquake 7.0


Everything in life has layers.

This ministry has so many layers.

We aren’t one-dimensional people, we all have layers.

Love, Fear, Grief, Joy, Happiness, Tragedy, Anger, Peace.



If there’s anything I can tell you today, it’s that my heart is hurting. Loss is loss, grief is grief and my heart hurts. From innocents here in our town, to tragedies in our nation, to disasters in our world.

I recently completed reading a few different books on Haiti, all history based. I love Haiti, its people and my friends. I love our ministry, our Pastors and our staff. I loved getting to learn about the history of the country, getting a better understanding of the culture.

I also finished reading a book of photojournalism and essays after the earthquake. It is not a book that I recommend to just anyone, in fact… I remain vague on the title because it is a difficult read, with graphic photos and accounts of the aftermath and thus, extremely hard to process.  For me, I decided I wanted this. I am a relationship based person, highly influenced by empathy, feeling what others feel. I connect with people by putting myself in their shoes, trying to wrap my mind around what they have/are experiencing. I needed and wanted to understand what the people whom I hold so close to my heart endured 3 years ago.

From my time in Haiti so far, I’ve heard many stories of the earthquake, where people were, what they were doing, what it was like. I’ve seen the Cathedral and countless other structures and gasped at their damage. I’ve heard and read the statistics. I’ve seen the documentaries.  But I am so far removed from the reality that was January 12th. If we weren’t there, we are disconnected from the truth of that night. These are the people I serve alongside, work with, laugh with, cry with… I was under conviction for the apathy I had towards my stupidity in this area. I needed to abolish my ignorance. Isn’t it the least I can do for these people I love, my brothers and sisters in Christ?

After I finished reading the book, I wept.

These beautiful people, my beautiful friends. The precious faces of the children I know. They endured such loss. A loss that no-matter what, I will never comprehend. No matter how hard I try, I will never fully understand what they went through. To be fine one second and then mere seconds later, be surrounded in chaos and tragedy, losing everything you own and many of those you love. Not knowing if your family is okay, surrounded by death and ruin. Is this war? The end of the world? Wrath of God? A bad dream?

*3,500,000 people were affected by the quake. Let that sink in. That isn’t just a number. Those are real humans. Grieving and lost. REAL people.

But you see, I know these people. I know them by name, hold their hands, we break bread together. I do not weep for myself, I weep for their loss. The tragedy they’ve endured. The heartache they’ve gone through.

– BUT –

I weep with layers.

I weep with joy for who they are now. I weep with thanksgiving to know them today. I weep with love buried so deep in my heart for them, it hurts. I weep selfishly to my Christ for allowing me to serve in Haiti and to know these beautiful people. I weep with gratefulness for our friendships. I weep in awe of the incredible people they are.

For they are not a people of death and ruin. They rose up out of the dust of January 12th, 2010 and gave Praise to the Lord for their lives. They rise up out of that past chaos every morning anew with life! They are some of the strongest and continually enduring people I’ve ever met. They would give their life for me. They love deeply. Their passion drives them, they live their lives out of thankfulness. They are true examples of Christ-followers. They are forever etched on my heart.

I love you all.


The layers of this life make up who we are.

I enjoy the layers,

Of this ministry.

Of our lives together.

Of our future to come.


Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. – MLK Jr. 

Ignorance isn’t bliss, it is the deepest form of disrespect.  – Unknown

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.  – Maya Angelou

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