The Weather Report FEBRUARY 2018

We are what we are as much because we feel as because we think. I am as likely to clap down the lid on my feelings as I am to state my thoughts. I find this almost impossible to do when in Haiti, suppress what I am feeling.
There are many factors that explain this, but none is as influential as the people of Haiti. The way they carry the crushing poverty that besets them stirs me deeply. Despite my preparation, indeed, despite my previous visits, these images dislodge things in me. The feelings cut free and shake me as a child shakes a snow globe.
Last week was the sixth trip to Haiti sponsored by Immanuel Baptist Church. To date, 17 members of this faith community have made the trek and returned to tell stories of what they witnessed. Their testimonies point to the indelible marks the experience left on their lives. Some shared their thoughts about Haiti; all spoke to what they felt when standing among the people of Haiti.
On this trip I traveled with Susan Crownover, Melanie Dover, Emily Gnetz, Tambi Swiney, and Jenny Wilson – Super Heroes I think. The things they carried with them included bags meticulously packed, cameras always within reach, and a stash of food large enough to open a small grocery. The things these women carried inside are best summarized as a mother’s heart.
The church is in the middle of a second, three-year commitment to the ongoing work of The Joseph School in Haiti. Photographs in this issue of the Light illustrate some of what we do there, but no picture can capture what happens to our hearts when standing there. Father Gregory Boyle observes that discipleship is less a matter of making the right stand and more a matter of standing in the right place.       —Steven