My (Almost) Trip To Haiti

Months ago I was asked to go to Haiti with Compassion’s Canadian branch. My friend Karen from that office wanted me along to help host a group of pastors seeing Compassion’s ministry for the first time.

I didn’t feel good about it. Too much time away from home just after a Christmas tour and before a planned trip to Guatemala in February and then Kenya in March. I stalled in case Guatemala fell through or the Kenya trip got pushed back on the calendar.

Karen waited patiently, then had to press.

…would you consider joining us? The dates again are Jan. 11-19, 2010. I understand that you will be in San Diego (I think) just prior to that so we could fly you guys out of there and we would likely have you meet up with the rest of the team in Miami before continuing on to Port au Prince.

I prayed some more. Talked it over with Becky. I just didn’t feel good about this one and God was staying silent. I knew Becky thought she could handle that much time apart, alone with the kids, but I had the sense that I’d be needed or maybe I’d need them. So I replied.

Karen, I’m sorry but I can’t go to Haiti with you guys. Starting tomorrow I get very busy. The busy-ness continues through December and the first part of January (family stuff then). I’m trying to imagine what I and my family will be needing after that and I don’t think a trip to Haiti would be the wisest commitment to make.

I’ve prayed about it and don’t sense God moving me in either direction on it so I have to use my best judgment and say no. Sorry. I really would LOVE to hang out with you, visit Haiti, meet the president of Compassion CA, etc etc etc. Just don’t think I’ll have it in me when the time comes.

I’m heading to Guatemala in February and Kenya in March, as well as doing my normal 10 gigs a month. So all that had to be considered too. Again, very sorry and thanks for asking.

The Guatemala trip fell through. The family plans in January got moved to December because of a death in the family. The Kenya trip has come together so smoothly that I’ve been so un-busy and un-needed at times that I’ve been a little bored and felt guilty for not traveling with Karen. (Karen’s anything but boring.)

Then, on the 12th Haiti was wrecked by an earthquake and I I wondered why I wasn’t there. Was I supposed to be there? Is Karen OK? If not, was I spared for a reason?

I went to work from early in the morning to late at night (like people with real jobs do). I’ve been on-line tweeting, Facebooking, e-mailing, putting out confirmed information, fighting misinformation, raising funds and prayers for Compassion’s kids, and trying to get a massive benefit off the ground. (I’m sure a therapist would have a good time with dissecting my hyperactivity as of late.)

Today Karen wrote to say she made it home safely.

Hey Shaun – bet you’re glad you declined my offer to travel to Haiti with us huh?!?

We arrived in Port au Prince 1 hour before the quake and we were just minutes away from arriving at the Hotel Montana. God’s divine protection was upon us every step of the way!

I’ve never said “no” to anything Compassion has asked of me before. Not that I can remember. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first time I did.

Thanking God for His silence and for protecting my Canadian friends every step of the way.

Welcome home, Karen.