My heart doesn't fit in my body, it's crowding my lungs, there is no room for breath. There are no curse words even to express my feelings as I recall about "Not Yet"NOT.

I barely had a handle on hope before the earthquake. This earthquake has completely upset my apple cart.

“Whose apple cart is it anyway?”

It's God again. I hear a low snarl in the pit of my stomach and hissing sound escapes as I exhale. I grope riffling desperately through my blue books. Avoiding the answer.

“Feed my sheep.”
“A peanut???? A peanut??? What am I doing?

The Rainy Season Came Early
(March 2010, in America)
Scoop and pour
Scoop and pour
Scoop and pour
Scoop and pour
I watched as the two women tried to keep the rain water from entering their tent made of a queen sized fitted sheet.
In slow motion I pick up the remote and turn off CNN. It's all wrong.

I Need to Cry
I can't do this God? I need you. I watched CNN The woman was scooping Tupperware after Tupperware scoops of rain from in front of her brand new drooping home made of…sheets. I need you, she needs you, we need you God more than ever. I thought we had done something, something, grandiose in the past 9 years on the mission field. I look at my earthquaked Haiti. I need to cry. But tears wouldn't solve anything. I knew a different Haiti. Different. We in America have no point of reference for the things I have seen in Haiti. I've seen poor in America. In America the poorest of the poor can only afford one vowel and one consonant. “Po” as we say down south. I've seen an old curmudgeon of a black man burrowed in the corner of his refrigerator box on the streets of California. I've seen a woman retrieving a half eaten sandwich in the trashcan outside of the Greyhound bus station in St. Louis. I've seen an over sized coated man wearing all of his clothing pushing a grocery cart full of greasy bags and 3 folding chairs in Harlem. I've been in homes in Houston in the 3rd Ward where rats and roaches had first choice. I've visited my own relatives whose homes have never ever seen a coat of paint. But I had never seen poverty up close and personal like the poverty I hugged, kissed and ministered to in Haiti. I used to see smidgeons of it on those “savethechildrenfeedthechildren” 4 a.m. TV shows. But there are no coffee breaks, windows to Windex, Maytag, Verizon versus AT&T commercial breaks in Haiti. The pre-quake Haiti. Pigeon holed as the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Now, since the earthquakes, we can brag and boast and toast: “Here's to Haiti…the poorest nation in the world.”

I climb onto my computer chair. I retrieve my blue books. I keep my bluebooks hidden on a top shelf in two State Fair Pancakes ‘n Sausage boxes. I can almost taste my blood as it rushes from my heart to my head and back down again. Haiti needs me to make an intentional and rigorous difference. I am needed more now than ever (me…that's a scary thought). I go into the bathroom. I lean into my reflection, my nose touching my nose in the mirror. Me.

Millions, over half a billion dollars worth of supplies and foods and materials have been sent. François Filogene, my translator and friend, the superintendent of schools, my best friend in the whole of Haiti and maybe even in all of America, my friend hasn't seen a penny. Some of those were his pictures, our pictures, from God's work that were used on the George Clooney international telethon. Yet none of my “models of poverty” have seen one tent, one bottle of water, one comb, one kernel of rice one penny.

Francois Are You there?
My brain scorched back to the evening of January 12th when I first found out.
I tommy gunned my computer:
Dearest Francois, heard about the earth quake
Are you okay?

Looking to hear from you.
Are you okay?

Are you okay?

Are you okay?

Are you okay?

Are you okay?

Okay????? I typed in like a stalking and frustrated lover.

January 13, 2:00 a.m.
I typed, “F-r-a-n-c-o-i-s?” I sat in front of my computer and bumped my head on the back of my chair, like I used to do as a little pigtailed child on my pillow after getting a whipping for something I didn't do. Just like then, I pounded till I, exhausted from crying, fell asleep.

January 13, 6:53 p.m.
There it was.
A note from François.
“I cannot be OK when most of my fellow citizens are in desperate straits. They are in dire needs for shelter, food medications, clothing, clean water to drink. I wonder if Haiti is the most unfortunate country in the world. It is the country where most people are in extreme poverty if I don't want to say--in absolute poverty. We are devastated emotionally. We are in complete fear. We are scared to death because we don't know what will, happen to destroy the rest of the population. Our situation becomes more critical. Now we are in an incomparable situation. We cry for help. We don't know what to do. Please help us. Please help us. Please help us. We are really in needs.”

And my Francois, translator and friend signs off, “God keep on blessing AMERICA.”

March 21, 2010
It's been over a month now, millions upon millions of dollars have been donated and Superintendent of Schools, Francois Filogene, my friend, has not seen one Band-Aid, one aspirin, one sock, one doll. I hunt down and put on my Wal-mart combat boots, I turn off the TV, closet myself in front of my computer…armed with my pancake boxes…bluebooks as ammunition…with John Wayne determination and the true grit of Maya Angelou I stick out my chin and begin again. Nobody knows the Haiti I've seen...

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