Written By Jayne Spear
She stood at the center of the group, all eyes on her and posed the question, “Would you want to come with us?” She waited. Silence. Large eyes staring back at her. And the , like electricity, murmurs, postures turning to the lady at their side, whispers, nervous giggles, louder rumblings. Knowing this group as well as she did, she quickly got louder and asked again with authority, trying to reign the group back in before she inevitably would lose them to the chaos and disorder that she had come to know with them. “Would you want to come with us to Haiti?” After five years of pouring into women’s worth and value in La Canita Dominican Republic, she asked them would they want to find a community and give to them what they have received. Absolutely they would and are planning on traveling to a neighboring village with our team in June. They are excited to teach them their wood working skills, jewelry making, but most importantly, to pour into them by seeing them, getting to know their stories and holding those stories with all the dignity they deserve. They are honored to be Project I See You of the Dominican Republic.
But Haiti? Haiti. Their poor neighbors with nothing. The ravaged land that they border that speak a different language, have different customs, diseases and food? Is it safe? What would we do with our kids? What if they don’t accept us? Isn’t there a lot of violence in Haiti? Just this past week a riot broke out and someone died. One woman said, “I want to say yes but I am afraid”.
As Angie relayed this scene to me I couldn’t help but think of the first time someone presented the idea of me traveling to the DR. In fact it was Angie that first asked me to go. I felt so profoundly moved that these women are now where I was almost five years ago. Willing hearts that have received much from God and have felt seen by Him yet so unsure of the path ahead and how scary it might feel to travel to the unknown.
Yet it was the going that changed my life. It was the act of surrendering amidst all of these fears that began to soften my heart and open my eyes to a whole other place that is dear to God’s heart. It is in this place, the Dominican Republic, that I have found a layer of my soul that only gets unearthed when I am there pouring sweat, filled with the palpable love that consumes all of my fear. Where I hear the hum of motorcycles, roosters crowing, dogs barking, Caribbean music blaring and the laughter of children who have nothing but who are so full of life. I thought I was saying yes to giving. And I was. But I was saying yes to receiving so much more. I now know the risk is absolutely worth it and that Life is what comes out of it. A life more colorful, rich and multi dimensional than if I had never gone. I am willing to take those risks and face my fears every time for that.
As Angie wrapped up the meeting two women approached her and said, “We will go with you.” And so we step into the vision of Project I See You “recipients” becoming the Givers to their neighbors close by and, one day soon, a little further away in Haiti.
In the coming weeks you will be hearing more about this community of women, their stories, and their hearts. You will hearing of our collective desire to build a space in La Canita, a center, a home to launch from: Centro Te Veo. But today we boldly foreshadow a huge part of our inspiration: the story is already being written for Project I See You, La Canita to go to a little town just outside of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. We could not have written this story even if we tried.