Looking Back Moving Forward

Posted: January 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

I woke up this morning immediately remembering what day it is – January 12th – the 2nd anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake. I sip my coffee – I pause to remember in the midst of a very busy stretch of time. We have had a new life to welcome onto the planet almost every day since January began. We at the maternity center grab sleep when we can, we work long hours, and we get to stand by and watch mom’s push a new person into the world. We stand by with life saving meds and equipment. We stand by with midwife tricks of the trade. We guard that mom and baby  – with some never knowing how close they might have come to losing life. Pushing a baby out is really hard work. Probably the hardest work a woman will ever do. I am a marathon runner, I’ve had two babies, I know what pushing through means. These women do it well.

Haitians are used to hard work, they are strong people. I watched that strength up close after the earthquake. We’ve had well over 100 new babies in our program since the earthquake. Babies who weren’t here when the earth shook. Babies who enter this land of struggle post earthquake. Precious lives that remind us though Haiti lost so much, life continues, hope lives, love conquers. The earthquake brought about terrible losses.

I sit writing this blog in a house we’ve lived in for 13 years, owned by a lovely Haitian doctor who lost her life in the earthquake because she lived in her other house closer to downtown. She and her sister were lost, buried in the crushing weight of cement.

Heartline operated a field hospital for a year and I witnessed devastating loss but I also witnessed incredible strength, endurance and saw people suffer well. Every tragedy can bring the byproduct of new hope. God always gives us light in the darkness – He never abandons us. The 2010 Haiti earthquake ended many lives, destroyed buildings and the rest of the world paused for a moment and recognized that Haiti is on the map. But in the midst of that tragedy, Heartline was already in place so God was able to use us in unique ways. I am forever changed because of that. I met and worked along side people who will be lifelong Haiti partners and friends.

In the midst of rubble God gave incredible gifts. Two years later I still stand amazed. So, we remember. We deliver babies, Heartline creates jobs, women sew for success, ladies learn to read, to cook, to make jewelry, to be empowered. The gospel message goes out, mom’s learn how to parent and raise the children they bear. We celebrate every baby born safely, every mom who pushes through. One almost every day this year- God’s message to us that He brings about new life. Tragedy is not the end – hope and life push through.

Sent this morning from post earthquake dear friend and Haiti co-worker Sarah Dornbos ~

“From all that is broken, let there be beauty. From what is torn, jagged, ripped, frayed, Let there be not just mendings But meetings unimagined. May the God in whom nothing is wasted Gather up every scrap, Every shred and shard, And make of them new paths, doorways, worlds.” -Jan Richardson

Beth McHoul

  1. Jenny Duhm says:

    Beth, thank you so much for sharing a piece of your heart, love you and look at all those healthy babies!!!!! Wahooo!!! 🙂

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