Love and Grace in a Place of Need

By   •   March 23, 2011

His voyage there is being revealed through a new music video entitled “We Were Made For You.” Click here to watch it and to see behind-the-scenes footage and photos. We chatted with Aaron to learn more about the change that this journey made in his life.

How did the trip impact you?

In so many ways. This country was in desperate need before the earthquake. And then the earthquake happened and it’s obviously magnified times a thousand. I always had this issue that whenever you have a country that’s in desperate need: there’s so much anger that happens in me when you see how simple the solutions are, but then how difficult they are to go through with. My first emotion is always that: “Oh, take out the garbage and the cholera will go away.”

But then you think about taking out the garbage and where do you put it? And then you think, “Oh well, we just need to put a hospital over here,” but then you think about who would fund the hospital and who would work there? And how would we get supplies into the hospital? The government puts liens on everything that comes into the country.

So there’s a lot of frustration, you know, when you first get on the ground and when you look at how things are and how easily fixed they are, but at the same time how difficult it is to implement these things.

And at the same time you get there and you realize, you’ve always heard your whole life growing up, you know only being an hour from Haiti by plane, that it’s the most dangerous place on earth and it’s terrible. You go there and it’s actually a really nice place. If you get just a few miles outside of the busted up city, it’s like a resort town. Blue water, it’s an amazing place. And for all the bad that’s happened there, God is doing so many good things there.

So there’s this weird mix of emotions: anger and happiness…it is what it is.

What did your wife think? How was the trip for her?

She loves this stuff. She always says, “Can we stay longer?” when we go to a third world country, because you really see the need down there. I think the largest need, the largest tangible need, is bodies, human bodies to go down to do the things that need to be done. There’s a large part of me that really believes that what needs to be done there is emotional stuff. You know, meeting people where they are and sharing your faith and being honest and real. Lending a hug or a handshake as opposed to always a concrete pour or food or whatever. Those things are obviously needed, but I think the emotional things are what we forget about a lot.

Tell us a little bit about some of the people who impacted you.

We went out with the BGEA Rapid Response Team chaplains; they just go into places and pray with people…we went into this place called Cabaret 2. It’s a shelter there that Samaritan’s Purse built.

We get in there and this man is asking for prayer and we ask him what he’s wanting prayer for. And you know, I was expecting post-earthquake requests. But his prayer request, he was a pastor, and he wanted to be a better leader and help his church through the hard times. He said, “I know it’s going to be hard, but I’d rather this than anything else.” It was kind of inspiring. You know, the first prayer request of the day wasn’t for food, shelter or health. It was for spiritual strength and that was really moving to me.

Lastly, can you tell us what the experience was like shooting the music video?

It was really fast. A lot of click and go. My favorite part was when we met the blind fellow there. We thought we were going to sneak into the cathedral. There was razor wire that we pulled back and we went in there. We had an in-ear wireless system so no one in the city could hear the song. So we put everything together and we were going to rush in there, film the video and leave. And then it ended up being this time of an hour or so, we just hung out with the guy and his family.

Any final comments or thoughts about Haiti?

Yeah, I think that people need to be aware that it is only an hour and a half flight from America, 800 miles and it is busted and it is broken. But there are great things happening and I challenge anybody to go down there and see what God is doing and what’s going on.

It’s not at all what you see in the media. The people there have been so exploited by the media: how bad they are and how rough their country is and politically how unstable it is and economically how unstable it is…they’ve been so exploited.

They just need love and grace and time, as opposed to just, you know, “here’s a couple hundred bucks, feed yourself or figure it out.” You know what I mean? They need people. I would challenge anybody that can; it’s a hundred dollar ticket from Florida.

All photos courtesy of Paul Sherar, Samaritan’s Purse © 2011