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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Wordless Wednesday: Finding potential in rubble

Ever feel overwhelmed? I do. Quite often. And usually over pretty trivial things. For example, living with three guys (my husband and two adolescent sons), I have to clean the bathrooms all the time. This morning, I was feeling very overwhelmed by that constant chore. But then I remembered what you see above. This used to be the home of Se Tata, who welcomed mission trips from Grace Church of Fredericksburg. Se Tata (a Creole nickname meaning “Sister Auntie”) was killed in the Jan. 12 earthquake. Her house was ruined. This was the condition of her home when we visited Port au Prince in May. A group of  Haitian workers cleared the rubble, often one piece at a time. The work was painstaking and very slow. Perhaps the workers felt overwhelmed looking at the totality of the damage. But they focused on their task one piece of rubble at a time.

Two months later, the land of Se Tata’s home now held a small church:

Near Se Tata’s home was an apartment building. The Haitian women rented out the apartments to earn her living. When we saw the building, it seemed beyond repair. Part of the mission team investigated the building, looking to see what could be savaged. They saw potential where I saw disaster. Here is the house in May:

Last week, a mission team from Grace Church of Fredericksburg stayed at the home. It looked like this:

These pictures are from Grace Church member Don Jennings. He was the mission leader on our trip, and kept everything running smoothly for us. I will be forever grateful. And now, six months after my trip, these pictures remind me of some of the lessons I learned in Haiti. Don’t get overwhelmed. And always see that things can get better.

And, yes, I realize this is pretty wordy for a “wordless Wednesday.”