The Game

I’ve been back in the United States for a little over a week now. I could have given you several different adjectives that were running through my head as I stared at my passport, my luggage, and my boarding pass the night before our travels. I had feelings of uncertainty, I braced for the surrealness, trying to remember which was home. I had questions of what would be the trigger that made me miss Haiti, or what made me want to come back. But the biggest question I tried to prepare for before I came returned: “Hey Isken, how was Haiti?”

That question is too broad for my taste, I am a talker after all.

I’ll try to sum it up simply. Haiti is real. It’s heavy. It’s dark. My experience in the 3 months I was gone wouldn’t be used as a desktop wallpaper. It wouldn’t be an instagram post. It’s internal, almost too difficult to put in a 5 minute speech.

Then again, I think I would only do you a disservice if I only shared the laughter of the kids, the smiles of the parents, or the fistbumps of the thugs in the neighborhood. I had that too. I’m always going to have my good days. I’m going to have days where God made it exceptionally easy for me to understand Kréyol, or how everything falls into place. I’ll have my days where absolutely every child loves me, days where people just seem to understand the Gospel a little easier, days where souls are just saved left and right, days when being a missionary is a piece of cake.

But this isn’t a vacation.

I was hanging out with my friend Kelvin last night. He’s not much of a believer so I’m telling this experience from a different perspective. And I realized for the first time that I am not editing my story to meet “Christian expectations” of my experience there. I wasn’t telling my story trying to draw out the “millennial amen” (exhale through nose, mhmm). I told him about the realness of spiritual warfare, and how the enemy manifests itself differently to keep us distracted from God’s focus, take us out one by one or divide us. I told him about prostitution in Haiti, how it’s legal and that it would only cost $1 to get satisfied, $2 if you didn’t want to use a condom.

I explained the lack of education and the absence of public schools, that in Haiti, there are virtually no jobs to pay taxes with that would fund teachers’ salaries. I told him that the unemployment rate in Haiti is 85%. I told him that our center is run on solar energy and a generator at night, and that beyond our walls, complete darkness. I told him how spoiled we were never having to worry about floods when it rains hard, and that some families would stand the whole night because their beds, or rather, tarps, are on the ground. I told him that the mindset of the people in Haiti gets in the way of their progress, that it would to take multiple generations to undo the corruption that seeps in even through the church. I told him about voodoo, and some of the stories I’ve heard that are way too dark to even be in an R-Rated movie. And as I recounted all these things, I couldn’t see the light in the horizon.

It all seems very helpless through the lens of Isken Cosip.

Enter God.

You want to know what keeps me going? It is the hope and assurance that God is/has/will be doing amazing things in Haiti. Understand that I’ve only seen Haiti for 3 months in a small community in Bercy. I don’t have a full scope of God’s plan. When you open your heart to be used by God, He will do wonders with you as an agent. And a lot of times, we never see the fruit of this. But I’ve only lived 29 years, currently in the year 2017. This earth has been around for much, much longer, and has been inhabited by billions of people that came before me and will come after me. And that to claim to be the answer or solution is too pompous. I bet my life on what God is doing, and it won’t always be what’s trending on social media. But I also can’t imagine the realness of the church in Acts, or the struggles of any of the apostles. This blog doesn’t touch any of what the authors of the Bible has written.

God’s plan, and His methods are too big for me.

I think of it like a game. God is this franchise and we’re in the 2017/2018 season. I’ll have my bad games, but the funny thing is, as important as I am to the team, I’m still only a role player. And it’s a team game, it doesn’t rise and fall with me. Let me have my bad game, but also remember, the game is not over, and the game is already won.

“Hey Isken, how is Haiti?”

Haiti is real. It’s heavy. And God is undefeated.

We touch down in the Atlanta International airport. And every single passenger has their head bowed down staring at the neon screen in the palm of their hands.

Oh yeah. Game’s not over.