(Wrote this on Friday night/Sat. am but haven’t had power until now to post it until now)

In my last post I explained the unfortunate news about Mislanda and Bebej. I want to thank all of you who were praying for them because we are so thankful to still have the girls here! Their mother came to get them last Sunday. The girls were ready and waiting as they had their bags packed, their hair done, and their nice church dresses on. They stayed home from church in case their mother came in the morning. Just before their mother arrived, Mislanda told Sue that she didn’t want to go with her mother. Sue was instantly in tears as she realized the challenges this created. When their mother arrived both the girls were hesitant to greet her. She immediately went to Sue and told her that she had changed her mind and would not be taking the girls with her. As awful as this was, it was not a surprise to Sue. She said that the mother has been very indecisive, constantly changing her plans for her daughters. After having a heated conversation with Sue, she casually said good-bye to the girls and left. She seemed emotionless but I know that deep down she had to be hurting as she left her daughters here. I can’t believe that a mother would treat her daughters this way, playing with their hearts as she controls their futures. Whether she will allow them to be adopted or will later want them back, we don’t know. As tragic and devastating as that morning was, I know that the girls are better off here. I had absolutely no peace about them going with their mother and living in the tent city. I believe that God is protecting them by keeping them here. I am also thankful to have more time with them, they are such sweet and precious girls. Pray for Sue as she pursues what’s best for these girls. Please pray for the girls as they continue to trust God and His will for their lives.

The language barrier still remains one of my biggest frustrations. Although I am learning some Creole, it’s not nearly enough to understand what the kids and the workers are saying to each other. This creates distance and a level of tension between the Americans and the Haitians. Pray that we would have grace and patience for each other as we work together to help Sue by loving and caring for the children. Pray that God would continue to help me understand and learn more of the language.

Yesterday our generator breathed it’s last and final breath. This means when the city power is off, we don’t have any electricity (the city power is randomly available, usually coming on once a day for a few hours). Three mechanics were here all day yesterday and almost all day today trying to fix it. During the process of fixing it there was some sort of shortage and now we are unable to get city power through our lines which means we are now completely out of electricity. The past two nights were interesting as we bathed the kids and put them to bed with flashlights and sleep without fans to keep us cool. We are on our last hour of battery for the laptop and our cell phones are almost dead. Without electricity we are unable to pump water so we have had to buy filtered water and carry water for washing and bathing from down the street. Pray for us as we live without electricity and pray that we would be able to move to our new home at Christianville VERY soon!

Speaking of Christianville… John and Sue took Hannah, Josh, and I there on Thursday. It was hard to leave the twins for a whole day but it was a much needed day away from the house. We drove through downtown Port-au-Prince so that we could see the remains of the Capital building and the Cathedral that were both destroyed by the earthquake. Our drive to Christianville was an adventure. John drove us in his only working truck that day, the large flat-bed truck that took us to church a few weeks ago that I described in a previous post. This meant that Josh, Hannah, and I would be standing in the back of the truck basking in the sun. At least we had a great view of the land as we were covered in dust and exhaust fumes. It felt like we were either riding on a float in a parade or being taken to prison! We drove west toward Leogane to get to Christianville. Christianville is hidden in what seemed like an oasis off the highway. It’s near the coast, in the country, and the air is fresh. There was lots of grass and beautiful trees. We went there so Sue and John could meet a man who’s interested in building jungle gyms for the two orphanages. Everything they will have their is almost the opposite of what they have now. They house they’re moving into will be a temporary situation until their new house is built. The temporary house is small but doable. It is in need of a few minor repairs and as soon as they’re finished, we will be ready to move.  I am so excited for Sue and the kids to have a new place to live and so thankful for the ways God continues to take care of them.

I’ve always struggled putting my thoughts and feelings into words, but explaining my trip to the market with Louise is especially difficult. She goes every week to buy our meat, beans, vegetables, noodles, and other various ingredients for our cook, Ma-mi. We left right after breakfast and took a tap-tap  to get there. We arrived at a busy corner in Bon Repos where the streets were lined with the motorcycle gangs, students heading to school, and vendors already set up for the day. I couldn’t believe the amount of activity so early in the morning. Sometimes I wonder if Haitians ever sleep! The market is located under some sort of old barn or arena next to a swampy river that’s home to stray pigs and contains more sewage and trash than water. As you can imagine, the market smelled just like the river. I’m not even going to attempt to describe the way the butchers handle and sell meat. All I’m going to say is that my trip to the market made me extremely grateful for the grocery stores and health codes in the US! I voluntarily asked if I could go with Louise to the market, Sue was worried that I wouldn’t want to eat any of the meat anymore after going. I wasn’t worried about that. I wanted to see how some Haitians make a living and how so many Haitians buy their groceries. I wanted to see more into their daily life. I spend every day at the orphanage and so I take every opportunity to experience Haitian life outside our walls. Sometimes that means sitting through a five hour church service or eating chicken bones with the kids at lunch. Sometimes it means squishing into a tap-tap and sometimes it’s gagging at the stench and sights of the market.

My heart has been overflowing with joy, love, and peace ever since I arrived here in May. The longer I’m here, the more these feelings increase. Today I felt as if my heart could explode from happiness. It is such a privilege to be here and to get to know these children. I know this is God’s purpose for me and that this is what I was created to do. Being where God wants me, loving his precious children, and growing closer to Him. I know I am being prayed for. I can feel it. There are times when I know I don’t have the strength or the patience necessary, but God is constantly providing more than I need. Whenever things seem unbearable, God gives me a new attitude and perspective. He is my deliverer. I am experiencing his grace in a whole new way and I am so blessed to be here, right where he wants me.Thank you so much for all your prayers!

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