Although our move to Christianville and the first few days there were hectic, things are going very well for Sue and the kids. I noticed a drastic change in behavior and the overall mood of the household after moving. Where they were living in Bon Repos (a city just outside of Port-au-Prince) was dirty, compact, and dangerous. The kids were contained in a very small property and it majorly affected their behavior. Their new home is in the country on Christianville’s beautiful property. The first time I visited the campus I felt as if I was at an oasis; safe, clean and free. Although their house is small, the kids have so much space to run and play outside. Eventually, they will be building Sue a custom Children’s home and there’s another ministry who is going to install a playground for the kids. THank you for praying for us as we moved and as they are transitioning to their new life and developing a new routine. I’m so thankful that things are going well and that everyone seems really content living there, especially Sue.
I’ve never experienced a more bittersweet goodbye. I’ve been talking about leaving for weeks now, but the reality of it didn’t fully come until yesterday morning. I spent most of the morning crying as I thought about facing the end. I was devastated. I started crying really hard when I was alone with Jackson and Noah on the front porch. When three year old Francesca noticed I was crying, she came running toward me and snuggled onto my lap. She tightly wrapped her arms around me and patted my back until she sure I was finished. She smiled at me as she wiped the tears off my face and repeatedly kissed my face. I was quickly reminded of God’s love for me, and comforted knowing that He had used a sweet little girl take care of me. Oh, how I will miss her.
I sobbed as I rocked both of the babies to bed last night. My heart was completely crushed as I realized that it was my last time putting them to bed. I have never felt so attached to any children or babies as I am to Jackson and Noah and it was evident that they were equally attached to me. I feel so privileged that I could be their mommy for a short while. I tucked each of the girls into bed and received hundreds of hugs and kisses. Then I boys asked me to have one last sleepover with them on the porch.
I left early this morning, before any of the kids were awake. I held the babies one last time, left a note and some treats on the table for the kids, and gave Sue a hug goodbye. My ride to the airport was a blur as I struggled to keep my composure. I managed to hold back the tears until I got through security and was waiting in the terminal. A Haitian family sat in the row across from me with their baby boy and I immediately started crying. (They probably thought I was crazy, little did they know I was considering asking if I could hold their baby for a few minutes to help ease the pain). The rest of my day has been an emotional roller coaster. But God is constantly comforting me. I know He is in control and that although this season is over, He is leading me into a new one.
I will miss so many things about the babies, the kids, Sue, and life in Haiti. I am so thankful that I was able to spend the past few months there. I will miss Claudeson’s animated stories and Peter’s energy. I will miss Johnnies many facial expressions and Diana’s unique dance moves. I will miss Baby Joshua’s giggle and his cute little jog. I will miss watching Son-Son run at full speed and patrol everyone. I will miss Scheelanda’s sense of humor and Bebej’s beautiful smile. I will miss Betchina’s many hugs and her soft voice. I will miss Samantha’s singing and Jennifer’s teasing. I will miss Erline’s playfulness and Mislanda’s lovable spirit. I will miss Sue’s wisdom and her many stories. I will miss the beautiful landscape of Haiti and the extraordinary people. And yes, at times I will even miss eating rice and beans.
This summer wasn’t easy. In fact, it was one of the hardest and most stressful experiences I’ve ever had, but it was also one of the most rewarding experiences. It was obvious that God wanted me to go to Haiti to help Sue at her orphanage. Even though I was discouraged by some people, including my Missions advisor, I went knowing that God was calling me to go. I encourage you to follow God wherever He is leading you. I’m not saying that everyone should work in a third world country or take care of kids for a summer. But I am saying that God calls all of us to leave our comfort zones and share God’s love and grace with others. We are to I can testify that it’s in those places that He is able to transform us and that it’s in those seasons that we are rewarded and blessed. I will forever be changed by my time in Haiti and I will always
My feelings are complicated. My thoughts are scattered. My heart is full.
I am EXHAUSTED.
I am THANKFUL.
I am INSPIRED.
I am EMOTIONAL.
I am CHALLENGED.
I am AFRAID.
I am REFLECTIVE.
I am HOPEFUL.
I think this will be my last blog post for a while. I titled my blog ‘Wandering with a Purpose’ because that’s the best way to describe what I know of my future. I want to foliow God wherever He is leading me, obedient to His will. I don’t need to know the master plan for my life, I want to take it one day at a time. I want to surrender my own plans, my independence, my selfishness, and live for Him. It is a constant struggle. I have always known that God wants me to be a missionary. But I’ve never had any idea of where He wants me to go or what I will do there. I am slowly learning to trust Him. This used to make anxious about the future and inadequate to succeed without a plan of some sort. People are always asking me what I plan to do in Missions.Someone actually just told me today, “you have to have a plan!”. I told him that my plan for right now is to trust God to show me where to go next. Which is why I often feel like I’m wandering. I’m wandering in the direction that God is leading. And my purpose in wandering is to glorify God by making His love known to others. Knowing that God is in control of my future and that He will give me directions when I need to know them gives me an incredible sense of peace. So until I embark on another adventure or feel inspired to write again, my blogging is going to put on hold.
“The mind of man plans his way. But the Lord directs his steps.: Prov. 16:9
Thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement. My time in Haiti has reminded me how effective prayer is, and it’s ability to sustain us. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to be in Haiti and so thankful for your prayers, I couldn’t have managed without them.