I stood there, trying to take it all in. Like everything else here, I want to experience it all - I can't though. I can't take it all in and I realize I am in sensory overload. The smells, the sounds, the sights.
As I try to find the English words to the Christmas song I recognize the tune of, I laugh to myself and decide just to be grateful. God doesn't need me to be specific, He's already in these details - gratitude will suffice.
Gratitude is what He is seeking most from me - I've been lacking true gratitude lately. While beginning to live in this society where joy and pain exist simultaneously and life is a constant juxtaposition, I can't find gratitude as easily. I'm too busy fighting tarantulas and moths, watching the smiles of a people full of hope. I am too busy processing a sick mother moaning on her bed as I hold her hand and pray for something supernatural to happen. I'm too busy trying to simply communicate. The gratitude has been lost in my overload - all I can do is go to God with open hands asking for help. Fright, anger, confusion, sadness, loneliness and a quiet contentment have won out in my heart. God knew this was coming and He's full of grace, which is important since I feel grace-less. So, in the season when He gave the greatest gift I finally realize that just a "thank you" breathed to my Father is enough. He's in this juxtaposition of life and He knows it's hard to be here. So my gratitude - whispered, yelled or cried is enough right now. The life in front of me feels like such a mystery and I don't understand any of this - yet - but I know enough to be thankful and I think that means that for now, I get it.
Jumbled thoughts, from what is turning out to be a rather jumbled life - all put together by a rock solid God.
Emmanuel, God is WITH us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I wrote this post a couple days ago, but then couldn't get an internet connection for 36 hours. In the time I was longing to connect with family and friends, this quote found it's way to me and God comforted my demanding flesh with HIS love and HIS provisions.
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow' -Unknown
December 16th, 2012
I've been struggling with what to write about my first few days in Haiti. What do people need to hear? What is most important?
There is already a list of funny stories…and strange stories. There are the things God is doing in my heart. There are amazing, wonderful moments paired with moments of pain and loneliness. I do know I've spent a lot of my Sunday continuously ringing out and old rug that is soaking up water from my leaking cooler. A cooler to heavy to move because yesterday it was filled with ice blocks. Anything I've had in my house having to do with water has leaked, and I've only been here three full days. I also know there's a paint roller sitting in the corner that I use to kill bugs. I just used my hand to kill a moth on my computer screen though. I think about these realities of my life, and I decide to thank God for creativity.
I thank God because it's all I can do. When I step outside, when I walk around this place, which has suffered so much grief, God lights a spark in my heart and reminds me that this is right. God shines His joy in my frightened heart and I feel at peace again.
I miss my family and my friends so very deeply - I miss my home. I'm making a new one though. I'm hoping for what I do not yet see. Sometimes the Kreyol fills my head so much I can barely speak English anymore…and nighttime still feels eerie…but I thank God that I'm learning more of this beautiful language everyday and He graciously wakes me up each morning with new promises.
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:25
The Sovergn Lord has given me and instructed tounge, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. Isaiah 50:4 Update: Yesterday, after a session with my language tutor, Phanette, I was able to pray for her sick mother and for the first time I felt like I was in the ministry God called me to here. His purposes for me are being revealed day by day- but day by day I will take them!
I leave one week from today...and it still seems like it's months away. Just seven days, but it feels like seven months. The amount of things standing between me and December 13th continue to pile up. All that's left to do is pray, depend on the Lord and by His grace alone board my flight next week.
When I do have moments of clarity though- when I realize that in one week a journey years in the making is coming to fruition, I am overwhelmed with excitement. One of the truest statements about Haiti is "Haiti will break your heart and never give you back all the pieces." I'll always have a fractured heart for Haiti - but when I'm there - surrounded by the dirt, the sounds, the smells, the smiles, my heart mends just a little and my soul lights up. I feel like I get to go home next week and excited does not begin to describe it!
I am endlessly thankful for all of you, who have supported me in so many ways on this journey! Knowing you are with me in prayer and support as I enter this new season is so comforting. I have an army of people who care about what the Lord is doing in Haiti, people who care about me - and your love is and will continue to be felt in Haiti.
Here are my prayer requests for the next week:
1) Time of sabbath in this last week. Time to feel prepared in my mind and heart - for anxiety to fade.
2) For my parents to feel comfort in this transition.
3) HAFF has a board meeting this weekend. Please pray for the board and the Wilson's that open minds and hearts will make the best decisions possible for our ministry.
4) Pray that the last minute work on my house in Haiti will be completed this week.
5) Safe travel for the Wilson's and I back to Haiti - and drive from PAP to Bohoc.
6) My Kreyol (Creole) skills. I've had very little time for language prep lately, so hopefully I am able to recall what I know quickly- and pick up new vocabulary!
7) Please pray for what's ahead. Pray that God will go before me and prepare a way for the work He has for me.
I will do my best to update you once I arrive in Haiti. We have a long day of travel on the 13th and internet can of course, be spotty - but I will do my best to keep you informed!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time