AMY LONG, COME ON DOWN!!!
I’m really excited to be welcoming another full time missionary to Haiti this week. Amy Long is from Jacksonville, FL. She was living in another area of Haiti for almost 5 years and has been back in the States for 2 years. She has so many skills that will be a great benefit to the mission and the people we serve here in Haiti.
I love that Amy already speaks Haitian Creole. That will make a huge difference in the amount of time it’ll take her to adjust. She loves kids and has a heart for the women of Haiti. She’s a talented photographer, graphic designer and has good writing skills. Those of you who read the Hope Report each month had a taste of her work in the September Hope Report.
I wonder if our praying friends would keep Amy in your prayers this week? The move to Haiti is strenuous physically (lots of packing, last minute items to get, checking and re-checking the weight of your luggage, hauling all that luggage, etc.), emotionally (saying goodbye for now to special loved ones really stinks), and even spiritually (the enemy would just assume take us out before we even leave home). Amy is strong in the Lord and our prayers will reinforce that. Thank you.
OPERATIONS IN HAITI
We attempted taking class pictures this week. Lighting has been a real issue for us. We want our class sponsors to see the little faces, as well as the big picture. I think we’ll keep trying this coming week.
Preschool 2 class in Thozin
Our nurses and support staff at the clinic have worked after clinics this week, packaging clothing to give out next week. We are planning to visit the mountain area where Dr. Emmanuel is from to do some medical work and distribute some needed items. Lex visited there this past week and found the need was great. As a rule, we like to do outreaches like this in areas where we already have a trusting relationship with an authority figure from the area. We are thankful for that relationship with Dr. Emmanuel.
Dr. Emmanuel caring for a MOHI student
Clinic support staff preparing clothing to distribute
As you can tell by the picture below, too much rain can be problematical for drainage. Little by little we make changes to the Thozin campus to accommodate the problems we’ve experienced with too much rain. The whole front of the campus used to flood regularly. We filled in a lot and built a wall around the property, which really made a big difference. Tropical storms still can cause some issues. Right now we’re looking at this culvert in front of the school and trying to figure out how to keep the water moving. Lots of trash and mud get carried into it and it gets filled in and blocked.
drainage issues in Thozin
SUNDAY SUNDAY (FORGET THAT MONDAY STUFF!) SO GOOD TO ME!
Today has been a really fun one for me. We had a choir visiting from Port-au-Prince that sang some really sweet songs in the Thozin church. We had missionaries and expats visiting from several different organizations so we had lots of English – which I tend to enjoy. I also enjoyed getting to show off the new library and bring some new missionary friends down to the missionary compound. My “little brother” (aka Scott Long, founder of Mission E4) stopped by briefly and we all enjoyed a moment of fellowship with him and his friend, Mike. Scott came back this evening to preach at our English service. That’s always fun – especially when he attempts to preach in both English and Kreyol, all by himself. It was a strong message about the cost of discipleship. Do we invite Jesus to join us on the path that we’re on? Or do we deny ourselves and follow HIM wherever He leads us?
Enjoying a tour of the library
English service this evening with Scott Long from Mission E4 (Hubbardston, MA)
Warning! I’ve been told I’m “wordy” and this will be a fine example of that!
Inevitably, when we have lots of Americans visiting, I find myself reminiscing – especially when some of them are families with children, learning to adapt to life in Haiti.
I remember the difficulties of being a missionary and home schooling my children at the same time. Both are full time jobs, in and of themselves.
I remember how difficult it was to find somewhere to go with children for a day off.
I remember how frustrating it was to sit in church, not understanding what was being preached in Kreyol, sweating and gasping for breath, because it was so hot with all those people crammed into the church building – wishing I didn’t have to be there. And to top it all off, the Haitian kids sat so quietly, while my kids kept trying to run around during the sermon.
I remember how difficult it was to feed my kids and how much they DISLIKED rice and beans.
I remember how they were considered Americans when they were in Haiti and Haitians when they were in America. They never seemed to feel like they fit in.
Now, before you starting feeling sorry for us, let me tell you what else I think of as I reminisce …
My kids learned the highs and lows of running a mission. They rejoiced with us during the victories, and we all encouraged each other through the battles. They learned REAL life lessons along with their book work. And you know what? They survived and are now amazing young adults. They can manage school and real life, both.
Because of the challenges we faced, we are very sensitive to the needs of other young families.
The Lord has blessed MOHI with a beautiful beach property and we are able to offer a place for missionaries to get away from it all for a day or two.
We have missionary families over for Thanksgiving and Christmas so that they can enjoy an American-style meal, do and talk about things like we would if we were in America.
We were looking for someone to come help missionary families with their home schooling and we found someone. Alicia is planning to join us here in Haiti in September and will be working with these awesome third-culture-kids!
When missionaries don’t like going to church, I totally understand. I love going to church now, but it took me several years before that happened. Can you imagine what it’s like to be a Christian missionary and never want to be in church. Yeah, it’s bad all around. You feel like a total failure as a Christian, never mind as a missionary! And of course you feel like all eyes are on you – and they are! What kind of an example am I? I didn’t dare talk to anyone about it. Until you really have a good handle on the language and the culture, it’s hard to understand church. As missionaries we really need to be patient with each other. I think I might write a book about this one day – when I clear my schedule.
Miss Beverly came to live with us about 9-10 years ago. She was a 69 year old woman with a very strong personality. One of the greatest benefits to my family of getting to live with Miss Beverly was that she insisted that it was okay to make American style food sometimes. You have to understand, having American style food means going to a big grocery store in Port-au-Prince, having a refrigerator/freezer and the electricity to run them and having a modern stove/oven. Beverly insisted that we bring her to Port-au-Prince to buy such a stove and then she scheduled what kinds of food we would make and when. Prior to this time, the kids would spend a lot of time fantasizing about American food – actually Chinese Buffets and ice cream, mostly. Once we started making things like macaroni and cheese, chili and meatloaf…well, daily life was much more bearable for all of us. Today, my kids actually miss Haitian cooking sometimes.
The “never fitting in part” is hard, not only on the children, but on the parents, too. Most of us remember what it felt like as a kid to not quite fit it at one time or another. But the reality is, that this world is not really our home. It’s okay to not fit in. As a matter of fact, it’s an important lesson, in the life of a Christian. Fitting in satisfies the flesh, but it does not satisfy the yearning of our souls to be more like Jesus in this life.