YOU’VE HEARD OF THE MOVIE “DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN”? WELL, I ALMOST NAMED THIS POST, “DIARY OF A PECULIAR WHITE MISSIONARY.” PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
--RENÉE IN THE USA
I took a sudden trip to the States in order to tend to some administrative business there. I arrived in CT on Friday night, took care of business on Saturday, and got to spend the rest of the week (mostly) running around with my kids. It was really quite exhausting, but OH did I love every minute!!!
One of the hundreds of beautiful roads I enjoyed in New England
Alexis has classes in the mornings which allowed me some time to catch up on emails and deal with family administrative issues Stateside – you know, things like mail, insurance, doctor’s appointments, etc. Once she was done in school, we found ourselves at soccer games, visiting, shopping for supplies for the mission, searching for a job, getting the car ready for winter, and so much more. The family she lives with was likely thrilled to see me head back to Haiti, since she was pretty much absent from home the whole week.
Micah (Huguner and Jackie’s baby) is sporting his new Yoda hat. I loved getting to see Micah (and his parents!) at church Sunday!
AJay lives about an hour away, so I didn’t get quite as much time with him, but I certainly enjoyed every moment. It was wonderful to be able to take in a couple of his soccer games and go to his parent-teacher conferences. I got the impression that he is adjusting just fine and he seems to get along well with the other students. Teacher after teacher used the words “diligent worker” to describe him. (Proud mama moment there.) AJay invited Alexis and I to lunch at his school’s restaurant, the Fife and Drum. We enjoyed the fine foods that he and his fellow students prepared for us, and the hospitality of his culinary arts teachers.
Olivia, Maddie, and their mom Doris (not pictured) stopped by to see us at AJay’s soccer game. They will be coming to Haiti again in January.
I apologize to those of you who were looking for a post last week. I just ran out of time and energy. I had an incredible time at church Sunday morning, though. What a blessing it was to be a part of the baptism service at Chair City Community Church, where AJay and Alexis have been attending. Three people were baptized right in the middle of the worship service. I love that the whole church was a part of celebrating new life with these newly committed Believers.
THE NEST IS EMPTY
I have often heard “empty nesters” talk about having such a hard time with the transition, but I had NO IDEA! I find myself reminding the Lord that I want to live close to them and their families when they finish school and transition into their adult lives. He and I have had many conversations about the scriptures in Titus 2 – especially verses three and four,“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children…” It sounds to me that grandparents are an important part of a child’s life. Right?
FLYING HOME TO HUBBY
Sometimes things that seem so insignificant in the grand scheme of life, are really worth mentioning. My trip back to Haiti is one such circumstance.
Now, anyone who has been to Haiti on two or three missions trips knows the importance of packing FULLY and how much FUN (not) that can cause along the way. This trip, I was all by myself (I don’t even remember how long it’s been since THAT happened!) with my two, fully-packed checked bags, an OVERLY-FULLY packed carry-on and a fully-packed computer bag, that I think pushes the limits for a “personal item”.
My sweet daughter brought me to Boston at 4 o’clock in the morning Friday to catch my 6:30 flight to Miami. She helped me get all my bags out of the car, put me in the curbside check in line, kissed me and drove away. Maybe two minutes after that I discovered I needed to be at the “other” American Airlines building. I quick called Alexis, but she was busy driving and didn’t answer her phone – which, of course, was the correct decision to make! Immediately upon hanging up, one of the workers asked if I would need help. What a relief! He made a call and along came a porter. He loaded up my four pieces of luggage and brought me to the right place.
I was able to check in without any major issues. (I’ve lived through many major issues at check in and am very grateful there were none!) I went through security and (not surprisingly) they pulled my carry-on off the belt to be inspected by hand. Cliff bars, 50 spoons, a blender motor, a router, a LAN hub and a DVD player all looked suspicious on the xray screen. (You mean these are not normal items to pack in your carry-on? Did I mention my carry-on weighed 40 pounds?)
The inspector was very pleasant and apologized when he realized that he couldn’t put things back together in a way that would allow the zipper to be closed. (No surprise, since it took me a good half hour to do it the first time!) This could have been a really stressful moment for me, but I realized that I still had plenty of time to get to the gate and there weren’t so many people around trying to share their own stress with me. (You know how some people just “ooze” stress, right?) So, I slid my open carry-on across the floor, while pulling my rather large computer bag on it’s wheels (I imagine it was quite a sight to see, but this didn’t even bother me) and I set to work on the difficult task at hand. I didn’t do nearly as well as the first time, but I got the zipper to close, so I was good to go.
Now, one of my concerns that I was trying not to think about since I had packed my bags Thursday morning, was how in the world I was going to be able to get that carry-on (you know, the forty pound one!!!) up, over my head and into the overhead compartment on the plane without hurting myself or anyone else in close proximity. I almost started dancing when the airline made an announcement that the flight was full, so they were offering to check in roller bags at the gate, for free. I was, of course, the first person to respond with a very hearty “Yes, PLEASE!” and relief melting off my facial expression. She asked my name, looked it up and proceeded to tell me that they would check the bag all the way through to Port-au-Prince. Yayyyyy!!!
I was comfortable on both flights, enjoyed the beautiful views, enjoyed the Kindle app on my phone, and the beverages. I cruised through customs, found my suitcases without any problem, and, most importantly, found my wonderful husband waiting for me at the front of the crowd outside. Mission accomplished!
Now, you really should understand something. I cry at weddings, baptisms, movies, dance recitals, and concerts. These days I can cry at the slightest passing thought of the fact that I won’t be seeing my children for a while again. (That was a little embarrassing on the plane.) So, all of these details that worked out so well are really not insignificant at all. At least not to me. And I am so glad to be serving the Lord, who cares about the seemingly insignificant, but truly significant to me, details of my life. He surely goes before me as I endeavor to follow Him every step of this journey.
Now, back to Haiti…
Two different perspectives in one day
AMY LONG IS IN THE HOUSE!
Please join us in welcoming Amy Long to our Haiti missionary team!!! Amy arrived a week and a half ago and has been getting settled in this week. Details, like getting her bed put together and getting her cell phone set up were important to take care of right away. She started working on class pictures and hopefully will get those finished up early this week. Amy has a lot to offer. To start, she will be helping to host teams and teaching art to our students. Amy is thrilled to be back in Haiti. Would you join us in praying for her as she transitions to life at MOHI? Thank you. I trust the Lord has good things in store for her and everyone she comes in contact with!
There’s someone laying down back there!
I just wanted to mention that the library at the Thozin campus is a remarkable place. Silmise is our librarian-in-training. She keeps track of all the students using the library, keeps everything clean and orderly, and makes sure the rules are followed. Rule #1: No shoes in the library! In an attempt to keep our carpeting beautiful for many years to come, everyone takes off their shoes before entering. Personally, I’ve never been in a room with wall to wall carpeting anywhere else in Haiti. I don’t think any of our students have, either, so they see this as a very special room. They don’t mind taking their shoes off, at all. They find the room so inviting that some of them actually lay down on the carpet to read.
Do you see his feet?
It may not look very exciting, and certainly it’s pretty messy, but oh my am I thrilled about this. We now have internet through fiber optics at MOHI!!!!
Since my last post, we’ve had two great outreaches. The first was in the mountains of Paillant (south of us near the city of Mirogoane). The second was in the mountains of Chérident, where the districts of Grand-Goave, Leogane and Bainet all come together. Several of our staff assisted in these outreaches, which included medical care, food, and clothing distributions. Over 400 people received aid at each location, as well as words of encouragement and prayer.
We love to do this kind of outreach and are so grateful for the many donations that enabled these to happen. It is our hope to continue doing more outreaches, while maintaining our high level of commitment to the churches, schools, medical clinic, radio station, and other projects that are ongoing at our campuses. We know the Lord works through people like you and me to bring about His will on this earth. Thank you so much for partnering together with us. If you haven’t yet become a partner, I encourage you to do so right now, while you’re thinking about it. You can go here to sponsor a class, or here to set up a monthly or one time donation. Each of us, doing our part, will help to continue making big and positive impacts in the lives of our friends and neighbors in Haiti. Thank you!
Outreach in Chérident
Outreach in Paillant
Today was election day in Haiti. Historically, election day is usually a time of many troubles. From the reports we’ve been hearing, there was a really good turnout at the polls and most everyone at the polling stations conducted themselves very peaceably. Please continue to pray for Haiti. A peaceful election is quite remarkable and we thank God for it.
Monday through Friday we experience the joys of interacting with our students. What a treat it is to watch them grow up. This morning at church, I was pointing out to Amy how different people are related. I pointed to Cheno and said “That’s Pastor Edon’s youngest. He was born right after we started the mission.” That was 16 years ago. He’s practically a man now. He’s one of many whose lives have been impacted through church and school from the time they were tiny.
Church in Thozin
Thanks for taking the time to read this update. Please feel free to contact us at any time with words of encouragement, questions about trips or anything else you’re curious about. Blessings to you!!!