Joy in My Community
I've never been so challenged and yet so content in my life, as I have been over these past 17 years in Haiti. I love watching the Lord's needlework (as in creating a tapestry) all around me, as well as in me! His handiwork is breathtakingly beautiful!
When I moved to Haiti, the Haitian people at church, in the school, and in my neighborhood became my community. We didn't have a whole lot of expats in our community and the ones that we did have were all busy with their own work. Besides, I didn't really see a need for putting effort into finding a way into their lives. I was learning about Haitian culture from the experts - my Haitian friends.
Today, however, I am thrilled to be part of a wonderful international community. In addition to my Haitian friends, I am now part of a missionary/expat community, as well. Since my children moved to the States, I've come to appreciate these folks more and more.
Today was a first for us. I've never celebrated Easter with Americans in Haiti before. This morning, I attended my first Sunrise Service ever! And it was with my missionary community. We held the service right by the ocean in front of the missionary compound. Angie Shepherd picked out some powerful songs that we sang together. Several read scripture passages.
Alicia read from Genesis about the Fall of man through Adam. It was so great to hear the contrast of that story and the story of the resurrection of Jesus as a response to Adam's action. She managed to throw a couple of Boston sports stories into her message - which made it uniquely Alicia, as she LOVES those Boston teams.
After the service we all pitched in to make a pancake breakfast. It was so much fun. I had the flat grill moved to under the choukoun (giant round pavilion that serves as dining/family room to our guests) and we cooked and enjoyed one another right there.
From there I headed to the MOHI church service in Thozin. I had the priviledge of introducing our church to the Mulligan family. Stephen, Carrie, and their 6 children have been working with the Hands and Feet Project in Jacmel for close to 6 years now, I believe.
Pastor Edon preached a strong Easter message, I enjoyed seeing my friends. Some of my little friends came to see me, even though I didn't have any lollipops. I call myself the lollipop lady, because I love to give them to the kids at church. However, I am OUT OF LOLLIPOPS! Anyone interested in sending me a barrel of them???
Nathan Parayson took this video for me this morning as the MOHI youth choir was singing.
After church we collected the dishes we'd prepared yesterday to bring up to the Hands and Feet Project where we were invited to share Easter dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the kids table for the first half of the meal. Since I only knew a couple of the Mulligan children, I thought I would take a moment to get to know the rest. Besides, I love hanging out with our MOHI Education Cooperative students, most of whom were also there.
It was a wonderful time with many like-minded friends. I have come to love and even lean on this community a little. They are a wonderful blessing to me! I enjoy their company so much so, that I actually forgot to take pictures of them today!
On our way home from Easter "Lunch" we stopped by to see little Janicka. I was so impressed with the changes I'm seeing in this little girl. When Alicia first started visiting her, she couldn't control her head and she wouldn't make eye contact. Alicia has been bringing formula to Janicka's mom regularly for the past several months. She has obviously gained weight and seems to be developing. When we stopped at her house, she recognized both Angie and Alicia and actually smiled at them. It was precious.
The launch of our L14 Ministry to the disabled at the beginning of the month has been really exciting to me. This week Alicia visited 8 of the families involved and started getting to know them. I encourage you to get involved in this ministry. Pray for these folks as God provides for their physical needs, that their spiritual and emotional needs are met, as well. Donations to this specific ministry can be made at http://www.mohintl.org/l14ministry
There you have it, a little snipett of the beautiful community the Lord is knitting together. I pray the Lord will enable me to become more of a blessing to each of them day by day.
Thank you for being a part of this tapestry of friends and community, too!!!