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Pondering Smiles

God is so good and always remains faithful! I’m so grateful that He orders our steps. We may decide what we want to do, but His timing can be amazing. [the pondering smile]

Lex and I had planned to drive from Massachusetts to Florida and fly to Haiti from Fort Lauderdale. However, some things came up and we needed to change our plans. It worked out fine, as we found a reasonable flight from Worcester to Fort Lauderdale in the evening. [the pondering smile]

The day we were to fly to Florida, I awoke to a message from JetBlue, informing us that our flight had been cancelled. Long story short, they refunded our Worcester flight. We ended up with our preferred flight (direct from Boston to Port-au-Prince) and they waived the additional $430 they originally were asking us to pay. This change gave us a full extra day (which we really needed!) to prepare for the trip. [the pondering smile]

Now, understand, I was not at all excited to be going back to Haiti. I’m a grandma now. [the pondering smile] I have spent the past 3 months spending a minimum of 4 days per week with my grandson (and my kids, too). [the pondering smile] If I had my way, I would spend all my time singing and talking with Alante. Our entire family is love struck with this little boy! (One of the reasons we needed the extra time to get ready was simply a lack of motivation on my part! The day did arrive, however, and I did actually accept a ride to the airport.)

On our flight, we sat in front of two older (late 60s early 70s), very animated, Haitian women. They were talking loudly, followed by singing loudly, followed by praying loudly, followed by talking loudly. A few times during the flight I noticed it was quiet and then realized that one of them had gotten up to use the rest room. [the pondering smile] I think Lex and I were both just slightly annoyed by them, but certainly not enough to complain. <embarrassed smile!>

After a few hours, the captain announced that we were beginning our descent into Port-au-Prince. [the pondering smile] Something changed. Without looking behind me, I could tell there was some dancing going on as the dialogue took on new life.

“Oh, I’ve been longing for a little gumbo from home.” [the pondering smile]

“Yes, not that old ice they sell in Boston.”

“Oh, no! Fresh from the garden. Okra from home!”

“And some fresh coconut to drink…” [the pondering smile]

“Yes, Little Jack will climb up the tree for us. And mangoes, too!” [the pondering smile]

“I’ve just had a real hunkering for some Pink Fish (a.k.a. Red Snapper) from the beach.” [the pondering smile]

“Oh, yes ma’am. We’d best be heading to Jacmel for some delicious grilled fish!” [the pondering smile]

"And some key lime juice, too!!!..."

This back and forth continued until we finally landed. My heart was so happy, as they reminded me of the many things we enjoy in Haiti that are just not available in our Northern home. By the time we landed, I was thrilled to be back in Haiti. [the pondering smile] And, of course, as the wheels touched down, those sweet ladies started clapping their hands, thanking Jesus, and cheering for the captain. Before long, the entire plane had joined them. [the pondering smile]

Oftentimes, as people age, they become less concerned about what people think. Consequently, they do and say things that they wouldn't dare to when they were young. Looking at my experience with these ladies, I realize that they made my day better. Whether I rolled my eyes at them or not, I realize they were a blessing to me. My day was better and my heart was lighter because of their “different” behavior. Could this be at all related to Paul telling us that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a PECULIAR PEOPLE…? [the pondering smile]

We had two absolutely beautiful graduation ceremonies this week - Thursday in Thozin and Friday in Saint Etienne. Our students and staff are just gorgeous! [the pondering smile]

At church this morning, I was so blessed to hear Pastor Edon praying for different folks, but especially when he was asking the Lord to extend grace to our supporters. I was reminded of how grateful our friends here are for us, and for each of you who pray for and finance the work being done at MOHI. Your efforts right now do NOT go unnoticed. Whether you hear a thank you in person or not, rest assured that those thank yous are rising straight up to the throne of God every time the saints here gather! You are soooooooooooo appreciated. [the pondering smile]

I shared the following video at church this morning, because I wanted our church to rejoice with us. I wish you could have seen the people’s faces as they watched Alante (whom they’ve not yet met) and got glimpses of their beloved Alexis. The intense focus, smiles, expressions of love as they watched were just so touching. After the service, so many people commented about how beautiful Alexis has become. I realized that they all miss her. [the pondering smile]

I also received many comments about our son, AJay, who was here last week, hosting the G3 team from central Massachusetts. “He’s so serious about his work.” “He’s such a big man now.” “He’s so handsome.” “I was looking everywhere for him, but didn’t get to see him." [the pondering smile]

How blessed I am to have so many love my children. [the pondering smile]

Speaking of blessings… Our friends from Covenant Day School (Matthews, NC) arrived last night. [the pondering smile]

We enjoyed dinner (thank you Beatrice for baking bread for us!) and orientation together, before saying good night. Most of the team had been awake since 3AM, so they were grateful for the sleep. This morning we enjoyed a church service together in Thozin. After a fun-filled lunch, they headed back up to Thozin for a school soccer game and another church service. Tomorrow, along with a dozen of our high school students, they will begin building an aquaponics system. [the pondering smile]

Pastor Edon will also be praying with our high school seniors this evening, as they are heading to National Exams tomorrow morning for most of the week. Would you join us in praying for them this week, too? [the pondering smile] Thank you!

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