What can I share with you, just 4 days after my arrival back in Haiti? One word comes to mind: INSPIRATION! This post will be about how I'm experiencing inspiration, but you will understand that when "mama" is inspired (OR happy) EVERYONE is inspired (AND happy)!
We came so close to cancelling our annual Christian Leadership Academy this past week. Those who were scheduled to minister this year had various reasons for needing to back out - not the least of which was the uncertainty of the political situation in the country. We've never cancelled before and had no desire to do so. We left it in the Lord's hands. Apparently He wasn't interested in cancelling either!
What a joy that not only did HE make a way for Rev. Dan Lee to join us once again, but HE made a way for his wife Tammy, children, and in-laws to come, too! Tammy hadn't been here in over 16 years. I know our friends here in Haiti were blessed, but I'm pretty sure I was the biggest beneficiary of all.
Tammy's dad, Don, has served with us a half dozen or so times over the past 2 decades, so many (including Lex and I) were thrilled to see him return. I was overjoyed that he brought his wife, Eleanor. Although we have seen each other on a few occasions in the States, this was the first time that were able to connect beyond pleasantries - AND it was her first time in Haiti. She inspired and encouraged me with her like-mindedness in Christ and she's a very humble and wise woman.
Daniel and James are mature beyond their years and were a joy to my heart. James helped Beatrice bake bread. Both prepared French fries and took a trip to the open market. Daniel installed some knew door knobs for us and taught a workshop with his dad.
Tammy, Daniel, and James blessed the children in their classroom this morning, too!
As always seems to be the case, Dan helps to spark increased vision in both Lex and I. This trip was no different. We had already been focusing on some of our goals for the new year and Dan's "random comments" helped to cement some of those thoughts.
Having a plan to be in Haiti once again for months, rather than weeks, means that I can settle in. It's more like being home as opposed to staying in a hotel for a couple of weeks. I do appreciate being surrounded by order - knowing where to find what I need without having to dig through suitcases, for example. I know that I can spend a couple of days getting organized and it will make the next few months much more productive.
Lex and I are looking forward to taking regular walks together again. We were doing this last summer in Massachusetts, but the Fall and Winter weather may have discouraged us a bit from continuing. I tend to feel better all around when I'm being active, so I am thrilled to have this be a regular activity once again.
We completed our annual Christian Leadership Academy this morning and I so enjoyed the service on the Thozin campus. I was definitely inspired by the message, to keep following the Lord's direction. We were reminded that we truly are in the Lord's army and that "Yes, Sir!" when you don't know the "why" of it brings amazing results.
So many encouraged me with hugs, kisses, smiles, and "we missed yous" this morning. I think my favorite moment was watching the married women's group perform. They sang two songs, but when Pastor Lex went forward he told them how inspiring it was to see them smiling as they sang and he called them up to do a third song during the offering. I know that really encouraged them and the third song was the best - especially with all the dancing and animation.
8 people were newly baptized in the ocean in front of the missionary compound this morning. They were also the first to be served communion this morning.
It was a wonderful time, 'though a little sad to see our friends leave to go home.
My time serving at Chair City Church while we were in Massachusetts has been a great inspiration to me, too. I have gotten to know so many there and truly have fallen in love with my sisters in Christ! I love serving with them, having game nights, having honest moments in life groups, and fighting over which 3 of us are going to share the love seat.
Their love has come with me to Haiti. Although we are not in the same physical location, knowing that they have not forgotten me continues to inspire me to love others as they have loved me. I know I will remain connected with that part of the Body of Christ during these 21 days of prayer and I hope to FaceTime in to be a part of the "IF" life group. I love, love, love feeling the connection to my sisters in both countries! It's just more evidence of God's love and care for me.
I have to admit, hitting the ground (back here in Haiti) running was hard. We arrived Wednesday afternoon and our guests arrived the next day for lunch. There was much catching up to do before I could be the hostess I wanted to be, but Beatrice, Yveline, and Madame Tenord were right there with me every step of the way. Thank you, Ladies!!! You made my return joyous!
Between political unrest and the holidays, our school was closed for 3 months. Although we were able to ensure some tutoring took place for our students going to National Exams this summer, it was a very sad situation for all of us.
I'm happy to say that tomorrow the schools will re-open and Pastor Lex will be there bright and early to greet the students and parents. Knowing my husband, there will be lots of inspiration and motivation shared to encourage everyone to get on board quickly to make up for lost time. Thank you to all of you who have continued in prayer for our students and this country. No matter the difficulties we still have confidence that good things are in store for these young people!
I have been dealing with a lot of shoulder pain over the past several months. I expressed some concern to Lex about turning on the water for the washing machine in Haiti, as the levers are well over my head and it would likely be very painful. He told me he would solve the problem for me and sure enough he put Cherubin to work on the plumbing.
I was sooooooo excited to wash clothes today with the new arrangement. The machine filled quickly and I had brought a bag of TidePods with me. Life was looking good for me. Suddenly, I heard water pouring in the bathroom. To my dismay, when the wash cycle ended all the water was being pumped out onto the floor rather than down the drain. YIKES!!! I tried to stop it, but even turning the machine off didn't stop the water. I quickly gathered towels and threw them down at the bathroom door to try to keep the water from flooding my office, too.
I was thankful for Pastor Hakine and Jackson who were just a shout away and came to my rescue. Apparently the hose connection had cracked. Now I'm praying we can find one in the morning, before my half washed clothes start to mildew!!!
In the midst of it all, I am still overflowing with contentment and joy. What a wonderful God I serve!!!!
Granted, my water issue doesn't compare to any of these things, but aren't there times when you feel like the smallest annoyance can cause you to derail? I'm so grateful for inspiration and encouragement this week!
How about you? I would love to hear how you are feeling inspired this week, too! Please, drop me a line here. I know it will encourage and inspire me still further. Thank you!!!