Saturday, January 26, 2019
How has it already been almost one year? It feels like yesterday in so many ways. Getting that phone call before the sun had time to rise. Trying to control my emotions so as to focus on staying between those blurry lines painted on the highway. Busting through those squeaky double doors as the nurses move aside so I could make my way to Sophia's bed. To be in utter belief and shock that's it's over. The fight is over. Had we lost? Had we won? Depends. Depends on how I wanted to look at it.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
It is with so much joy and built up anticipation that I get to announce La Limyè is building a community center for outreach projects!! --------------------------------------------- This has been my dream and vision for so many years. To have a place for the local Haitians to come and get blessed. To have opportunities. To learn and grow in their understanding of Jesus and to have endless ways to learn in skills and knowledge. A HUGE thanks to all of our generous donors! We truly could not have done this without each and every one of you. Whether by English classes, church services, bible studies, teaching trades and skills such as woodworking or literacy, we now will have the opportunity to pour into the lives of the Haitian people under the shade of a roof and away from the beautiful, though noisy 11 little girls in the front yard!------------------------------- The pavilion type community center will be directly next to the school for children with disabilities and will also be used as a cafeteria for the school children. It will seat approximately 132 people with a stage, two bathrooms, and a kitchen. It'll take four months to build and will serve as our multipurpose building for all ministry outreach programs. I am most excited, not only for what we as a team at La Limye here on the ground in Haiti can do, but even more what our mission teams can do as they come in to train or teach for a week at a time. Education classes on health, hygiene, welding, plumbing, biblical studies, reading, writing, wellness, cooking... the list is endless of ways we can help love on and teach the locals in our area.
Friday, September 21, 2018
I've been complaining a lot this season. Over little stresses and mess ups and problems that in the light of things, aren't really a big deal. But in my conceited head, the world falls apart when all these little stresses come, and the pity party starts when I have to deal with them alone in a 3rd world with no one to vent to. Then God puts it all into prospective for me. He sends me little reminders to find joy in the mist of pain. To find happiness in the mist of gloom. To find the light when all around me is darkness. I'm trying to learn to "suck it up,buttercup" and continue serving my neighbors. Because you see, where I live, my little stresses are nothing compared to theirs.------------------------------------------------------------------ My security guard yelled through my bedroom window that he needs to leave. Someone was driving his motorcycle as a taxi service and accidently hit a 4 year old girl in the road. She suffered a broken leg but will be ok. The law of the land over here is whoever owns the vehicle, or a motorcycle in this case, is responsible. Not the driver. Responsibility over here means paying for everything. The repairs if you hit another car, the hospital fees, the medicine. Everything. And there is no such thing as insurance for these people in my village so they are completely on their own to find a way to pay when its already hard to make ends meet. Ends that are completely different than ours. On top of that, it's September. Several employees have asked for their paychecks early so they have the money to send their children to school. So last week my almost finished being built house flooded. A pvc broke and the house flooded. All over my huge (2 bedroom) house with ceramic floor tiles. All around the fridge where I open it and am reminded that I get 24/7 electricity most days. All around the actual toilets, not just a hole in the ground and a sink where when you turn the faucet, water comes out so I don't have to walk a mile to pump water manually then carry the 40lb bucket on my head to return to my house. A pvc broke that I could easily buy a new one without double checking the wallet but I didn't have to because I even had some stored in my storage room. Stuff. I have lots of it. And instead of being thankful that I at least have stuff, I complain when my stuff breaks or falls apart. And then my security guard tells me he hasn't been sleeping. He's stressed. The hospital bill is already at $130 and that is a lot of money over here. He has a beautiful wife and two boys and works 48 hours a week to feed them and clothe them and he's still considered very poor. No electricity. No indoor plumbing. No juice boxes and ice cream for after school snacks. He's struggling. And it puts into perspective my problems. I can't tell him God is with him and it'll all be ok as I walk back into my fancy house where my kids are fed 3 times a day and I can sleep with fans all night because I have solar panels that give me electricity and I have a fridge where I can keep clean cold drinking water and then I get to lie on my mattress at night alone. Not with the entire family like some people do because one mattress is all they could scrounge up for the whole family. Sometimes this country messes me up. If I lived in the states, I could be completely blinded to the poor and their problems. I could go on venting about my own "problems" and people would run to help and assist me because God forbid we live a hard life. That wouldn't be fair if our middle class selves had to battle.(rolling my eyes) I could throw a pity party and not feel guilty. I could ignore the cries of the poor and go on with my happy go lucky self. because sadly thats the norm sometimes to some people. But I'm here. In Haiti. With reality. Smart enough to know the American dream isn't really a dream and to be blinded by the world's hurt is worse than being surrounded with their problems. I'm here so God can continue to teach me. And I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm still blinded at times. I'm human. I'll still complain and stress. That's ok. But you see, living amongst these people teaches me a lot about what's really important in life. Struggles. We all have them. Stress. Itl'l always be lurking around the corner. But if we have our hearts open to God and what he's wanting to teach us, all those stresses will start to become pity. And we can go on loving our neighbors and that self-focus will soon fade away. And in that, God will get all the glory. That's the ultimate aim of life anyway. That God gets all the glory. No matter what is thrown our way.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
School. This is how it is suppose to be, right? More lonely than ever before? Separation anxiety? Having to let go of the reins? I sent 5 of my girls to school last week. 3 went for the very first time. 3 that I've raised since they were little babies. 3 that only I know how to tend to when one refuses to eat and the other throws a tantrum. Yet I'm suppose to hand them off to a stranger. A teacher. For 6 hours a day while I stay home and twiddle my thumbs. It has been a few months since I really felt the Lord trying to teach me "let go and let God". Trying to remind me these are His children and I am just to borrow them on earth while planting seeds in their hearts yet still allow Him to do as He pleases. Yet I have this motherly bond. Like I can't let them go because I know the world they go into. I can't let that happen. Yet I have too. I have no choice and so the pain hits my heart like never before as I release my reins into His hands and try to wake up each morning letting Him be in control of these children. Elizabeth Elliot writes "through the transforming power of the cross, even loneliness is a gift." He comes to meet us, He gives us himself. He will never let us go." "The Love that calls us into being, woos us to Himself, makes us His bride, lays down His life for us, and daily crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercy, will not, no matter how it may appear in our loneliness, abandon us" Elizabeth writes. So this life, gives us new marching orders through each season. Sending your baby to school and learning to accept that change. Sending your child to college, it comes again. Giving your daughter away to marriage, there it pops up again. Loosing a loved one, going to the mission field. New marching orders. On and on we all experience that tug at the heartstrings yet it's just a new marching order. And we ought to do it gladly and happily because we know who goes before us and after us and right next to us through it all.
Friday, July 27, 2018
Let us rationalize. The hardships of missionary life: Heat. Hurricanes. Leadership problems. Change in structure. Government corruption. Hassled at road check points. Workload. No a/c. no hot water. Isolation. Loneliness. Communication challenges. Language learning. Overcrowded rooms. Long lines with no ending. Constant interruptions. Thieves. Not being one of them. Beggars. Single parent problems. Changing plans. Everything takes longer. Shopping an hour away for milk. Car and house repairs with no maintained man. Male dominated culture. Perfectionism. Living up to expectations. Questions about singleness. Working alone. Control freak. Near fatal accidents. Seeing fatal accidents. Poverty everywhere. Feeling non-supported. Not good enough. Death of babies. Coping alone. Protecting children from riots. All expectations on my shoulders. No help in decisions. Guilt from saying no. can't afford a special treat. Orphans needing homes. Neighbor passing away. Girl down the street beat up by her boyfriend. Friend dying of disease. Illnesses. Changing friendships. Poor medical care. Misunderstandings. Dealing with the village peoples problems. Running a nonprofit. No time for dating. Foreigner taxes. Missing births of siblings kids. Missing weddings. Missing funerals. Friends moving on. Adjusting to a new culture. Dodging bullets. Being cheated, lied to, threatened, abandoned, used. Overwhelmed. Tiredness. Burnout. Anxiety from being stared at. Worry from the darkness at night. Frustration from fumbling through the 2nd language. Panic from something breaking and no one to help fix it. Sorrow from missing out on family get-togethers. Disappointment from trying to voice the realities to the comfortable and being tossed aside. --------------------------------------------------------------- "missionary lives are lived in a state of urgency, importance, precedence. You do not retreat, pause to cry, you do not stop. Yet it is a must. We indeed go, abandoning everything to be sent and I would never trade this life. But when the water rises, and we feel like we are sinking, we have to let the anchor descent and lodge. We must draw back. De-stress. Grieve." -Girlrelentlessblogspot. ----------------------------------------------------- So here I am. Trying to articulate my feelings. Trying to overcome the guilt and shame and heartache of not doing enough, helping enough, working enough. Yet I've never had a week completely off from work in 5 years. Why the people pleasing? Why the stress of trying and trying? I'm learning that Jesus wants me. Just me. Not my actions, not my duties, not my achievements, just me. Devotion with me. Time with me. Stillness with me. To come to His feet and cling. To leave all the worries and anxieties in His hands and accept the grace that He freely gives. --------------------------------------------------- "The only way to enter into joy is surrender. Letting go of my need to control it all. Save everyone. Have all the answers. Understand the suffering. Just curl into Jesus's arms and let the rest slip away." -Sarita Hertz ---------------------------------------------------- "So, in the days and months and years to come, when you feel misunderstood, remember that no one understands your foreignness like Jesus, the One who came to the most foreign land to show his beloved creatures Truth and Light. He will understand your sorrow like no other. You have seen so much change in your years here. Change in the people around you, change in yourself. And you are tired. So tired. Remember Christ is your rest. Circumstances change, and communities change and, in the end, He is all we have to hold onto. So, don't lose hope. He is our hope. His love never fails. It will never fail you. Though organizations may fail you, though supporters may fail you, though cultural acquisition may fail you, though people you love and invested in may fail you, though you may even feel like you've failed yourself, still one thing will not fail you: the love of the Great Three in One will never fail. And one day, this squeezing in your heart and this aching in your bones from all these years and all these travels and all the years and travels to come, it will all be undone. Everything will be made new."-a life overseas ------------------------------------------------- "God did not create the world and then abandon it to run itself. He is not sitting in a heavenly throne room passively overseeing the activity on earth. God is orchestrating history. He is present and in the middle of human activity. God is actively at work redeeming a lost world, and He chooses to involve His servants in carrying out His redemptive plans." - Henry Blackaby ------------------------------------------------- And oh, I am grateful. So grateful to be a part of it. To be the daughter he wants to use. No not because I am good enough. Not because I'm strong enough. Only because I'm willing. Because I love Him more than anything this world has to offer. Because he chooses the weak, the outcasts, the lonely, the humble. He has been my stable rock through this eventful year. I've put up many walls after giving my heart away and that road leading me to carrying my lifeless child in my arms. He is starting to break those walls down. I'm trying to allow him at least. To making friends on misson teams to having to say goodbye and never hearing from them after day 7. He's trying to tell me community is good and healthy and I won't be alone forever. He's helping me destroy the walls of fear and selfishness and blocking out the world to not get hurt anymore. He has shown me strength and grace and mercy and has grown me and shown me and taught me. Though the water rises and though the future is unclear, to Him I will cling. --------------------------------------------- "yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with him depends on faith. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead." - Philippians 3:8-11
Monday, March 19, 2018
My sweet Mo Mo! You came to live with me shortly after Sophia did and then with doctor visits and hospital stays, you were waiting patiently for your spotlight. So now, here it is! You are my only little baby now. Everyone else is growing up so fast. Stay sweet, little one. You are a gift from God and He has big big plans for your life. Thank you for those big brown eyes that remind me you look like The King. Thank you for that big wide smile that reminds me all is going to be ok. You make every day worth it.