Many many months have passed since I sat down and blogged on here....and for great reasons! Our Enpak195 School of Ministry and Spiritual Transformation is up and running full steam with 22 students who are actually 2 weeks away from finishing their first term! It has truly been incredible and so exhausting at times. There have been so many many days where I have wanted to sit down and write about the crazy things that are a part of life here in Haiti, but then the Lord reminds me that I should do all things without grumbling and the stories I was going to share would magnify my struggles without encouragement and for sure would encourage grumbling. So, yes it is super hard to live out here. ABSOLUTELY! But in the midst of the difficulties He is doing so many many things and teaching me to stop trying to do things "for" Him, but to do this journey "with" Him. To trust that He is doing amazing things and that as long as I am willing and obedient and get myself out of His way He will accomplish incredible things. Even as we have struggles with the kids that are super difficult He is doing so much. We realize that the issues we are facing here with the kids are issues we would have no matter where we lived but here they are just super super magnified. And the benefit of that is that we either choose to run away from the issues and keep running or we meet them face on. If we had stayed back in the US the issues would be there but they would most likely be masked by our busy days, filled schedules or us trying to read "how to" books, seek the next best advice from parents we know(which sometimes we do reach out from here:) and the issue may eventually be resolved and really grow our kids. But here...we face them head on daily. It's super tiring but I can see that God is doing so very much in them...and they are being used for His glory in ways they don't even know.
So part of our busy days out here has been that we have been pursuing our Haitian Residency so that as we fly into the country we only need one way tickets and are legal residence so we won't have issues. This process, as you can imagine in a very corrupt government and no true president, is really a matter of who you know. Last week we finally had all our paperwork organized, thanks to my amazing strategic husband, and we dropped Malachi and Rachel off with our team members for a night while we drove to Port-Au-Prince with the youngest two. Before we left that morning we picked up 4 Haitian friends who all needed rides to Port for different reasons. It was hilarious! We had our small backpacks for our short stay and we picked up our cook, Frantcesse and her husband and she had packed about 7 or 8 bags full of produce and things that she knew she could buy cheaper in our small town to take to her 8 sisters in Port! Our car was packed down including a few of her bags tied to the roof with a kids jump rope:) Only in Haiti! After the windy roads we had to stop a couple times because one of the girls we drove got motion sick. It amazed me that they just think it's just a Haitian thing. I handed back some ginger candy and a Dramamine and told her it is not just a Haitian thing. They were surprised! The blessing is is that they weren't traveling packed down in a Haitian bus or garbage truck that wouldn't stop for her to get sick! Then as we moved on we were able to stop quickly at a huge missionary compound in a town a few hours away and they were able to do some fixes on our car and order in legit parts to help us out!! PRAISE JESUS! We do not have good mechanics in our town! We got close to Port and all the sudden Frantcesse said stop. She is pregnant so I thought she may need to go, but no. Along the side of the crazy highway her son and walked up with his dad for her to give her son some money to help him. It blew my mind at the way the culture has just accepted divided parents and children all over the country! And typically no matter where the kids are the mom is the one who works and helps provide for them because most of the men don't work. It was so good to meet him. He is 12 and super cute. She was able to move her 8 year old to Jeremie after we hired her for work. Still praying she will find a home with her new husband so she can move her oldest here too!
Ok...my senses...so we arrived in a section of Port that in so many ways looked like a busy suburb of LA dropped off our inverter at a legitimate dealer! They spoke English and said that the inverter was under "warranty" and would be fixed free by tomorrow....uh....that is amazing! I have story after story of trying to find real technicians to fix things and they just leave with your money. HALLELUJAH! So thankful for God's favor! When we arrived at the hotel was when the kids and I just truly realized how different our surroundings felt. We walked on carpet!!! It felt incredible and then we went into our room where it was ice cold with air conditioning. Even funnier was going into the bathroom....I saw myself! Seriously...we have had two small mirrors that allow us to see our face only for almost an entire year...and their really aren't mirrors anywhere here so to see my whole self was kinda weird! HA! Then I saw something I haven't seen in a year...a hair dryer! Oh...man I so wanted to give it a try. We have such limited power that every thing we plug in at our house is measured it's output so that we have fans running for the kids and us when you are melting in the heat of the night. So a hair dryer or any styling item is totally not important...and it's ridiculously humid so even if I did use it at the hotel...it would be a waste! I will wait till we visit the US and then see what my crazy hair looks like after a year of no cuts! So, then we went to eat dinner at the restaurant. I was waiting for the waiter to tell me what was available to eat, because at the few restaurants we have you never get the whole menu to choose from. It's usually 2-3 items that are available from the meat market and it's the same food at all the restaurants. Then I realized the entire menu was available! I finally began to read it and was then shocked by the American prices...ugh! And to make it even more luxurious we slept with not one mosquito biting us or one crazy tiny ant climbing on my arms or legs. It was incredible .
I realized that all those things are just a sweet sweet gift from my Father. I love the fact that the two kids were excited for carpet and the water pressure in the sink! As much as we sometimes feel like they are ungrateful I was reminded that there is soooooo much they don't complain about and how much they have grown and are growing out here. And for me, what a great blessing it is to have those gifts from Dad. It felt like I had just opened up a great birthday gift and I truly enjoyed every moment of it. But when we returned to Jeremie and were reunited with Malachi and Rachel we sat as a family at one of those wonderful local restaurants and just enjoyed each other. That's a gift that isn't one time or perishable! I realize that being out here has for sure changed us and what we know as "normal" has absolutely changed. But in so many good ways. The people that God has put in our lives and Lord willing we have drawn them closer to Him are amazing gifts. I am so glad that when we make ourselves available and obedient to what He is doing we get to be a part of this crazy journey of faith. All of us have this incredible opportunity to just be available to what He wants to do. We just have to say yes ....especially when it's hard and uncomfortable. It is so very much worth it. The rewards, I know for sure, are more than you can even see!