We will never forget the all night packing party and saying our final goodbyes before the sun came up on September 4, 2011. We knew very little of what would lie ahead but knew without a doubt that we were supposed to be here. It was a rainy night about the same time we write this now when we stepped inside our first Haiti house and unloaded the twelve wet bags containing all the earthly belongings we managed to bring along with us. We had anticipated that moment for so long and it was good to finally be home! Haiti has been our home now for the past five years and God has brought us over and through many mountaintops and valleys. It has been a sweaty, joyful journey of faith that we wouldn’t trade for the world! Today we celebrate by sitting in our air conditioned vehicle charging our computer and phone and reminiscing about how our Lord has provided for us and trusting that He will continue to provide for all our needs. We are sitting in the car because we have been out of power at our house for the past few days. Lord willing, the long road to Port au Prince will not be blocked tomorrow and the technician coming to assess whatever is wrong with the generator will figure it out and be able to get it fixed all in a one day trip. We know that is wishful thinking and will keep rolling with the punches whatever tomorrow brings! We are just thankful to be here! Thank you to everyone reading this who has helped us in many, many ways to make Haiti our home the past five years! We couldn’t/wouldn’t still be here without you!
Starting our sixth year in Haiti we want to share what we will be up to this year and our personal family and ministry needs that are pressing at this time for us to be able to have a fruitful year.
*Warning: This is a long story that just kept getting longer. There are a few graphic images included in the chapters below. If you get queazy easy or don’t like to read, this might not be good one for you.
This is a post about building relationships and the nitty-gritty gross and great stuff that happens in the process. It is about connecting stories and connecting lives. These kids in these stories–you may only get to see their faces on a television screen or a World Vision or National Geographic magazine. We get to see them everyday in the flesh. We see their chronic stress and struggles but also their smiles. Sometimes we feel like changing the channel or picking up a Better Homes and Gardens magazine instead, because it’s hard to see. But we can’t now. Because we know their names and we are learning their stories. Because they are our neighbors and we are supposed to love them as ourselves. Time and again I hear a still small voice whisper, “It’s why you are here.” It’s messier this way. But it’s worth it. Taking out stitches and treating scabies, setting up surgeries and sonogram appointments isn’t really the messy part. It isn’t what makes me cry for them. It is the injustice of it all. That I can find medical care for my son while their mamas can’t. That I can keep all my children together and they can’t. That water flows from our faucet while their children walk for miles to collect the same amount of water I used to wash a few dishes.
The Hospitality House continues in full swing! I can hardly get new sheets on a bed before another guest walks through the door to stay! We certainly get our money’s worth out of this place and are planning to sign our fourth year contract before the month’s end because we believe its the best place to be where God wants us to be right now! We have had a full house pretty much since we moved in! Here are our latest visitors and how they served us and alongside us the past few months! Continue reading “Catching Up Part 3! Never a Dull Moment Continued…”
Each one of these events deserves its own post and my attempt at backtracking isn’t going to do justice. But since there is pretty much never a dull moment at the Haiti Hospitality House…
During our stateside visit (see Catching Up Part 1) over the Christmas holiday we received a message from our friends, housemates and ministry partners The Carroll Crew back in Haiti. The Carroll’s had been sharing our house since May 2015 as they transitioned their family to a new area, new school and teaching position and sought where God would lead them next. We are happy God has led them to stick around near us! They wrote us to tell us thank you for sharing our house and that while they were looking for a space to rent that would serve as a dental clinic (a ministry that Jennifer Carroll has begun for the children and schools in our village), they also unexpectedly found another house suitable for their family! We were so excited for them and to hear that the house they found for their family is still very close to us! Their new house was still under construction so they were not sure exactly when they would be able to move. However, they thought their new house would be ready by the time our January/February mission teams arrived so the teams could stay with us instead of the somewhat sketchy hotel we had arranged which wasn’t logistically feasible. Our teams were thrilled about this news which would also make their trips more affordable and more money could then go towards ministry. All that is easier said than done however. Moving is a lot of work. When the Carroll’s moved in with six people and a lot of stuff, we had to move all our guest bedroom and guest kitchen items upstairs with us or just get rid of stuff to make space for everyone. So as the Carroll’s moved out the shifting of stuff started all over again. We were still moving stuff over to the Carroll’s new house, shifting furniture and putting together some newly purchased beds the night before the Bethany team of thirteen arrived. The house was ready and the fridge was stocked! Whew!
It feels like we are always trying to catch up. We are a few months behind so will start where we left off. We came back to Haiti in January and hit the ground running. Leaving our family members behind is always hard. It is not just a sacrifice for us. Grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins don’t get the time they always dreamed they would have with our children as they grow up. Both sides of our sweet family are very supportive of our missionary lives even though watching us leave is hard on them too.