so i’m back from a second trip to haiti, and here’s what i’ve got.
this trip was very different from my trip in january, but was no less special or transformative. the team of people this time around was great. we had several generations with very diverse skills, and it ended up being a great time.
some of the highlights for me include:
-getting to see the gentlemen on our team who are engineers have such a great time interacting with bruce, with haiti in general, and finding ways to help and serve.
-getting to spend more time with the children at the school we worked on in foison. it is definitely cool to have names and faces of the kids that will be benefitting from the school we are working on.
-spending quality time with bruce and deb, getting to see more of their ministry, learn more about their experiences, and both give and receive encouragement.
the week that we were there, bruce and deb decided to take us through a devotional book called the red sea rules. they are taken from the story in exodus where God leads the israelites out of egypt across the red sea. bruce and deb started with the first one on the first night we got there, and let me tell you it was a huge answer to prayer. let me start with the rules, and then i’ll tell you what i’m taking home from the trip.
1. realize that God means for you to be where you are.
2. be more concerned for God’s glory than your own relief.
3. acknowledge the enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.
5. stay calm and confident and give God time to work.
6. when unsure just take the next logical step by faith.
7. envision God’s enveloping presence.
8. trust God to deliver in his own unique way.
9. view your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
10. don’t forget to praise him.
tell me these things aren’t legit. literally every night i’d sit there on the porch dumbfounded, because God was speaking right to my heart.
-there was a moment while we were eating lunch in foison when a haitian man told us that it was great that we were spending time with the kids because they didn’t really know how to handle all of the stuff that’s happened because of the earthquake. this helped to provide a little clarity of vision for me. one of my biggest hopes in this trip was that God would provide a bit more discernment as far as how i can keep moving forward toward what he has called me to. i think i got that. i’ve had a picture in my mind of what this “vision” is for my life, and i feel like every once in a while something happens that brings a little piece of it into a bit more focus. i love kids, and i love walking with people through tough things and helping them to find healing and redemption. now, i am definitely not an engineer who could bring people fresh water or teach them how to build solid buildings. but i can definitely encourage, provide hope and skills to maintain mental and spiritual health, and work with kids to help them to grow up to make positive changes in their country and redeem situations from their past.
so, i’m looking into counseling, child/adolescent development, something along those lines. i haven’t made any decisions on schooling, but my perspective has widened a bit, so there’s more to look at and take into consideration.
-there are some doors in my life that i need to close. things that i’ve been indulging in that i need to give up. not bad things, or sinful things, necessarily. but things that are not where God wants me to be spending my time and energy. some of these doors are on people, some of them on time commitments, some are topics that occupy my thoughts. rules number 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 come into play on these things.
-i like to pretend that i’ve been including God in my life lately, but frankly its just not true. he has plans that i can’t see because i’m off doing my own thing. i am aware of what he wants to be doing, but a lot of what i’m doing isn’t quite on track with that. its time for a radical refocusing.
-tacked onto the end of this trip was a visit home to california to meet four new additions to my family. long story short, they are all beautiful and i’m lucky to be able to count them as brothers and sisters. but this comes with its own set of lessons and areas to grow. being away from my family is not a big struggle i’ve had so far while i’ve lived in seattle. but throwing little kids into the mix is a whole other story. i find myself sad to leave them, and sad that i wont be there for birthdays, and school plays, and all the fun things that come. i also want to be there to facilitate their transition and healing from their past. i want to be able to show them what love really looks like, and that’s harder to do from 1000 miles away. so, i’m thinking on how i can be a great big sister, even though i don’t get to see them very often. (also, the adoption isn’t final, and i probably can’t post pictures until then. but you better believe that as soon as i’m allowed, i’ll be showing off these kids)
this is by no means a comprehensive list of all i did and learned, but these are some things that are high up on the list. i would love to share more with those who want to hear it, and would love input and affirmation and suggestions or comments if you have them.