I’ve had a few more blog posts brewing in my head, but I just haven’t felt like sharing them with the world. Some things are sacred. Some things don’t mean the same being written as they do being experienced in person. Some things are just too hard to write.
Since I’ve returned home from my February trip to Real Hope For Haiti, some wheels have certainly been kicked into motion. Let me explain.
It is no secret that there is a fiery passion for Haiti that has been in my heart since January 2010, when a devastating earthquake drew the world’s attention to that little country. Not a day passes that I don’t think about Haiti and her people. Seriously, not a day. The rest of the world seems to have moved on to other things, but I have not.
This unexplainable draw is not only within me, but my husband and my 17 year old daughter as well. We can’t shake it, nor do we want to. While we can’t explain what it is exactly that draws us to a place known as “a land of unlimited impossibilities,” we do know WHO has drawn us there: Jesus. You know, that radical God that tells us that real worship is caring for the orphan and the widow; that when we feed or visit or have compassion on the least of these, that we are actually doing it to Him. Yeah, my Lord has messed me up….and made me fall in love with the people of Haiti. But more importantly, He has enabled me and my family to fall deeply in love with Him.
A few years ago, I said “Yes.” Yes to whatever it was God wanted me to do. I knew He was asking me to join Him in the mission field (which is a very cliché thing to say, since the entire world – beginning in our own home – is the mission field). More specifically, I felt a strong tug in my heart to go into international missions. But I was so far (spiritually) from being prepared to do that kind of work, whatever it may be. And our family was in no way able to afford the freedom to drop everything and go abroad. Yet, I had a dream that Jesus Himself planted in my heart of serving Him with my family somewhere, somehow. It’s a dream that includes sacrifice, faithfulness, adventure, and experiencing the love of God in a way so pure and precious.
For the past year, Brennon and I have known something big was brewing for us, something that includes Haiti. The harder we would try to figure it out, the fuzzier it all got. But we have known one thing since our first trip to the country last year: being in Haiti feels strangely like being at home-away-from-home. Not because it’s comfortable or peaceful, not because we know so many people there or speak the language, not because we like the high risk of getting malaria or get a kick out of being in a country with such political instability. In fact, I prefer an abundant supply of electricity, clean water (that won’t give me cholera), and Wal-Mart. I love driving on smooth roads to go to buy a milkshake whenever the urge hits me. I love knowing that we can be at either of our parents’ homes in five to ten minutes. I love that my kids are growing up in the same town that both my husband and I did.
But it’s not about me. That’s a long, hard lesson to learn. But I’ve learned it.
So what now? Well, after months and months…and more months….of praying and seeking and quietly waiting and actively pursuing, this crazy puzzle is starting to fall into place. It’s similar to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It’s like that moment when enough pieces are finally in place that you can actually see the picture forming in front of you – a picture that you knew would be there, you just couldn’t imagine what it would actually look like in real life.
I guess you could say that we are finally seeing the picture God has laid out in front of us. We finally know what we’re going after. We think so, at least.
This summer, probably in late June, our family – me, my husband, and our 17 year old and 11 year old daughters, will get on a plane bound for Haiti. And we will be gone for a while. How long? We don’t know. We’ll give it a few months, reevaluate, and keep on serving God there in the Caribbean if that’s what He wants us to do. We’re letting Him take the wheel, so we’ll try our best to hang in there as long as He wants us there. We aren’t putting a time limit on God.
We will be going to an impoverished mountain village called Cazale to join in the efforts to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the Haitian people through the ministry Real Hope for Haiti. Yes, that place I visited in February was seemingly a right fit. So many pieces of our puzzle finally took shape during that week.
It’s crazy, exciting, scary, and then some. But most of all, it is right for us at this point in our lives.
What will we be doing? We don’t exactly know. Brennon will be doing manly work stuff. I will be doing office duties and loving on kids. Lesley will be taking tons of photos and finding her niche within the ministry, as well as taking online college classes. Brianna will be playing and homeschooling and discovering a new world. All four of us will have to learn to live in a third world country where there is no municipal electricity or water, where we make sure to take our anti-malaria pills and try not to get infested with worms, where there is no fast-food (unless you want to buy a fried fish – bones and eyeballs included - from the vendor across the street), where there is no 911. We will have to learn the language and adjust to living in a tropical climate….without air conditioning. In addition, we’ll be doing lots of things we never expected or could even dream of. I’ll have to fill you in on those things as they happen!
For the next three months we will be getting ourselves ready for the move. A bunch of logistical stuff has to be worked out between now and then, but we’re on it. All those questions you may be thinking, we’ve already thought of. We don’t have all the answers yet nor do we have a perfect game plan, but we’re heading in the right direction, we’ve got some incredible missionary veterans to guide us, and God is in control. So the minute I start to feel anxiety grip my throat and my brain begins to spin, I remind myself that the Creator of the universe is the one sending us to Haiti, so I know He can handle the details.
I trust Him.
So, there you go. That’s what’s next. It’s going to be a wild ride, and you’re invited to join us vicariously through this blog and through prayers. And remember, it’s not about us. It’s all about Jesus.