Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the Gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.1 Thessalonians 2:8
This Scripture has been stirring in my heart since the beginning of the year.
It may seem exciting to some as I continue working in Haiti, but if you talk to any long term missionary here you’ll learn that’s not always the case. Yes, God shows up in miraculous ways multiplying our fish and loaves. I do not lack things to do. However, most days are full of mundane tasks. As a girl that craves excitement, it shook me when my romanticized view of missions wore off last summer.
The Lord has been teaching me faithfulness in ordinary days. I am finding it isn’t so much about the mountain top miraculous events. Some days this is all the “ministry” work I do:
- Comforting a feverish child.
- Cooking food to share.
- Listening to the problems of a troubled teenager.
- Clearing out bed bug infested bedding.
- Pushing children on the swing.
- Talking through training with staff.
- Loving a family that lost a loved one.
- Giving one more injection.
- Thoroughly cleaning every last plate in the kitchen after a Typhoid scare.
I have chosen to make my home in Haiti for most of this year. Not as a savior, visitor, or guest. But as a sister, friend, and fellow Christian. Not only to live out the gospel in demonstration, which should be the goal of each of our daily lives, but to come alongside the people here and give them my life.
January has looked (as always) different than anticipated. It has been full of learning, specifically, a lot of medical techniques. The pastor of the church I attend, whom I love, passed away after battling cancer. While unexpected, my time was largely devoted to his care. I sat at his side and gave him muscular injections for pain three times a day. I hugged his hurting wife, listened to the prayers of the church gathered in their home, and spent time with his extended family. In this community I am called daughter, child, and sister.
It has been a painful month for me. I’m learning to navigate daily life and press on while my heart grieves. It has been excruciating watching those I love suffer greater grief as they watched their husband, father, uncle, and pastor slipping away and now mourn his absence. They prayed for healing and they believed it. I have never seen faith like theirs.
Team building was another focus in January. The other staff and I are learning to run things well as we take on different roles and more responsibilities. Each morning starts with “Leadership 20.” We spend twenty minutes in prayer and reviewing our plans for the day as well as any pressing matters. It’s been good.
I am learning day after day to share my life with my Haitian family. It’s hard, it’s messy, sometimes it hurts. But it is beautiful. I am finding a place here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
- Job is the man we took under our care this the summer after he suffered a debilitating stroke, lost his ability to care for himself, and was left outside the hospital. He has been under our care since then. His strength has improved, and we did not know what the next step would be. An organization which cares for the elderly and disabled accepted him. The facility is beautiful and each resident has their own little home. Job receives 24/7 love and care.
- I am growing in my ability to communicate effectively in Haitian Creole. I have the opportunity not only to speak it but to translate for visitors.
- One of the boys in the orphanage became a threat to the other children. We didn’t know where to place him for the safety of the others. At the same time, we didn’t want to return him to the streets. But God knew. One of our loving mamas (the “mamas” care for the children at the orphanage on a rotation) took him in as a foster child.
- Comfort for the pastor’s family and their church in this time of trial. Especially that this would draw them closer to the Lord and strengthen their faith, and the church would continue to prosper and grow.
- For the boy who just moved into a foster family. Pray the transition would go smoothly, he would feel at home and receive the love, teaching, and correction he needs in a healthy way.
- Energy and rest for all the staff who are working overtime and doing great things for the Kingdom.
- Unity amongst all staff and volunteers as we strive to lead the organization into greater things together.