Everyday is so full here that it almost leaves me speechless! Yes, me speechless! Laramie has been the blog writer, but I think every now and then you should hear from me! Right?
Laramie and Lance left for Port Au Prince this morning to take a van load of short term missionaries from California to the airport after an eventful week. I understand their emotional feelings, because it wasn't too long ago that I had to get into that same van and leave this precious place.
I have watched several teams leave, each time I am reminded of how thankful I am that I don't have to. Our family has driven past the airport here many times and each time we all discuss and say how happy we are that we are not getting on an airplane and leaving. Maybe one day the newness will wear off and we may desire to leave, but for now, we all rest in the peace that Christ grants us of being in the exact place on the planet that He wants us. It's an amazing feeling.
This week included more than a few unique experiences. One being that all of our Hands and Feet children have moved into their permanent houses and that all of the plywood, temporary houses have been torn down – except for our house. We will have to wait a few more months for ours to be complete. What a victory for all of those that have worked so hard for this day! We have learned that building things here takes time, effort, money and people. There are so many people to thank, but mostly we Praise God for allowing us to see physical work that He is doing!
While the physical work is precious, we couldn't be more excited about the Spiritual work that is taking place here. This week we stood in awe as the team from California came and we were able to witness 2 from this team follow Christ in baptism. Two people were baptized into Christ Thanksgiving day and then we feasted. Our feast fed Haitians, Chileans, and Americans from all over the U.S. What a true picture of the Kingdom! We embraced the diversity and reflected on the first Thanksgiving, knowing that those who participated in that first Thanksgiving would be happy to see this meal shared among believers that were truly thankful for God's provision. P.S. The California team brought turkeys and ham and us Brownies stuffed ourselves sick. :)
The Chileans are a neat group of people that are here as missionaries doing orphan care. They have an orphanage a couple of hours away and we love their hearts and smiles. I would say more about them, but the cool thing about our relationship with them is that they speak Spanish and Creole. Which means Creole is our common language! I certainly don't speak Spanish! Communicating with Haitians with my limited Creole is always an adventure, but add Spanish into the mix and you've got some real comedy. I wish you could be a fly on the wall for some of my conversations! I'm thankful that God knits are hearts with other believers and sometimes you just really don't need words.
I have been building a relationship with one of the teen girls here and have been earning her trust as we become friends. The last few weeks she has confided that she has a girl at school that she really doesn't like. I've done my best to pour out some truth on this. She's told me several times that this girl at school is mean, thus, she doesn't like her. I reminded her that we are to pray for our enemies. The look on her face that she was supposed to do something as nice as pray for Miss Meanie was priceless. I love my friends rawness as she simply says, “I can't pray for her, I don't like her!”
I'm reminded of people that I have held in that place. People that I did not want to pray for. I could see the look in her eyes when I reminded her that this girl needs Jesus and that God might just be using her to bring the truth to Miss Meanie. I recognized my friends hard heart that seem to say, “I really don't want her to be saved, I'm mad at her!”
Our conversations about Miss Meanie started getting a little lighter and it seemed like my friends heart was softening. I took the opportunity to ask if I could meet Miss Meanie. Well, it turns out that would be pretty easy because she goes to church with us. Grand Goave isn't that big and most of the kids that go to school at Mission of Hope attend our church too. I asked for an introduction to Miss Meanie the next time we went to church.
I expected Miss Meanie to be a tall, loud mouth, teen-aged girl with big muscles, maybe even some horns. After church Tuesday I was taken by the hand to meet Miss Meanie. My friend held her head down as she pointed her out, “There she is, THAT is the girl.” I walked over to meet her alone.
Miss Meanie is 10. Adorable. Petite. Smiled beautifully, respectfully shook my hand, and seemed happy to meet me. What's up with that? I told my friend on our walk home from church that Miss Meanie was not what I expected. “Are you sure you don't like her?” I quizzed.
Thursday my friend came home from school smiling. She came to my door to tell me that she had a new friend. “The girl is my friend now. Yesterday we talked. I tell her that you said we have to be friends. Today we eat together. We are friends now. We braided our hair the same way and I like her now.” I'm not sure I ever told her that they 'had' to be friends, but it's a victory, we hugged and jumped together to celebrate! My friend seems happy with her new friend and we've buried Miss Meanie with her horns, now we have a cute, new friend.
I'm thankful for new friends.
And old ones.
May God bless you as you hold us up financially and in prayer. We can't do what we do without you. You are truly a blessing to us and we thank God for you.
With Great Love in Christ,