Friday, March 8, 2013

Christmas in March

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” 
― Bob Hope

Mail day in Haiti is a big deal.  

Our mail reconnects us with HOME and all the people who come with it.

And today was a big mail day!  All mail days are great, but when a big cardboard box comes home from the airport, it’s absolutely thrilling.

Yes.  I know it’s a little pathetic that one of our biggest thrills come from getting mail, but there it is.  

Today we received a box that was obviously a little late getting here--about two and a half months late.  How did I know?  The Christmas stockings inside gave it away!

Fortunately, everything ELSE in the box was still good.  Grape, strawberry and raspberry jellies (a LOT of pbj sandwiches are consumed here!), games, yeast packets, craft supplies, candy, raisins, mac n cheese, vitamins, fruit snacks, a full POUND of Very Cherry Jelly Bellys, and more!!!

All the stuff in the box will be enjoyed for weeks to come!  
But, wanna know what’s even better than all that stuff?

Knowing who it came from and feeling the love they have for you.

Those boxes contained gifts that were shopped for, packed, and shipped by seven very special ladies in Illinois.

God has a hand in the timing of ALL things and the fact that this package arrived in March instead of December strikes me as very significant.  See, it was exactly one year ago that these ladies and I formed "The Haiti 8" team as we ventured to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to serve in an orphanage there.

God moved in powerful ways during that trip.  We connected with each other, we poured out love on the children and staff, we painted, organized, and inventoried 'till our spreadsheets were dancing in our dreams.  We met people from all over the world and saw firsthand some of the devastating conditions and heartbreaking situations that seem to be ever-present in Haiti.

So, I'm remembering this week... Looking back through photos and praying for each of these women in turn...

Which box had the blue sheets again?  And where is the baby cereal?
Kaye was up for anything, anytime.
I'm still surprised Sue wasn't in the pool herself! 
Tracey--feeling better after the worst food poisoning incident she'd
ever experienced.   I remember wondering what a Haitian hospital was
going to be like.  I'm glad we didn't have to find out. 
Faces we'll never forget...
The orphanage we worked at is an amazing place.
They have a 100% adoption rate.
I wonder if this little guy is with his forever family now...?
Sarah was called upon to administer care to various pets
living on the orphanage grounds.
I wonder what the shaved cat looks like today?
The beautiful mountains of Petionville, Haiti, outside Port.

Here's Barb with Jameson.
She's a hoot on her own, but pair her with
Linda and you've got non-stop entertainment.

Julia in her element with one of the babies.
Linda having a heart-to-heart with one of the kids at the toddler house.
It didn't matter one bit that they didn't speak the same language.
I was there, too!  I knew then I'd be back.
Haiti 8 Ladies, thank you for the gifts you sent!  I'm so glad they came in March, reminding me of the time we spent together.  I love you all!

If you're lucky enough to know one of these ladies...and if you happen to bump into her this month...ask her what God taught her in Haiti and how it is still shaping her today.  I can guarantee it will be worth your time to listen to her answer.

Matthew 2:11  "And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh."