Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Goodnight, Haiti

Mache sou pinga'w  pou pa pile si ou te konnen.

This is my favorite Haitian proverb.  It means "Walk on caution so you don't step on 'if I had known.'"

There were many times in the last year that I've either been thankful that I did exercise caution or realized too late that I was standing in "if I had known."

This morning my mind is drifting through some of those experiences as I'm sipping home-brewed Starbucks coffee from a Keurig from my mom's kitchen table in Illinois.  That's right, readers--We're back in the USA!  

Not long ago, we boarded MFI's DC-3 in Cap Haitien and slowly made our way back to Illinois. We've been working through some reverse culture shock and reconnecting with family and friends, and feeling completely blessed.

Ovwa, Ayiti.  We miss you already.

I miss hearing the choir sing "Alpha ak Omega" in church.

We miss the goats, dogs, and Freddy the Frog on my window each morning.

We miss your sparkly shore waters and palm trees on the beach.

We miss sunsets set to the sounds of waves crashing on the sand.

But most of all, we miss the people we came to love so much...

Our beloved Celine...

Buddies and classmates...

I miss my students...

We all miss Junior.

I miss these ladies who never, ever failed to greet me with a smile and who cared for us despite all the cultural mistakes we made.

We miss friends who came to feel more like family...

We miss people who took time to inspire the hearts and minds of our three girls.

And we miss many others that I can't find pictures of right now!

As we enjoy many of the comforts that life in America affords, we haven't stopped praying for and thinking about everyone we had to say goodbye to.

For now.

God willing, we'll see them all again soon...

1 John 4:19-21  "We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Teamwork Tales: Part Two

"Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us." — Keith Wright

We got right to work with the visiting team!  First thing on the list: clean up a couple of basketball courts that were already in use in the heart of Cap Haitien.  The team showed up with tape and paint, ladders and brooms, new nets and donated basketballs.  It didn't take long for community members to come out to see what was going on.  And, they didn't want to just stand around and watch--they wanted in on the work.  

Nevermind cultural and language barriers--let's get 'er done.


In Progress....


Later that day, we got to play in a game that was part of the festivities for the UN Peacekeeping Day.

Unfortunately, that game got washed out.  Literally.  A deluge that had knee-deep streams of water and sewage flowing through the streets...and people's homes.  A good day of hard work and partnering with community, wrapped up by the realities of life for many in Haiti.

Then, there was work at the Sports and Rehabilitation center.  We cleaned up another court, painted, and prayed with patients, with the help of our dear friend, Junior, who just graduated from the Emmaus Biblical Seminary in Saccanville.  

"Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus." - Elton Trueblood

There were many unforgettable moments during the week the team visited, but I'm willing to bet that the moments in which two people we prayed with accepted Christ were at the top of the list.

We worked with some young men from the Streethearts organization that day.  Streethearts is a nonprofit organization caring for street kids of Cap-Haitien, and it was a pleasure to work with them.   Nou pou lari a--We're for the streets, too, Lindsey!  

There was a basketball clinic...

And a pick-up game at yet another court.

Would you agree that the team earned their delicious meals each evening?  Prepared for them by four fantastic ladies of EBS, who were very entertained by their questions and curiosity.  And, we tried some fresh cassava bread, too!

There's still more!  Part Three is coming up next...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Teamwork Tales: Part One

 "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

A team of amazing people visited us here over the last week.  And together, we accomplished amazing things!

I'm simply too tired tonight to write a long blog post, but I wanted to begin sharing photos and stories about our adventures.  I promise there will be more to come over the next few days!

One of the first things we did was spend time at a hospital near Cap Haitien.  This hospital has a rehabilitation center, clinic, exercise facility, and neonatal unit.  It also has a home for children with disabilities.  They don't live in the home at all times--most of the time they live with their families.  

But, Mondays through Thursday mornings, families can bring their special needs kids to this home so that they can have a few days' break to work, travel, or care for other children.  The visiting children get a safe, clean place to sleep and play with nurses on duty to take care of them, a playroom to explore, and a garden to enjoy.  

Our job on this first day was to clean and sanitize the toys, strollers, beds, and chairs.  We were there on a Thursday--the day that the children get picked up by their families.  Luckily, a few of the kids were still there waiting that morning!  We got to talk with them and hold their hands.  We gave them small, painted wooden tops that were hand carved and colored by the artist in our group.  What a delight--for all of us!

More coming soon!  I promise.  Goodnight!

Matthew 19:14 "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"