Our bags are all packed….The house is cleaned out. We will make our final trip to the mini-storage tomorrow, finish up last minute errands, and around midnight Wednesday night, we will be headed to Birmingham to catch the first flight out to Haiti. Ahhhh…..my heart flutters just thinking about it!!
Even while I type this post, Tony is texting me updates on a mother in the clinic in labor. She’s 19, it’s her first baby, and she is scared. I send a text, “Remind her to breathe slowly..respire dousman.” As if he needs me to remind him. “Okay,” he texts back. “Be sure to explain to her what to expect. It’s her first time. She’s scared,” I text. “Wi (yes)” he texts back. “Tell Vladimir to massage her feet with lotion and sing to her,” I text….nothing. I know good and well Vladimir isn’t going to massage her feet and sing to her. That’s my job! …and I can’t wait to be there to do it too. I can’t wait for the hugs and laughter of the children in the orphanage as they pile on one another wrapping their arms around me and pulling me down to their height. I can’t wait to walk around the village to each house saying, “Bon swa!” to all of my neighbors, exchanging kisses on the cheeks, and listening as they tell me the latest news. The children will all run into their houses to get their report cards to show me because the last time I was there they were taking final exams, and they will want to show me what their final grades were. Home….
It’s where my heart is. It’s where I sink into my couch at the end of a full day of loving on people and sharing the love of Jesus. It’s where God has placed us for this time in our lives, and we are loving every minute of it.
These last 20 months have been both challenging and a blessing. It has not been easy to be away from my husband and the ministry we both were called to. It has not been easy moving from place to place, living out of suitcases and boxes, and being dependent on the generosity of others. It has not been easy flying back and forth to see my honey and all of our Haitian brothers and sisters in our little village. It always seemed like just about the time I would be getting settled back in and my Creole was flowing well, it was time to pack back up and leave. I have stared longingly at those mountains through tearful eyes many, many times as we rumble along the rock road to the airport. On the other hand, I have had special times too. Over these past 20 months I have spent such precious time with my Jacob, watching him develop and mature into a fine young man. I have been awed by my Jonathan watching him grow and become a godly husband and teacher.
I have worked feverishly on ministry needs as well as senior parent things while here and have enjoyed every hectic minute of it. It has been a full year, and God has held us when we’ve cried, He has picked us up when we have fallen, He has comforted us when we were afraid, He has protected us from danger, and He has provided for all of our needs. We have rejoiced over answered prayer for healing, gained a daughter, and celebrated a graduation. God has been so good, and my heart is completely full just thinking about it.
Now my mind turns to friends. I was just thinking last night, as Jonathan & Katelyn, Jacob & Madison, and I went to eat and spend a wonderful evening with friends, that God has gifted us with so many absolutely amazing friends through this journey. Even while I type this, the faces of people dear to me begin to flash across my memory, and I cannot hold back the tears because I feel so richly blessed. We feel God’s love in such a powerful way through the love that is shown to us through each and every friendship He has placed in our lives. We could not have made it through these 20 months without God’s using you to support us in so many ways. There are just SO MANY of you, and I wish I could tell each and every one of you how very special you are to me and to Tony right now. Since that is not possible, I am asking God to speak to our friends as they read these words and let them know and FEEL the love we have for them. It is impossible for me to express in words how you all make us feel. Words are not adequate, but I ask my Father to bless you in return for your love, loyalty, and kindness, and I hope that you know how much we love you. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for checking on us. Thank you for helping us through difficult times and celebrating with us in joyful times. God has used you to bless us.
Now, as Jacob and I return to Haiti for the summer, please pray for safe travels, continued rest and healing for Jacob’s ankle, protection from sickness, ease in settling back into our home, and precious, precious catch up time with Tony and our Hope Center family. Please pray for Jonathan and Katelyn as they continue to seek the Lord in growing their marriage and moving them down the path of service upon which He wants them to serve. Please pray for our families as they love and support us from afar. And please pray for our ministry, that GOD would be glorified, people would come to know the joy of knowing our Savior, and that our community would grow and thrive and prosper just as God has intended. We look forward to reporting many more exciting adventures and blessings in the days ahead. Thank you for being a part of this ministry with us. It is truly an honor to serve with you.