“Therefore we do not give up. Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
I’m so sorry that most of my blogs are about trials. I really wanted to get away from that in the next writing that I did, but in living in Haiti I have come to know very well what it means to face trials of many kinds.
I hope this story makes you laugh. Now that I’m a few weeks removed from it I am able to laugh but when it happened to me I can assure you that I was not laughing. To set up the story that will make you laugh I need to share a bit about the current situation in Haiti. About a month ago we experienced a gas shortage. The gas stations were rationing the gas to only one gallon per person. Honestly I’m not sure about this correlation, but at the same time we stopped having city power for the amount of time that we should have it. We are supposed to have city power from 6 am- 9 pm but during this time we were only having it from 6 am- 2 pm. Due to the lack of city power, the mission where I work began running our generator more often which in turn caused our generator to begin having problems. These generator problems caused the directors to decide to take my house off of the generator which in turn is why my windows were open while I was sleeping. Because my windows were open while I was sleeping the biggest rat I’ve ever seen in my whole life crawled on to my bed. What did I do? Scream like the lady I am, try to fumigate the thing from under my bed where it was hiding with bug spray, and cried to the guard that a rat the size of a cat was under my bed until he came into my room to get it out. I will tell you that every thing in Haiti is bigger. The cockroaches, the rats, the mosquitos, but most of all the joy. At home I don’t think I would really experience these types of situations where I MUST rely on God for joy, strength, and peace.
Since the rat incident (I am still being teased by the kids for cuddling with a rat) life here hasn’t become much easier. For a week now we have been on lock down due to violent protests in the streets. That means no school, not much power, and an inability to go anywhere. For many people in Haiti that means no access to food, no water, no medicine, and no work. It is so easy in situations like this to want to give up. It is so easy to give in to fear during these times and not to trust God.
Every night we have devotion. One of the kids will share a message and then we all worship together. Last night I was feeling really upset due to the lack of power (you don’t realize how much you rely on it until you don’t have it) and just the current state of this country that I love. When things like this happen it makes me feel so small, like I’m not doing enough or praying hard enough. So I was praying fervently and while I prayed I quieted my soul and I heard God say, “I am here.” I honestly thought he had turned His eye to us. How could people be dying in the streets and He be here? How could children I know go without medicine that protects their life and He be here? How could we be living so uncomfortably (comfort is probably an idol for me that I am working on- this is so candid) and He be here? But He is here. These kids that I love so much are always pushing me to the Father. The way they live with abandon and with their hearts wide open shows me the hope of the Lord. For the week we have been making Valentines for our staff, playing thinking skills games, exploring engineering concepts with K’Nex, and getting caught up in good books. I never see any tension on their faces. I never see any worry in their eyes. I know they are children, sometimes oblivious to the trouble of the world, but I truly believe that children reveal so much to us about how to love and trust God.
“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.” Matthew 18:4-5
I’d be lying if I told you that I don’t want to go home. I want to go home so bad. I miss my loved ones. I miss hot showers. I miss the freedom of having a car. I miss so many things that make life comfortable. In living in Haiti God is refining me. Sometimes the refining work that God is doing in us hurts. It is uncomfortable, it is painful, but it is in the refining that God is making us who we were meant to be. It is in the refining that God is going to bless us. The definition of refine is, “to remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance.” Something that is so beautiful and so precious to us that must be refined are diamonds. I want to be seen as a diamond. I want to have the natural beauty and elegance in my heart that we see when we look at a diamond. But something that we must address is that if we want to be the diamond we must go through the refining. I really don’t believe that we can have one without the other.
I don’t want to write as if Haiti is a bad place. I love Haiti. It is beautiful and it is the home of 40 little people that I love more than life. However, as you can imagine, living in a third world country with civil unrest on your doorstep is definitely challenging. So I am praying diligently for peace and hope in this country and I hope that you will too.
Father, you are so good. You bring new mercies each morning and you provide strength that surpasses my knowledge. Thank you for the way that you work in us. Thank you for the way that you refine us. Thank you for that while you are refining us you never leave us or forsake us. Lord I pray for Haiti. I pray for your people here. I pray that your love and your light would radiate through the streets penetrating the darkness. God, I pray for the people unable to find food or water. I just pray that You would meet their needs Father and that you would sustain them in the way that only you can. We love you so, so much. Amen.
Putting together puzzles and imagining that we are under the sea and on a safari!