Monday, May 20, 2013

Special Gift

It's always been difficult for me to process changes in life--especially when it means saying goodbye to people I love. When I taught 8th grade reading, I was always an emotional basket case at the end of the  school year. Since I moved to Haiti I haven't had that problem because, for the most part, I had the same students the following year. It's been awesome to teach the same students for three years. I've seen my students grow in academics, but also in maturity. It has been a true blessing from the Lord to serve the same students year after year.

Tania, Ogimene, & Ameline

Before I turn into a teary eyed mess, let me say what I planned to write. Today I received a special gift from the Lord. As I was leaving Gramothe to walk home, three of "my girls" were standing at the top of the road, preparing to walk down the mountain. When they saw me, they waited and we walked together--something we haven't done since I stopped teaching computers this year. When I first arrived in Haiti, these girls were chosen to be in my after school computer class. I'm not sure who wrote their name on the paper, but I'm confident the Lord put them on that class roster. Those first few months were... interesting. The boys were falling all over themselves to talk to me. They even tried to get my phone number, so they could call me and listen to me speak. You know, to learn English pronunciation. (ha! that line still makes me laugh.) But the girls never spoke to me. They hung back and made the boys talk for them. I don't think I heard them speak until at least November, and I'm sure they weren't talking to me. Finally after Christmas of that first year, I got them to talk to me. But they were still really shy. As my Creole got better and their English improved, we were able to communicate better. Last year we often communicated in a mixture of Creole and English. They would ask me questions in Creole and I would respond in English. When I started teaching again in January, I could tell that Tana especially had improved. Today was all the proof I needed. We talked all the way down the mountain to the guest house--a good 30 minutes--all in English. I think we only used Creole to clarify once, maybe twice, the entire time. How is that for measurable growth in English?!

These girls have a special place in my heart. Evidence here. Our walk down the mountain today was a sweet blessing from God. Not only did we get to catch up and practice English, we also talked about our futures--my family going to the States and the three of them finishing high school--and God's plan for our lives. I was able to encourage them in their pursuit of higher education. (They'd all like to become doctors, which isn't realistic, so I encouraged them to consider nursing--especially in the realm of childbirth.) Also, I had the opportunity to share part of my faith journey and encourage them in their walks with Christ. It was a very sweet time, and I'm thankful to God for this special gift.

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