Wednesday, June 26, 2013

National Exam Time

It's the season of National Exams in Haiti. The sixth grade students finished their exams last week, so 9th grade students are "writing" their exams this week.

If you think of them, pray for these guys and their classmates this week. Will ya?

Mouse and Porcupine 

Adele & Edeline

Thursday, June 20, 2013

si bondye vle

**I wrote this post several weeks before we left Haiti, so it's probably a month old at this point. So if you get the impression I'm currently in Haiti as you read it, that's why. We are still in the US and will be for a while.

Si Bondye vle is a phrase that is heard often in Haiti. It means If God wills, but the literal translation is if God wants. I remember talking to my small group about using the phrase "If the Lord wills it" at one point several years ago. We agreed that we should recognize that our plans can be changed by God at any moment, but we also felt that using the phrase Lord willing all the time seemed a bit, um, well, over the top.

Living in Haiti has given me a different perspective though. It seems that what we plan rarely happens. Unexpected events occur so frequently that the phrase si bondye vle isn't over the top at all. It's reality.

When our nanny/housekeeper leaves for the day and I say "see you tomorrow" she responds with a cheerful "si bondye vle." She knows that any number of events could happen to prevent her from coming.

When my students ask me when we will visit Haiti or when we return to live here again, I can give them my hopeful timeline but I have to include an emphatic si bondy vle. Because, really that is the only way we'll be back in Haiti within a few years.

In the U.S. it's easy to live as if I have control over my life, but living in Haiti requires me to recognize that I am not in control.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

alive, but laying low

Hi friends. It's been a while, huh?

Just wanted to let you know that we made it to Indiana safely. We are adjusting and getting settled at my parents' house. I'm having fun introducing American life to Arold. For example, we stopped at McDonald's yesterday and he ate his first Big Mac. As we left he said, "Now I know where it is and I can come by myself." I guess he has plans to eat more Big Macs.

I find myself in this strange place of wanting to show my husband everything on the list of stuff he needs to see/experience and knowing that I don't need to overwhelm him because we have plenty of time for him to experience American life.

Every day is a new adventure, and at the same time it feels like we are in a holding pattern. I have been hired by Goshen Community Schools (thank you Lord!), but I don't start until August. Arold is still applying to jobs, so any routine we have right now is only temporary. And then there's this funny feeling of our days having no purpose. We wake, we eat, we play with Isaac, we sleep, and then we start all over again. It's a strange thing to go from very full and purposeful days to this time of waiting.

Please keep praying for us as we transition to life in the U.S. So far we seem to be doing pretty well, but it's a process and it will take time. Pray that Arold will be hired for a job that he will enjoy. And pray that God will give some purpose to our days.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Our Last Sunday in Gramothe

Today was our last Sunday in Gramothe. It has rained a lot lately and the road has been getting worse and worse. There are some really big holes in the road on the way down to the riverbed, and this morning they threatened to swallow us up. There's a team of 18 people here right now, but we didn't take the truck to church. The road is just too bad. So some people walked (bless their hearts) and the rest of us rode the ATVs. I have taken Isaac on the ATVs before--always in his moby wrap--but today was scary. That road is crazy! It was a relief to get to the riverbed because there were no giant holes to swallow us up. If it wasn't our last time at church in Gramothe, I would have kept Isaac at home!

Church was really great--except for my cranky son. I listened to the sermon from the cafeteria because he was so restless/cranky/crying. I tried to keep him in the sanctuary the other parts of church, but we left a lot because he was making so much noise. Silly boy. The great parts of church were the singing time, the English sermon on following Jesus, and the part where Willem called our family up on stage. We actually were up there twice. Before the sermon Willem called us up and talked a lot about Arold and then let him say something to the church. Isaac was going crazy, so we left the stage after that. But after the sermon Willem called me back up to say something (through tears of course) to the church. It was good to say goodbye. Then the church prayed for us. Prayer send offs are one of my favorite parts of being part of a congregation. I cried the whole time, and I saw my husband wipe away tears too.

The best/hardest part of church was when everyone was dismissed and so many people made their way to Arold and me. It was like a wedding receiving line. Except I was by the door and Arold was on stage. So it was two receiving lines of one person. Rosias and Monley were some of the first people to come and hug me. They were both crying, so of course I burst into tears again. (And I had just gotten myself under control from the prayer time!) Then other students and adults in the church came to find me and bless me and Isaac before we left. It was really sweet to be told over and over again that I am loved and they will miss me. Of course I got to tell them that I love them too and God bless them. Such a perfect way to end my time in Gramothe.

Tonight Arold's family is coming over after church. It's nice to spend time with them before we go. We will miss them so much more than words can say.