Tuesday, February 21, 2017

a season of change

People are always surprised when I tell them I live in Haiti.  Most conversations on the plane rides to and from the states result in blank stares, lots of questions, and most times, the final result is people not understanding why I live in a country that so many have deemed broken.  Almost six years ago I came on a one-week trip to the small island of Haiti, never realizing that it would change my life forever.
2011 - Internship time in Leveque

Fall 2015.

It started with a whisper, “I am going to move you.”  It was one I quickly dismissed, as I didn’t want to pay attention.  Days would pass, maybe even a week and there it was again, “I am going to move you.”  I shooed it away like a quick motion of my hand dismissing a mosquito buzzing in my ear.  I didn’t know what it meant, and I didn’t want to.  Weeks passed.  Months passed.  The whisper stayed the same.  Never changing.  Never increasing or changing in tone.  The same, calm and steady whisper, “I am going to move you.”

Spring 2016.

It wasn’t until an all too familiar night at the guesthouse dining area and I was sitting and talking with team members who had just arrived to Haiti, when all the dots connected.  Visitors who come to Haiti all ask the same challenging question, ‘How long will you stay?’  This question came when I had been on staff for only a week and it is the same question I answer five and half years later, ‘How long will you stay?’  And for all these years I have answered the same way every time.  And on this night it was no different, but this time I heard that same answer in a very different way.  ‘I will stay until the Lord…. Movesme.’  The words literally came out slower this time as I heard the whisper in my answer, “I am going to move you.”  I politely ended the conversation and quickly headed to my apartment.  I needed to think.  I needed to figure out what had just happened.  And as I sat alone and began to think of all the memories I have had in this place, an overwhelming sense of joy, sorrow, laughter and tears filled every space of the room.  How could I ever leave? 

Spring 2017. 
2011 - More afternoons painting in Leveque

Today, I have come to a new crossroad and while I used to think that moving to Haiti was the hardest thing I’d ever have to do, now I know that leaving Haiti will prove to be the even bigger challenge.  At least when I came to Haiti I knew, for the most part, what I was moving to.  But as the end of April gets closer and closer, the realization that I have no idea what I am moving to next, becomes my new reality.  And in that reality I remind myself of this, He is the one who is moving me.  He is good and He does good.  And all I have to do is be obedient.  So even though I am leaving behind countless memories, friends, and the place that has become my home and captured my heart, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am stepping into the next great adventure that He has for me.

To those who have journeyed with me on this Haiti adventure, thank you.  Those two simple words do not do justice to my heart’s deepest gratitude for the prayers, financial support, emails, texts, messages, cards, care packages, gifts, and so much more.  Thank you for loving me well and being a part of my story.

To my family who has graciously let me follow this crazy desire to live in Haiti, I am coming home!  I am looking forward to birthdays, holidays, camping, picnics, hunting, niece time, movies, and so much more!  Thank you for being my greatest support.  Thank you for listening to my frustrations, triumphs, heartaches, good days and days that I never thought I would make it.  Thank you for always encouraging me to put my hope in Christ and to follow what He has for me.

To the countless MOH staff and interns I have served with these last five and half years, you are the only ones who will ever truly ‘get it.’  You will be the ones I need the most as I make this transition back to America.  For those of you who have gone before me, be ready for questions.  To those of you who stay, you know I am just a text message or FaceTime audio call away!  Thank you for loving me, being gracious with me, allowing me to fail and being a part of so many great successes.  Thank you for being co-laborers in Taking Kingdom Ground! 

My journey is not ending.  It has only just begun. 

2011 - fun days in Cabaret

2012 - January birthday celebrations

2012 - Sunday afternoon soccer games! 

2012 - Some my favorite days were spent in Leveque.

2013 - Residency status is official!

2013 - Mountain time in Fretas.
2013 - My bucket skills need some work.

2014 - Little Matthew!  What a cutie!?

2014 - VBS!  VBS!  VBS!

2015 - Sunday morning church friend.

2015 - Graduation time at MOH.

2016 - What an amazing woman.  Can't wait to see her in heaven one day.

2017 - Peace out Haiti!  See you again soon.