There’s a motorcycle rumbling outside. We woke to the familar sounds of Mondazi shouting from his room in the nursing home down below. Stephen stands at the counter, cooking eggs for breakfast. The coffee is too hot to drink still. There are sunshine-y blue skies in Limbe, Haiti today.
We’ve been back for 2 weeks. I have to do a doubletake at the calendar and count the days to be sure. January 6th -with its holiday embargo, last-minute flight booking, and visa hassle- seems like forever ago. In that time we’ve got a week of school under our belt, acquired nearly a dozen mosquito bites, cleaned the layer of dust from our apartment, Stephen caught a cold and a nasty stomach bug, helped unload the mission’s container that came full of supplies for the next year, been climbed on, hugged, and high-fived by the kids dozens of times, and have gone just crazy enough to be able to survive here for the next 3 months.
Life has been so busy, but when is it ever not, right? Stephen took his instrument written test the day before our flights for Haiti left, and passed with flying colors. He spent hours upon hours studying while we were in Chicago, sitting at the little dresser with the laptop for days on end. But all his hardworking and time investment paid off 🙂 It made for a stressful time out, with everything we were trying to crunch into our schedules. But when we are in Alaska in May (and even now) we will be thankful for the timing of it all.
Now we are here. Where spiders live under the oven and cockroaches inside the kitchen drawers. Back to where there are so many children who are always wanting, wanting, wanting.. and you can only do so much. Here with school days and lesson planning and sticker reward charts (we brought back a Sam’s Club sized box of Airheads. Because, let’s get real, who can’t be bribed with a little bit of candy? Haha). Here with a new bouncer for Mikey and fun short story readers for the kids. Back to where the showers are so cold my nightly ritual of 100 jumping jacks doesn’t help ease the chill.
I didn’t want to come back. Our time out was so nice, so almost-normal.. with clean floors, a culture we understood, family closeby, and lets not forget real creamer for the coffee every morning. I knew what we were coming back to. And while I packed our bags and ran errands, I found my heart saying, “God, make another way..”
This place is not easy.. but it runs deeper than the roads that are mainly potholes, or the mosquitos and rats and cockroaches, or the lack of order and peace and normalcy. This place will suck every ounce of hope in your bones, if your hope is not founded and grounded in Christ, and Christ alone. You will look -at the chaos, at the tin shacks and barefooted children, at the cruelty to pick on the littlest and weakest, and the backwardness that is life here.. and you will wonder why? How can I even…? What can we possibly do..?
But God, ever faithful, will speak His peace. In those moments unexpected. You will see Sadrack giving the old man a ride back to the nursing home on his bicycle. Mikey will laugh and laugh as you carry him up the stairs to the apartment. There are knocks on the door, shoes at the entry way, and little boys who sit and laugh and pour over books about sharks and bones and “Pete the Cat”. Maria, who comes upstairs to learn to knit, and talks of unicycle riding, school, and asks questions of “Why does God… this.” And “Why did God…. that.”
And as close as the dirt sticks to your feet and the noise is constantly surrounding you.. so is He. And He will remind you.. of the way He hasn’t called you to be anything. Not a change-maker, not a fixer, not anything. He has called you only to be willing. The rest is always, only, Him.
To be back is conflicting. And it takes a bit of adjustment, but I’d say we are getting there 🙂 It’s bittersweet.. but isn’t it always?
As always, we are thankful for the love, the encouragement, and the support so many of you have shown us.. through your emails, your get-togethers when we were in the States, your giving of finances or supplies or time, and most importantly, your prayers. It is priceless, and it keeps us going day after day.