5:30 comes early, awakening me with its pitch-black skies and faint rooster crows. But these days, it’s the only time I can find a moment or two of peace. Coffee steams in the pot on the counter, the open windows bringing in the coolness from last night’s rainstorm. I watch the minutes tick on the clock, begging them to slow down just a little.
We’ve been in Haiti for 2 weeks now. If it weren’t for the calendar on the wall that says it’s true, I’m not sure I’d believe it. It is the end of our 2nd week of school, the books and papers scattered across the shelves and countertops attest to that. It’s hard to know where to begin, or what to say. These two weeks have held more than we know what to do with– joys, so many frustrations, broken-heartedness, and much laughter. Being back is this unexplainable mix of both bitter and sweet.
Other than a fine layer of dust, when we got back we found our apartment the way we left it– nothing broken or damaged, missing or stolen. The kids took a few days to warm up to us, which we anticipated. Now the little battery-operated doorbell rings every hour, if not more. Little brown faces stand in the hallway, asking “Where Shaggy?” when I open the door.
Good ole “Shaggy” is a busy beaver these days- working on projects and helping the boys with theirs. I wash dishes at the sink and watch from the windows at the parade of small people who follow behind him in the afternoons. Stephen started Bible study back up again, and so Tuesdays and Thursdays the house is full of lollipops and boys and questions. We plant in hope, and then we let God make things grow.
School is school.. except it is not. Yesterday we were reminded of the so many hurts and feelings and issues that come into the classroom from orphanage-life. And I find myself broken hearted, because these are issues and hurts I cannot begin to imagine or relate to. It is easy to question, “Why have You sent us, God?” But for whatever the reason, He has. We find ourselves asking for His wisdom, His patience, and His grace for every moment. Because 2 weeks into school reminds us that we need Him, desperately.
Our new books are the amazing and have saved my sanity over and over again within the last 2 weeks. The kids love them too, especially their new Bibles. We have a full day- with group devotions starting at 7:30, and then school from 8:00-1:30 (with a 30 minute lunch break at noon). The schedule is full– Bible, math story problems, spelling, history, writing, math facts, reading comprehension, and science. It is a long day for the kids, and they’ve done well adjusting to it. There’s a handful who have their sights set on the 3rd grade (Kristine with iWilGo has set up an awesome education plan with the 2 older grades) and so that has been motivation for quite a few of our kiddos.
With Ray and Bonnie gone, little David and his sidekick Joshua are my constant companions from the moment I walk out of our apartment door until I peel them off of me in the evenings. They pull at the sides of my skirt wherever I walk, saying, “Pote’m. Hold me. Hannah pote’m.” Such cheeky monkeys that love every kind of trouble they can possibly find. And have a knack for shrieking with a kind of shrill that turns my insides out after about an hour (nevermind that they are being constantly picked on by anyone just a smidge bigger than them). Poor Shaggy gets to deal with me at my grouchiest and tiredest when we come in at 6:30. He is patient and ever-loving, and I find myself grateful for him over and over again.
We are adjusting to the rhythm of life again in Limbe.. crowded market places with sewage underfoot.. humid days that leave you in a constant state of sweat.. hardened cement floors and cockroaches in the cabinets.. the smell of pee on your clothes and skin by the time you close the door every night.. We are reacquainting ourselves with the struggles and the joys.
By now the sky is a watercolor full of pinks and blues, and you can hear the rumble of mottos on the street. Haiti is coming to life, and the noise will be constant now until we fall into bed tonight. The day lays outstretched before me, full of many unknowns. My heart is weary just at the thought.. But He promises grace for just this one.
So I pour another cup of coffee. We will scramble the eggs and burn the toast, brushing teeth and strapping on sandals in the rush of the morning. And then we’ll step out, into that crazy unknown. And we’ll cling to His promise, that His grace is sufficient for just this day; and dedicated unto Him, He’ll use our labors of this day.