Our First Update

We are here. Rooster-crowing, sun-scorching, trash-burning here. I don’t dwell on the thougt for long, as if the reality were as fragile as a bubble that could burst at our fingertips. But we are here.

It is a strang feeling to put into words. Everything is the same and different all at once. The ground we walk, the faces we know, smells and sounds in the air… They whisper of things so very familiar. And yet, there is an unknown to it all as well. We struggle to find ‘our place’. Together. As a couple. Married. Not as a team member or the teacher-girl.

When our plane landed in Cap Haitien at 12:30 on Thursday, we looked at each other and realized, “This is it. We are actually doing this.” Waiting for our bags took forever at the airport, with throngs of people shoving and pushing and crowding to the luggage belt and through customs. But all four of our duffel bags made it, and not a single thing was missing or broken. 

The traffic is crazier than we remembered and the roads have gotten much worse in the last year. The weather is also hotter than we were prepared for. I think we have yet to stop sweating! Haha. We are staying in the team rooms while the apartment we will eventually stay in is being finished. School starts Monday, giving us the weekend to adjust and settle in, which is so nice. The plan is to tag-team and teach the youngest classroom together. There’s some strong personalities in that age group, so maybe we’re a bit.. Apprehensive? But glad to be able to fill the need. 

As we continue to adjust to life here, we feel a bit inadequate. But the Lord continues to remind us that is exactly how He wants us. 

All in all, we are happy. Despite the heat, the cockroaches and spiders we find on our walls, and the struggle to find our fit. Stephen is helping Lou this morning with some electric and plumbing work. The team just left for Carmot. The kids are whizzing around on their bicycles. Mikey’s giggles come from the hammock beside me. My coffee is growing cold… 

It all is so surreal. 

We are so thankful for your love and support and prayers and encouragement that has gotten us here. We are now hooked up with Internet, which is exciting! It can be pretty sketch and unreliable at times, but we plan to stay as connected as we can.


The Undeniable Beauty

“You know, for a while I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with that garden bed..”

I look across the room to where he stands at the window. Evening quickly encloses us with deep blue storm clouds. “Yeah..” I say, the memories rushing like the tide, “I know..”

On a miserably cold weekend in May, we spent 2 days building a raised garden bed, digging up dirt, and dreaming of cucumbers growing in the heat of summer. We planted our fragile little seeds with great care and precision, excited for what the future held for our little garden bed. Then, it rained. Hard. And we walked outside to find a garden bed with not enough drainage and a rock-hard crust of dirt suffocating the life out of our plants.

I may or may not have cried at one several points. We may or may not have fought at some point too. Although it felt futile, we tried again. Much to our surprise, after days of looking out the window, we found sprouts. Strong and resilient, we continued to watch them grow. And throughout the coming weeks, our hope grew along with them.

IMG_0766As the summer went on, the sprouts grew to withstand the Nebraska wind, the scorching hot sun, and the multiple hail storms we’ve had. Hope has been a very delicate thing this summer. Just as we become confident and sure, the clouds bring hail, or the wind whips harder, or the forecast calls for heavy rain once again.

Every time, I hold my breath. Every time, my hope dangles by a thread. Every time, I doubt.But every time, it continues to flourish beyond my imagination.

Now the garden bed literally overflows with life. I have come inside the house hands full as green beans and tomatoes cover the countertops.  And God continues to whisper, “When will you trust me?”

Sending out support letters made this decision all the more real to us, and while we are excited, we are taking the biggest step of faith we have ever taken. IMG_0783This journey has left my hope dangling by a thread on multiple occasions. When the rain clouds come in, I worry that He won’t protect. When hail the size of golfballs pelts the ground, I doubt that He sees. When we are faced with raising monthly support, I wonder how He will provide. When the details are still left unknown to us, I panic that somehow He has lost control. When “what-if’s” plague my mind, I fail to remember His perfect sovereignty and grace for every season

All the while, the garden bed sits smack in the middle of the big picture-window in our living room.

There’s an undeniable beauty in the way I cannot help but see it on a daily basis. To every day hear Him whisper, “Trust me, and let me grow it beyond your wildest expectations..”