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Au Revior Haiti

We are home, catching up on our rest with overflowing hearts from our incredible week in Haiti.  I don't really have words for everything I feel and every single thing we experienced and as I am told that may take a while to completely process.  What I can tell you is how filled up I feel after spending seven days serving, way more than I could have ever expected.  We may be tired but we are most definitely not one single bit drained, truly the complete opposite.  Even after two long days of traveling home both my sweet girl and I wanted to turn right around and go back for more time with the precious community of Figuier and all of the lovely people who instantly captured our hearts.  They have so little and love so much which is most definitely the biggest lesson we learned.

When we left on Saturday none of us really knew what to expect.  We all talked about how we had packed and prepared as best we could but we really had no idea what laid ahead of us.  We knew we would serve in the small community of Figuier but had no real details other than an itinerary and a few amazing lessons to share with the kids and people we would meet.  Our goal was to love on the people in the community and teach them the love and joy of a relationship with Jesus.

We noticed immediately the beauty of the country.  Even with the devastation from the earthquake in 2010 and the hurricane of 2017 the land still shows so much beauty.  Just as the land still holds its beauty so does the spirit of every single person we met.  They have lost so much, live with so little and have to struggle every single day but their strength and their hope shines through in their infectious smiles. The moment they meet your eyes and you wave they light up in a way I have never seen before. I truly could not get enough.

What did we do? 

Wow, it seems like so much.  We completely immersed ourselves into their community.  We visited their homes, we learned how to fish (they fish in boats made of mango trees with nets they sew themselves that take two years to create), we learned how to do laundry in bowls outside, we learned how they garden and tended to their corn crops, we visited their chickens and were amazed to see that a gift of 10 chickens can instantly improve their lives, we pumped water from wells (this was so hard and they make it look so easy) to fill large containers they use for so many things, we visited their new clean water system and were amazed to learn it is solar powered, we heard of the amazing school that has been set up where a child can be sponsored to attend, we ate with them, we played with them and most of all we loved on them but nothing like the love they poured on us.

What did they teach us?

Where do I begin?  First of all they taught us the true meaning of hope.  Their hope has not wavered, not even when they have endured such devastation.  They get up, they persevere and they keep their hope very alive.  They welcomed us into their homes when we would arrive unannounced and hugged us and opened their hearts to share their struggles and their wishes.  It didn't matter that we were strangers or we didn't speak their language, they opened their curtains and immediately asked us in.  I know I have never done this and would be so reluctant to do so.  I need to think long and hard about what this would mean to someone who really needs me.

Most of all they taught us about priorities.  I am fiercely committed to my family and will sacrifice anything to give any of them what they need but their commitment to putting their families first made me feel like mine could use some serious thinking.  In our daily lives busyness can easily creep in to fill our days.  Lists and things we feel need to be done can easily distract me from my precious family and I need to do a massive makeover in this area.  With the recent diagnosis for our family that has already changed but I still feel there is more to be done.  Chores can be done together, phones need to take a longer break from our hands, devotions can be done together instead of individually and most of all we can hug harder and longer and take each day for the gift that it is for all of us.

Like I said I didn't know what to expect from this trip.  I was nervously excited and ready to give anything I was asked of but truthfully I was worried I would have nothing to give.  With the changes in our family I felt I was drained, I was tired and I was weary but I was committed to the trip and to the experience for my sweet girl.  I never expected to be filled head to toe with so much love and energy.  I didn't think I would be shown gifts I forgot I had to serve as I was called to do each day.  I had no idea I would come home so refreshed and hopeful.  And most of all I was oblivious to the fact that the sweet people of Figuier would teach me lessons that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

We are so very thankful for the opportunity that we were given to go on this trip.  We are thankful for each of you that lifted us in prayer and supported our journey.  You are truly the best readers and followers I could have ever asked for and I am grateful for each of you, more than you will ever know.

au revior sweet Figuier, until we have the honor to be with you again.

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