July was epic but I am so happy to be back in Haiti. We had a wonderful time with extended family and hanging out with our little immediate family but I missed our life here. To be truthful, this time, I did not think I missed it. 3 years into life here and the newness is well worn off and IT IS SO HARD sometimes that I think I can’t make it. Blah, blah, whine, whine. So, I didn’t think I missed life here, and I was a bit concerned. It wasn’t until we were driving back though Port au Prince that a sense of peace settled over me and I thought, man it’s nice to be home. There is a bit of calm in my internal sea and I am enjoying this life and work again. I am sure a month with our precious family is going a long way to explaining my current mental stability and feeling of groundedness. Read on and I think you will hear why.
Brief July recap. We spent a week in the home of a precious woman who lives in both Boston and Florida. She is in Boston this time of year so she allowed us to use her home. We swam, played monopoly, slept, rented a movie, went to the movies, ate ALL the berries, soaked up all the A/C and just healed a bit, emotionally and physically. We laughed so hard playing Marco Polo that I am surprised no one choked on pool water. Never had I realized how healing a vacation could be. We really need to be together away from 3rd world stress….and laugh. We sang the song of our people, laughter.
Proverbs 17:22 “A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing…”
What a sweet blessing that I almost cannot describe. Missionaries DO NOT have places to unwind alone. If you have access to a place that you could offer to a weary worker, please do so. What a difference you can make. Christ Church in Venice, FL had a lasagne and salad waiting for us with gift cards for groceries and frozen Yogurt. They left a goodie bag and what it really said to me was, we value you, we see your sacrifice, and we love you, please rest. Tears.
We left FL after the most amazing week and took off to see our precious family. We stopped in Georgia, NC, and ended in IL. At every stop we stayed at least a few days and we talked, hanging out with the people who shaped us and made us the weirdos we are. It was a very healthy thing to feel such a sense of belonging. These are our people and we felt so surrounded and accepted. We needed that belonging since we can’t even walk down the street or order food without feeling outside of culture and noticing our differences here in Haiti. (Side note: This is not because Haitians are not fabulously welcoming but because we ARE outsiders and that will not ever change completely) With family we ate ALL the steaks, and we stayed up late, and laughed that way you do when you’re with your people. If you were a fly on the wall you would have heard story after story and laughter to tears and maybe some karaoke. Being with our people and singing the songs of our tribe. My sister and I have been singing the Reba McEntire duet, “Does He Love You” with heartfelt intensity as long as I can remember. All of it felt healing and I think wrapped us up in a way emotionally that we are still carrying with us. Along the way we were able to take Anna to see a university she has been looking at and it felt good to give her that experience. She was like a kid in a candy store.
When we got back to the house, the same life we left awaited us. The crazy pace, worn out batteries, sweat in weird places, bodies so tired we fall into bed, all the struggles but what also awaited us was the family we have here. Our Haitian community, Jessie, Jenna and our missionary community are here. As KONBIT we reconnected over pushing our HUGE (over 3 ton) truck across our yard so we could jump start it, and a comedy of errors ensued that you would hardly believe. To begin we are all pushing on the back of the truck when we nonchalantly asked the person steering (not pointing fingers, Jenna, don’t worry) if they had their foot on the brake. Their response, “yes, yes I do.” Well, that made the resistance we felt make more sense. Not 5 seconds later we had 2 people pushing one direction on the front of the truck while 2 others pushed in the opposite direction on the back of the truck. None of this was intentional or because we thought we were being funny, we were all legitimately trying to get this thing done. We are a well oiled machine friends. good grief! I am glad we all lived and were able to jump start the truck. We laughed until we nearly wet our pants (well, Jessie and I) and this too is the song of my people. The word says in Psalm 68:6 that, “God places the lonely in families”. So, I am glad to be home. With the family that God has been so kind to give us in the absence of our first one. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by love and laughter in 2 different countries. So, come see us in Haiti some time. You can hear us singing the song of our people and loving every minute of this crazy life in Haiti. We have family here too and we do not take them for granted.
Thanks for reading about our July, I know I promised an expose about “real Life” here but that just felt whiney and I am feeling grateful. Maybe another month for the expose, the dirty, literally, reality of life here. Today I would rather laugh.