Friends, I deeply apologize for never writing again after week three. Things got a little busy in Jacmel, and I never got back to writing anything down (which I am going to greatly regret…….you know I may just have to do it again so I can better document everything!)
Regardless, here are my thoughts on my summer/some things those of you who may be looking to travel down may want to read.
Where do I even begin on this summer?!? From the very beginning, the beauty of God’s creations has overwhelmed my heart and my mind. There is not a day gone by that I have not reminisced about the children at Children’s Hope, the Haitian workers, the missionaries I stayed with and met, and the landscape. This summer I have been constantly reminded of how unfathomable the beauty of God and what he has made. What a great God we serve!
Let me share a few lessons that I have picked up on, as well as some other observations and words of encouragement for those who are looking to go down. Before traveling down, the one specific thing to pray for is for your heart to be always open to the Haitian people. Their culture is obviously going to be different than ours, so be ready for anything and everything. But regardless of our differences, the love that we and that many of the Haitians have for our Lord and Savior, and our same committed devotion to bring those here and there to Christ will drive you to work…hard! Your plans will change many, many times, but do not let that discourage you. Embrace each new change within the culture and go with it! There were many times that I had one thing planned, and we did something completely different, whether that was planning a trip for the day, a lesson, an activity, etc. It made me realize even more to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide our paths from day to day.
Look at everything as a learning experience. I would be lying if I said that I was happy and joyful every moment of the day. There were times that I struggled with what was going on around me, but if I had not believed that every moment was a chance for God to teach me something, I would have burned out fast this summer. In everything, God taught me and showed me, and I cannot look back with any regrets on this summer.
Lastly, and most importantly, be ready to be LOVED by the children at Children’s Hope! As soon as you step off the tap tap for the very time onto the campus, the children are there to welcome you to their home. Their bright faces looking at everyone, each trying to decide who is going to be their buddy for the time being. And then they ask you what is your name…in English! Talk about being WOWed! Every time we went to the children’s home with a new team, all of the kids had been picked up or were talking to one person within five minutes. They know how to instantly steal your hearts. And that was one of the hardest lessons for me this summer. Prepare to have your heart broken when it is time to say goodbye. The children and I both knew that the day was coming when I would be saying goodbye. And it was the hardest goodbye I have ever experienced. But the memories of my little buddies Lovenson and Alexis, the devilish grin of Kenson and Casimir, the great smile of Myson, the tender hear of Geralda and Fedline, and all of their laughs will be something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I am so incredibly thankful to have spent my summer at Children’s Hope. I thank God everyday for the opportunities he gave me to teach me and to grow me. For those who look to go down, be expectant for God to do mighty things in you and through you in Jacmel, Haiti.
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
The journey will continue.