Monday, August 13, 2018

Day 7

The gents have been good sports about blogging up until now, but the text editor sits empty with no volunteers tonight so I conscripted myself :-)  Plus they’re doing some appointed tasks (writing a letter to themselves that I will send them later, after we get back home, at a time chosen by me), in addition to making journal entries in each of their teammate’s notebooks.  Only so much we can do tonight.

Today is intended as a restful day.  We worshipped at Rendezvous Christ, and then headed “up the mountain” to the observatory restaurant at the top of the mountain.  This trip give us a chance to see “how the other half lives” and to enjoy the cooler mountain air.  It also gave the team a chance to have a bird’s eye view of where we’ve been in Haiti and get some perspective on it.

The whole team was amazed how different everything looked at a distance.  It is easy to stay "at arms length" from other people's suffering.  This trip has taught us to do the opposite.  When all you can see is structures, and not people, and not just groups of people, but individual people, and not through binoculars but in person, face to face, you simply aren't even seeing the same thing.  Distance == impersonal.  Distance == observer.  Presence == participant.  And oh how these trips teach us to participate!

Some points of note from the sermon this morning:
  • Your obedience is a blessing to all
  • The world’s offers are sweet until you’re hooked, and then they decay into something foul
  • God’s offer is the best for now, and the ultimate for eternity
Those were good thoughts to chew on!

At the top of the mountain, I tried the shrimp quesadilla at the restaurant at the top of the hill—man those shrimp were good!  I also sat next to our driver, and got to know him better.  The Healing Haiti staff are so wonderful to us, and care for us so well!  It is always a joy to get to know them on a more personal level each time I am here.

Today is a restful day because.  It is the sabbath portion of our trip.  We have jobs, school or families to return to, and we don’t want to send folks home burned out.  

Normally on Sunday I am sad to leave Haiti and don’t want to think about it.  I normally don’t even enjoy hearing my teammates talk about what’s coming.  I’m not ready to leave.

I know all too well the hot tears I will shed on the flight home tomorrow.  I will avoid the in flight movies all day (no quick return to Americana).  I will mostly listen to my Departure Day playlist and some sermon podcasts chosen for the occasion.  I want to carry Haiti home with me in my heart so I spend as much of the flight time as possible cementing it there.  I want to be branded by these experiences and people, both Haitian and American.

But today I am not quite so sad to be leaving Haiti.  God has answered all my prayers for this week in Haiti, and He had mercy on me in many ways I did not even ask for.  God gave me a team with fathers that were willing to pitch in on the daily tasks: washing dishes, cleaning water bottles and the cooler, loading Culligan-style water bottles onto the truck, verifying that the pump works, packing snacks and electrolyte powder, nabbing wipes and hand sanitizer and the first aid kit, making sure the kids have ultrathon and sun tan lotion on each morning, and making sure nobody sits on the furniture at the end of the day until we have showered.  This was a huge help—immeasurably blessed by these men serving me.  God knows I’m far from perfect and now these men know that too.  They endured my foibles in good cheer, for which I’m so grateful.  God gave me a kind hearted group of boys.

God also gave me a team that served the people of Haiti well: the young an the old, the sick and the healthy, the able bodied and the disabled.  They also processed each day very well, young and old alike.

I’m willing to leave because of the team he gave me to lead while I was here—it was a blessed week.

I’m willing to leave because these Fathers & Sons served well while we were here—it was a week spent on mission.

I'm willing to leave less sad because of how glad God made me through this team.

I’m willing to leave because I’m eager to lead again.  It will be a long time before I can do this again—perhaps as late as 2020—but, God willing, I will get to face another Sunday in Haiti with another team grateful for the time He gave us together, how He directed our energies in the brief time we had to serve here together.

Thank you God for these fathers and sons and for this week.  You have blessed us beyond my wildest imagination.  I will miss these fathers and sons and the people of Haiti dearly!

Heavenly Father, Thank you that from your heavenly heights you do not remain at a distance--you participate in our lives.  Please continue to participate in the lives of these fathers and sons every day to come.  Use these days to draw us closer to you so that we might serve you better.  For Jesus sake, Amen.

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