Sunday, September 14, 2014

It's Time for Time to Fly...

I just got off the phone with my dad, and we both talked about how it is the time of year for time to fly by.  With every moment filled with some activity, it's hard to notice the the hours going by (and before you know it an entire month!)  This weekend, I spent EIGHT hours grading essays, tests and written assignments alone.  Then an additional four hours preparing for the week.  It was productive, but didn't feel productive because I had to be on my bottom the entire time.

Last weekend was more thrilling.  Alisha, Merlande, and I went to visit Mme. Bob, and we played the Haitian card game Carwo (sp? - no clue!)  We had so much fun just laughing at each other!

And fun for Alan (in second grade) attempting to take a picture.

We then ate dinner at a new restaurant called New Generation, just some fun girl time.  We have moved our Wednesday night discipleship time to this new hot spot, thanks to the air conditioners!

They have American television!  I was able to watch a little baseball!  If my memory serves me correctly, I want to say it was Detroit vs the Yankees.

Well, the Patriots finally got  a "W" today, I was able to hold a baby during the entire church service, talked to my dad, had time to read for fun, and my air conditioner quit working (currently 95 in here!)  All in all, a good day.  Here's to praying for a new week.

Love in Him.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to Norm...

Life is back to normal now that school is in session! I am thankful to be back into routine.  High school is back to work and back to homework! This year I have 67 students from freshmen to seniors.  And on Wednesday morning when I saw their faces in their pressed uniforms, my heart filled with joy!

This Sunday, Sunday school was back in session.  This year I am co-teaching with my friend Alisha Dodd the fifth and sixth graders. We are first looking at and memorizing Colossians 3:17-25.  Here is a picture from today.

Today, after church, I went to a friend's house to meet her sweet baby she had in June. He is beautiful and calm and full of cuddles!

Yesterday (Saturday), I spent time with two sweet friends Elose and Merlande and some youth girls they are discipling. We spent the afternoon making Haitian donuts, and we had a devotion.  Great Creole practice, and I got a baking (rather frying) lesson.  Sorry, I forgot my camera. A group of missionaries also met at my favorite restaurant in Port-de-Paix, The Breeze Marina.  It was a fun time to just hang out and laugh.

All in all, I am thankful to be back to business as usual.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Divine Date

Well, there are quite a few things I am terrible at.  Writing blog posts is at the top of the list.  I have an internal debate about narcissism every time I want to write something.  But, here goes nothing.

This summer has been wonderful.  I am overwhelmed by all the wonderful people in my life.  I have traveled, celebrated my cousins graduation, and mourned the loss of life of four people.  It has been a summer full of "never a dull moment" moments.  Constantly running.  Constantly talking, this is difficult for an introvert.  The summer has also been full of intimacy with the Lord.  Closeness that is and was indescribable.

Then something happened the week following July 4th.  I don't know if it was busyness, or a lack of self-discipline in my quiet time, but old wounds resurfaced and a loneliness in midst of a full schedule enveloped me.  With days filled with working and striving to regain intimacy, I continually failed.

It all heightened this weekend.  Two close friends left town for a week, I planned a full weekend to see as many people as I could and a quick out-of-town trip to see family.  Everything I planned canceled.  And again, I felt like a failure.

Priscilla Shirer is in Lexington this weekend, I was offered a ticket earlier this week, but I had plans, a full schedule, I couldn't attend.

A friend made her Facebook status that she had an extra ticket if anyone wanted to attend.  My schedule was suddenly wide-open, and I could use sometime hearing God's Word.  Ticket was mine.

The ticket was mine from the beginning, the person who offered the ticket to me early in the week - this was that ticket.  A Divine Date.

A Divine Date it has been already.  This morning in my prayer time I laid down before the Lord all the pain and confusion I was experiencing.  Priscilla spoke truth of God's love over everything I prayed about this morning.

He speaks.  Who am I?  Why am I so foolish to question?

So thankful.
Thanks Elaine Barton and Donna Hancock, too!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

11 Things That Made Me Smile This Week...

1.  Watching my students work on homework and a taxi drives by; they pause to sing and dance with the song they love.
2.  Filling up a coke for a girl in my Bible study, and she says, “Thank you, friend.”
3.  Starting the Nehemiah study with my Bible study girls, and their excitement about “homework” and studying on their own.
4.  Starting the Nehemiah study and the rich discussion of having compassion for those around us afterward.
5. Being thankful for two wise women God is allowing me to learn from everyday.
6.   Letters from sweet friends.
7. Helping students with diagramming sentences on a Saturday morning.
8. Working out with friends, when the workout instructor is ridiculous!
9.  Friday night TV shows with sweet friends.
10. A teacher receives a Tim Tebow book and sends it to me to read first.

11. Group members from last week run into Home Free (love them!) in the airport, and tell them about Haiti and me!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Funds and "Cool" Missionaries

For someone who struggles with fundraising because I am simply living life as I would if I were in Lexington, just happen to be in Haiti (and especially since I have social issues and struggle allowing people to get to know me), it is difficult asking for your hard earned money to allow me to do what brings me joy. This blog post hit this dilemma on the spot.  

Fundraising and support is essential for missionaries, it is how they are able to do God's work He has called them to do.  But "missions" can become "cool", what is hot right now?  How can this mission work be sold to our church to make the members want to give?  And if you are not a "cool/hip" person, who prefers backstage work, your work may not be "cool enough" to increase funds.

Fundraising is the hardest, most awkward "job" as a missionary.  Teaching everyday is a gift; sitting on a taxi with one of the boys on the street talking about his family, school, and needs that day is a blessing; being home and someone unknowingly stops by because they are in need of prayer is a joy; having the weekly Bible study with high school girls and one of them says, "I feel like we are a family." melts the heart; teaching English to the community once a week and using that as an avenue to reach them with the gospel is a fun blessing; daily conversations with sweet Haitian friends about what God is teaching them, and encouraging them through everything they do for the their families is life giving.  This work is simple, it is daily life, and as Jamie put it, it's not "sexy".  (Cannot believe I just used that word.)

Jamie also said that if a missionary never feels struggles or defeated, there is a problem.  And that while, yes, monetary giving is essential for a missionary, emotional, prayerful, spiritual support is crucial.  Here in Haiti, I feel in a constant state of defeat, and for some reason I cannot stop working here.  It seems a bullet can appear from any direction, an upset student, your boss, your parents don't want you here, your parents are sick, the realization of the work and power of Voodoo in the lives of those you care about, or simply the feeling of loneliness or that your life is "on-hold" while in another country.  All of these, especially when combined (which is often), can become crippling  But the work, the interactions with Haitians, even if instant fruit is not shown, breathes life and purpose and Jesus in the day.  

So while, we missionaries need your financial support, we need your spiritual support more than anything.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Dear One...

I am overjoyed that Chnida is working at Sonlight this year; meaning I still get to see her everyday.  Her mother is working in our home this year, and I love the opportunity to truly her family.  The greatness that is Chnida has been overtaking me, so I thought I would share it.

Chnida, is incredibly quiet and sweet. She has a heart of gold, ready to serve, and to encourage anyone around her.  If you ask of her any task, she does not question it; she will simply complete the task without a second thought.

We are changing Sunday School this year.  We are bringing together the English class and the Creole class.  It has gone well so far, and with big numbers.  We are walking through "The Storybook Bible" with the kids, and it is a great story-version of the Bible centered around Jesus Christ.  Thankfully, we have this Bible in both English and Creole.  Bringing the classes together, we needed a translator.  Our first Sunday, I saw Chnida passing by about to go home, and I grabbed her and asked her if she would be willing to help us this one Sunday.  She followed me upstairs, and has been working with us every Sunday.  No one needed to ask her.  Asking her if it is okay for her to continue to do this with us, she said, "Of course!  I love it, I love the kids, and working with them.  I wasn't sure what I would do for Sunday School this year.  I am happy to be here and to serve."  Love her and her heart!  This is us at church this morning.

Here she is speaking in front of the children at Sunday School.

If you could, pray for her.  She is sweet and intelligent.  She has a desire to go to college in the States.  It did not work out this year, but we are working, praying, and hoping for next year.  Pray God will show her the school she needs to attend, and that He will provide the means.  She wants to be a nurse, and definitely has the ability to be equal parts loving, caring, and  intelligent to handle the medications.  God is good, and I cannot wait to see how He will work in her future!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Marley and Me, Friends, Blessed

Working on school stuff today, I watched Marley and Me.  Love this movie; love the story it tells of a family during different stages in life.  The couple reminds me of my dear friends Ryan and Lauren.  They have been married for four years, and are living the life of young professionals in Connecticut.  They have a golden doodle named Jackson, full of energy and fun!  I love spending time with them, laughing, and consider their dog Jackson my own nephew-dog.  They remind me greatly of the John and Jenny Grogan characters in the movie: fun, easy-going, light-hearted, and down to earth. 

On top of that, I spoke with one of my best friends yesterday, who is about to visit Haiti (not my city, hoping to travel to see her), and thoughts of times with her and husband filled my heart with joy.

Watching Marley and Me stirred thankful thoughts in my mind.  God has blessed me with so many wonderful friends; friends I consider family.  Yes, every girl has her girlfriends she can talk to about life and day-to-day issues.  But what I am extremely thankful for are my couple-friends.

God has blessed me with windows inside each of their lives.   I have been able to watch all of their relationships develop, danced at their weddings, watch them grow together as married couples, and some of them beginning parenthood.  Basically, I felt nostalgic missing many friends, game and movie nights with them, and how their company makes me a better person.  And not just couples my age, God has blessed me with numerous families I consider part of my own family at multiple ages.   All of whom, I have learned from about life, family, relationships and how to handle situations that arise.

Marley and Me also shows a loving family.  Which of course, makes me miss everyone in my family terribly.  I want to hang out with my parents, go to my grandparents’ house, and visit with my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  It makes me think of the times at grandma’s house when everyone is there; the house is full to the brim with people, laughter, food, and shotguns.

All in all, I am thankful for all of my family-friends, thankful for God blessing me so, to the point of being spoiled-rotten.