It’s hard to believe that one year ago Sharron, Quinn and I loaded our 21 suitcases aboard an America Airlines plane and headed to Haiti.
We had been many times before but this time was definitely different…full of emotion. What would it be like to actually live in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world?
What will you do there? What will you eat? What do you do if you get sick, etc… were the questions people had asked. We graciously tried to answer these questions but honestly we didn’t really know. So much of this last year has been learning how to live in Haiti; how to fit in, as much as we can with our white faces in a sea of ebony.
Language has taken a large part of our time, and will continue to do so but we are beginning to finally feel we can function in conversation as long as it’s not too technical or filled with complicated subject matter. It’s amazing how language is connected to culture; you can’t separate the two. As we learn how sentences are structured it helps reveal some of the thinking of the people who make up this wonderfully complicated culture. The Haitian view of time, life, death, spirituality, friendships, and their place in the world is quite different than our western way of thinking. It is truly fascinating and frustrating all in the same moment.
It has also been incredibly interesting to experience firsthand how God’s word speaks into every culture and breaths truth and life into all cultural understandings. We have been blessed to view our own culture differently through the lens of the Haitian culture, understanding we are all broken people. Culture is sometimes a way people hide their collective brokenness and often God calls us as Christ followers to live counter-cultural lives.
All these things plus the responsibility of discovering the thing that makes our heart sing…our passion, our sweet spot, well… it makes my head hurt at times. To be honest I hate not knowing all the details before I do something, it’s just the way I tic. I like to gather information and move forward only after gaining as much knowledge as possible but God doesn’t work that way. He is about trust and He has been teaching us to trust. Trust Me for clarity when the time is right God says. Clarity is a word we use often as a team. We need it amongst us humans because we are not all knowing as He is. We fall short when we communicate, we need to have others check our motives and speak into our ideas. Not God…His timing is perfect… never too soon, never too late. He tells Abram ‘’go’’ and he doesn’t give details but fills them in as Abraham walked the path of obedience. Looking for clarity without trust is mistrust…so we trust and as we do that God is providing clarity as to how we mesh our hearts with His passion, our family with His calling.
We are quite excited as God is beginning to bring clarity in areas of our ministry; agriculture, teacher training, job training and malnutrition prevention. All this is a means to an end for discipleship opportunities with Haitian leaders. For now, we are trusting Him to show us the right paths to successes that glorify Him and that He will use our failures to refine us, training us to trust even more.