I’m sitting in the Port Au Prince Airport smiling through the tears as I ask myself where has the time gone? I can’t believe it’s already July 18th, time for me to head back to D-Town. It was a bittersweet goodbye this morning, because I have a lot to look forward to with two trips coming up and an incredible job starting in August, but I feel like I could stay in Haiti forever. I have never felt so alive and so close to the Lord as I do now. My prayer going forward is that I can come back to Dallas and hold on to the lessons that I learned while I was in Haiti.
As I said goodbye to the 11 girls at House of Hope, Jessi, Nadege, Arnold, Madame Sterling, Mathane, Max, Jean Goody and Matt…. I can’t help but feel like I have my own little family in Haiti and honestly can’t wait to go back and see them again! Up until today, my trip has been lots of laughing; the kind of laughing that brings tears to your eyes, pains in your stomach and other side effects that I will not go into. The belly laughs of the girls from House of Hope are something I don’t think I will ever forget…. just a God is good, life is good kind of laugh.
So many lessons and different experiences, here are some that I hope to keep with me forever:
· Pray often… everyday, every moment turn to the Lord for guidance. The Haitians praise the Lord for each day, give thanks for what they have and trust their everything to the Lord. In America it’s easy to get caught up in the “stuff” and keeping busy that we forget to put things into perspective!
· Laugh often… every day! Find joy in the little things of life!
· Relax…. It’s ok if we say we’ll leave at 8:00, but we don’t leave until 10:00, it’s ok to make a wrong turn, getting lost is part of the adventure, and it’s ok if things don’t go quite as plan, it’ll happen eventually!
As I sit in the air conditioning, here are some other thoughts going through my head:
· I will not miss spaghetti for breakfast, peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and rice and beans for dinner… but I will miss the people that I shared my meals with!
· I will not miss crawling up to the top bunk and getting under my mosquito net, but I will miss my amazing roommate who slept in the bunk underneath me.
· I will not miss waking up at the crack of dawn, but I will miss my Haitian alarm clock of roosters crowing, children singing and the hustle and bustle of the compound.
· I will not miss not being able to speak with many of the children, but I will miss communicating with them through laughing, dancing and playing.
· I will not miss the rocky, unpaved roads but I will miss all of the places these roads lead me to... House of Hope, Repatriote, Cite Soleil, and any of the adventures I went on.
· I will not miss the random power outages, but I will miss the sunsets, lightening, and star filled skies that are enjoyed best by the loss of lights and power.
· I will not miss the heat and the no AC, but I will miss the shock of the cold showers that nearly takes my breath away and the only thing I can do is laugh.
· I WILL NOT MISS ANYTHING ABOUT THE BATHROOM SITUATION!
So with that, my time in Haiti comes to an end, but the adventure is just getting started. Looking back at the moments I doubted if I should even go to Haiti, I can’t help but laugh and smile at the crazy things the Lord has in store for me… when I doubted this plan most, I rested in knowing that He put this on my heart and has planted in me a desire to continue helping, serving and working with the Haitians however He can use me! There are about a million people I need to thank right now… the Lord obviously for giving me this amazing opportunity to spend my time in Haiti, my amazing family for supporting me on this adventure, my friends who gave me the courage to go through with this, HPPC-my young adults group and all the leaders who went out of their way to get me here and for everyone who supported me prayerfully and financially. I am happy to report that with the money I raised, I will be able to give $500 of it to House of Hope and $500 of it to the 4 HOM schools.
I have included a few pictures of my last days in Haiti… hope you enjoy! America, see you in a few short hours!