Back to the update: Sunday we went to a church about 40 minutes away (about 4 miles ish haha bad roads, no, awful roads). I could have run there faster. No wait I take that back, it’s way too hot here. I probably would’ve died of a heat stroke (major exaggeration lol). So we got to church and none of us actually knew we had arrived. The church was 4 poles in the ground with a roof made of tin. There were sheets hanging on the side to make the church more private. They said the church was less than a year old, and the people couldn’t have cared less about the building as long as they were meeting. What a humbling experience? Would I have been that thankful for a church in that kind of shape? I sure hope so and I think after this experience I would be, but before seeing that, I can’t say I would’ve loved the church. But it’s not about the building. It never should’ve been. Seeing that church reminded me of something I read in the book Radical by David Platt (yes, another book reference). In it, and I’m paraphrasing big time because it’s been a while since I’ve read it, David Platt tells a story of how someone (maybe himself I can’t remember) was reading a newspaper. The front cover story of the newspaper was about a church who gave $5000 to an organization overseas for a mission’s project. “Wow, that’s great,” you’re thinking. But then he read on and saw that next to that front page story was a smaller column on the side that said something like “New church spends 5 million on brand new building”. I can’t remember if it was the same church or not, regardless, we have churches in the States spending millions of dollars on their own churches and their own buildings, but we can only give a couple thousand to mission’s overseas or even in our own neighborhoods. There are churches that need money to be built or people that need money for food. Our money can be much better spent on others than on ourselves.
I can’t remember who told me this, but someone told me that their church (Lets name it church A) was praying about buying a new building so they could expand. They felt like God was telling them not yet, but that they needed to spend the money on a church to be built right here in Cap-Haitien, Haiti (This one will be Church B). Church A began the process of building a relationship with Church B Haiti so they could better know who they were supporting. I thought that was great and now they are in the process of building Church B here right now. They listened to God and God in the end came through for Church A as well. Not even a week after Church A decided to build Church B, God opened a new door for them. Another church in the States (Church C) was dwindling and it’s leadership kind of tanked so the members decided to join another church. They joined Church A. Church C found out that that Church A was looking to expand but decided to spend their money on building Church B in Haiti. So, Church C offered their old building (which was much bigger than Church A’s) to Church A so that they could expand in the States while expanding in Haiti as well. Church C gave their building, fully furnished, to Church A. What a testimony of why it is so important to listen to God?! He always knows what’s best and He will provide at the right time. (I hope you kept up with that haha it was confusing to type out.)
Anyways, back to the update. At church, the pastor told us that he had to take a family member to the hospital so he couldn’t stay and preach, but he wanted one of he guys on the team to preach so Jeff Taber got up to speak and I could literally feel the Holy Spirit speaking through him. It was incredible. He had all of maybe two minutes max to prepare to speak in front of the church (it was small, but being that unprepared can be nerve-wrecking). Jeff spoke about Moses and Joshua and how no matter where God led them and no matter how they responded, he always said, “Go, I will be with you.” God is always with us no matter where He sends us. He will guide us and lead us every step of the way and never abandon us. That was a great reminder to me being here alone. I sometimes feel like I’m alone and I wonder why I’m here. But, I’m not alone and I never have been alone. God is always with me. He told me to come here and He continues to guide me as long as I follow.
Church went for only 40 minutes so we had some time to kill before our reservations at a hotel/restaurant in town. We visited Children of the Promise, an orphanage. It was so neat to see the kids and walk around to see how things work, but we couldn’t hold the kids nor take any pictures because something about the kids aren’t really orphans, their parents just can’t take care of them so they are still the parents property and the parents only gave permission to the staff of Children of the Promise to touch their kids. Makes sense.
Sunday afternoon, we went to lunch then to the tourist market. That was so much fun! A little awkward. If you want to know the story, you can ask me, but it is not one that I want to post all over my blog that’s for sure. But, I did end up buying stuff at the market for my parents and nieces and nephew. (Rhea, I already got you stuff so don’t worry J).
Monday morning the nurses left (4 ladies whom I got to know very well). It was really sad, but I made plans with one of them to meet between flights for me on my way home. I have a lay over in her home town so she said she wants me to meet her family. I’m really looking forward to that. After they left, we did little odd jobs all around the compound for Jane. Then in the afternoon I got my hair braided by a Haitian. If I explain how it was done, you either wouldn’t get it or it would sound ugly, but I got pictures so I’ll post them on Facebook when I can or I’ll post them here on my blog.
Tuesday we toured three different places which I had already been to but it was neat to see them again. We went to the pottery place again, the casava bread place, and then to the bakery. I got to see them actually making bread this time so that was fun. In the afternoon, we all sat around and played games and talked since it was the last day for the team from Minnesota. I loved getting to know them! The girls in my house and I stayed up late talking and even some of the girls in the other houses came and chatted with us as well. I had a blast and it was so hard to say good-bye to them. I almost cried. It was tough saying good-bye. It always is.
Today, the team left. I know I’ve said this a billion times, but I felt like such a family with them. I didn’t have a hard time blending and I got to know them so well. I wish we lived closer so we could visit more often. We have to keep in touch over Facebook though. Thank you all for being so accepting of me even though you had no idea who I was before this trip. I feel like I’ve known you way longer than just ten days. I miss all of you already.
I haven’t done much today. I have 7 days left here. It’s going by so fast. I want to be home, but I feel like my heart is now in two places. Someone said it’s like you’re heart is an orange and you have different slices in different countries. They were right on with that statement.
Last thing, I promise. Sorry this is so long. Today, I was listening to my Ipod and writing when a song came on that flooded my mind with memories of when I was 8 years old or so. The song was Lucky by Britney Spears (I know it’s a lame song, but stay with me on this. I promise this will be worth reading). When I was a little girl, Rhea and I listened to that all the time. We loved the song. One day, my brothers friend and my brother came in to ask Rhea and I if we wanted to scrimmage them in basketball (they loved doing that since we would lose every time haha just kidding). My brother’s friend said the song was so dumb (understandably) but he said he hated it because Britney Spears was saying the girl was so lonely without a boyfriend and she needed to man up (well put lol, if you didn’t catch that, I’m being sarcastic). The song lyrics go like this, “She’s a lucky, she’s a star but she cry cry cries in her lonely heart thinkin’ if there’s nothin’ missin’ in my life then why do these tears come at night.” I remember arguing with him saying, “No she’s missing God, that’s why she’s so sad.” I was so innocent and I loved God so much then. I had the innocence of a child and passion for Christ. Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days. It encouraged me to be bolder about my faith though. I remember what it was like to be a child loving God and growing in my faith because nothing was holding me back. It was encouraging to me. I felt like God was reminding me of how I should be and I how I can be. I just needed a little reminder.
Okay that’s all. Please continue to pray that even though I have only 7 days left, that I would still be focused on doing God’s will here. I don’t want to look to the future but instead focus on God’s plans here. Thank you for your support and prayers. Love and miss you all! See you soon!