Laughter is Like Milk… It Does A Body Good!

 

I think God must have known that I needed a good laugh today.

I began creating profiles for our children so that when people inquire to sponsor them they have photos and information on hand of each child. In Haiti there are three levels of Kindergarden, so many of the children who I were interviewing today are brand new to the whole school idea.

The first week when school started there was the long lesson of – What do you mean I can’t just pee wherever I’m standing? What’s a bathroom?

And of course – I miss my mom!

And just the complete distraction of uniforms and pencils and chalk and all the other exciting things that come along with going to school for the first time.

The questions that I was asking today were about family and eating and favorite subjects. Mostly fun questions, but some are needed for medical history, hygiene, needs, etc.

However, starting with the four-year old class probably wasn’t the best idea since kids are kids no matter where you are and just because they live in the worst poverty in the Western Hemisphere they are just as unaware of everything past playing with cars and singing.

I got some of the best answers today trying to figure out things about these children.

A few went something like this:

“What’s your Mom’s name?”

“Little Lady.”

“No, not her nickname. What is her real name?”

“That’s it. Her sur name is Little Lady.”

When asking what these K-1 students would like to be when they grow up, I got a range of answers, including:

“a bear.”

“A woman who answers phones for people.”

“All of them. I want to be everything there is.”

“rice.” (No joke. That was her answer.)

Another question, “Does your mom have a job?”

I got one boy who said, “Yes – My Dad works and then pays my Mom to cook me food.”

and one boy proudly proclaimed, “Yes she has a job!”

“Well what is her job?”

“Each morning she bathes me, gives me food and sends me off to school.”

Ahhhh, kids. They’ll getcha every time.

Enjoy your Thursday folks. Laugh a little.

Goodnight,

Hope

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The Girl In The Yellow Bus

When we crossed this morning there was a yellow school bus ahead of us. The closer we got the more clear we could make out that the windows were all busted out and there were strips of rebar over them. Inside the bus was hundred of Haitians being bussed back into their home country from different locations, some hours away. Something like a Dominican immigration.

The interior of the bus had been gutted out and the people inside were just shoved in together like sardines. It took me back to all the reading that I have done on the Holocaust. Replace the bus with a cattle cart and it looked like a scene from a book – transferring the caged humans. I was in literal disgust passing the back of the bus and I just happened to look into the back corner where a young girl – maybe 5 years old – stood pressed against the rebar. She wore a little flowery sundress and her tiny little hand was wrapped around the strips of iron. Our eyes locked and my disgust melted into heartbreak. She had no clue or control about what was going on, but she looked helpless and hopeless.

I’ve been thinking about her all day and tonight I am praying that her heart is wrapped in God’s peace and contentment. That somewhere along the way she was given food today and that someone, somewhere showed her compassion.

Goodnight from Ounaminthe,
Hope

My First Thoughts of 2012

I am laying in bed, skipped church to try and rest to kick the last of this cold (not like I get much out of a bunch of a language that I am still in the beginning phases of learning… my Creole is about as advanced as a three year-old) but am not getting much done.

Resting didn’t quite work out for me. So of course I resort to writing. I can’t even concentrate. Literally right now I’m typing all that comes to mind and all there is, is that my eyes feel like their gonna explode out of my head and the motorcycles outside are really loud. There are kids on the sidewalk outside the window yelling and joking and screaming “o my gosh” in Creole a bunch of times, and one singing the beginning of “O, Holy Night” in English. Clearly the only line she knows, prolly has no clue what she is saying but she is definitely enjoying herself. A different rendition each go-around.

Last night I rang in the New Year with a… bang? I was slightly bummed that I wasn’t at the big time party, didn’t have a cute outfit, didn’t need a cute outfit and had nothing to do. However, little did I know there was a staff Christmas party that Brenda went to so I stayed at the girls house while she was away. And well, that’s a party in itself.

Basically threw on some fabulous lip gloss (courtesy of Kathleen, thanks for the year supply) and spent the night watching the Justin Bieber movie (how these Haitian girls are so in love, I will never know), practicing our midnight 2012 celebration screams and recording music videos with Francia to Spice Girls songs.

I took some cough meds around 11:45 pm and rang the new year in drifting away on the couch. I would say it kind of sucked but it was the first night that I haven’t spent struggling and coughing to death in about a week so I’ll take it.

 

There is somewhere that I would have loved to have been, but I am certain that God has me here for a reason, whether it is to overcome my obsession with finding a great New Year’s Eve outfit or to teach me some great principles of my life and it’s true meaning, I have yet to find out.

2012 is gonna be a good year.

I can feel it.

Happy New Year everyone. What are your resolutions?

Mine – to find and record a great moment each day.

XOXO,

Hope

The Love Of Christ and Decisions and Such.

I am adjusting to life in Haiti, but still in that grace window where if I’m going to cop out it needs to be now. Trust me, I have asked myself a couple times if we wanna run away yet; and when I say we, I mean myself and my subconscious. We have had quite the discussions these past few weeks, to say the least.

I don’t question myself due to life in Haiti being hard, but because I left a life that I loved. In light of heartache and home ache and border crossings and super energized kids on Christmas vacation, I was having “a moment”. God always seems to always meet me at my “moments” just to reassure my heart, and prolly a little bit to give me a reason to not pout.

Nevertheless, this morning was a great discussion and reflection on Christs’ compelling love and how that love will in turn cause us to react as a result. I knew that the decision to come here was right, but that doesn’t mean that it would be easy. I wasn’t expecting easy, but I also wasn’t expecting such heartache. Such perfect timing of God meeting me at “my moment” to remind me why I made the decision in the first place.

The reflection is here.

Reminding Myself – Read and Repeat.

I don’t know how to share. It’s easy to impart and pour in – when the hurting is not coming from within.

But it is from within and I can’t quite comprehend why this is so hard and why my journey is never soft to the touch .

Why the questions that are being asked of me are so extreme and why the answers take so much. Why the sacrifice to grow, to be more, to expect great is always screaming and why I continue to desire to choose to turn the volume up.

During this time I don’t know how to share. I don’t know how to write. I don’t know how to poeticly form lines and rhymes and stories to flow from my cup. Within me feels pain and anguish and hurt. I feel selfish and deserting. I feel like the Ruth inside of me is betraying her loyalty.

But I know that it is right.

I know because I have prayed for this. I have prayed that this would come to pass. As soon as I saw a glimpse of it I ran so fast.

I refused, I regretted, because the roots that I have planted are so comforting, so warm, so true and so rewarding. I’m comfortable in my place. I know my lane. And have found what makes me shine.

So to my Father, to my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth. To the One who I’ve never had to question, assume or raise a second guess. My heart is content with you. You know me, my fears, and each very tiny insecurity and concern that is inside of me. You are the greatest love story ever told, the greatest story ever known, and I am privileged to play opposite you. To even be in the supporting cast. Even if it makes me the damsel in distress instead of the heroin that I wish I could be.

Just know that I am scared.

Tears on my pillow betray my strength.

The decision before me is one that confuses me, has my head and my heart spewing two different lines. It’s a gamble and a bet. Unknown, risky and without convenient, safe or reserved seating. However, it is not what awaits in Haiti that frightens me, but it is what I am leaving and what possibly will not be.

 Right now all that I am asking of you is that if I step away from the things that I know. If I walk away from the people who have aided my healing and provided a safe place for my pain, celebrated my growth and gave segway to “church” as more than a name. If I go through with this time away from those who have become family and forever important, that You will hold steady the distance between us and provide grace in the mean time. And in the latter of this adventure, what remains is strength and honor.

However, whatever the outcome, whatever the trial, wherever the journey – I will remain knowing that your plan is true and real. You are sovereign and still reigning over this earth that You created in the vast cosmos of eternity.

Even if the relationships that are deepest and closest to my heart find another bonding place, I will continue to meditate that You are forever my judge and I long to forever be your witness. My only prayer is that I am always found on a mission about my Father’s business.

Whatever that looks like, wherever that is. Beyond whoever understands, is confused or could care less. I pray that you keep my mind on this path, this very narrow bind that is embedded into my heart. The one that pulls me here and pushes me there.

 But I thank you before I even know it or feel it that on this journey you have lit, you have put in me peace and contentment in a way that as uncomfortable it is, as wrong as it feels, as selfish as I seem, it is a fit. It is a fit because I know the Word that you have put in me, I know the desires that my soul longs to be.

And on the other side I know the reward that you have waiting for me. On the other side of prayer, of obedience, of fear, of sacrifice. Just to see if I will.

 But I want you to know, that even if my steps seem shaky, inconsistent and quietly plotting our escape any minute, know that my heart is willing. I want all that You have for me, in the abundance and essence that You want to give me. I want Your word to be tatted all over me.

And before this one is even over, let me just say… if it isn’t how I want or not how I planned, if You’re ready for another move, another test or another trial – I will be waiting. Still willing. Knowing all that You are according to who You have always been.

Selah.