Packing for the Unknown — What’s It Like?

Well, it’s down to the nitty-gritty.  Only four more days until departure time!  The suitcase is laying out on my bedroom floor waiting to be packed.  And, as I looked at it this morning before leaving for work, my heart skipped a few beats — some beats were for happiness and joy, other beats were a bit of “I’m going to miss my kids and my daily phone call from my little granddaughter, Sophie”, and other skipped beats were a bit of true-blue, honest-to-goodness anxiety over facing the unknown.

Some of you might say, “Well, I thought you went there last year?  You’re no longer a novice to Haiti or to the routine of living a week of your life in a foreign mission field.”  True and true, but not-so-true.  This ole granny is a bit afraid, if I’m being totally honest.  I’m afraid of how the flight will be.  Will we all enter and leave the country safely?  I’m a bit fearful of the mosquitoes and stomach bugs that attacked so many on our trip last year.  I’m afraid of not knowing what each day will bring.  There’s no such thing as a set agenda when in Haiti.  Time is not important to the Haitians. Okay, I’m afraid of the mice, lizards, and rats, too. 

“So, if you’re that afraid, then why are you going?” some might ask.  The children.  I’m going because of the children.  I’m going because it will be such a joy to provide a ray of hope to someone in despair.  I’m going because my heart is happy when I can give of myself.  I’m going because I want to share God, hope, and love with all people, including those who are our neighbors in Haiti.  I’m going because it will be so good to give families in dire need of food some beans and rice to help sustain them.  I’m going because I don’t want to miss the opportunity of seeing some of my own children serving others. I don’t think a parent can experience any greater joy!  I’m going because it is my responsibility to joyfully help care for those who are in need of physical, spiritual, and emotional nourishment. 

And, I thank YOU who gave so generously to see to it that I can go! 

Please stroll through memory lane in Haiti with me.  And, pray that all of my anxious fears will subside so that I can be all that I should be, and all that I want to be while living among these beautiful children of God!

The mountains declare the handiwork of God!  You can feel His presence, and see His beautiful creation! Even in what we would call a desperate situation, the power of God lives and dwells among the people!

This will be “my home” for the next week.  I will have the awesome privilege of living with the children of the Cap-Haitian Children’s Home!  What a joy and blessing! 

And, I will get lots and lots of smiles and hugs.  There will be countless, humbling “God moments” where I will be reminded of those things that are truly important and meaningful in this earthly life. 

Sun-bleached clothes — and they smell so fresh and clean!  This reminds me so much of my days as a kid growing up on the farm! 

Bible story sharing time is always a highlight with the kids!  They are so eager to listen and learn!!!

Sunday worship is hours and hours long — in the sweltering heat, swatting at flies.  And most people, old and young, have walked miles to get to their house of worship.  They don’t have clocks, nor do their stomachs tell them it’s time for lunch as most will not have any lunch or any dinner.  Worship is far more important to them than food.  Oh, that my heart can grow to know God so deeply and intimately!

Everywhere we visited, we were offered gifts of love.  In fact, they “insisted” that we take a gift and they would not take any money in return.  These gifts were made to say, “We love you, and thank you for coming to see us.  Thank you for the prayers.  Thank you for the love you have shared.”  I brought a necklace home with me and I wear it almost every day to remind me of this lesson of love — “It is more blessed to give than receive.”  Thank you my dear Haitian friends for teaching me so much!

 I cannot wait to make home visits!  Precious is the love of the Haitians as they invite us into their “room”, and ask for only one thing:  prayers.  To hold hands and pray together — let’s just say that you must experience it in order to understand it.  God lives within us and His love flows from heart-to-heart.

The sky, the water, the mountains — such beauty!  God never leaves us with only despair.  He provides hope in the midst of our brokenness.  Always.  God is love.  God is hope.  God is present! 

To the world, I may be only one, but to a child, I may be his world.  And, this is why I go.  And, this is why I thank you from the very depths of my heart for sending me.

Please pray for our team.  Pray that God will lead us to those who need to see, hear, and feel His love.  Pray that we will remain strong and healthy so that we can serve all the days we are in Haiti.  Pray that above all else, we will not just leave physical food and some daily relief from the burdens of life, but that we will plant seeds of hope eternal!

Love,
Clara 

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