It’s hard to believe that Wednesday I will have packed my bags and be flying out, concluding six months here in Haiti. How fast the time has flown! So often I’ve looked at the calendar and wished that I could just stop time and make the moments last a little longer. I know it is impossible to describe these six months in one post. I’ve fallen in love – with my wonderful students, with this country, these people, the children, the mission – Oh, how hard it will be to say goodbye!
Eight months ago, my mom and I were doing the Bible study Experiencing God. I felt that God was placing something on my heart that He wanted me to do. I felt a calling to teach, and I longed to teach in a place where God was at work – where a family truly needed someone so that they could focus on their ministry. At a time when I was searching and asking God for His will, we received a forward about the need for a home school teacher here. I am convinced that it was a direct answer to prayer. That same day we believed that we knew God’s will and contacted Licia. I could never have dreamed what it would be like here. The experiences I’ve had, lessons I’ve learned, and friends I’ve made will always be a part of who I am.
When I first got here, it was overwhelming to see all that Real Hope for Haiti does every day. It’s incredible. Over and over again I’ve seen love, sacrifice, and perseverance modeled in both Licia and Lori. They are so willing and quick to fill any need, so gracious with their time and energy. They give of themselves daily for the people they love – and they have so much love for the people. I am so inspired by their example.
Carmelo, Henley, and Trey are my first students; there is just something special about that. They have been so much fun to teach. They are so enthusiastic, cooperative, and smart. In these six months, not one of them has ever complained about an assignment – I consider that a miracle. I have LOVED getting to work with each of them, getting to know them, watching them learn and grow this semester. It has been such a privilege for me to get to be a part of their lives. I will miss them more than they know.
I could never have anticipated all the many ways God would bless my time here. It has been unbelievably exciting, and at times heartbreaking to live above the rescue and clinic. So many lives are saved, hungry mouths fed, children given educations, people given jobs, I can’t begin to name it all. Often when I go to sleep at night I know that there are already people in need lined up outside the gate waiting to get help in the clinic in the morning. Just downstairs there are always so many babies and children being nursed to health and cared for. To watch a lonely, starving child be given food and love until he recovers and learns how to smile again is an experience I can’t compare with anything else.
Another unexpected, enormous blessing was placed in my arms three months ago. Daphca was a seven month old baby girl abandoned in the clinic. When she came she was brought upstairs and I have been taking care of her since. In no time, I was completely in love – as I am today. My parents have decided to adopt her. How do you express the kind of joy of being told that the beautiful child you’ve been caring for is your sister? I’m in awe of the perfect timing and circumstances God planned to bring us together for life.
I am so thankful to Licia and Lori for being so open and accepting to me, showing and teaching me so much. You have given me so many fun memories to take with me. Thank you, Enoch and Licia, for being willing to open your home and school to me. I can not tell you how much the time I have spent teaching your wonderful boys has meant to me. Thank you Mr. Zack for giving me a place to live, and for the way you work to keep this going. I will miss you all so much and hope to be back someday. Real Hope for Haiti is so real and offers so much hope. I will always think of you and keep you in my prayers. Again – Thank you!