It's been an interesting six weeks for me here in Canada while Marc is back in Haiti doping the daily ministry of Haiti ARISE with the lovely people there. I have four of my own lovely little people to minister to, but some days it seems so thankless and tiring. I have enjoyed having some time just being a stay at home mom and living a North American life, which is one we don't often get to enjoy amidst our travels and life in Haiti. But at the same time it just seems something is missing. The meaningful life changing moments that happen on a daily basis in a place like Haiti that has so many glaring needs that they cannot be missed. Here, I know there is need, but it is more hidden and takes much more seeking and diligence to find in what ways we can impact others' lives for Christ. And even then, I am unsure really of the impact and how far it really may stretch, since the results are not seen immediately or on the surface. Please don't get me wrong. I am not complaining, or not trying to sound like I am. I know that God has given our family this time so that our children know they are first priority in our lives after God and that our new baby can grow and develop well without the potential threats of tropical disease or pre-term labor on an airplane. I am really enjoying having the time with the kids. I think too God is using this time to teach me how to better relate to my North American friends and families better, to understand more the daily routine and monotany of life here as it can get.
I have to say, though, it is not for me long term. I love missions and the thrill of travel and knowing I can make a lasting change in someone's life that is in need, as well as allow God to constantly work on my character through the myriad of challenges that face us in third-world country living. Here in North America, my challenge is not allowing myself to get so comfortable that I forget I need to reach out, to be the salt and light and that it takes effort to be so. Also, there is the challenge to not succumb to the environment and culture of always wanting more material things. Wow, does it ever cost a lot to live here and stick to a reasonable budget! In Haiti there is very little to spend money frivolously on. Though a lot of staple items are about the same in cost, as well as some regular bills like power and gas, the lifestyle is much simpler and people are not weighed down with the burdens of debt or materialism as it is here. There is a greater focus on survival and relationship being the basis of that survival. This is really engrained in me that I recognize here too my desparate need for relationship and help sometimes. Caring for kids constantly can get overwhelming and if it weren't for some great friends and family in my life these past few months, I am not sure I would get through it here- Elisa, Claire, my great neighbors Daniel and Brandi, James and Michele... wonderful people.
It has been a great privilege though to be able to communicate regulary with Marc through Skype free of charge! We can discuss things, I can still help provide him input on ministry issues and when he feels he needs my support he can call me. It's not quite the same as being there doing the work together, side by side, but at least we can connect. I still spend a large part of my days doing Haiti ARISE work online, answering emails, keeping up on finances and working on reports and such. It's usually easier to do though at night, after the throng of the little rascals are tucked away in their beds, visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads- Ok, they probably don't know what sugarplums are, but the point is after they are in bed and I finally get some moments of quiet so I can think clearly.
The next teams are getting ready to head to Haiti, from Crossroads Church in Red Deer, and Cochrane Valley Community Church in Cochrane. There are some other individuals joining the team also from BC, Medicine Hat and California. They are all going solely to get the work on the technical school done. There's been lots of communicating between them all and our long term missionaries on the ground to get tools and supplies in order and lined up, ready for their arrival next week. I wish I was going along with them, even if it was only for the ten days. Geanne, our secretary and my dear friend, gets married next Saturday. I am sad that I am going to miss the big day, but am definitely feeling way to pregnant to fly. I can hardly sit to watch a whole movie without my sciatic nerve killing me, let alone be able to take 3 planes totally more than 9 hours to get down to Haiti, and then all over again to get back here. No thanks. Glad we decided I would stay home with the kids if just for that reason alone, even though I am longing for Haiti.
God has been a great strength to me, guiding me daily and teaching me how much I need him, no matter where I am. I'm grateful for where we are at right now, as a family and as a ministry. God is forever faithful!