I had an emotional night last night. A few of us last night were starting to feel I guess what people typically start to feel at this point in their mission: feelings of worry and/or anxiety about things at home; missing our children and families; a level of exhaustion -- physical, mentally, and emotional. Inside, I was a bit embarrased and had tried to hide it all day but just had to let out the loud tears last night on the rooftop. Randy assured the team that it is completely normal at this point in the trip to feel these things. He reminded us that we have been on the go, constant, non-stop, in intense worship and fellowship, and laboring and working since we landed. He also reminded us about the toil and energy it took in preparation, even the week leading up to our stay here. And it's true. Many people at home didn't know how often we were meeting and all of us gathering things up until the morning of our departure. So it was refreshing to let it out. It was refreshing to admit that some of us had expended a lot of our resources and the fear and uncertainty of the unknown when returning home started to frazzle me a bit. But our dear God, we must trust and rely on Him. And thank God for these people that I'm blessed to be on this journey with. "Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own." - Jeremiah 33:3.
Charlotte thanks for reminding us, it was a leap of faith to come on this trip. Many of us had to sacrifice to come, but our God is faithful. And our leap of faith pleases Him. He will not abandon us and is already making provision for us. And now, after much prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, I'm excited at what He has waiting for us when we get home. This morning, it was my turn to do the daily devotional and I read Matthew 5:13-16 - which reminds us that we are the salt of the earth, we are the light of the world that cannot be hidden. Never to dim our light, we are to be steadfast and radiate and shine before men. This will glorify God; this will please Him. And like many of us have shared, we know what it is like to dim our light, and be put under a basket when we should always remain on a lampstand, never to be hidden, or shamed, or embarrased, or silenced. We are to walk in boldness and in authority, as given us, through Jesus. This hits home for me in so many ways. My prayer is that I never allow anyone or anything cause me to think that I should dim my light. And like my fellow team members embrace each other, we are to be comfortable in our skin. And the more I love the Lord, the more I love myself, He created me in His image. We are called to abide in Him, not just visit with Him, right. And yes, here, free of distractions and noise, we have a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit where we can speak and hear Him anytime.
Today we went to "The Market" and it was definitely an experience. It is what I had in my head about Haiti. It is bright --- loud and crowded and the twenty something of us stuck close to our four interpreters through the market. We passed by horses and donkeys, and walked to the river, or where the river normally is. They have experienced somewhat of a drought and so it was dry, no water. Haitians shop in the market for their food items, but they sell a variety of things. I saw underwear, toiletries, hair extensions, etc. And then we see people with wheel barrels and then they have their donkey tied at the bottom of the hill where the river normally runs, where they can carry their items up into the mountains when some of them live. It was fun. It was exciting and entertaining. But we were definitely tired. And the highlight --- we got back to the Haiti Arise campus, took a nap, ate lunch, and took a mile walk to The Beach.
I don't have the kind of words you should use for an experience that we had today at the Grand Goave beach --- the Caribbean at its finest. We immediately got in the water, and we all said "Now, this is what we needed." The kids and all of us had a blast. Some of us snorkled and some of the boys, Haitian and the missionary families kids played in the water. We tried taking underwater pictures with Andrea's disposable camera; we will see how they turn out. I looked over, and one of the boys had my hat on that had floated off in the water. It was so cute. As we played and laughed and went pee (laughing) in the water, he came back and put it back on my head. But if you could just imagine --- it was the life. And then, when we went back to lay down on the sand, the Haitians brought us our own individually grilled LOBSTER. Are you reading what I am saying? Grilled LOBSTER on the CARIBBEAN BEACH. They served it with a spicy slaw on fried plaintains and butter and garlic poured over the lobster......and I think I will end it there.
I'm thankful that they gave us a day like today to refresh, renew, take it in, slow down, and meet with God. They said they would rather us meet with Him versus working ourselves to exhaustion. But we persevere and want to do good work here. But we can't let distraction or worry take away from the most important thing, and that is to make time; one on one personal time with Him. I certainly got that and I have a second wind. Let's go! (Shaunte-TFH)
"I will rise on eagle's wings. I will rise on eagle's wings. On eagle's wings." --- Hillsong