My teaching is going very well with the van der Mark children and we are almost ahead of our school schedule which is great! I have felt so encouraged by the way that I have been able to handle all of these new 'teacher' responsibilities and still have time available to be involved in the other activities around the mission.
Good news from last week - I managed to get groceries and fill my fridge with wonderful food to enjoy, as well as get some paint for my white walls. Right now we are experiencing some daytime power issues which will hopefully be resolved soon so that I can paint with fans and music - 2 very crucial things when it comes to hard work in Haiti! But I am really excited about the colors I chose: One thing to remember that on a Caribbean island, everything is BRIGHT! So to my delight, I chose a fresh coral color for my bathroom and a beautiful sunshine yellow for my bedroom. The main kitchen and living area will be a neutral sand color so that I can afford to keep my wild colored furniture without risking a clash! :)
Another highlight to my weekend was spending Sunday afternoon with my new friends, Rachel and Patris. Rachel is a fellow Canadian who grew up in Niagara Falls and is going on her third year here in Haiti working as the Hope House coordinator - and all of the other responsibilities that title entails! Over the past few weeks she has had her hands very full in overseeing the care of 100-plus orphans who are staying at the mission while their home is repaired from the hurricane damage, one top of all her other duties!
But with everything slowly coming back to routine, she came over for a while after church and we had a great time of catching up and sharing about our past few weeks in at the mission. Afterwards, we went along with Patris (a friend of Rachel's from Haiti) to Yolty's, a Haitian restaurant complete with dirt floor and stray dogs. Despite the sketchy atmosphere, we had some awesome Haitian food and I got to know them both a lot better.
I just want to thank you for your prayers in this area. I've shared with many of you that I was really trusting that the Lord would bring along some friends that I could lean on in Haiti. I was amazed how just that morning I had read from Psalms 27 and the words that stuck with me were - I truly believe that I will live to see the Lord's goodness. Wait for the Lord. Be strong and brave and wait for the Lord.
I used these verses as I prayed on Sunday morning, specifically for good friends, and I was just in awe about how the Lord specifically answered my prayer. It just reminded me once again about all of the prayers that you have been lifting up for me over this past month, and I can truly testify the Lord's presence and goodness to me these days.
I can honestly say that without your prayers and the Lord's blessing, I would be drowning in a sea of fear, uncertainty and homesickness in Haiti. Yet I look at this place around me and I am filled with hope and courage to shine the light that I have been given. Even though I often have a heaviness in my heart, I feel compelled by the love of my Saviour to live each day to the fullest and spend it all. May it be all for His glory. Even in the hard times, even when my prayers don't seem to be answered (at least not in my timing), even when I don't understand, I know I can trust the One that has called me here, because I know I will live to see His goodness.
It is my hope that we would all be aware of His goodness in our lives, in the light and in darkness, and be reminded that His plan is always the best. All around me in this place there are majestic mountains and I look at them a lot. They are gigantic and glorious, but I just had a little epiphany - without the valley, there would be no mountain. If there was never pain, we would never truly know how beautiful joy and laughter is. And this is a promise I cling to most of all, that my God will never fail, He is with me just as much in the valley as He is on the mountain.