Last week at the grocery store I bought paper towels. When I got back to my apartment and took them out of the package, they had flowers printed on them and the words ‘Home Sweet Home’. The phrase struck me for a moment, and for the first time, it sunk in. I realized that this is my home. For the past 2 months, I have been moving in, painting walls, unplugging sinks, washing floors and working my way up this point where I can walk in my front door and.... relax. Believe it or not, I think i can say it’s arrived. I’m so thankful for this piece of independence, this space I can call my own, and for the way that the Lord has helped me adjust to this new way of life.
But this new ‘home’ is more than just my apartment, it’s life in Haiti....
It’s waking up in my bed to the sound of birds outside my window, the breath-taking view of mountains as soon as I step out my front door, riding on the back of an ATV in my church clothes through the dust and dirt of the mission road, the intense heat from the sun shining through the palm leaves... It’s walking to children’s church with an escort of 10 children clinging to my arms. It’s the hugs and kisses I receive every time I walk down to the orphanage... and above all, it’s believing that there is no better place in the world for me to be right now, than right here in this place. It’s nothing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, but it’s everything I’ve dreamed of and more.
On Sunday morning I got to tell two bible stories in children’s church, and it was such a blessing to share Jesus with these dear Haitian children. Telling the story of the lost sheep, from the bottom of my heart I prayed that these children would listen and believe the message I was telling. Jesus loves each of them so much that He would leave the flock to search for them. In being here I have feel like I’ve captured such a passion for living and loving people, based on the blessings I’ve been given from these dear people, and it is amazing. If I can give back half of what I have received since I’ve been here, it will be a miracle.
I think it’s kind of ironic after writing all of this to say that in about 3 weeks I’m coming home. Home to Canada for Christmas! Now keep in mind that just because Haiti is becoming like a home to me here doesn’t mean that I don’t think about Wainfleet or the people I love. I can hardly wait to get off the plane and see my family and friends and catch up on all that has unravelled since my departure in September. It will truly be a sweet reunion! And Wainfleet is home to me too, just in a different way. Wainfleet is my comfort, my joy, and my foundation, because it’s the place where I recieve such love and support and feel spurred on to experience what I am doing today. I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that I would not be thriving
here without your prayers and without the presence of the Lord.
I guess after putting my thoughts on ‘paper’ I can come to the conclusion that home is really never a permanent place where you physically reside. Home is the place where your heart belongs. And right now for me, Haiti is where God has placed me, and every day, the more I open up my heart to life here, the more I belong. It won’t be home forever. Like all of us, our callings change, and God leads us to new ‘homes’. But for now I thank God for leading me here... Leading me home.
On that note, yesterday Rachel’s kittens said goodbye to their mother, and I moved Hanna (named after the 3rd hurricane which hit Haiti in September), downstairs into my apartment. She meowed through the whole night, and all day she has been hiding under my couch. Just this evening she crept out and ate a bit of her food, and now she is resting peacefully on my cushy chair. It’s going to take some time (and a lot of patience on my end), but eventually this place will be home to Hannah too. Beginnings are never easy, but they’re worth it. Welcome home.