What time is it?
What's next on the list?
These are the typical disoriented questions crowding my mind as I wind down the last days of my summer 'furlough' and prepare to head back to my other home. It's been a jam-packed two months. Road trips, showers, weddings, long dinners, and shopping sprees. I am so grateful for these weeks with my 'people'. For the chance to make memories and re-fuel for this coming term. My plane lifts off first thing this coming Tuesday (Sept 15th) and my thoughts spin around possibility and anticipation to see the ones I've missed, along with doubt and dreading of goodbyes of the ones that I don't want to part with. I catch myself on the verge of tears while at the same time spilling over with joy. It's a familiar feeling to my departure last year. However this time around, the scenario is a lot different.
First of all, I know what to pack for and I know where in the world I am going. I know that Keens are more important than shiny church shoes, and that hair elastics and bobby pins are a better choice than dehumidifiers and defrizzers.
I also have 'family' waiting for me to get back, that I didn't have last year. The excitement is beyond what I can express to see all of the kids, near and far, that I was able to bond during my past time in Haiti. Even the thought of seeing my little Jun or Widler or Gina is all I need to switch myself into countdown mode for landing on Haitian soil. There are so many things that I can't wait to be a part of again - to go back to church and see all of my friends, sing along with Claudel to those catchy Haitian worship songs, and then of course head to Gwopapapou for some mouthwatering rice and beans!
Indeed, there is so much drawing me back to my Haitian home. I feel pulled and ready to go.
And yet there is also some hesitation about leaving again. Goodbyes have never been easy for me, and I feel sad when I think about the things I have to miss and the sacrifices I need to commit to when I leave. Going back to Haiti is going to be wonderful, but there will surely be great challenges in store as school begins. Sometimes I catch myself and realize the magnitude of this teaching commitment and just panic. I feel inadequate and alone. What was I thinking agreeing to teach 9 kids!? Am I out of my mind? Probably. But the reminder of Jesus using us most in our weakness is the assurance I need to press forward, even when I don't have all of the answers. As I've repeated over the our past school year, there is no way that I can gain any credit or glory from what comes out of this year of learning. Once again I am reminded that the only way my students and I are going to succeed is through the Lord's provision and strength. That prompts me to simply shuffle back over to the passenger's seat. A place where I don't get to control how we get there or what speed we take, but confidence in the Lord's leading that we will surely make the journey.
Thank you for your prayers this coming week as I venture back to my other home. As I settle back into Haiti life and organize my classroom. That my students would be receptive and I would find creative ways to teach them not only the curriculum, but guide them in their spiritual lives and point them to the Greatest Teacher they will ever know.
Pray also for my relationships. My friendships with the staff on the mission, the people of the church, and the children and their families in the villages. That I may be a light and testament of God's love and grace.
Be sure to check out Laurens and Cheryl's blog to see how the twins progress is coming along and also the Rumford family as they adjust to their new life beginning at the mission this week.
My bags are almost packed. My flight is set to go. Just a few more days until the real adventure begins. We give you all the glory. I'll be sure to post a message again soon, but next time my words will be written from Haiti! :)