Friday, April 29, 2011

Starting again.

I’ve come to know April as ‘decision month’ over the past couple of years. A month to look backwards and forwards and search out where to put new or more roots down. I am excited to share with you all this evening that after much prayer, conversation and journalling, I will be returning to Haiti to teach the 2011-2010 school year!

After being in this boat of decision 3 times before, you would think it would get easier, but it hasn’t. In many ways, remaining in Haiti next year feels like starting again. Even though I know what my teaching job will look like, even though I am settled in my apartment, even though I have Haitian friends and am growing more comfortable with speaking Creole, there are a lot of changes that are unfolding.

For starters, I’ve lived with one of my best friends for the past 10 months here, and she will be returning back to the States in 3 weeks - I’m still in denial. Many other staff on our mission are changing location as well, which is undoubtedly going to create a different kind of community here on the staff side. New families and individuals are also coming on board which brings enthusiasm to positions and programs, but it’s still a new kind of groove to shift into.

When I think about losing my roommate, saying goodbye to the vanderMarks and their kids, or being faraway from some of the bottom-floor residents when they move away, I feel sad and alone. I wonder if it would be easier to leave along with them. I worry that all of these new dynamics, as good as they are, will drown me because of my fixation on what it ‘used to be’.

As I’ve been wrestling with these fears and uncertainties, I stumbled across Philippians 4:12-13 and as it always seems to be, the exact words I needed jumped right off the page.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

I am thankful for the reminder from Paul that the Lord’s strength never falters whether the storm clouds are thick or the sun is shining. He is in Haiti when the flowers are blooming and the fields are lush and green, just as much as He is here in the dry desert heat. He takes me up the mountain and back down again to draw me closer to who He is. And because He is here with me, drawing me closer, I can believe in His goodness, His constancy and His strength in me. I need not be afraid of what I can or cannot see.

I am so thankful for this reminder, and also for all of you who have been praying me through during this time. I have felt them so evidently, and I feel blessed beyond measure for the support that you have faithfully shown. I’m excited for all that’s to come in this new year and the possibilities that will unfold. Thank you Jesus and all of you who are behind me, spurring me on to start again.

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