Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fields of green.

*Disclaimer: I had full intentions of posting a multitude of pictures to accompany these paragraphs, but lately we've been experiencing some very weak internet connections. Stay tuned for photos coming as soon as our signal gets a little stronger. Thanks for your patience, now onto the blog....

Every morning when I sit up in bed, my eyes gaze through the open window and beyond into my vast and wild backyard.
The view consists of thick rolling hills that spill over and over under a sky so perfectly blue, that it could only be created by a God who is perfectly good. In recent weeks, the hue of the land has gradually merged from the dry sandy brown desert of dry season, into the lush island green as the rain returns to our evenings. The mountains daily become ever radiant with life.

And with each ever-greener day, the life around this mission continues to grow and merge and thrive. Here's a few updates in my 'Haitian fields'...

As we embark on the final 2 months of school, I have told my boys that our theme is a sprint finish. Our days remain full to the brim as we turn page after page of curriculum, and I am so proud of their work. In addition to the fundamentals, we've been learning a lot of Creole vocabulary in our 'freebie Friday' mornings. It's been so fun to bring the dynamic of a new language into the classroom, especially when we can apply it as soon as we step outside. I'm excited for all the adventures and discoveries that our final 8 weeks of school will hold!

After school, I have absolutely loved traveling down to 3cords and building stronger relationships with our 9 beautiful ladies, as well as our newest addition, Mary Denise. She just started last week, and is already recognized for her strong sewing skills. We sat together on Thursday afternoon braiding headbands, and she told me about her 3 daughters who live with her in Port-au-Prince. After losing one of her legs in a car crash a year before the earthquake, she never imagined to be in a workplace such as 3cords. Later on in the day, she accompanied one of the other ladies to the washroom, and upon her return she giggled her way across the workspaces of the other women retelling a funny experience she had just witnessed outside. It was such a blessing for me to watch her joy spill over onto the other women, and the way that they are already bonding so well. Continue to pray for 3cords and the beautiful ladies and their families.

This past weekend, I stopped by the mountain family homes delighted to see their new beds neatly made up and  arranged in their homes. During my time home at Christmas, I was given several gifts of money to put towards the mountain families (similar to the uniform donation). Once the homes were built, it became apparent that they had no furniture for their homes, and beds were the most pressing need. As the rains come more consistently in these days, it brings such peace to my heart knowing that the families are safe and dry in their homes - now with comfortable beds to sleep on (and jump on) :) For those of you who gave (you know who you are)... Thank you!

Last but not least, my buddy Pierre continues to amaze and bring such joy to those who get the privilege of interacting with him. Last night I took him for a walk down the hill and I began singing 'Jesus loves me' to the rhythm of my steps down the path. All the while, his head rested on my shoulder as he listened along. Much to my surprise and thrill, I had just barely finished the little jingle, and in his signature baby talk he sang 'yes, Jesus loves meeeee!'. I always reward him with kisses - as you can probably imagine, he got a bunch after that!

Two months remain before a Canadian summer... Making the most of every opportunity in these beautiful fields of green.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Creature feature...

April showers bring May flowers... Or in a boy's world, creepy crawlers.
Almost everyday this week, I've met another creature that Noah and Caleb have adopted into their care. Along with the goats, horses, and chickens (which are producing farm fresh eggs daily - score!), there's been some interesting additions.

Yesterday at recess the gardener handed Noah 2 baby birds, which have now made their home in a previous tarantula cage (thank goodness those haven't come out of the cement cracks - yet). The other 'holding tank' consists of snakes, lizards and other various insects. Sophie stands guard of the birds, but they have more of a Sylvester and Tweety kind of relationship.

Tonight after dinner, I heard some boyish commotion coming from the Mazur's porch. When Caleb, Noah and Beau saw my curiosity, it didn't take long for them to envelope their 'audience' of one. I stood aback, wondering what kind of show I was about to witness, especially considering that they had a medium-sized garter snake in their hands. The boys, all smiles and bright eyes, began to encourage Caleb who then proceeded to drop the snake down his shirt. 
The disgusted reaction on my face is exactly what they were hoping for, but nothing prepared me for what came next... Beau took the snake into his fingers, while Noah urged Caleb for his next move. And in a split second, I saw that same snake drop down into Caleb's shorts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Little froggie goodness.

Pierre is a miracle baby through and through. Not a moment goes by when I am with him that I cease to be amazed at his joyful and beautiful life.
His baby talk, his vivacious giggle, his wide eyes, his little limbs swinging to and fro. It's a blessing to watch him grow and advance forward in his quality of life during visits that are never frequent enough for my liking.

This afternoon on the way up the hill, I poked my head into the nursery and there he was, arms lifted high in his crib, bursting with eagerness to enter into the life happening around him. Not long after I brought him into my arms, Bernadine, one of the Hope House girls who was socializing with some of the toddlers came over to us. She quickly engaged with Pierre, and then asked to take him so that she could show me something.

Within seconds, she took his little body and propped him up on a nearby mattress. I watched curiously as his legs were folded under him and his two little hands were set strategically in front. After some stabilizing, Bernadine released her grip and there he perched like a little frog on a lily pad.

By this time a small audience had gathered and with the sight of Pierre sitting independently we let out a giant cheer. The cameras started flashing, and Pierre broke out his famous grin.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Open hands.

I've been following along with this blog.
It's a story of a couple who is adopting a baby with some very special needs. There is something really compelling about this journey that their on, and threaded through each and every post of heartbreak and celebration there is a theme.

It's a story about Him, not us.

I find it really beautiful to read about Raj, Jessica and baby Adam, because to me they are a living example of openly receiving and giving back to God. The rejoicings. The laments. The testimonies. Even the questions. They are all woven into a sweet tapestry that spells out His grace.
Looking back on some of the writings I've posted in the past couple of weeks, I see the Lord working in my heart in this a lot. A humbling and challenging sort of work, all revolving around the idea of a story. Because within them we can either stand with open hands or tighten our grip.

And so it comes back around. Time to look back on my personal story. A turn of the head and a glimpse over the shoulder. Recounting each departure and each arrival to this island, each strand of students, the making of a house into a home, and the roommates and neighbours who have become family. All those now and then who are sharing in the journey.

It is truly and only a story that could be written by a Great Author. A story that continually draws me to my knees in gratitude and humility as my eyes return to the path ahead. What doors may open or close, what new opportunities or goodbyes await, what purposes or places I may be led to. These are all of the questions that I am beginning to wade through.

I covet your prayers today, tomorrow and in the coming weeks as I earnestly seek and wait upon the Lord to reveal what steps to take in the year ahead. I want to remain confident that He will respond 'as surely as the coming of rains in early spring' (Hosea 6:3).

But more than just an answer. More than just drawing me to His sweet spot, it's my prayer that I would keep my hands open. That I would continually be surrendered to taking and giving in these days, abandoned to only His perfect way.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, 
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. 
~ Psalm 19:14

Friday, April 6, 2012


the cross is God exhibiting His nature. it is the gate through which any and every individual can enter into oneness with God. but it is not a gate we pass right through; it is one where we abide in the life that is found there. 
~ oswald chambers (my utmost for His highest)

The thought of 'abiding' struck me in a new way as I read it in the context of this morning's passage. Often times, I see the cross as a reference point. A moment to look back on and remember. Remember the sacrifice, and remember the victory. A glance back on my own faith journey. The day as a little girl when I accepted Christ's eternal gift for the first time. The defining moments that my life has been marked by way back when...

And yet Oswald's symbolism awakens my spirit to a new way. To not just enter and exit the gate. To not just mark milestones on the journey. To abide. To be constantly living in that sweet spot of grace. To be aware of our vicious cycle of brokenness and sin, and ever in awe of His loving rescue of redemption.

Today, we stop to remember His ultimate sacrifice. The reason He came.
But tomorrow, and next week, and in 6 months from now, I want to hold the same sensitivity and gratitude as I do today.
May we abide until we see Him face to face.

we all share in Christ if we keep till the end the sure faith we had in the beginning. 
~ hebrews 3:14

Monday, April 2, 2012


I'm sitting at my gate in the Fort Lauderdale airport, looking out into the flat land and grey highways and rising airplanes over green palms.

Leaving is always bittersweet. No matter how many times our car merges into the departures lane of the airport entrance, there's always a twist in my stomach.
And today is no different, especially after such a wonderful week with mom and dad. Rainbow-coloured clothing racks at Target. Ice cream after dark. And smooth, wide roads in this shiny pickup. It's hard to let it all go.

To my left there is a girl about my age on the telephone. She's speaking in Creole to her family in Haiti. Today she's going back to her roots. Maybe she's been here to work or for vacation or to see friends, but now she's returning to her home.

And somehow, so am I. It may not be my forever home, but for right now, this is where I am called to be. This is where my heart belongs. This is where I find more fulfillment and joy than I ever imagined I could. And so, with kleenexes in my pocket, I wait for the plane to take me back. With confidence in my heart, I follow the beckoning whisper of the Lord.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. ~ Psalm 27:13-14