In order to move forward in our story, I have to first go back.
I had received a phone call from my guy sometime in October. The conversation was literally twelve words long: PK wants me to go to Haiti.
My response: We'll talk about it later.
Later came much later, as I avoided the conversation knowing that it would mean a week or more without my guy, alone at home, wiping noses and working through Kindergarten level math. I knew it would mean lonesome and tiresome bedtimes. I knew it mean juggling the needs of myself and my children.
But in January of this year, I knew I couldn't avoid the conversation for much longer.
"Are you still planning on going to Haiti?"
And with that, the green light was given. At first, I snarled at this opportunity for my guy to go and do work that was far beyond me or him or even our family. I huffed at the impending absence that would be all encompassing while he was away.
But as I watched him prepare for his journey, as I breathed in the excitement he radiated, I slowly begin to fall into step with this plan that was not ours, but something greater.
And so, when he came home that Thursday with the words, "They let me go," the idea of NOT letting him go never occurred to me.
Two days after he was given his proverbial 'pink slip', two souls fully funded his trip.
At that point, I knew. It wasn't up to us.
There was still fear and sadness knowing that he would be gone, knowing that anything could happen. Added to that, was the strain we felt knowing our home was going on the market and needed to be made ready to sell. But there was also hope, happiness, and excitement as he made this journey.
I wasn't there. I can speak to the level of humility, gratitude and drive that he brought back with him. I can speak to the love I saw in his eyes for the souls that he encountered. I can speak to immense faithfulness he carried home with him. But I can't convey his experience for him. So I won't...instead I will let him.
(Taken from the Christ United Methodist Church's April Newsletter)
My Trip, God's Plan.
It is a funny thing in life when you set out to do something you have on your mind, and then God has a completely different plan for you.
On our trip to Haiti, I was geared up and ready for this excitement we had heard so much about at the Joseph School. I was ready to hit the ground running and be a part of this monumental endeavor that Christ Church had talked about. I knew that we would be staying at an orphanage and doing vacation Bible school for a few local churches/schools, but I wanted to get to the building site. God, however, would put something else in my heart the minute I stepped off the bus.
When we arrived at Global Vision Citadelle Mission I immediately had little paws all over me touching my tattoos and putting their fingers through my ears. One little boy named Edson clung onto my arm and walked me over to the building we would be staying in. That night, I came out of the building and saw who I thought was the same boy, walked over to him, and then found out he was his twin. That was when I met Wilson, Edson's brother.
Our third afternoon arriving back at GVCM I was handed a little package made by Edson that contained a letter and some bracelets for my daughters and wife. I was blown away.
I was so ready to do some building that I didn't pay much attention to what was going on at the orphanage.
That night I prayed for answers as to what I could do to help these two boys. I talked with my wife and we decided to sponsor both Wilson and Edson. This was a way that I could keep in contact with them when I'm not visiting Haiti.
My trip taught me that touch can heal and mend. Far too often, we take the chance to hug our loved ones for granted, as a routine thing to do. But in Haiti, as I found out, there is no one to hold these kids, to comfort them when they are hurt or sad, or for them to lean on when the world presses down on them. I got to be that for these two boys. I got to be a comforting soul to show two little boys love they never had felt before. This was God's plan for me and this is why I was supposed to go to Haiti.
I'm very thankful to my team members for all their hard work and eagerness to work together for the kingdom. I am also very thankful for all of our sponsors, financial and spiritual. For every day, every rock and every child, you were with us. Thank you.
* * * *
Even though I wasn't by his side during this work, one thing is for certain: we both brought something back when he arrived home from Haiti. We carried with us the lessons. We embraced one another and our girls knowing that, as I mentioned in my previous post, we were so rich. The call for us to simplify our lives came full circle when my guy got off the plane.
I remember looking at him one night shortly following his trip after our girls had been laid down to sleep and we were alone in the quiet of what felt like no longer was 'our house' and whispered, "I know how hard it is to come down from the mountain; to have had such incredible spiritual experiences and have to face the real world again. I'm so sorry that you are being pushed off the cliff now that you are home."
He just looked at me with those big blue eyes and smiled. "It's okay," he whispered back.
And so, hand in hand, we'll dive off that cliff...with grace.