|Photo courtesy Makayla Schmick|
In October we came under Christian World Outreach with the goal of learning and building relationships. We've been able to do that with this allotted year. It was spot on. Their idea is that we'd spend about a year in-country for these purposes with an evaluation to follow. This has provided time to get a better grasp on Haiti, missions in Haiti, our family here, etc. Although we're learning things we weren't anticipating, we've still learned so much. Yet, it seems the more we learn the more we realize we don't know. We're glad to report that God has been with us and very kind.
A special, THANK YOU, to our supporters for your generous love extended to our family in response to God's call on your hearts. May He bless you with a better understanding of how valuable and enjoyable He really is!
The Lord provided many Broken Bow connections for our family through the recent purchase of Jason's family's second grocery store. One of those connections was Will and Julie White, Haiti missionaries with M.A.F. They happened to be going home on furlough about the time that we were coming. So, the Lord totally had it arranged for us to rent from them for the 9 months they were away. Our support wasn't quite ready which delayed our arrival date by 2 months making our first stay in Haiti a total of 7 months.
So here we sit 7 weeks until this first stretch is completed. The White family is anxious to get home in June after enjoying their time in the States. This means that we are looking at the next transition. That 7 months has gone by very quickly!
We haven't been silent about some of the things we've observed in Haiti. The large amount of foreigners in Haiti is astounding and maybe more appalling is how much foreign aid is recklessly distributed. It's stirred deep questions. We're still wrestling with things like what is missions, really, and what is ministry to the poor? How can we help and not hurt? Should we even be here? Is foreign aid ever a good idea and, if so, in what circumstances? How does the "Kingdom coming on earth" look today... in this situation? How is the Gospel lived out in these circumstances? These are questions that may never have a whole-clear-cut answer; making living in the middle of them a bit intense at times. They have lead us to really dig in and pray, holding out open hands and hearts, "Lord, is this where you want us? Please direct our steps. Check our heart motives. Make us see like you. Give us wisdom because we lack it."
Although, we don't have answers to many of the questions above we do have a settledness about returning to Haiti. It does seem like God is asking us to trust Him and return. So this is our pursuit as He provides. Some days we're more confident, seeing Him more clearly, than others. Honestly, we have our share of days where we get discouraged, the tension in the questions seem too heavy or we just flat out have bad attitudes. Still though, He brings us back to His quiet but sure, "You're not finished yet. Keep going." We're thankful that God is with us always! Always. Apart from Him we can do nothing. It's about Him and not about us...we seem to learn and relearn that important truth. Like. it. is. always relevant.
We are looking at houses to rent here in Haiti and maybe something will pan-out before we leave. However, the tricky thing with Haiti is that rent is usually paid in one big lump annual sum and rent in Haiti is never "reasonable". There are two economies here: the local Haitian economy and the Haitian expat economy with a huge gap in between. This may be something we figure out closer to our next arrival to Haiti.
Given that this mini-transition/furlough/evaluation time was set from the beginning, we'll be in Nebraska at the beginning of June for approximately 60 to 90 days. It will serve as a time to regroup, evaluate, spend time with family and friends (our supporters) and prepare the details needed to relaunch.
We plan to keep you posted through the blog and our newsletters as things unfold. Thanks for praying for us and for cheering us on as He leads. We are excited to see many of you and catch up on what God has been up to in your lives because He's always up to something good even in hard circumstances. Always good!