Yesterday, it started out with us getting the house ready for our local TCK meeting. TCK is short for Third Culture Kids. We were happy to host an evening in support of our fellow missionary families. The goal is to eat together, fellowship (which you have to be so intentional to do here), sing together and discuss different components of fitting into a third culture category.
It was a good night. The nachos were delicious along with a house full of happy families. As I finished cleaning up in the kitchen my heart was lifted up when they sang, "There is no one else for me, none but Jesus crucified to set me free, now I live to bring Him praise...In the chaos, in confusion I know You're sovereign still, in the moment of my weakness, You give me grace to do Your will, when You call I won't delay, this my song through all my days....And all my delight is in you, Lord."
I was very glad that Zac and Hans (our Haitian neighbors in our yard), although they aren't officially TCK-kids, were able to join our group. Their situation is unique and they've grown up with a shaping American sub-culture. We've spent more time with them than anybody this first 7 months. We are so thankful for them and proud of the way their parents are raising them. It has been a serious blessing to get to know this family. God has taught us a lot as we've interacted with them and it hasn't always been easy. In three weeks we'll soon say, "Good-bye." That's what the topic of discussion was about. Saying Good-bye and doing it well in a God-centered way. Zac and Hans have seen many missionaries come and go. Soon their neighborhood will change hands again as good friends leave and new people come. We want them to not resist change and the sad feelings that come with good-byes but to trust God and love others even still. We also want to love them well in the next 3 weeks. It was a good reminder. We will miss them more than anything else in Haiti.
This morning we got going early. Some friends from Nebraska were visiting with another organization and they made time to connect with us. We were happy to make the trek and hug their necks. Seeing people from our homeland is always happy. They recently lost their adult son unexpectedly. Being in Haiti and hearing about how our community is walking in His grace with their family has been a great delight to us. Many days M and E remind us to pray for their son's family and particularly his four young kids. We used to teach them in Sunday school and now make it our joy to pray the Psalms for them. "Lord, uphold them with Your righteous right hand. Be their Shelter, their Hope and their Song in the middle of deep loss. Make Your Word their delight and protect them from the enemy's plans."
We got through PAP, down the mountain and almost to Rue 1 (the highway) when the road turned into a river from all the recent rain. Drainage down the mountain is a serious issue. Any debris can clog up the little drainage that exists and turn roads into rivers. I admire Haitians that still carry on with life; wading through it with smiles, pushing wheel-borrows full of fruit, taking the time to look nice even though they'll have to find ways to skip through the ponds to get where they're going. Our 4x4 carried us through nicely and it was adventuresome only to find that the road was blocked off with debris. So we turned around in the
However, I drank 40 oz of water and a cup of coffee before we left the house (horrible idea!). We'd been on the road for an hour now with another to go. There are no public restrooms in Haiti. Skirts are pretty and practical...that's the way Haitian women take care of business in such matters! Well, little Missy had to pee. What to do? Every jostle, bump, jump and pothole made the situation more dire. It went from serious to frantic...quickly. Then panic. This was unique. A first, if you will? Jason, watching my expressions pulled off on a little quiet side road (Haiti has a few of those). :) I was thankful for the teamwork of my family in providing privacy and relief. Next time you enjoy a beautiful public restroom smile while you get to use it! You are blessed!
Now we were free sailing. Getting out of the city has it's benefits. It's always amazing when we get to drive in 5th gear, the ocean along the highway is beautiful. The rain is making the mountains green and gorgeous. Soon we found our friends. They blessed us with fun gifts from the States. It was so thoughtful of them! It is apparent that God is sustaining them in their grief. We talked about Haiti and many of the thought provoking topics concerning foreign aid. The time passed quickly, our hearts were full and away we went.
The conversations were lively in the car on the way home. Lately, we debrief about our past 7 months and our transition ahead. It is good to recount God's faithfulness and His sustaining grace! He has been good. Our family needs to keep our hearts and minds fixed on Him as we get ready to leap.
All of a sudden we saw green tree branches laid out on the highway. In Haiti they use these with big rocks as we would orange cones in the States. Jason begins to slow down and traffic is almost to a stop while swerving around whatever is ahead. More tree branches pass when Jason expresses concern for the blockage. Then we saw a little person laying belly down on the yellow line. A few Haitians were surrounding him but it is obvious this accident is very recent. As we pass, I quickly tell the kids to close their eyes (thankfully, they did). There in the middle of the road a young boy stares blankly at us. He has tragically lost his life to the impact of a car. He was probably crossing the busy road when everything changed. Death is always ugly. Unexpected death is even more grieving. "Oh, have mercy sweet Jesus. Have mercy." We groaned and sat in silence. "Lord, come quickly. We need You to make all things right."
As we rolled down our street Georges happily opened the gate for us. Our whole family was so happy to see him and the cheerful boys in the yard. Home. Home is a bit like Heaven. It's a taste of peace. A break from the tragedy outside. It points to our eternal Home that has been blood bought that we undeservingly receive in Christ. Home is where Jesus is. We press on towards this goal while we walk with Him now. His sufficient grace is given in real time. We see it intertwined in our 24 hour days.