Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Addition!

Natalie, Jackindy & Will

We know it has been a long time since we updated our blog, and we apologize. I was gently reminded this past week that a blog update is needed. So this update is specifically for Emily and Susan who lay in bed each night and check our blog, only to be disappointed when there is nothing new, so “Hi, Emily!”

We are happy to report that Will and Natalie successfully completed their first year of home school and have started summer vacation. It was a big adjustment, but it was fun to see them learn so much. I know Stacey would say the same. The school days were not always easy or fun, but they did it despite the many interruptions that Haitian life offers, earthquake included.

We also have a new addition to the family. Our good friends Bill and Jennifer Campbell, who run the Haiti Home of Hope Orphanage, asked us to consider taking a little guy who was being neglected. They currently have no room at all--believe me if they had room they would take him, we know them well, but they simply couldn’t. His name is Jackindy. Jackindy’s mom is mentally ill and has never been able to take care of him so he was in the care of his cousin’s girlfriend. She was doing a pretty good job until she had her own baby. She really didn’t have the means to feed both babies, so she chose her own baby and Jackindy had begun to decline rapidly. Stacey immediately said we would, but I wasn’t quite as quick. I wanted to consider--actually I stalled, looking for a way out of it, to be honest. I prayed and prayed and asked God outright if we should take him. Invariably the answer I got was that “I already told you,” not audible but an answer anyway. He was right. I did know. He has made it pretty clear in His Word. I always like to say we don’t need to pray about the answers we already have in the Bible, and here I was holding out for the answer I wanted. We decided to take him. He was 16 months and 14 ½ pounds when we he came to us. He was lethargic, solemn but sweet and adorable. I could only imagine him sitting in the dirt by his mud and stick house, starving. He has been quite a blessing. It’s amazing how a little food can transform a child. We have had him for a little over a month, and he is now 20 pounds, crawls, yells, laughs, stands and will be walking and talking soon. We don’t know what God has planned for us and Jackindy, but Will says God has answered his prayer for a little brother so I guess we’ll see.

We are getting excited to come back to the States and see all of our friends and family that we have missed so much, to see and talk with our supporters, worship in our church and most importantly eat crazy amounts of our wonderful American cuisine. I’m just kidding, sort of…. well, not really. I really want some meat. We are finishing up the projects that we have going and making preparations so the teams have plenty to do while we’re gone and the feeding program continues. We plan to leave Pignon on June 16, go to Santiago, Dominican Republic, spend the night, then fly to Orlando, spend the night and then to Des Moines on June 18.

Eric and Stacy Krob will be coming on June 3 and will spend a couple of months in Pignon filling in the gap while we’re gone. They have 4 boys and will be using our house and truck for the summer. They will be a real blessing to us, the hospital and the mission teams coming down.

My blog updates are always so long, but I want to relate some real life. God has certainly done some significant things in our lives the past year. I love to talk about the big ways God shows himself, but what about the little stuff? What about the everyday stuff? I can tell you that it has been a stressful year, I’m sure not totally unlike the past year for many of you. Different stressors, I know, but stress none the less. The last month has been difficult, trying to make travel plans and prepare for a two-month absence.

I have to explain two things before I continue the story. First I found a distance growing between me and God; there was a lack of intimacy that I wanted but just hadn’t been seeking. I really longed for it but it doesn’t happen without cooperation from myself. Second I was reading a book called Walking with God by John Eldredge. He basically explains his walk with God over a year through his journal. He talked about asking God about everything. I thought it was a little crazy. Asking God whether you should ride your horse, take a weekend trip, what day of work to take off. I mean, really, certainly I can figure those things out on my own and does God actually care about those things? It’s like asking the CEO to deliver the mail or bring you coffee, but I read it, and tried it seeking to find that intimacy again. Even if God wasn’t all that concerned with the mundane parts of my life, at least I would be talking with Him.

I had a monstrous list of supplies that I needed to get in Cap Haitian, and the rains have started so travel is difficult and sometimes not possible at all. I had a small window when I needed to travel to Cap Haitian. I planned to go on May 18, but I asked God if I should go. I got the answer yes, unequivocal yes, you’ll make it. I went to Cap Haitian with more confidence than I have ever had and made it with no trouble. On top of that I was able to find all the supplies I needed at two stores. It was over $6000 of paint, tile, thin set, grout, lumber, pipe and steel. I have never had so little trouble finding supplies. I did realize however on the way back that I hadn’t asked if I would make it back to Pignon, but I did with no trouble at all.

The second thing was a big worry for me, actually I was beginning to obsess about it. We have to go to Santiago on June 16 so we can make our early flight on June 17 to Orlando. I was worried. We have a team here until June 15, the Krobs will be here, and they will need the truck and of course the difficulties of travel could make it impossible to get there by land or at least delay us enough to miss our flight. I had made three plans, consider though that these were my plans, but I just wasn’t settled with them at all. Number one: we drive to Cap Haitian, spend the night, and take the bus to Santiago. It wasn’t a bad plan but ill timed rains can change everything. Number two: leave at 4:30 am to get to the bus station in Cap Haitian by 8 am and take the bus to Santiago. Same problem as the first, only riskier. The third and most attractive option was a flight from Pignon to Santiago, but it was $500 plus airport fees. It was very attractive to avoid the road, but it just felt too expensive. Anyway, I asked God. Actually I asked for several days, took a break and asked some more. The only thing I seemed to be getting was to “ask.” I thought maybe I should ask our board to pay for the flight. That’s what I really wanted to do anyway, but for some reason that didn’t seem right either. I asked some more, and all I could get for my asking was “ask.” I never thought to pose the next question to God, “Ask who?” After a week or so of asking and trying to figure the travel arrangements out, I called a friend of ours who goes to Santiago quite a bit and asked if he was going any time in mid June. He said he didn’t know but asked why. I explained and his words were, “Don’t worry about it; we can get you over there.” He also said that a pilot would be coming to Pignon around that time, and he can probably fly us over, for about $125. What relief, I mean awesome relief, to know. Turns out God cares. He cared that I made it to Cap, cares how we will get to Santiago; good grief if He cares about that stuff, there can be no limit to His caring, His love. I guess I knew that, at least I’d read that, but what a God we serve, who, when we ask, will remind us in the small things how much He cares. A CEO that brings us coffee. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.