It’s been so hard to blog the last few months. As I sit and try to write this, the words are not flowing. Yet I feel compelled to try to share what has been going on in my heart. I am overwhelmed by how different life is here; how different MY life is here. It is both good and bad and I’d like to think that most days I am embracing it! It’s all part of the adventure of following Christ, is it not?
Life here is harder than I imagined (and I knew it wouldn’t be easy.) Yet at the same time, it’s a great adventure and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! It’s exciting to be right where you know God wants you: there is security in that. That knowledge is what gets me thru the harder days.
Life here is exhausting. It’s hot and sweaty. I’m learning Creole by immersion, which means I essentially find myself thinking in Creole, even if I don’t have to speak it. There are people at and in my house all day long. Everything is different than what I knew. I feel like a child learning how to live my life all over again.
There are times I ask myself, “Why am I here?”
“Dear friends,” the apostle John writes, “since God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:11-12
I have been so humbled lately by these verses. So much so, that I’ve taken them as my own; as a theme verse so to say. I am humbled that God chooses to use me to be an agent of his love.
We are faced with great need every day, yet some days more than others. People with great need come to our doorstep, line the streets, knock on the windows of our trucks and fill the shops and churches we visit. Needs that I can’t even begin to imagine, as I’ve only begun to crack the surface of the cultural and language barrier that separates us.
Today, during lunch, a woman was standing in our driveway. I am ashamed to say that Rob and I were going back and forth debating who had to talk with her. Neither of us felt like being the lucky person. It’s tiring to tell people “no” day after day. Right now, every one wants money for school for their children as school is starting up in about 2 weeks. We can’t help everyone so we choose to help those we know or have some sort of relationship with.
After about 5 minutes of talking about who gets to talk to her (in English), Carline, who works for us, tells us (in Creole) that the lady waiting to talk to us is her next door neighbor. She proceeds to tell us that her 16 year old son died Saturday. From what we could gather from the conversation (our Creole is hugely improved from 5 months ago, but we have a long way to go) he had a fever, developed a rash and died. Needless to say, we both got up to talk to her.
She told us the same thing and asked for financial help with his funeral. We didn’t have much money to give her, but we did what we could. She gave us each a huge, tearful hug. Then we prayed with her. I should say Rob prayed, as I still feel totally inadequate trying to pray in Creole. He’s a little more brave in this area than me. She just sobbed and sobbed as he prayed. All I could do was put my arm around her and love her. I can still feel her loss from having my arms around her; that mother’s body shaking as she sobbed.
Today, I was reminded that God’s love crosses every barrier. I am ashamed to say I often forget that. Today was an opportunity to love that I almost bargained away, and would have, if Carline hadn’t vouched for her.
When I ask myself “Why am I here?” there’s not usually a tone of questioning. I am usually just in need of a reminder. God gave me the perfect reminder today. I am here to love as Christ loved. I can’t do it of my own power. Christ lives in me. He makes his love complete when he uses me to share his love. My desire is that my love for others would enable them to see God.
Pray for Madam Ti Jean (pronounced Tee John) and her family as she lost her son, Jean Baptiste, Saturday.