Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rain, Rain and More Rain…

This past week we’ve had a team of 8 people from NewChurch Georgetown in Texas visiting their Sister Church in Abricot, which is the northwest end of the Southern peninsula.  Rob has the privilege of serving with this team this week. 

It started raining in Cayes where we live on Saturday and has been raining ever since.  Rob tells me that the rain didn’t start in Abricot until Tuesday around noon.  That was good news for the team!  They were able to accomplish most of what they set out to do on this trip.  Once we realized there was a big storm coming, RMI leadership quickly determined it was time to get out of Abricot.  The road into the town can quickly become impassable with a lot of rain and they didn’t want to be stranded there.  So they packed everything up Tuesday afternoon and left around 3 pm (instead of the planned Wednesday morning departure.)  Not only did they want to get out of Abricot, but they wanted to get to the Ice River to cross it before it swelled too much.  When they got there, the river was already impassable.

This is the video of the path to cross the river:

They tried to wait it out.  I think they slept in the trucks for a while and at some point turned around and went to the church in Duchity and slept in the church.  The pastor and his family there are taking great care of them.  So they’ve been in Duchity since Tuesday night.  Since then, there have been some mudslides on the road as well.

Pray for them and the team: for patience and wisdom as they wait out the storm.  I am amazed at how much rain we are getting from Hurricane Sandy, and according to the map, it looks like we are in for a dumping today as well.

Personally, our family is hanging in there.  With this amount of rain, the roof, which doesn’t usually leak, has started to leak in certain spots and water is seeping thru the concrete walls on the south side of our house.  We had quite a bit of wind yesterday, so there are a lot of leaves and large branches down all over.  School is cancelled today, so it looks like we will have another movie marathon day.  Pray for the kids and I—we are all getting restless.

Last, but nor least, please pray for the Haitian people.  I have a pretty dry house that sits up on a hill with no chance of flash flooding.  So many others are not so fortunate; many have very leaky roofs, and their homes sit in low lying areas.  There is much flooding all over the western peninsula.

~Becky

Thursday, October 4, 2012

With the application of faith, there is hope…

I think I need glasses. Are we biblically blind?

Constantly, I am confronted with people that are seemingly unlovable, undesirable, uneducated, unfit, unsaved, unable to dream, unemployed, forgotten, unable to access opportunity, lost.  They are stuck in an unimaginably complex cycle and prison. 

I must put on Christ, apply the good news of the Gospel, and see them for who God seems them.  Able to be loved, to be desired, to be educated, to be fit, to be saved, to dream, to be employed, to be remembered, to access opportunity, to be found, unchained and FREED!

This applies to both Haiti and America.

With the application of faith, there is hope for all mankind, even myself.

Give me Jesus lenses.  in fact, deeper yet, give me the eyes of Christ.

Rob

Braden’s First Day of Haitian School

Rob touched a little on Braden’s first day of school in the last blog post, but I wanted to do a post just about that!  Yes, our youngest, and last, child had his first day of school on Tuesday.  He is attending Kindergarten Lumiere, the same Haitian preschool/kindergarten that Drew and Tessa attended.  This is a MEBSH school (MEBSH is the church association we work with here in Haiti) that offers 3 “grades” equivalent to K-3, K-4 and Kindergarten in the US.  The plan is for Braden to do his K-4 and kindergarten years here, just like Tessa did.  He goes 8 am to noon Monday thru Friday.

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Life for Braden has been much different than for Drew or Tessa.  He’s 4 now, but he was 20 months old when we moved to Haiti, so Haiti is pretty much all he knows!  When he started talking, it was in both English and Creole.  He’s gone to Sunday school in the States for 3 months, but has never really been in any school of any kind outside the house.   Drew and Tessa attended preschool when we lived in the States, so they had some memories of what to expect at school.  Braden did not.  Braden has the  advantage of understanding and speaking Creole that Drew and Tessa did not have when they started.

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He was so excited getting ready for school in his uniform and new sneakers!  He was even excited riding to school and walking in the school yard with me.  School starts with an assembly every morning then the kids form a train and march to their class.  Braden was looking anxious during the assembly standing there with his classmates, but he broke down in tears when he had to make a train.  Anyone who knows the culture in Haiti, knows there is no such thing as personal space.  Braden was getting squashed in the line and started crying “the kids are squishin’ me!”  I got him out of the line and walked him to his class and sat outside his room (he couldn’t see me) for 30 minutes while he sobbed “I want Mommy!”  That was so hard!  I wanted to go rescue my baby!  But I remember Tessa crying the first week of school at 4 years old too, and wondering if we were making the right decision.  Heck, it’s hard enough dropping your crying kid off at school for the first time, but it’s even harder dropping off your kid at a school where he is the only one who’s primary language is not spoken there and is the only foreigner at the school!  I sat and prayed for him, his teachers and classmates for those 30 minutes.  I had to keep reminding Rob how much Tessa thrived there and assuring him Braden will do the same.  Rob already told you it killed him!

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Each day there is less crying.  In fact, he tells me he hasn’t cried in his class at all the last few days, just a little in the assembly time.  Yesterday he told me he made two boy friends and one girl friend!  And at lunch yesterday, he was speaking SO MUCH Creole, Rob and I were looking at each other amazed like  “Do you hear this?  Who is this kid!?”  He’s always understood everything said in Creole but didn’t speak it much.  What a difference 4 hours of school has made!

If you think about it, please pray for Braden as he adjusts to school, that he would have a great year!  Pray for his school Kindergarten Lumiere and his teachers Mme Wilnese and Mme Kittley.

~Becky

Oh, and I have to put together this picture of Drew and Tessa’s first day at the same school with one of Braden.  I can’t believe how much they’ve grown!  Tessa was the same age as Braden here!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Children, Living Between 2 Tensions…

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Oxymorons…  Constant Change, Day Dreams, Chili, Climb Down, Current History, Black Light, Boneless Ribs, ok, you get the point.  I am living an oxymoron, or at least I think that is what it is.  I am living between 2 equal and opposite tensions…

Every experienced parent I have ever met has told me, “before you know it, your kids will be grown up”.  To be honest, I want that quickly!  Parenting young kids is TOUGH work.  Sometimes, THEY DRIVE ME CRAZY! I want them to more quickly grow up into independent, responsible, God loving adults.  Enough of this childishness.  

But, I WANT THIS TRAIN TO SLOW DOWN!  Braden’s first day of school tore me up.  Truly, I haven’t been that burdened  for my children in a long time.  I honestly couldn’t see him cry.  I had to leave.  It was the last time we will send our children off to school for the very first time.  Wow, I love my kids and would do anything to dry their tears.

Somehow I don’t think I am unique. 

Rob

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Monday, October 1, 2012

I love the RMI Haitian Staff…

“Discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else.” Andy Stanley, Next Generation Leader

To be honest, the above is hard for me.  I like to be in control, and handing over responsibilities to others is uncomfortable.  I have long lived according to…  “If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself”.  I have come to realize that for me, in my role, that attitude is a tool of Satan.  I am trying everyday to force myself to let go, and empower others to do what only they can do. It is self defeating for me to try and do everything.  I’ve tried.  It doesn’t work. I must focus on my zone, and let us others do everything else.  Together, we will accomplish abundantly more.

I love the RMI Haitian Staff.  I believe in them.  They are able to do immeasurably more.  The sad but common paternalistic Western mindset is that “we” are the experts, and the Haitians can support what “we” are doing.  We (RMI) are working hard to break that stereotype.  Change is difficult as it requires risks, it will undoubtedly generate some failures as we try new things, and it will likely produce temporary discomfort, but it is worth it.  I want to serve the Haitian people as they serve their own people.  Since RMI is at it’s core both American and Haitian, I believe we will forever need both Americans and Haitians working in tandem.  But, it is about “us” (American and Haitian), not “we” (American) and “them” (Haitian). I love that both more and more US Missionaries are coming on board, and more and more Haitian staff are coming on board to fulfill “our” calling together.

Will you pray for our Haitian staff as they are being empowered everyday to do more? As we missionaries are freed up through delegation, would you pray for us to discover our zone and stay there?