4 years. We’ve lived here 4 years. It feels like a lifetime ago that we boarded a flight from Miami to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti with three kids ages 5, 3, and 1. They had never been to Haiti before and we were excited to show them their new home. Excited to explore, to show them their new rooms, to make new friends, to start learning the language.
I think the biggest contrast to then and now are the changes in our kids: how much they have changed and grown. They are now 9, 7 and 5. Their cheeks are no longer chubby. They’ve (almost) all graduated from Haitian Kindergarten (Braden graduates in June.) They are way more independent than when we arrived!
The other contrast is familiarity. We have made this place home. It was foreign when we arrived. We arrived knowing a phrase or two of Creole, and now we can communicate fairly well. I thought I’d never drive here (that thought was so scary!) but it didn’t take long for me to realize if I wanted to get out of the house I’d have to do just that. I know my way around town (kind of), how to shop, how to bargain.
4 years. 4 years is not very long. It’s certainly not long enough to say we speak Creole fluently or that we understand the culture. It’s not long enough to say what we see, experience and deal with everyday is easy or comfortable or normal in any way. We still remind ourselves “It’s not weird, it’s just different!” I can say I learn something new every single day.
There have been many difficult times, difficult seasons, and difficult situations during these last 4 years. Some seemed at the time to last forever and some now seem like a lifetime ago. There has been much joy, too. Many tender times. Times that will remain in my memory for a lifetime. Along the way God has confirmed our call, affirmed our commitment. Shown us He wants us here no matter the circumstances.
And I’m thankful. This missionary life is a gift: a privilege. So many of you are enabling us to serve the Lord here in Haiti through prayer, financial support and encouragement. Raising support is a difficult task, but it joins us together with the body of Christ in a special way that is a privilege.
We are thankful for you.