Susie and I have had the pleasure of beginning our official child sponsorship work here in Haiti this month! It has been neat to see how God places us where we belong and continues to provide. We are hoping to add value where we can after we get better acquainted with the scope of our work and our schedules. In many ways Haiti reminds me of the 1950’s or 60’s in the U.S. and especially in the offices here. The desks, chairs, filing cabinets, dusty stacks of folders, cotton mops and vanilla envelopes all feel original to that era. The only thing we don’t hear is a typewriter (that I’ve noticed) because there are a few computers.
Marie Lucie is pictured above in the middle of the group. She is the heart and soul of child sponsorship in Haiti and we feel privileged to work with her. A few months ago we were meeting with Marie Lucie and I asked where our desks could be located, and she said, “Follow me.” She took us to the door of a room in the entrance hall and opened it with a key. “Here you are!” We had been in and out of the office several times and we had no idea there was even a room there! The whole situation made me think of the parallel of God someday welcoming us into our eternal home…it is ready and waiting for our arrival!
When we follow Jesus we must leave everything behind, not knowing what is ahead. God already knows, so we simple follow, believe…and then see! “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
One of our favorite “new things” is the morning devotions. For a half hour or more we share a song, read part of a chapter and discuss it, and then close in prayer (praying for three sponsored children and their sponsors each day)…of course, all in Creole language. Some days we understand more of what is being said than others! One special time I will always treasure was the morning we read in Romans 11 about the wild olive branches being grafted into the olive tree. By the time we arrived at verse 25 they became very animated and were making loud exclamations! (Because of Israel’s unbelief we as Gentiles are able to be grafted in and have the opportunity to inherit the promises by faith.) I’m not sure if this was something they had never read before or what, but to sense the joy a group of Haitian Gentile believers experienced over the goodness and favor of God was pretty cool. It made me think of all the tribes and nations that will be praising God around His throne someday!
We have opportunities to use our Creole when the kids come to get their Sponsorship money. We try to talk to them and ask questions. We ask what their names are, where they go to school, if they like school and their favorite subject, how many brothers and sisters they have, where they go to church, what their sponsor’s name is, etc. We also ask them if they would like a Pastor (several work at the office) to pray for the needs they have. We are looking for opportunities to share the gospel. We are stretched out of our comfort zone to visit with them in their language, but it is a good for us.
UPDATE: School has been out since the first week of May and Grace is missing it already! She did well jumping up to 2nd grade. The only bad thing about that is that our baby is a third grader already!
Evan is here for a month before we all return the end of May! We are enjoying every moment we have together. He has been studying and picking up Creole at a good rate already.
Thanks for your prayers and support and we are looking forward to two months in Ohio. Grant will be graduating with his class in Smithville and we look forward to camping the whole time and spending quality time with family and friends!