Early this week my mom and I talked about the word Beloved. I told her how much I loved that word because I love knowing that I am God’s Beloved. I am dear to Him and He loves me with all of his heart. Not only does He love me with all His heart but He loves you that much too!! He loves all of us with all that He has and that is such a reassuring feeling. How great it is that our God loves us so much and is always with us? Doesn’t that make you feel so special? It should because we are all special, dear, BELOVED in the eyes of our Father. My mom sent me an excerpt from an article about the word Beloved: “the word beloved in the previous verse literally means ‘beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love’. It’s a word indicating an action on the part of one doing the loving. The God of the universe, the same God who paints a sunset, shapes a mountain and plans the waves at the beach, has chosen to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Our role in this is to BE-LOVED.” That is a cool challenge to think about. We need to let ourselves be loved by our God and know that we are worthy in His eyes. Here is a link to the full article and I suggest to read it because it is a cool take on being loved by our God. (http://www.jkclarkfam.com/2014/01/beloved-weekend-project-on-farm.html)
This week hasn’t been as busy as the last couple of weeks since I’ve been here. With there not being school and summer school yet its been nice to just relax and hang out with the kids. Monday was the last day of school for the students. They all were done with schoolwork and so it was just a day of fun and playtime. Some were playing soccer outside, others were inside hanging out and there were some just running around. It was hectic and crazy so I guess it was a good thing they got out of school at noon. There was a team here that put together goodie bags for each student and so once they left they all got cookies, punch, and a goodie bag. It was so fun and sweet to see how excited they got when they were handed the bag. It makes me remember to appreciate everything given to us. My Haitian brother, Allex, hung out with me a lot after school got out and he surprised me with a gold bracelet. I was so shocked and grateful for it and I wear it everyday. It makes me see that the people here may not have as much as I have at home, and yet Allex was willing to give me a bracelet. It was the sweetest thing and I feel like I can never repay him for the gift. He is such a great brother and a great friend. I have been able to hang out with Allex a lot this trip and he has given me some Creole lessons also. It’s been fun trying to learn the language and I can now have a semi-conversation with people. I can say hello, how are you, I am good, what is your name, how old are you, my name is, etc. so I guess you can say I am doing a lot better this trip than last trip.
Tuesday was the teachers’ last day and so we threw them a party as well. The party was for teachers, cooks, and everyone else that worked at the school. It was so fun because they got food, cupcakes, cake, soda, and bags as well. As I walked by I heard singing and I peaked my head in and all the teachers were singing. It was so fun and cool to see them all happy and funny. I went to Baby Feeders again with a small group of the team that was here. We went a lot later than usual and after that I understood why they want to go early in the day. It was so hot and there was no breeze whatsoever. I was glad I still went because some of the kids are starting to remember me!! I was so excited when these twins ran up to me and hugged me. It made the hot and sweatiness totally worth it. When we got I was exhausted but just hung out with the kids for most of the day. I used to take a nap during the day, but have decided to stop so that I can sleep throughout the night more. I started to see that whenever I took a nap I would wake up constantly during the night. I have also realized how much caffeine affects me more while I am here. We made sweet tea one night for dinner and I was so excited! SWEET TEA! I didn’t think I was going to get that here, but I seriously only got about 4 hours of sleep that night. No more sweet tea at dinner for me. Wednesday, David needed to go to a hardware store to get a few things and so some of us decided to tag along. We walked around a few hardware stores and then went to a grocery store. I got a type of limeade soda thing that was really good and a ham sandwich. The bread here doesn’t have any preservatives and so it is so fresh and tastes sooo good. The sandwich really hit the spot. David bought an antenna so that the older boys and girls here can watch the World Cup on one of the TVs. We put the TV on the roof and set up benches and stuff and it is so fun to watch the World Cup on the roof. The coolest part is when one of the teams scores and the whole neighborhood begins to cheer. I get goose bumps every time. I’ve been told that the team of choice here is Brazil and if Brazil doesn’t make it then Argentina so that is who I am cheering for!
Thursday I began sewing more curtains! Joann, Cathy and I finished the curtains for the men’s room already, but I started the curtains for the women’s room. It took a lot longer than I thought it would. I guess it was because it was just me making the curtains and I didn’t have the wonderful help I had before. But I finished the curtains a few days ago! Now all I have to do it put the curtains up in the room and they will be complete! Lindsey and I are planning to go to the new orphanage to measure those windows. I am hoping to complete curtains for those windows before I leave. Wish me luck!! There is a bakery down the street from us that makes delicious homemade bread. They make the bread and then ladies from the market come and buy bread to sell at the market. David brought the lady in charge of the bakery some raisins, cinnamon and sugar and asked if she could try to bake us some raisin bread. I wanted to see the outcome of the bread so a few of us walked down with him to the bakery. When we first got there I could already smell the fresh bread and it smelled amazing!! I already love the smell of dough and bread and so I was very happy to stand in there and watch. It was so cool to see the guys roll the dough, cut the dough, and put it in the oven. They were so skilled and knew exactly when to move the bread around in the oven and how to do it. I was very impressed. When they brought out the raisin bread we laughed because they just poked the raisins in the top part instead of mixing it, but it still looked great and smelled great. We had it as dessert that night and it was yummy! I was very happy with the result and ate so much of it! That night Tammy, Josh, Ashleigh and I played the card game called Phase 10. I had never heard of it before but it soon became my favorite card game. If you haven’t played it, I suggest you buy the card game and play it! It took us about 3 hours to finish the game, and I had started out as first place and sadly moved to last place by the end of the game. I was very sad if were being honest haha.
Friday I continued working on the curtains, but after a while Tammy, Josh, Ashleigh, Lindsey and I went to a pool down the street. There is another house that some people are good friends with and at their place they have a really cool pool. You walk in and there is a mural of a beach and so it really feels like you are not in Port Au Prince anymore. It was a hot day also and so the cool water helped us feel more refreshed. It was nice to just relax and enjoy each other’s company. I think that has been one of my favorite parts about being here is the fellowship. Yesterday we walked to a coffee shop about 10-15 minutes away. We had to walk through the whole market in the ravine and then had to cross a busy intersection to get to the shop. THAT was an adrenaline rush for sure haha. But while we were at the coffee shop we were just able to hang out and talk about a lot of things. The fellowship here has been so nice. I have grown close to the others that are here and it is nice to just have people to talk to and to enjoy spending time with. Being the youngest, I have also had the wonderful opportunity to learn so much more than I have before. They have taught me so many random things, but they have been a great help to me. I am the kind of person to ask a lot of questions so I have been so appreciative that they do not get annoyed or bothered by all my questions. They really have shown me the love of God through their help and I could never thank them enough. I have appreciated every one here because they all have helped me throughout this journey. I am definitely out of my comfort zone being here for so long, but they have made it a lot easier for me. I am starting to feel more at home here and it would not be this way if it weren’t for them. S I thank all of them for helping and loving me constantly.
The power has been on all day for 5 DAYS! Y’all… That doesn’t happen. Ever. There is a light that we have and if it is turned on then we have city power and if it is turned off we are running on inverters. Every night I look outside to see if the light has turned off yet and it hasn’t!! We have had the fans on all night and there are times where I have to get up and cut the fan off because I was so cold. It has been so weird and I thank the Lord each day for it. Lindsey told me how in December the school sometimes goes days without power and so we have been grateful for this change. We joke and say that maybe the city is keeping it on because of the world cup haha, or that they just forgot to turn it off for our building. We may never know I guess, but I am thankful for it that is for sure. My great friend Megan arrives in Haiti on Friday!!! I am so so excited to see her because it will just be great to see a close friend. With it not being so busy this week I have missed my family greatly, but I have gotten such encouraging text messages the past few days that makes me being here worth it. I know my Father is with me constantly and that is all the reassuring I need. He is hurting when I am hurting, and he is the shoulder I have been leaning on while being here. Something I have learned since I have been gone is to trust more in Him. I am such a hesitant person and putting all of my trust in someone is a very hard task for me. But while I am here I need Him and I realized that I have to put my trust in his Hands because I will not make it through this trip without His love and strength. I feel like I have grown so much while being here the past three weeks and I pray I will continue to grow when I return. I know it is okay to miss my family, but I began to think about the fact that once I leave I will begin to miss my family in Haiti. With only three short weeks left here I am trying to make the most of everything and take all the opportunities I can get. I want to be with these kids as much as I can before I leave because I have no idea what the future holds. I am not sure where God is planning to take me next, but it could be a little longer before I can return here. I am trying to make the most of this trip and this experience while I can. I am literally jumping out of my comfort zone until I leave. I want to fully rely on the Lord and in order to do that I need to just put all my confidence in my great and mighty God’s hands.
“Let the Beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.”