Today marks one year since we arrived full time on the mission field in Haiti. In many ways I can't believe it has already been a year and in other ways I can't believe it has only been ONE year??!!! We have been so blessed in our first year of full time ministry here. We have been able to see so many things happen that are clearly from the hand of God Himself. We have had many surprises.
I never would have thought we would see an earthquake.
I never thought I would see so many dead people.
I never thought we would leave one mission to start a mission of our own.
I never thought we would be opening an orphanage.
I never thought we would be adopting two Haitian kids into our family.
I never would have thought EVERYTHING would be so frustrating to get done.
I never would have thought we would have visitors from NC, GA, FL, KY, IN, MN, ID, CA, WA, IA, TX, and MO all in six months.
I never would have thought I would need to know abbreviations to so many states!
I never would have thought Judah would go this long without being injured in any major way.
I never would have thought a bus would be our only mode of transportation for this long.
I never would have thought I would have so much trouble getting things through customs.
I never would have thought I would eat spaghetti noodles with ketchup and mayonnaise and like it.
I never would have thought I would eat so much goat.
I never would have thought I would spend 6 weeks sick.
I never would have thought I would miss Bojangles Chicken so much.
I never would have thought Jacy would be so fluent in creole already.
I never would have thought I would be emailing people and asking them to bring me toilet paper when they come to visit.
I never would have thought I would love the people here so much.
I never would have thought ice cream would be such a big treat.
I never would have thought having teams come and stay here would be so difficult and rewarding at the same time.
I never would have thought it would be so long since we saw our older kids.
I never would have thought I would know more about soccer scores than who won the Masters or the NBA championship...soccer...
I never would have thought I would learn how to shop for lettuce and good looking potatoes from a women sitting under a mango tree surrounded by baskets and flies.
I never would have thought I would ever have to tell my kids "I promise I will not let the neighbors eat THIS kitten".
I never knew I could learn so much from kids and young people.
I never would have thought I would be so ashamed of how I once lived my life so selfishly and lavishly.
I never would have thought I would still be so ashamed of how selfishly I still live my life.
I never knew I would love fans so much.
I never would have thought I would hide Doritos that someone brought us from my kids so I could eat them later.
I never would have thought Joy could hide chocolate so good that I can NEVER find it!
I never thought we would have so many sick people to deal with everyday.
I never thought I would have to try to convince some of my best friends that the sorcerer is not going to turn into a bat and sneak into my house to cut open Justice's head to steal a part of her brain.
I never would have thought people could be so manipulative and deceitful.
I never knew how many true friends we had back in the U.S.
I never knew that I was neglecting those relationships and friendships.
I never knew that I could cherish them so much.
I could go on forever about the surprises we have seen in this first year. We have learned so much. I actually thought that since I had been here so many times before we moved that I actually knew the culture and what it would be like to live here. I had no idea! It is so much better than I ever would have imagined and so much harder than I ever dreamed. The grace God gives us everyday to handle the things we encounter blows my mind. I had no idea God loved me so much. I had no idea you could sense Him so intimately. I never knew Satan could have such a hold on a people either. God is so good to us. I would not change anything that happened this past year. God has chosen to teach us so much and the biggest thing He has taught us is that we have SO much to learn!
Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for helping us get started. Thank you for being there whenever we need you. A slogan here after the earthquake is "Ansamn nou ap rive' pi lwen". Together we are going farther. That is how I feel about what God is doing in our ministry through all of our partners back home. Tomorrow morning begins year two. I can only imagine what it will hold!