Thursday, August 16, 2012
Dr. Tom and Carolyn Hatten are with us in Florida as they get ready to make the transition to full time service in Haiti. Dr. Tom is a family practice doctor that will be taking over responsibilities of our medical clinics and Carolyn is an educator and will be helping to run Liberty Academy. Their two youngest children that were adopted from Russia as babies will be moving with them to Montrouis on Friday. They will be leaving three adult children here so we have lots in common with their family.
We hope you will join us in praying for them and their family as they make this huge transition into full time service in Haitian culture. They were missionaries in Haiti over 20 years ago and now are returning for another tour of duty. I look forward to many of you getting to know them as you come down and visit and serve with us over the next year.
Joy and I have been in the U.S. with our kids for several weeks now doing family stuff and ministry work on this side of the water. We had gotten to a place where we were really struggling with life in Haiti as it pertains to our family and needs that we felt we were doing a poor job of meeting concerning our kids. We came to the states for the summer to try to get refreshed and renewed and ready to continue the work God lets us do in Haiti.
We have had a great time with family and friends while we have been home getting ready for Megan's wedding next month. We have been able to spend time with our kids individually and get some testing done for developemental issues along with doctor visits and everything and that has been needed. We have also gotten to spend a little time with our parents and getting some things done for them. But we are still struggling. We feel torn between the need to effectively raise our kids and the opportunity to serve God and the Haitian people full time. We will be heading back to Haiti on September 16th and greatly appreciate and covet your prayers for us as we deal with these internal issues.
Even as I type this blog I feel like maybe I should not be sharing so much about our personal struggle. But I think many times people think that the decision we made to go to Haiti in the beginning was this great act of valor and faith and that we don't deal with the same fears and doubts that everyone else deals with. The fact of the matter is that we do struggle. This is our first time feeling this torn but it is always a battle when you are trying to know God's plan and wanting to find that place that you know God wants you to be.
I will NEVER regret making the decision to go to Haiti and making the sacrifices that were necessary for us to be able to go in 2009. I have grown more in my faith in the last 3 years than I did the first 20 years of being a Christian. I have learned how many ways I viewed life through a skewed perspective because of the society in which we are raised. I am SO thankful to God for that opportunity. I love serving God in full time ministry. I love the fact that we know people's lives are being changed because of the things that we are doing and will continue to do. I just know that at times hard decisions have to be made to make sure that the long term effectiveness of our ministries is not jeapordized by frustration, fatigue, and discouragement.
So that is where we are today. Deadlines are looming as school is getting ready to start in Haiti and here in the U.S. If we were to stay in the U.S. it would have to be for a whole school year for the kids. That would mean I would be going back and forth and Joy would be staying here with the kids in school. I would be working on getting JP his papers so he could come here too. God has been so good to send helpers that could take over and keep everything going on the times when I am here in the states with the family. Dr. Dennis and Dr. Tom are already better missionaries that I am so they could handle the day to day operations and I would be working on getting the new orphanage built and coordinating teams and material shipments.
But, that is if we get confirmation that we are supposed to stay. I want to do what is best for my wife and kids as we serve as a family. If a break is needed, I want to take it before we get too burned out. If we are to keep our reservations on Sept. 16 and fight through the feelings of despair, then God is big enough to get us through. We are His and He is ours. His plan is perfect and His glory is deserved. But we cherish the prayers and support of Godly friends...so there you go!