You have to talk to everyone. Well…not exactly everyone. There are certain people that we’ve encountered here in Haiti that are quite focused on their own projects to point that they might not the have the most positive things to say about our venture. You learn to identify these types and keep to the small talk… kind of like avoiding politics and religion at someone else’s family reunion.
Then there are certain people that as you are talking to them you get this little nudge to disclose more. You start to think hey maybe they can help somehow... Then their response indicates that that little nudge was from God and that this person is an answer to prayer.
It happens all the time.
Just last night we were sitting out at the “barbeque,” an area that has tables, chairs, and what draws us there…Wi-Fi. A new friend sat down at our table. He and Jenn chatted for awhile.
Later, I brought up the visitors coming at the end of this month to see Haiti and discuess ways their organization can partner with Second Mile Ministries. We will need to secure sleeping arrangements for these guests and I wondered if he knew the prices of different hotels in town. Before we knew it, he’d offered his bed and his apartment to house our visitors. When the date we’d mentioned registered in his head his face lit up again. “The 27th?..Wow!” he said. “I was planning to go to the Dominican Republic that day. They can just use my apartment if that’s okay with you!”
The fact that that was the exact date he’d be gone made it a God-thing for him too. It was a good reminder for us to let others in. To let them be used by God to further this ministry. To let them see and realize how sweetly and perfectly he works out the details.
Once, again it’s a good thing we bought those air mattresses.
Yesterday afternoon we went out on our first land-scouting trip since returning to Haiti. It was a strange phenomenon how the three of us grew progressively more excited as we drove through a prospective area.
“I really like it.” -Jenn
“I really, really like it.” – Johanne
“I love it!” – me
It may just look like a blur of green countryside to you, but to us it’s beautiful and ripe with possibility.
On the way to see the land we saw the President of Haiti. Well not exactly. We saw his secure black suburban and his entourage. He was headed home to Port au Prince after attending the inaguration of a new University that is being built between Cap Haitien and the Dominican Republic. For my sake I hope one day we do see the President. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to listen to Jenn lament about that missed photo-op. She’s convinced the President would love her if he met her.
We took another little bounce into town the other day. For the two of us to ride the “tap-tap” to and from town we pay the equivalent of $1. When we jumped on the tap-tap towards home we were strategic in our seat selection. Well, not exactly. Jenn jumped in an open space next to the driver and I got the last space on the end of a bench in the bed of the truck. At least I thought it was the last space. Four others squeezed in, stabilizing themselves on the legs of the 12 of us. Then three more hung from the back. 4 + 12 + 3 = 19 people sharing air space in the covered bed of a pick up. Our placement let us keep our eye’s peeled for a truck we’d seen for-sale on the side of the road.
The main mission of the trip was to pay Jenn’s god-daughter Jenn-Love a second visit. This time we came bearing gifts. It’s sort of required.
She’s a little bit tricky to dress. Especially when she prefers to be naked.
But she’s sweet as ever.
She loves Jenn.
She really loves her mom.
The best thing about those new clothes is that they were given to us as a donation. The person who gave us that miscellaneous bag of children’s clothes couldn’t have know that those were the perfect sizes for our specialest little friends here in Haiti. They fit not only JennLove and her sister but two other little boys whom I would have loved to bring a gift for.
This too, happens a lot.
While in Texas I was able to visit a friend and former co-worker. After a lovely-lunch date she handed me a gift bag full of the most random things. I wasn’t expecting a gift! And I wasn’t sure I could fit everything into my backpack! Towels, shirts, Advil, hair-ties, hand-sanitizer, and so much more. I did my best to pack the stuff and sure enough I’ve used all of it. Even the one thing I decided to leave behind, a pack of Kleenex, would have come in handy the day we ran out of toilet paper…
Sorry God, next time I’ll trust your provisions, even when they seem random.
The last thing we received before heading to the airport was a box of Starbucks
instant coffee. Boy has that been a blessing. Even though we don’t have a coffee pot or a coffee press the ability to boil water is something we’ve mastered.
The coffee sure helps us adjust to our new sleeping schedule, down at just after 9 up just before 7. It should get earlier still but we’re giving ourselves a grace week in the sleeping department.
First thing this morning, while Jenn was busy with a business related to-do-list Hannah and I did laundry. I told Jenn that she could only choose 5 dirty items. I know...I drive a hard bargain but she chose wisely. I did ease up a little when I realized I had about 7 things I wanted to wash. Gotta stay fair.
We can stop thanking God for the little things. Right now as Jenn says, we have a pretty cool life and it seems like it's just getting started...