We’ve been quiet recently. You may have noticed this in our lack of facebook posts, pictures, and statuses. Our very handy friend from Wisconsin, Jason, was here in early September. So much was accomplished in a week (see Septic Tank on the projects page if your interested). But ever since he left we haven’t had anything in the way of construction happening at the land. When the funds aren’t there we take it as a message from the head boss to sit, relax, and concentrate on other things. That’s hard for me. It’s hard to sit at a computer, write emails, and focus on all the “adminstrative stuff.” It’s not fun! The only time I truly enjoy sitting at the computer is getting to use my prized google spreadsheets to calculate labor and materials. No work means I don’t get to update my fun spreadsheets, no calculating... But He still says “sit, relax, and change focus.”
So I do.... Last week I sat at the computer and wrote over 50 emails, 50 very important emails. Probably half of the emails were written to thank people for their support and encouragement. These personal thank you’s have been important to Amy and I. We are just two people down here. That seems small until you picture the hundreds of people standing behind us giving us support, encouragement, and prayer. It’s a cool mental picture huh? I hope if you’re reading this that you can picture yourself standing there. I hope we always take the time to thank you.
I realize that when God says “sit” He’s not telling me to sit in front of a computer all day. Sitting can mean taking the time to catch up with employees and enjoy meaningful conversation with them. Amy is very good at this. She is very good at taking time out of her day to listen to everyone’s story. Even if we can’t help a situation, at least people can feel that they’ve been heard. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I am so busy that I offer a raincheck and then I don’t always follow through. This is something I was convicted of last week. So...I did my best to spend a good portion of time sitting with our employees. It’s amazing what happens when you do this. It’s really times like these that remind me why I fell in love with Haiti and how thankful I am for the people God’s placed in my life. It reminds you why you’re here. It reminds you that everyone needs Jesus, no matter what. We may be able to give people work, but it won’t matter unless they have Jesus in their lives. So what do I conclude from this? My heart needs to be prepared to share Jesus with people. Jesus needs to be shining through my words, thoughts, prayers, and the things I write.
He says “relax.” Two weeks ago, when Jason was here Dorothy and Louisemene watched me leave everyday to head out to the land. They watched me come home for a few minutes each day only to turn around and head out again to work late into the day. Since I was doing such hard labor, they said, I needed to relax. Our lady employees were so kind as to grant me two weeks of vacation. I should have taken them seriously. I was sick for two days after Jason left. Being sick is like being forced to relax. The next day I went to town running around on the moto. The following day I was sick again. Dorothy and Louiseman just laughed. They said that God was trying to tell me I needed to relax. I think they might of been up to something. It’s a different work here then I ever experienced in the States. Sometimes you feel like your mind will literally explode. When I have a conversation with someone I feel like my head isn’t even there. I’m already thinking about the next couple days or the next tough conversation I need to have with someone else. This isn’t good and I know it. Relaxing reminds me that everything should go to straight to God. Nothing should be kept in my head for too long. He’s got the whole world in his hands, my problems included.
“Focus, he says, on me.” Even as I write this those words on sinking in. It’s like a spiritual revival up in here! My heart may have hardened a little but now its breaking free of any rust. My ears and eyes are refreshed both to hear His voice and to hear people’s hearts and stories. I’ve placed new importance on listening and concentrating my mind on Him. I’m renewed. I’m reminded that every day I need to make time to concentrate my heart.
It’s been pretty evident here...after all that has been accomplished that when we stop waiting for money, it just comes. This has been the theme of our organization over the last couple months. When there isn’t money to continue the building project its an opportunity for us to seek God’s direction and listen to where he wants us to focus our time and efforts. It may be sit, it may be relax, it may be listen.
That being said, we’ve had some recent donations and the work is set to continue on Monday! School started this week! Its a crucial time when everyone needs money the most. Books, uniforms, tuition, lunch boxes, backpacks, school supplies, ribbons, socks, underwear, bus money, lunch money... I think you know the drill. School is expensive! All of our workers and employees have been saving up their money to send their kids to school. Everyone has high hopes and dreams for their kids. They want their children to have a better life.
When I think about the money that just came in I don’t see it for its ability to bring progress. I don’t see it as bringing us a step closer to completion. I see it for its ability to employ a whole bunch of dads for another two weeks. I see it as school shoes, and backpacks, and bright colored material sitting in the laps of the seamstresses and tailors that make uniforms. More work for everyone. More kids in school.
Big day for Daddy! Dadou's daughter, Tania. Very first day of school ever.
So what will be done in the next two weeks?
We will pour the roof on the recovery homes. Then 2,700 blocks will be made for the staff living quarters above the clinic, and four more rooms will be built above the “recovery homes” for sleeping quarters, office, and meeting space for our national staff.
we will sit, concentrate, and relax.
I get it now. It’s important.