I have been here a week now, eight days actually, and I think things are beginning to settle in. Amber and I arrived last Wednesday in the early afternoon. We spent a day or so getting our personal belongings unpacked and resting from the journey. I remember reading (somewhere) in the Bible the phrase “from Grace to Grace.” After making two journeys to Haiti, on my own, I have a different understanding of what this means. I have seen God provide in more ways than I can count, but specifically in the midst of the stress of hoping I have remembered all the details required to arrive in safely in Haiti. From an airline attendant who decided to take the average of my three checked bags – as one was 1 lbs over and the other two were 2 lbs under – and not require me to redistribute at the airport, to a kind couple watching my luggage as I ran the cart back to the cart return while waiting for the hotel shuttle. To “Big” meeting Amber and me outside security and making sure we got to Frantz, our ride, just as we were supposed to. Every step of the way, when stress or anxiety would arise, a provision would arise. As I learn each day to rest in Him.
Life is different here than it was down the road. For starters, we don't have any children yet. There is a baby, that Tina is keeping right now, that may come to stay with us. We are trying to determine her mother's intentions. If she desires temporary care and expects to come for her in six months, then we will bring her here to live. If she plans to abandon her completely, then we will leave her at Tina's, where she is happy and settled in. Tina, runs an amazing Children's Home. A place where she brings in children to live with her, and cares for them as her own. She is an amazing woman. She does not usually take temporary cases though, so our reason for taking her if she will be reunited with her mother one day. This is the heart and soul of what we hope to do and see. To make it possible for children to remain with their parents in the long run by providing short term care, love, and shelter. This could manifest itself in so very many ways...I'm excited to see how it might happen.
We had a preemie born in our community a few nights ago. We were told she was about 2 lbs. Vivian, a neighbor of ours, who owns a preschool in our community, called Dr. Ken to let him know. In the middle of the night, she had taken mother and child to both the Cuban Hospital and St. Michel's where she had left them at 10 am having not yet seen a doctor. She was to call if they needed us, or they didn't see a doctor. No word as yet. I wonder if the baby survived.
Our Baby House is coming together. The front room is painted (thanks to the Hawaii Team that was here in December), unpacked, and cleaned. Amber and I spend a few hours each day working over there cleaning and re-cleaning and organizing and unpacking. It's coming together quite nicely. The Team House is full of bunks and booked almost solid from the 15th of February through most of March! It's exciting to see all the people coming through. If anyone is interested in a trip down this way, let us know so we can get you on our calendar!
Our community here seems to be poorer than Cyvadier. But the people are so wonderfully nice. I feel “safe” in the I-never-completely-let-my-guard-down-because-I-am-not-in-my-natural-habitat kind of way. I really feel that the relationships we (and by we I mean mostly Dr. Ken) have been making in the community are such that the neighbors look out for us. Across the street and next door to our ministry house, are two Depots (little stores). There is a little girl, I call her TiFi because she won't tell us her name, who lives in the back of one with her family. She is probably about 3 years old. She comes over everytime Amber and I are in the Ministry House working.
Yesterday she “helped” us go through baby clothes. Amber would pick up and item, check the size on the tag, fold it, and put it in the appropriate pile. TiFi would watch her, the do the exact same series of motions, making a pile of her own, then look up at Amber and smile. It was so precious! After a week, she finally started making noises, while she played. She still won't talk to us. But we are hoping to overcome that in the next few days :-) I look forward to the day when I know enough Kreyol to sit and have a conversation with the ladies who live around us.