Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Year Later

Last week was the one year mark of me living in Haiti. Many words come to mind, but there is one that has come in my mind every day...FULL. I am full of gratitude, full of happiness, full of love, full of honor, and full of HOPE.

When I came one year ago, I knew I was listening to the call God had placed in my heart, but I did not know that the call would in return bring me to this level of refreshing. Stepping out in faith has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. There is something about serving those God has put in front of you that brings you to a state of renewal. I never want things in my life to become stagnant, and living in Haiti, has certainly kept this from happening...

I will start with five sweet blessings:

Jean - the child that has changed my life forever, the one who has showed me to take nothing for granted (from the air I breathe to the ability to express myself)

Fitson - the happiest child on the planet who has taught me that laughter and joy should be a part of every day life

Denise: the little girl that has showed me that all challenges and obstacles can be overcome

Rose Mica: the precious girl who always reminds me about the innocence of a child

Carlos: the cute boy who has taught me to never give up, to love in the tough times, and that patience is key

The construction has begun on the home that will house the special needs children here at the orphanage. It will be a honor and privilege to be their housemother. Our little family is just beginning...

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin." Zechariah 4:10 NLT

As I look at this past year, I am reminded of the hard times. These are the times that God reminded me to trust in Him and give Him glory even in the most difficult days. I have been greatly humbled by the way God comforts. Haiti is surrounded by death, so I knew it wouldn't be long before I had to face it with my own eyes. Sweet little ones like Dianise, Joudliska, Wesnerson, and Junika all went home to heaven. They were ultimately saved from suffering any longer, and this I am grateful for.

I have seen death, but I have also seen miracles in the last year. When Chivensky's shunt (placed for Hydrocephalus) malfunctioned, a neurosurgeon "just happened" to stop by the property to say hi. He was leaving the next day, but we had him look at Chivensky and he performed the brain surgery the day he left! Chivensky would have died within a few days if the surgery didn't happen. I am also reminded of the three days and nights I had Jean across the border in a clinic with severe pneumonia. The nurses told us later that they thought he had died after one of his seizures because he stopped breathing, but God saved his life. Then there is Givensky, a little blind boy in the village, who fell into a fire his blind mother was cooking dinner in. One miracle after another has taken place...

All of this has made me FULL. I have become a better person through it all, and I have been blessed beyond measure. I am thankful for everyone in my life. I am grateful for this opportunity, and I am appreciative to everyone who has come alongside of me. The encouragement, support, and love has been overwhelming from my family and friends in the United States as well as everyone I work with in Haiti. My heart has grown bigger, for sure! It was a year of new beginnings, a year of healing, a year of deeper love. It has certainly been a year to remember and I look forward to another!

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