I've been really busy lately, so I've been unable to keep up with my online life. I won't go into everything that I've been doing, but I will share one thing that has been getting more and more of my attention theses days.
In a little over three weeks, I'll be leaving for Haiti. I'll be there for six weeks.
Yes, six weeks.
Although I've been to Haiti more than a dozen times over the years, I've never been there longer than two weeks. And I've never been away from Dave for longer than two weeks either. Marcia, one of my best friends, is leaving next Tuesday and she'll be spending nine weeks there. We'll both be returning home on Labor Day. Marcia and I are hoping this helps us to deepen our Kreyol skills and we'd like to help the girls learn more English as well. And as a side benefit, we hope to get to know them all on a deeper level.
I have to be honest and say that I'm a little anxious. Maybe occasionally I'm crazy anxious. I know I'm going to miss everyone more than I can even imagine. I'm leaving David with a lot of loose ends in terms of our housing situation which makes me sad and nervous and guilty. Also, Haiti is not the safest place in the world, and I worry about my health issues. My doctor is going to hook me up with a travel kit of anything-I-might-possibly-need, so that's kind of reassuring. But it's still Haiti, where anything can go wrong and usually does. The heat is also on my mind and the torrential rains. I even worry that the concrete ceiling and walls of the home have been weakened by the earthquake and rain and they'll collapse on us. I also worry about what I'll see and experience in Port au Prince and other places that have suffered heavily from the earthquake. When one of our friends who has spent a lot of time in Haiti since the quake heard that we were going she said, "It'll f*#& you up." I'm pretty sure she's right. These are the voices crashing around in my brain when I take the time to think about it and really give some space to my concerns. They're not all reasonable concerns (I'm pretty sure the house is not going to fall on my head) but they're pretty persistent voices.
And then there's those other voices.
When I listen to the deeper parts of my soul, I remember how my life somehow sorts itself out in Haiti. Things that seem important in my American life seem trivial there. Priorities shift. Life s-l-o-w-s d-o-w-n. Even when you're busy it's a different kind of busy-ness. There is time to think and pray and dream. There is time to sleep (if you can sleep with the heat and the bugs...oh wait, that's those other voices.) There is time to connect. I remember that Haiti is a place that God cares about and he has shared that caring with me. I love Haiti and I grieve for the brokenness she is suffering. I am glad to be going and to be listening for what God is asking of me there. It will be good. No matter how terrible, it will be good.
I hope you'll all be able to follow me and leave me comments. You can't imagine how word from a friend means everything in that place. I hope you'll come along with me in this way.