When our children act up – one of the first things we do is put them in time-out. I’ll send Mikela to her room and tell her I want her to think about what she’s done. After a while – I’ll go to her room and we’ll talk about what happened.
The concept of “time-out” is to sit and think about what we’ve done. While it’s acceptable to do that to children – have you ever thought about putting yourself there? For the last few days – that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.
Post-quake, the amount of work that I’ve had doubled if not tripled. As of May we have had 774 people come to Haiti. For this summer we will have another 600 people. Last year’s total was 956 people. It’s an amazing influx of people. I know that many of the new ones are only coming because of the quake. But they’ll come back because of the experience they’ve had at the mission. We’ve already had 4 people from this spring sign up again for this summer.
So in all the busyness – there has been little time for a “time-out” – to sit and think about what I’ve done or what God is doing in my life. I have squeezed in a few conversations with God. Our talks have all been about the future – about the exciting/difficult things that lie ahead. The past few days however – I have taken a “time-out” and thought about the past – and what we’re leaving.
Now that the land is bought and our house is rented – it’s time to begin the move. We are starting with closets and working our way out. We are hoping that the 3rd week of June we can move all of our stuff to the Mole. We can’t run to Walmart and pick up packing supplies. So we’re using trash bags and old suitcases that the groups left behind.
Many of the employees noticed we were gathering supplies to begin packing. When the Eye Team was there – I spent a lot of time in the office – – so they could find me when they needed me. Through the course of the week no less than 30 Haitians came to me (most in tears) and asked how could I abandon them? Could I please take them with me? One after one – they constantly said, “After God there’s only you”. This gave me the chance to remind them that you should never have to say “after”. Saying “after God” implies that God alone isn’t big enough. While I understand what they’re saying – I also wanted them to understand that their safety net is “Only God”.
As we begin to pack up our things – we begin to pack up our memories: Our first Christmas in Haiti. Our first nursery. The weathered places on the wall where tiny hands touched. The door that Gigi slams open every morning when she comes out of her room – and the place on the wall that’s dented because of it. The cracks in the walls that we’ve lived with for years and the new ones that came the day the earth shook. The hide-n-seek places that the girls always hid in. The colorings on the walls and tile – Gabriel’s masterpieces. It’s been a forced time-out – a time to think about all we’ve done – – throughout the 9 years we’ve lived there.
People tell me how beautiful the Mole is. How lucky we are to be living there. For us – it’s never been about where we’re going – – it’s always been about where we’re leaving. May 20th we are having a staff party. Most people already know but that will officially be when I tell everyone that we really are leaving. This will give me a chance to explain how God called us to go and that I’m not abandoning them.
I have been affirmed and confirmed by our Maker. We are supposed to go. I have no doubt. But it sure would be nice not to pack guilt in the boxes with our clothes. Please pray for peace for the Haitians we are leaving. Pray that they will find their security in their Maker and not in man. We, ourselves, are practicing what we preach – ONLY GOD. We haven’t received help with any of the latest needs we wrote about. And you know what – it’s okay. Only God.