So Thankful Replay… Day 7

Today as I was reading back through this blog – tears began to stream down my face. I had no idea the day God brought Beth into our lives – that she would be so much more than just a teacher for my children.

As I have dealt with health issues over the last few years – she’s been the constant in our children’s lives. In many ways she’s the glue that keeps us all functioning together.

I remember our first year together in 2009. We had a small one-room school just big enough for the girls to have desks in. It was right under the “tree house” on our St. Louis Campus. We were all becoming settled in our routines – then the earthquake hit in January 2010.

It wasn’t long after that earthquake and we felt God leading us to start a new campus plant. I remember being nervous – what if Beth doesn’t want to come with us? We knew we couldn’t do it without her. Not just because she was the kid’s teacher – but also because she was a valuable member of our family.

I knew if we were going to plant an orphanage – begin a church – uproot our family – start an entirely new ministry – we would need her.

Before we had ever seen the Mole – we had accepted God’s calling to move there. AND thankfully after the initial shock of the news – Beth was immediately on board.

I still remember our first visit there; the beauty of the Mole pleasantly surprised us. We walked along several different properties looking for the perfect place to launch. It was clear that the land we are on now – was the land meant for the ministry.

As we headed home it began to rain. The rain poured down so heavily that we got stuck in the mud. We were surrounded by large corn stalks. It felt like a scene out of Children of the Corn….out of nowhere there was a small mob of Haitians ready to help us dig out the vehicle.

Where in the world did they come from? It was a little freaky. What we hadn’t noticed on the way there was that the homes were small with thatch roofs and they blended right in with the fields.

As we reached the Jean Rabel River it was clear our vehicle would not be passing through. The waters were raging. I told the driver it was time to go back to the Mole and hang out because there was no way to cross.

But then they pointed to these small rowboats on the shore. Though people couldn’t cross through the river – there were rowboats going out about a mile – away from the river smashing into the ocean – and transferring people that way.

Understand what I’m saying here. I’m talking about boats back in Jesus’ day. I’m talking about boats that could maybe carry 4 people & one of them had to be constantly bucketing out the water that was flooding the inside.

This was the boat they wanted us to go on. They’d send someone later to pick up the vehicle but they wanted us to get on that boat and cross over to the other side.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO WAYYYYYYYYYYY!!! There was absolutely NO WAY I was going to get on that boat. You know the saying “you have to step out of the boat” – well my problem was stepping IN a boat.

I have shared on here recently about the big shipping boat that sank. Jose & I plus our two dogs & furniture took a 3-day trip on that ship when we moved to Haiti. The seas were rough and I soon realized I was terrified of the ocean. I swore if God got me off that boat I’d never step on another.

Wisley said we couldn’t go back to the Mole because we barely made it out of the muddy roads.

Side note: I remember when I was little I’d sit in a circle with friends and we’d play the game – GOING ON A BEAR HUNT. You’d reach an obstacle and have to figure out how to keep moving forward. Here was the river…. couldn’t go over it…… couldn’t go under it….. couldn’t go through it…..you’d have to go around it. I never dreamed that the game would come to life.

I was FREAKING OUT. I was actually crying.

But do you know who wasn’t? Do you know who coaxed me on that boat? Who prayed over me? Who encouraged me? Who told me I could do it? Who held my hand? Who helped me breathe through it? Miss Beth.

She’s been helping me breathe ever since. She helps me find my courage. She tells me I can do it. She’s a cheerleader for me even when I’m losing the game.

Today I am SO thankful for Miss Beth. I am so thankful that God brought us together for such a time is this. I am humbled & honored to serve alongside this chosen & loved servant of the Lord.

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SO Thankful…Day 7

Jose and I knew we were going to raise our children in Haiti. There was no doubt in our mind. When the children were younger we didn’t think too much about how we were going to pull that off. We just knew that this is what God had called us to do.

When the girls were 3 & 4 years old we sent them to Mme Francois’s preschool downtown in St. Louis. The girls loved to go to school and make new friends. The problem we saw right off was that Haitian schools and American schools were not even close to being the same. The credits wouldn’t transfer.

When Mikela was ready for kindergarten I was pregnant with the twins. The pregnancy required 92 days in the hospital. So the girls went to school in the states. Mme Francois’s was the only school they had been to. Midway had opened up a brand new elementary school just a few miles from my parents’ house. Rosie went to their preschool program and Mikela went to their Kindergarden. Malaya was too little so we sent her to Woodford Christian’s 3-year old preschool.

I remember the first day Mikela came home from school. She told me the school in Haiti was tiny!  She told me how they had computers and gym! They had music class. She got to eat lunch at her school! She got to be in a theatrical play. She went on field trips! Every day she would come home and talk about what she learned.

We knew that there was no way we could compete with all that the American schools had to offer. Jose and I began to feel very guilty that our children would be going to a one-room school when we returned. At that time we hadn’t even found a teacher for them. Our hearts truly were heavy.

We had no idea the gift God was about to unleash on us! When Miss Beth came into our lives it was an immediate fit! The children were excited about returning to Haiti. Miss Beth began to teach them and mold them every day. The children couldn’t wait for school. They loved all the attention they got. They weren’t in a class with 30 other kids. They got one-on-one interaction. They soon forgot about their year of school in the states and were in love with their new teacher!

Miss Beth is no doubt one of the best gifts God has ever given us! I would love to take credit for the amount of scripture & spiritual growth that happens to my children each year. But the simple truth is – they are fruits of Miss Beth’s work! I listen to how they pray – to how they talk – to how they think about God –  and I am continually blown away!

My kids aren’t only mastering the scripture but they’re testing higher in many areas than where they should be! My fears about not keeping up with a regular American school have long faded away! There is no doubt that THIS one-room school is far better for our family than any other school out there!

SO today I am thankful for Miss Beth!

For the example she sets not only for my children – but for my entire family!

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