It’s hard to believe I have lived in this little island for about a year and a half. It’s hard to believe that today is my last day of living in the midst of mango trees, goats, chickens, and the sound of the ocean waves creating their own symphony as they roll back and forth crashing onto the shore.
Haiti has been by far one of the most challenging mission fields I’ve ever been called to – ministry-wise and personally. That being said, it has also been one of the most blessed seasons God has gifted me with. I’ve been blessed to live in a diverse mission community, made up of families, single people, clergy, religious, teens, toddlers & newborns. We have prayed together, laughed together, cried together, and fought the good fight for the faith together. We have also helped each other out on this road to sanctity by smoothing out each other’s rough edges as we have been called to grow in love & humility. What a journey it has been. I think it’s one of those things in life where I will be much more aware of all the workings of the Lord when I look back in hindsight.
|Sunset on my last Friday nigh in Haiti|
There is no way around it, leaving is hard. Tears have been shed and I’m sure they will be shed again, whenever I am reminded of the goodness of the Lord that was so abundantly poured out in the past year and a half. I know nostalgia will settle in my heart. But I pray that it wouldn’t remain as nostalgia, but that it would turn into a prayer of thankfulness for what God has done.
The hardest thing is leaving people. I’ve moved quiet a bit in my lifetime and that is the one thing that never gets easier. I think it actually gets harder. I’d like to think it gets harder because you allow your heart to love more, to become more invested.
|Nathaniel's First Haircut -I have loved being a part of his many "firsts"|
|Lunch - fresh out of the ocean|
It will be hard to find myself humming a Haitian Creole hymn and not have Sara next to me to join in the song, no questions asked, as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. It will be hard to not hear Paul singing “What if God was one of us” to the top of his lungs, at least once a month. It will be hard to not have good conversations with Anna anytime, the ones that happen when you’re at the beginning of a new friendship, where you’re discovering so much of the beauty of the person’s story. It will be hard to not hear Fr. Louis make a song out of the last sentence he hears me say, or to not have philosophical conversations about life, ranging from theology all the way to “little v” and “big b” conundrum. It will be hard to not have Sean encourage me to do something that I don’t believe I can do like climb a mango tree, descend a mango tree, and use tools like chain saws. It will be hard to not see all of our kiddos everyday, and having them run up to me to give me a hug just because. This list could go on for a long time. But I think you get the idea. It’s the little things that stick with you.
This chapter of my life is coming to a close, and it’s bittersweet. I am thankful. And I am looking forward to what He has in store. The sense I get in prayer is that wherever He leads, I’ll be there for a good amount of time. I am excited to settle down and I am excited for what He will do, what He will write for this next chapter. I can attest that the Lord is a good Author.
|Fr. Louis sharing the Gospel|