I yearn for deep relationships, to be a part of community. So why do I, especially when I am in Haiti, become bogged down in tasks? Is it because there are so many needs? Maybe. Or maybe its because I also long to feel and to be needed. I long to accomplish something, to check off my responsibilities on a list, to believe I am good at something. But was is the greater need? When I take the time to think about it and look at scripture, I know it is to spend time with our Lord, to spend time with people, to invest. Lord, help me to remember this and offer myself to you and to live with a focus on relationships with others. The Haitians teach me this. They live inter-dependently, helping each other, sharing with each other, talking and laughing along the way. This is my favorite part of Haiti.
My time in relationship with the kids this last trip was facilitated by de-worming the kids (giving the kids worm medicine) in the morning and engaging in play with toddlers. Read this post if you need a reminder of how the de-worming went last time. Because this time I didn't tell any of the younger kids what the pill was, they all swarmed around me, thinking it was candy or a vitamin, sticking out their hands for more. Suckers! Amazingly, most of the older kids took the pills like mature young adults. No exciting stories of punishment or coercion to share this time.
Another morning I spent with the cooks at the boys home. It was full of dancing, singing (made up verses to the tune of Creole songs), and mockery of me for the fact that I don't know how to cook Haitian-style. Pure joy.
The afternoons were spent seeing patients in our medical clinic, holding sweet kids at the feeding program, and in conversations with our kids. The kindergarten-ers and 6th graders had a graduation ceremony while I was there, with other students presenting songs and dances. A beautiful way to celebrate these kids' achievements.
The group of people I traveled with were insightful, flexible, kind, and funny. They worked on various construction projects for the ministry, as well as assisted some Haitians in building a home for a woman in our community. Thank you to those who donated money to pay for this house! Each evening the team and I and some staff members spent on the roof of the guesthouse discussing Jesus, kids, Haiti, and our struggles. We also threw ourselves into a massive, hour-long pillow fight with the girls at the girls' home. Epic.