Bonjour from Haiti!

Yesterday we had little kids run up to us, give us big hugs, grab a hold of our hands, and follow us for quite a bit. And they loved playing with my hair…what’s new, haha?!

One thing I absolutely LOVE about being here in Carrefour is walking through the streets, smiling at the people and greeting them with “Bonjour!” or “Bonsua (bohn-swah)!” It’s a sing-song, light-hearted greeting, and I’m always amazed and delighted at how a smile lights up the Haitian people’s faces. They sit on their front step or porch, or stand there staring as we “very obvious white foreigners” walk by. They usually have a very serious look or a frown on their face, yet upon my smiley greeting, their whole face lights up in this huge, delightful, wide smile that thrills me every time.

It’s amazing what a smile can do.

That’s something I’ve had to ask myself…especially right now in Haiti that our ministry is a little up in the air, we don’t have a concrete schedule, and we have a household of 19 women just chillin’ together in 1 house for a majority of the time.

What if God wanted me to come on the World Race simply to smile at someone? Would I be okay with that? Is that enough? Is it worth all of this?

And as I pondered that thought…the answer came almost immediately. It HAS to be okay. If God called me across the world only to brighten someone’s day with a smile, then that’s enough. Following His leading, regardless of the cost and the struggle, is the best way. It’s the only way. It’s not the easiest way or even the smartest sometimes. But it’s the best way.

We feel like God is protecting us here and He is giving us the opportunity to come together as 3 all-girls teams and get to know each other well and enjoy this time together. It’s a learning process and it’s definitely stretching, especially for an introvert who likes alone time and doesn’t really ever get it.

But…God is in the business of loving us and surprising us. I get to sleep on the roof tonight, and the roof overlooks the ocean and the hills of Haiti…and there’s the promise of a beautiful sunrise in the morning. I get to spend time with my team and grow…I get to spend time with the girls on the other teams and get to know them…I get to smile at the Haitian people and hug the little kids and hold their hands. I get to go to Thailand in a month. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll even get to see the Todds sometime this month and go to the beach.

I’m learning to rest. I’m learning to listen to the Lord…I’m trying, anyway, and really really desiring more and more of Him and His presence and His leading and guidance and wisdom in my life. I can’t do any of this without Him.

This World Race experience has looked nothing like what I expected so far. It’s interesting. Other World Racers said that very thing in their blogs…but I didn’t really hear it. I have all these expectations that I know need to be shattered. Part of me wonders what God’s plan is, and how everything will work out. He knows the desires of my heart. He knows that I long to see my missionary friends all over the world. Yet I also know that despite that, He might have something even better or something else that He needs me to experience during that month in that country that’s different from what I “want.” What I think I want. Because I know He knows best. That’s why I’ve been asking the Lord today to prepare my heart for our ministry in Thailand…because a part of me has realized that while I may in fact work with those I long to work with…and get to actually see what’s going on with the Karen people and experience it first-hand…that God may in fact have something different for me to experience on this trip.

I suppose I’m realizing that while this is a long trip, it’s not the end result. Just because I can’t be somewhere on this trip doesn’t mean I can’t go there after the Race.

There’s a long list of dreams, I guess, and I have a feeling I’m going to be discovering some new things along this World Race journey that I don’t expect right now.


That was a raw excerpt from my journal. Just some things I’ve been processing lately.

I am so grateful for each and every one of you who reads these blogs. I can feel your prayers. There is a spiritual battle being fought for the lives and land of Haiti. It’s intense, and we could feel the difference the instant we crossed the border from the Dominican Republic to Haiti.

Please pray for us and our ministry…we’re not entirely sure what it will look like this month, but we’re asking the Lord and really relying on His leading this month. We sense He’s going to do some BIG things.

You’re in my heart, prayers, and thoughts constantly.

I love, loooove, LOVE you 🙂

<3,
Jess

Your thoughts would look GOOD here :)