Home Again

I am so tired. My eyes keep drooping as I type. I’m probably going to be a little incoherent.

I should probably go to bed, but I have a bad habit of usually not doing what I’m supposed to be doing, so I’m going to ignore my better judgement.

And I’m waiting for someone to do something for one of my classes that I’m now woefully behind in.

After a very long day of traveling and a couple moments where I thought I was going to die, I’m finally home.

I meant to blog more to keep you, my Darling Creepers, appraised of my whereabouts and goingson, but I was always super tired when the evening rolled around, and because I journal a freakish amount, I really didn’t feel like writing things twice.

Even though there’s no way the things that go in my journal would go on here.

(Twin and Kaitlyn, you can still read it.)

So, the basics of my journey:

I spent the very first day traveling.

I spent the first two days actually there doing assessments on about 90 kids and immunizations on some of those 90 and getting barfed on.

I spent the next two days scraping paint off metal cribs and re-painting them and getting barfed on again.

I spent the last two days exploring, haggling, eating, napping, playing, cuddling, and getting peed on.

And I spent today playing, cuddling, sleeping, getting barfed on, flying, and coming home.

I told Twin when she asked that this was probably the best trip I’ve ever been on. It was, without a doubt, the most life-changing.

It answered a lot of questions, challenged me, confronted me with some stuff, and forced me to look at things in a new way.

I didn’t expect to fall in love when I went.

In fact, I actively fortified myself against it.

Knowing my heart the way I do, I told myself time and time again that I couldn’t afford to love someone I was never going to see again, I couldn’t take any babies home with me, and there was no way I was going to be able to love them all so it’d be best to not pick favorites.

But those kids won’t let you be a passive observer. They demand everything you have to give plus some. They are loud and playful and wiggly, and they will squirm their way right into your unsuspecting heart.

There was one kid in particular that owns a piece of my heart.

And he earned it by barfing on me. Often.

The first time we met, I was holding him to do an assessment on him, and he leaned over to mess with the pocket on my shirt and hurled straight into it.

I was digging chunks out of that for a while.

And my first thought was, “Tiny dude, we can be friends.”

The second time, he got smarter and pulled my shirt out with his tiny fist and threw up down the inside of it.

I was so close to following his example.

The third time we met, he threw up on my shoulder like a normal kid.

Mostly he was upset cause I was making him go to sleep

The fourth time, he decided to change things up and urinate on me.

And the fifth time, because he knew that we were super tight by then, he threw up right in my face.

And then he fell asleep on me, so I forgave him very quickly.

This trip was definitely something. I’m going to post some pictures and video later.

For now, I need sleep. Desperately.

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Thin Places

When I came to Haiti, I was expecting to see Thin Places.

Thin Places are spots where heaven is a little closer to earth.

I was expecting to see them in children’s smiles and eyes and babies’ laughter. I was expecting to find them in some great act of service that I had performed.

I am so selfish sometimes.

I haven’t found them in the children or the babies. Nothing I’ve done has brought heaven a little closer to earth for me.

In fact, I haven’t seen a single thin place since I got here.

Until tonight.

Thin places can be found in children’s eyes and babies’ laughter, but not when your heart is in the wrong place. And it definitely has been.

The only time I’ve seen a thin place all week has been in a random conversation before bed.

In talking to someone else about God, my heart was really called out.

Here I was, telling this person that God is actively seeking us all and is always willing to be found and will never abandon us or leave us hanging, and I won’t extend that same truth to someone else I know because I don’t like them.

Tonight I was reminded that God doesn’t care.

He takes us exactly as we are – with all of our faults – because He wants us desperately and passionately. He wants us badly enough to suffer the cruelest death.

I was reminded that God does not need me to decide who comes to Him.

That is not my place. He is after us all. He created us all, and He knows what He’s doing.

I cannot stand between someone and Christ because I don’t like them. I cannot decide that someone isn’t good enough for God because they’re not my friend.

Christ didn’t come to save my friends; He came to save the world. It’s time I started living like that.

Tonight heaven got a little closer to earth because, when I spoke truth to my friend, my heart was torn to shreds by the power of the very name I spoke.

Tonight, I saw God at work – not just in Haiti – but in my heart and the world.

Dear Lord and Lady Life-Giver

I’m here, and I’m safe.

I almost wasn’t here, and I wasn’t particularly safe on the ride up the mountain, but that was then. This is now.

And the ride up the mountain was insanely fun.

I almost wasn’t here because I almost didn’t get through customs.

So, you know the customs forms? The entire address wouldn’t fit on it, so I (and the people I was filling it out with) just didn’t put the whole thing on it.

When I got to the counter, the dour-looking man looked over my papers and said, “This address is not complete. Is this the whole thing? This is not right. Go over there and put the rest of it.” (His actual words.)

I was confused because the people who’d done the same thing were already through their line, but I went over and squeezed the rest of the address somewhere onĀ  the paper.

After he finished with someone else, I took the paper back. He barely glanced at it and said, “What is this?”

“The address.”

“No, it’s not. This is not an address.”

“It’s what I was given.”

“That’s not my problem. I don’t think I can let you through.”

“Oooookay. Then I need to go talk to the leader of my group.”

He sighed at me, shook his head, and said, “Go over there.” He pointed to the woman at the counter to the left of him. “Maybe she will let you in.”

So, I walked over to her and gave her my papers. She didn’t even look at them. She just stamped them and gave me back my passport.

The group was waiting for me at the other side, and after that, things went off without a hitch.

Thank goodness.

And I wasn’t particularly safe because I was riding up the mountain in the back of a truck. Standing up.

And Haitians are not careful drivers. They’re good, but your life will flash before your eyes every five minutes or so.

I think their rules of the road are a suggestion that they all ignore.

But yeah. We were in the back of a truck that had metal sides.We started out sitting on the benches like good people, sweating up a storm in the bright sunshine. Then, we decided that we were going to ride like the Haitians do, so we all ended up standing on the benches.

It was amazing how much cooler it was!

And we got whacked in the head with branches and felt certain we were going to fall out every time we went careening around a corner.

Best. Ride. Ever.

It was only about 20 miles from the airport to the mission, but it took a little over an hour.

I’m staying in the Guest House, and it’s super awesome! There are a couple other people here too, and they all seem super nice.

The food is really good. Yes, Lord Life-Giver, it was rice, chicken, and fruit. They also make coffee by the gallon in the morning. This is my kind of place.

Anyway. Now you know I’m here and alive. We’re all really tired, so we’re just taking it easy tonight. I’ll probably go to bed early to make up for our obscenely early morning.

Love,

Me!

P.S. Lady Life-Giver, if Lord Life-Giver gets a kilt, I want bagpipes.