Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane...

I've been busy around here this week. The boys and I have been involved in our churches version of vacation bible school, called Runners Camp. It's such a cool idea. While learning how to study the bible, the kids who attend the week will train and be exposed to actual track and field events like shot put,Javelin,discus,sprint,hurdles, distance running,etc.

It all culminates in an actual track and field meet where kids are awarded ribbons for competing.
It's been consuming, exhausting, and so much fun. 
I led Aslan's age group, throwing back to my days working in summer camp.
Good times.
Great times.
Of course, alongside Runners's Camp, the boys and I are busy packing to leave the country for a couple of months.
Tomorrow morning, at 7am, all three boys and I will pack up and leave for the Dominican Republic.
I'll be traveling by myself with all of the boys to meet Noah, who's already there. 
I am not terribly worried about traveling by myself. 
The boys will all wear matching outfits that involve bright yellow shirts. I'll keep a stroller with me,even though I don't typically put Shepherd in a stroller anymore. That way, the older boys can hold on to each side and I can keep them all in my line of sight.
The flights are short and the one layover is short. The boys generally have a great attention span and I am not too concerned about keeping them happy during the rather short travel day.
We should arrive to the DR by the afternoon and head to our rental home, only about 15 minutes away from the airport.
We leave early tomorrow and right now I am frantically cleaning and packing,of course.
But I wanted to be sure and take the time to update everyone on the WHO,WHAT,WHERE,WHEN, and WHY, and HOW to our families travels.
(For those of you involved in Runner's Camp, it's obviously not yet out of my system)
Noah and I and the 3 boys, along with our newest child that currently travels for free in my belly.
It's a shame I can't pack them all in there.
Sure would be cheaper.
We tried to bring our dog but ran into some problems with the heat involved in flying there. Next time,we will get night flights to avoid that trouble.
We're going to miss her so much but it helps knowing she will be staying with friends and family who love her almost as much as we do.
You wanna know how much people love you?
Leave the country for 2 months and ask them to keep your dog...highly effective.

What are we doing while there?
The work that Haiti(love) does is constantly changing and growing as we learn and grow in our ability to understand both the people, the culture and the present needs. Any one involved in working internationally,especially in impoverished nations, understands the humbling awareness that "we haven't got a clue," just a great God.
And we're open to learning.
Over the past year, HaitiLove has begun to work equally in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In the DR, we work primarily among Haitian communities within the DR.
We also still work within communities in Haiti, among nationals there.
Most of the HaitiLove trips that are taken fly into the DR and spend part of the time there,working with a pastor's center and within the community.
They then move over the border into Haiti to spend time in a small community there,among the people.
Our families personal goal is to use this time as somewhat explorative. We hope to see what could be gained from having someone "on the ground" more consistently than we have been able to in the past. Previously, it was not an option for our family to live overseas because of Shepherd's unique medical needs. Now that his trach has been out for 2 months and he is doing fabulously, all of his doctors have cleared him for just about anything any other kids can do,including international travel.
We hope to build stronger relationships along our partners there.
We also are going to spend a lot of time seeking God about the future vision and strategy of Haiti(love). We hope to gain even more clarity by spending an extended amount of time there.
Noah will have multiple trips coming into the DR over the next couple of months and continue leading those trips.
 He just won't have to travel all the way from the states each time!
And in between,well be right there with him, meaning less time apart,as a family.
We'll also work hard at learning more language.
Noah will continue to develop his creole (what Haitian's speak) and I and the boys will probably work on our Spanish, as we will be living and functioning in the DR currently.
which leads me to ...WHERE?
We will be renting a small part of a home on the hillside over Sosua, a seaside town in the DR.
This town is only a few minutes from the airport most of our trips fly into and also minutes from the communities we are working in. It's a few hours drive from the border of Haiti.
Tomorrow through late August.
As I explained previously, we are very hopeful about the clarity and relationships we will gain from spending extended amounts of time in the countries we've given our lives to ministering in.
God has opened up the doors. We are walking through them.
Again, God has made it both financially and practically possible for us in many ways.
We are currently able to stay in a home rent free in the states, that is a house owned by our family, freeing us up to pay the small amount of rent needed in the DR.
This house also happens to be located in a tight cul-de-sac community where it can easily be watched by friends and family closely.
We were able to sell our home quickly,earlier in the year, making much more flexibility with our future possible on our part.
The kids are homeschooled and will continue their education as we travel.
I am due in late October, which has us back for my last trimester and delivery.

Which, by the way, just yesterday baby J passed the echo to look at the heart with flying colors. Growth is great. All appears to be looking grand.
Tell me that is not the most adorable child you've ever seen in utero.
Life. Amazes me. Every time.
I hope this gives you all some clarity on keeping up with us.
We will have internet access and hope to update the blog much better over there than we do here.
Things should be a little less "busy."

Please be in prayer for us.
1)For our time together as a family. We are desperately looking forward to some time together as a family. Noah does a lot of traveling and we keep to busy over here. We hope to have some focused time together in the slower paced culture,even amidst the efforts. Also our niece, Kassie, who just graduated high school and is fluent in Spanish,thank God, will be joining us for a month. CAn;t wait for some time with her.

2)Health. I will be going through weeks 22-30 of my pregnancy in the DR. There are some international meds/vaccines I cannot take because of being pregnant. Please pray for protection against malaria and mosquito born illnesses like dengue fever,food bourne illnesses,etc.The risk is not great and I will be doing things to prevent and protect myself. Things like not eating at roadside stands, sleeping with a mosquito net,bug spray,etc.
But I'd appreciate your prayers on our behalf. Noah and the boys will have most of the vaccines needed but there is still some risk, because life has risk.
We feel comfortable with the level of risk we are taking and trust God with the outcome regardless.
Not a sparrow falls from the sky without his knowing.
I'm assuming that not a mosquito bites without his sovereign hands to guide it.
We are a safe people.
Because God's people are safest in His hands, in His will.
3) For relationships. Pray that God continues to grow our relationships among Haitians and Dominicans. Please also pray for our protection when Noah is gone on trips to Haiti,as we will not accompany him but instead stay in the DR.

4) Support raising. Please pray that we can use our time over there wisely to grow in our fund raising abilities/communication/connections. That we would gain greater clarity about the "how" piece to fundraising. Neither of us are rather administrative and to be honest, this whole piece has been quite challenging for us. With the work itself constantly pressing in, it's very challenging to cease the work to raise support to do the work. Yet, God has continued to provide, and we are well taken care of.

Alright, as my favorite orphan,Annie, says, "tomorrow,tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow, it's only a day away...."
Tomorrow,we load up and join our man in the DR for 2 months. Can't wait!

Now off to more packing...and cleaning the fridge...and laundry...and Tartget...and...yeah

1 comment:

Megan said...

Yay! What an amazing opportunity. Will be praying for all you mentioned.