It's funny, the interest in the Haitian outhouse. I promised to follow up on it, and I will today. :)
On that first missions trip to Haiti when I was twenty-two, we traveled far back into the countryside of Haiti to bring some manpower (well, kidpower) to the missionary. He was building a work back there and needed to construct a meeting place for the church. He didn't need much skill. He just needed strong, young backs and willing hands. He got both with our teenagers.
Haiti was and still is a third world country-- one of the poorest in the world. Port-Au-Prince is the capital. That is the richest part of the nation. There are real houses there, most with electricity and running water. If you google images for Port-Au-Prince, you will see that the richest and best that the country has to offer looks very much like any inner city in the United States.
Well, there are a few really nice, deluxe homes here and there, but they are for the...
I was traveling through the back roads of Florida the other morning, early. I was driving. It was only five-thirty when I began my journey. It would take an hour and a half to reach my destination if I didn't run into traffic. There would be some highway travel, so I allowed more than two hours to get where I was going.
The sky was clear and there was still a sliver of a moon hanging low before me. It was very dark as I began driving. And as I traveled over roads and bridges, I had to turn my wipers on over and over again. But not a drop of rain fell.
The air was heavy with moisture. Later in the day we would call it humidity. Now, I am not a big fan of humidity or the heat that goes with it. But on this particular morning, the mist and fog in the air would cover my windshield with a light blanket, making it impossible to see. And so, those wipers came into play over and over again.
Sarah is visiting and I am far behind in my writing. It's not like I don't have anything to say. My brain is full and I have little notes written everywhere. Several are on my desk; many more in my Bible. So many that when I sit in church, they fall out, one after another. Sarah says I need netting under me. :)
So this will be short!
When she is visiting, I am out of my routine. I want to be doing what she is doing. Or at least looking at her while she's doing what she is doing. I miss her so much when she is so far from me. Talking on the phone is not the same.
People say we are very much alike. We can't disagree. She is mini-me. Bless her heart. We even look a good bit alike. Brian jokes that he already knows what his wife will look like as she ages. But he married her anyway. Ha!
The Bible says that many waters cannot quench love. That is the truth.
A few days ago I told of the Haitian goat who was no more. That was a long time ago, but if you get two or three of us who went on that trip together in the same place, there is a great likelihood that the poor goat will come up in conversation within the first ten minutes.
Yes, that was thirty-eight years ago. Yes, the very youngest among us is now in their fifties.
Oh, my! I am starting to sound like an old person.
Hmmm. I was just thinking. When I was younger I wouldn't have had any adventures to write about. And I know for sure that even if I did, I wouldn't have had enough spiritual discernment to pull out the Christian character lesson from the adventure, even if God had outlined it for me in advance.
Lol! I didn't pull any spiritual lesson from the goat story. I left it to you. Perhaps I still have a way to go. ;)
Okay, I guess this is the age that I had to be for all of this to happen. And the circumstances. And the time and place....
A happy thing happened yesterday. My daughter spent her day flying across the country to get to her momma. She has come for a visit. Did I mention that that was a happy thing? Very!
Sarah began her journey at three in the morning, driving for hours to LAX. Then she flew into New Orleans, waited a while, and then flew some more. She landed at six-something in the evening. Luggage was slow, and she arrived home just a few minutes before I did. She had lost three hours in the process, but waited up until Jim got home from a youth activity so that she could see him. Then she crashed.
One of the ladies at church said that she knew that I would be up all night talking to her. I told her that wasn't gonna happen tonight. I want her fresh tomorrow. And besides, it's not like we have a lot of catching up to do. We almost always talk on the phone twice a day.
And so, this morning, my very first thought when I opened my eyes, ev...
Okay, yesterday I was reminiscing about a missions trip to Haiti, long, long ago. You will find it here, and it will serve as our introduction. I brought up several things and then left them dangling, and so I want to hit one of them today before I forget.
I wrote of the girls sleeping inside the hut and the boys sleeping on the outside, encircling the hut. There was a reason for this, and I promised to tell you about it.
The main religion in Haiti is Roman Catholicism, but it is strangely mixed with voodoo. In Haiti, the preferred term is vodou. When we visited in the huts of the locals, we would often find little altars set up with candles, a small statue of Mary the mother of Jesus, several little vodou dolls, and a crucifix.
This in a hut that contained not even a bed or a table, but just a dirt floor and mats rolled up in the corner for sleeping. I tell you this to help you understand the importance of these items to them. They have sacrificed much to be ab...
Going to the Dominican a few weeks ago has stirred all kinds of memories from my first trip to Hispaniola. Memories of my home church back in those days, as well. Flashbacks, if you will. Good ones. I will probably share a few, at the risk of sounding like an old person talking about the good old days. Lol!
I need to tell you first that Hispaniola is the second largest island in the Caribbean and consists of two separate nations. You are entering another country when you pass from the Dominican Republic to Haiti or back again. The Dominican is the larger of the two, and Haiti is the poorer. Very, very poor.
The average annual per capita income is $15,200 in US dollars in the Dominican. In Haiti it is $1,500. That's annual. That is today. I'm not kidding-- I just looked it up.
Two different languages are spoken in the two countries. Spanish is spoken in the Dominican, and Haitian Creole in Haiti. Creole is a form of French...
We've had a busy month at our house. Lots of traveling and appointments and leaving the country and other such things. :) At one point there was going to be no one home for a couple of nights. That meant that the dogs needed a sitter.
Let me tell you first that I have these two adorable grandpuppies, Ricky and Lucy. They are Maltese, and are as cute as buttons. They couldn't be more sweet and loving. Ricky weighs nine pounds and Lucy weighs five. They really belong to Sarah and Brian, otherwise known as the Princess and the Lieutenant. Yes, that is Sarah from Sarah's Story fame. Soon after they got married, Brian got orders to California. They have been living there for almost a year and a half.
When it came time for them to move, a huge truck came to their house and several big, strong men came in and packed up their stuff over the course of several days. Now, there are rules to such things in the military. You are not supposed...
There was this verse in my devotion this morning. There was something about it that grabbed my heart and spoke to me right where I am. A shocker, right?
I am being sarcastic, for those of you who do not know me well. It's not a shocker at all. That's the way that it is with the Word of God. The Bible is a living, breathing book. And God really does speak to me through it.
He speaks plainly and openly to me. God will take a verse that I've read or heard preached a hundred times, and that I've studied a dozen times, and from it He'll give me something new.
He cuts right through to the secret issues of my heart. The struggle that I am going through that not another living soul knows about. No one but Him.
So He knows my struggle. He knows how quickly and easily I fall into sin in my thoughts. How my flesh rises up and I want my own way. How I want to figure out how to make my own way work and plan it all out. How I want to make a list o...
This is the third and final part of my account of the Thursday evening service at the Dominican church in Hispaniola. You can find part one and part two here if you need to catch up, because there will be no introduction.
After I spoke, Pasteur Wesley asked for testimonies from the congregation. There were many who stood and shared what the Lord had done for them. There was much joy. Even though I did not know what was being said, it made my heart glad.
Now it was preaching time!
I now know what it was like for my kids when they were little and I expected them to sit attentively in 'big' church and listen. I'm talking preschool age. I always knew that they understood little if any of the preaching, but I explained to them that this is one of the ways we can show God that we love Him-- by stilling still and being good during preaching time. I figured if they could sit for Mr. Rogers and Barney, they could sit for God. And they did.