Thursday, July 14, 2011

Learning to take the chair

Short term and long term missionaries often say they go to serve the people of whatever (poor) country they are working in. I believe that is true and should be the motivation of any mission. Learning to serve those who are in need is important discipline of the Christian life. However, I think there is another discipline to learn as well – learning to be served by those in need. Let me explain.

When I first came to Haiti, I tried so hard not to be treated differently because I was a white girl from Canada. I wanted to fit into life here as much as possible. I didn’t want special treatment. This included using the same washrooms (latrines) as others and sometimes using no washroom (I am a farm girl and know how to squat in a field!). It included eating the same food as others (when it was safe). It included being squished into the backseat of a truck with 3 other people for a 6 hour bumpy, hot, drive to Port au Prince and sharing a tent set up on concrete with no mattresses for one night. It included many other things as well.

Haitians are very hospitable, even if they have nothing to offer you, they will do their best to make you comfortable. Often times visiting someone’s house, I would be offered one of the only chairs to sit on while visiting in the front porch. I used to be stubborn and refuse it because I didn’t like to be the only one sitting while everyone around me was standing. One time, we were watching a live soccer game in a neighbouring town (there are no bleachers so everyone stands), one of the vendors selling drinks out of her cooler offered me her chair. She was quite a bit older and looked tired and hot so I didn’t want to take her chair. Besides, 300 people around me were all standing just fine, I didn’t want to be the white girl that needed a chair.

You see, I used to think they were only offering me a chair because I was white and therefore for some reason deserved a chair. But, being here longer, I realize that that is not the case at all. They are offering me a chair out of care and hospitality, why should I deny that? And so, I’m learning to take the chair, even if it makes me uncomfortable, even if everyone else around me is standing. Because by taking the chair, I’m letting them serve me and give me a gift. A chair may be the only thing they have to offer.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just a few more days!

It's hard to believe that in just a few days Cal and I will be on our way to Canada together! Saturday morning we will be begin our LONG journey there. We'll leave Haut Limbe at about 7 am, drive to Cap, take a bus from Cap to Santiago, DR. Arrive in Santiago at 2 or 3 pm. Catch another bus to Sosua, DR. Take a taxi to the Puerto Plata airport. Board our Air Canada flight at 9:50 pm. Arrive in Toronto at around 2 am. Go through customs, and then wait for our 7 am flight for Saskatoon. Arrive in Saskatoon at around 9:30 am Sunday am. Whew! I think we will be a little tired!

Now that I know that Cal is coming, I've been trying to think of all the things that we can do and what I can show him about life in Canada. We'll get some time out at the family farm in Norquay, do some fishing, go to Winnipeg to see friends and relatives, and possibly head out to Alberta for a few days to visits some friends that have come to Haiti.

We'll spend the first couple of weeks in Saskatoon with my family, relaxing and exploring things there. I'm excited to show him the University, our parks, malls, libraries and go to a movie or two. Any recommendations for what else you would show someone on their first trip to Canada?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The answer is YES!!

Cal was granted a six month Canadian visa!! We will be in Canada July 17 to August 20 and will for sure be visiting Saskatoon, Norquay and Winnipeg in that time - possibly Alberta.

Thank you everyone who prayed for this - we are so excited!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

They are on their way!

7 youth and 2 leaders from Malmo Covenant Church are on their way to Florida right now so that they can fly to Haiti early tomorrow morning. Will you join me in praying for them?

  • Pray for safe travel in the air as well as on the ground once they arrive here.
  • Pray for good health for all - it's really hot right now and we don't want anyone to overheat!
  • Pray for relationships to be built between the Canadians and Haitians.
  • Pray for the minds and hearts of the Canadians and Haitians both to be opened and much learning to happen. 
  • Pray for energy for myself and Cal this week - hosting is great, but it is also a lot of work!