Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thoughts on Staying in Haiti, Part 1

I’m not sure I can coherently and succinctly share about why I’m staying in Haiti. It really doesn’t make sense from a practical, logical viewpoint, but I think that’s part of the mysterious ways of God Almighty. He has this habit of doing things that aren't logical: he makes beauty from ashes, he uses the weak to lead the strong, he says the first will be last and the last will be first.

First there are all the reasons I shouldn’t stay in Haiti. There are a lot of them.

  • I can’t speak the language. Just this week I told someone I don’t have anything when I meant to say I don’t want anything. While only one word is different, they have very different meanings!  
  • My family, who I love very much, lives very far away from Haiti.
  • I’m currently too much of a scared-y cat to go to the market near my house by myself. For an entire week I’ve been trying to work up the nerve to ask one of my students to accompany me into the market as we walk home. Apparently I’m not desperate enough for vegetables yet.
  • I have a mortgage on a house in Indiana.
  • Things like electricity and running water are luxuries here. Read a few of my older posts about electricity if you haven’t already.
  • There’s a job (with a very healthy salary--and benefits) waiting for me in a school district I have loved working in for the past 6 years.
  • My church family at St. Mark Missionary Church is reason enough to never leave Mishawaka, IN!
That’s not an exhaustive list, but I think you get the point. It makes sense to return to Indiana. But following God rarely makes sense. Abraham sacrificing Isaac, Joshua walking circles around Jericho, David battling Goliath, Jesus calling common fishermen to be his disciples and hanging out with sinners. Where in the Bible do we see God making sense?

Even with that lengthy list of logical reasons to return to Indiana, I know that this is where I belong. I have such a strong sense of belonging at Mountain Top Ministries. It’s like I was made for this specific job! (Ephesians 2:10 and Psalm 139:16 have a little something to say about that.) My personality and talents are an exact fit with the other staff of MTM. More than that though, I have an overwhelming sense of peace about defying all logic to stay in Haiti.

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