We started off this April with Spring Break at Sonlight. Most teachers count down the days until a break, but I’ve never been a huge fan of them. Even in the states, I would get anxious as we approached a long break. I like to stay busy, and too many unscheduled days drives me crazy! At home, I would always make sure to get my breaks filled with traveling, volunteering, or working odd jobs, but my opportunities are little more limited here in Haiti. A few missionaries used the break to travel to other places in the country, but we were unable to go anywhere, so we were stuck at home. We filled up the week the best we could, and got to spend some great time with a few other missionaries who stayed here for break!
Earlier this week, we planned to go to a beach about two hours away with a few other missionary families in town. Despite practically living on the coast of an island, beaches aren’t exactly super accessible. Even the closest beaches involve going down curvy, up-and-down paths that are unpaved and rough. The smallest amount of rain can make an already sketchy road completely impassable by taxi or truck. Unfortunately, on this particular day muddy roads and a dead truck battery kept us stranded on the side of the road for over 6 hours, and we never did make it to the beach! We might have not gotten to the ocean, but at least we had good company to share the adventure with!
Yesterday, we attempted to go to the beach again. The freshman class wanted to do a beach trip, and Bryson volunteered to go with them. This time, we went to a much closer beach, and John, who is the director of operations here, agreed to drive us all in his truck. This truck is much more reliable than the average Haitian tap-tap truck! Fortunately, it hadn’t been very rainy, so we made it there without any trouble. We had a great morning of sun, soccer, kickball, and swimming before we noticed the dark storm clouds coming our way. We quickly called John to see if he would pick us up early, but he still had a little more work to do before he could head our way. We packed up quickly and started walking towards home, knowing that the impending rain could make parts of the path impassable by even John’s truck. Of course, we couldn’t out run the rain, and our beach trip ended with us soaked from the rain and mud as we trudged down the road! Just another day in Haiti. Luckily, the freshman class is so happy-go-lucky, they hardly even complained!
My favorite part of the break was something called Breakout. During the last few days of Spring Break, Southland Christian Church in Kentucky sends a group that puts on a conference in the morning for our Junior High and High School students. They bring in a worship team, t-shirts, speakers, and games! It’s a total blast, but the coolest part is that they do the conference again in the evenings, but they translate everything into creole so people from the community can come. I was so incredibly impressed by how much work the Southland team puts into this conference! It was so much fun to sing the songs I know and love in a new language.
One of the songs they translated was No Longer Slaves, where the chorus goes “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God”, or as it’s translated into creole, “Mwen pa esklav perez anko, Mwen se pitit Bondye”. As we sang this song, I began to think deeper about its message. I have always been a person who has constantly lived my life in fear. I worry about nearly everything; I worry about losing the people I love, I worry that people don’t like me, I worry about the future, I worry about the past. Since moving here, these worries have seemed to amplify, at times consuming me so deeply that I feel like I’m drowning. And I let this affect my attitude, my work, and my relationships with others.
But as we sang this song, I realized that the lyrics show a clear difference. Though I know I will always struggle with worrying to some extent, I am reminded that as a child of God, I no longer have to be that way. And everyday I remind myself of these words, with the hope that one day I will fully believe them. I no longer have to be a slave to my fears, because I am a child of God. Mwen pa esklav perez anko, Mwen se pitit Bondye!
I am SO excited to see all my precious 4thgraders tomorrow morning! Please continue to pray for us as we finish up these last six weeks of school!