When things got rough, I can still here my mom say, "Common' guys. We all know that the Lord hasn't brought us this far to abandon us now!"
How true it still is, as I am reminded that if the Lord has called Matt and I to Haiti and to this work, and if He has continued to do so and to provide, then there is NO CHANCE that He's not also going to provide for Lily. He intricately knows her heart, her needs and her perspective, and He reminded me this morning that He can, and WILL take care of HER in Haiti, too.
There is a church in Plaine-du-Nord (the same Voodoo area I just wrote about a few days ago) that we have always loved to visit. We don't have any staff or students there, and it's not associated with OMS in any way, but it's Micheline's church and we have always found a very earnest, passionate and seemingly healthy group of believers there.
Over the past months, we've been saddened to hear Micheline share about how the pastor, boldly speaking out against members of the church who are practicing Christianity on Sunday mornings and openly practicing Voodoo in the evenings, was being driven out of the church. Finally, he was asked by the church committee (with many of it's members being these problem people) to leave.
He was forced out the end of June, and a large number of people from the church, including Micheline and her family, were forced to leave as well if they were not willing to "tolerate" leadership worshipping whomever they chose, whenever they chose (and even tolerate the church yard as a place for Voodoo ceremonies on Saturday evenings.)
She's been visibly discouraged over this after spending her whole life in this church, and so this morning we drove out to her sister Elsie's home, where these "homeless" believers have been meeting, to encourage them and worship with them.
We found over 40 people huddled in Elsie's living room and spilling out onto her dirt porch, and we threaded our way through the sardined crowd to our obligatory seats of honor at the front. Church building or no church building, time of joy or time of pain, there was no stopping this group from lifting their voices in passionate praise to the Lord.
There were about a dozen children all packed to the front of the room with us, and in light of Friday's community/Lily disaster, I kept a close eye out for her emotions. She was given a little woven chair like everyone else, and plopped down, happy to be like all the other kids.
The seating was hot and crowded, the worship was loud and animated, the preaching was long and passionate (and Biblical and humble and great, by the way), but Lily was completely unfazed. SO unfazed, in fact, that about 6 songs in, I noticed a lot of the children looking at her and grinning, and I looked down to see her dancing.
Not ballet-twirling or dancing like any of her kid DVDs, but watching the other children closely and dancing just as they were to the music, sway then rigid to the left, stomp-clap, sway than rigid to the right, stomp-clap.
It may have been no big thing, but it was a mother's answered prayer to see her, just a few days past traumatized, at ease, grinning, having fun, and completely ignoring her mother. She didn't want to leave when the service ended (which following a 2+ hour service, is unheard of!), and actually left and walked out to the car with the other children, again, ignoring mother.
She's going to be ok.
There will be rough moments in this very foreign culture for our children, as there still are for Matt and I. There will be tears, as there still are for Matt and I. But today she saw and enjoyed some of the beauty of a passionate, worshiping, community oriented people, whom He loves, on her own...and was content.