So this picture says so much...
1) I must be feeling better. We all must be feeling better! Praise the Lord. I have finally arrived at the stage of not throwing up, and also not as big as a house yet. Which means yesterday's 4 mile hike to and from church didn't even phase me, and THAT is the Stacey I've been missing.
2) There are those people who don't understand why in the world you would go to a church you have to hike 2 miles to when you could go to a church that you pull up in front of. And there are those people who don't understand why you would go to a church you can pull up in front of if there is a church you can hike 2 miles to. Matt and I each of these :)
3) I just want to say how thankful I am that Matt is outnumbered. Our girls LOVE hiking, which runs deep in my family veins!
Going to church at Coup-a-David is one of my favorite things to do for so many reasons beyond a love of hiking.
The girls get to encounter tons of wildlife.
There are many obstacles that usually result in a lot of laughter.
There is a lot of time to talk while you're hiking.
The girls relish a sense of independence while they conquer the beautiful world.
Seeing what a huge, hot obstacle brings out in who they are is a JOY.
There are lots of teaching opportunities, both for our kids and ourselves.
Here, we were at a fork in the road, and a batterie was at the crossroads. A batterie is hard to explain, but it's an object strategically placed to either lure or curse or poison or trick demonic forces or cause fear. As soon as we approached, a Haitian member of the Coup-a-David church walking with us cautioned everyone to walk far around the woven paper, covered in pink scribbles and laced with black string.
"Stay away!" he cautioned, "That's something of voodoo."
While we don't claim to understand much about voodoo, our general rule is this: If it's purpose and cause is fear, then there is no place for it in the life of a Believer. Not even on our path. The power and perfect love of God within us as foreigners who love God is within ALL of us who love God, and as much as it depends on us, we will not empower fear to continue.
Yesterday, that meant Matt having a chance to share with the group and throw the fear-causing trash away. Therefore, it also meant a lot of time sharing with the man we went to church with why. Why there is no fear. Why what man has caused for harm can't be harm to Him. To His children.
I love walking through the yards and homes of so many people along the way.
This little home, in particular, is always one of my VERY favorite places to stop. Several years ago, we stopped in this yard because lots of people had gathered and were celebrating. Upon investigation, it was because triplet girls, alive and well, had been born in the little stick hut. I took this picture that day,
And then yesterday got to see how they're doing...still alive and well, and THREE!
I know they don't look incredibly happy...but they did before the crazy pale lady pulled out her camera. To see them playing and giggling and surrounded, still, by loving family was a gift.
I love going to worship at Coup-a-David because it reminds you what a truly BEAUTIFUL country Haiti is. So much would have you forget.
I love it because it gives you memories with those you love, and helps you get to know those you don't know well.
I love seeing all of the gardens, everywhere, everyone taking care of themselves. Providing for their families.
And of course, I love this special little church on the mountain.
I was so thankful Enick (class of 2009) preached yesterday, and grateful to hear his heart on God's heart on planning for our lives. His plan for our lives. Grateful to sing with so many brothers and sisters who hiked further than we did. To worship with so many kids who hike further than we did to come to the church for school each day. Thankful to meet men and women and to hear their stories.
Thankful to get to know these guys better, and to see it all for the first time, through their eyes. And to hear Brent sloshing every step...he was not so agile on the river crossings :)
Glory to God for his earth, for His people, for His provision, and for His love...felt and seen so near on the mountain.