09 September 2016

with joy

I guess it makes sense that God would use one of the things nearest and dearest to my heart to stretch it.

I know He's proven Himself over and over.  If He were never faithful once ever again, He has been faithful enough for a hundred lifetimes.  

And when I have my girlies close by my side, when I teach them myself, when they are within walking distance of my office...oh, it is so much easier to trust Him.
And every year, when it's time to see them off to school again, I have a bit of a heart crisis.  

We still feel led to put them in local schools, for their language and friendships and to keep breaking down the barriers that need not be, to keep breaking down barriers to relationship.  We've been overjoyed to listen to their Creole soar, to see them learning SO much in both French and Creole, to have them truly love their schools and teachers, and be truly loved by their schools and teachers.  Children are a gift so sweet to share!

Best, by far, is that when we walk down the street, they are no longer "Blan", foreigner, but "Lili!" and "Sofie!"  Best, the children we pass by the water pump, playing in the yards, are no longer orphans, are not children of the poorest country in the western hemisphere, aren't faceless Haitian kids, they are "Verdly!" and "Hline!" and "Caba!"

They are Lily and Sofie's dear friends, walls broken, and I am so thankful.
But it is hard.

They are the ONLY student in each of their schools who speak English.  
Every year we battle with ringworm, stomach issues, staph infections, and last year, even a bad cut from sharpening pencils with razor blades.  
No lights, no fans. 
Homework in French. 
The road to Lily's school is TERRIBLE and it's not easy to take them and drop them off in opposite directions three days a week on roads that more than triple your car time.  
There are no memos for parents or Facebook groups, so everything is done word of mouth, making it hard for us to stay in the loop.  
They both have Haitian teachers who do not speak ANY English, and who we do not yet know from Adam.
Discipline in Haitian schools is very different form the forms of discipline well-accepted in Matt's and my home-culture.
Uniforms have to be made from scratch every year or two, and I spend a good chunk of each morning braiding and ribboning.  
There are an incredible number of Haitian holidays that have school closed without warning, along with political unrest that keeps the school calendar incredibly fragile.
And don't even bring up the "k" word that's never far from your mind but you refuse to live in fear of.
So despite all that sweet and sassy attitude as they head back to school each year and their DESIRE to head back to school this week, it is ALL I can do to trust Him, trust Him still, trust Him always, trust Him MORE.

I didn't realize how much I was struggling and praying and fighting worry until Matt picked Sofie up yesterday afternoon and sent me this picture:
...and I started to cry.  The bench, which is connected to the desk, is too far away for Sofie to both sit AND reach the desk.  So she will be doing a lot of standing this year.

And while the teacher may not have a smart board (or whatever those are called), or a projector, or a fan, or a desk, or a computer or a laminator or a printer...she had a sparkly "Bienvenue" sign and had spent her morning blowing up balloons.  And while Sofie may not have air conditioning or a cute little desk or a shiny chart with her name on it...

Sofie is not suffering.  
Sofie is surrounded by friends and fried spaghetti and had an awesome, Creole, educational, fun day.

God continues to be "faithful is He who calls you."

Even in my deepest heart of hearts, where my daughters dwell.  Even as I struggle to trust Him, He is trustworthy, and provides.  

It is not until we step out on scary waters, trusting 
(begging Him to help us TRUST)
 that we can see our God do that which we didn't think possible...with joy.

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