01 May 2017

new every morning

This morning is a national holiday here in Haiti...basically a combination Agriculture/Labor Day, but with final exams all week, my English 2 class decided to test today anyway, not wanting to double up any of their other exams.  I can't believe it's already exam week, and I'm so thankful to enjoy teaching and these students so much that I can honestly say I wish we went year round!  
This year IS the first summer we'll be offering some classes, and so I'll be teaching a Preparing to Take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Exam class for six weeks after graduation...a lot of these students are NOT EBS students, so it will also offer us a chance to influence business men/women for the Gospel.

We had our LAST student dinner this past Thursday night, and it was one of our very favorites.  Four first year students who began late (just started this February) joined us, and because neither of us have had any of them in class, it was so much fun really meeting them and getting to know them a bit.  I LOVED hearing their fresh and first perspective of life and study at Emmaus.  

It's been truly exciting the last few years to see HOW God is calling men and women to Emmaus, and to be delighted by the character we already see in them.

Truth is, it is very hard to teach character.  It's very hard to MAKE someone humble, to make them honest, to make them sincere, to light them on fire for God.  But it is when God sends us humble men, when God gives us on-fire women, when he sends us men and women of character, we can give them all the tools they need to be the world-changers for His glory.  THAT is so exciting.  

And we loved sitting around the dinner table, laughing about first impressions and answering questions with the girls, and asking for their stories, and being amazed at how God has continued to send us men and women we could never have recruited ourselves.

It's also exciting to realize that with this last dinner, every single live-in student at Emmaus ate with us this year.  I am SO glad God set that up...it's been one of the most powerfully informal parts of ministry at Emmaus this year for our family.  I wish I had done a quick group photo at the end of each dinner!  next year :)

Yesterday we all walked to church in the village right next to Saccanville...It's one of our favorite things to do because along the way you get to interact with all of the families we work with, all the kids the girls go to school with, all the members of the community we don't usually see.
Today, Haylie is 15, and in just 2 short weeks, Ethan heads back to the States for a summer of work and then college!  We are going to miss him TERRIBLY, especially Lily, who absolutely considers E her best friend.  Trying to soak him up these days and thanking God all over again for the way He sent us the Heckman family, more community members of character and community and gifting that we never could have known to recruit ourselves.  

He gives good gifts, our Father, and so faithful is He who calls.

As we head into this new week, if you're feeling like you sure could use some prayer right now, I wish you'd let me know how I can be lifting you up.  Send me an email and I will be praying with you over the burdens and cries of your heart!  

I leave you with my man Oswald, always lighting up the truth for me.

"Our natural inclination is to be so precise--trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next--that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing.  We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life.  The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty.  

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life--gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life.  To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring.  

We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God.  As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He being to fill our lives with surprises."

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