Tomorrow is July 28th. I should be waking up in 4 hours to get on a bus to head for the airport and fly back to my home country to see friends and family. Instead, I’ll be waking up to see the team off and go back to bed because I’m going to stay in Haiti for another month! All of this happened last Friday over a series of many emails and prayers.
Keith and Christi had joked about me leaving with all the work left to be done, but I knew there was an element of seriousness to it in that if I was here, I could definitely be used. After talking with them a little more seriously, I decided to email Gretchen to say that if I would be of use and benefit to stay, then I would be more than happy to do so but not because I wanted to, but only if Lifeline needed or could use me here. I was happy to stay or happy to go home. I got an email back from Gretchen saying that she had wanted to ask me to stay but didn’t because if I couldn’t, she didn’t want me to feel guilty about going home. (I love seeing God in every little detail of life). I then emailed the three most important people in my life- Dad, Mom, and my brother Josh- to get their thoughts and make sure if I stayed I wouldn’t be missing anything at home. I was so overwhelmed by their response and with how incredibly blessed I am to have them as my family. Mom and Dad said that the selfish side of them wanted me to come home so they could see me, but they knew that if I was going to stay, God’s timing in all of this was perfect and if God was opening this door, they would gladly support my staying with their blessing. Josh emailed me and in a sentence said, “You know I’m a logical guy, so it’s pretty obvious what you should do; see you in a month!” Mom, Dad, Josh- I love you guys more than you know; there are no words to express my love and thanks to God for the gift He gave me with you.
However, my Haitian friends have been clarifying with me for the past couple of weeks that I was leaving on July 28th. Thus, I began receiving many hugs, gifts, and goodbyes last week. It has been a blessing to tell my dear friends that I am staying for one more month and to hear their shouts of joy and receive their huge hugs. I got called up front in church on Sunday to give my farewell address and to sing a song. I thanked them for the blessing they have been this summer and then gave them the news. Wow, the shouts of joy! But all rejoicing and glory must be given back to God, for that is where ALL glory is due. My favorite response came today though. I hadn’t seen my sponsored girl Mykenlove for about a week. She hadn’t heard the news yet. When I asked her if she knew when I was leaving, she said, “Tomorrow.” When I told her, I received the biggest hug and smile; similar to the first time she saw me the beginning of the summer. I love her with all my heart.
Thank you ALL for all of your prayers, support, and encouragement. I will see you August 25th.