Sunday, September 4, 2011

10 Years In Haiti



Here is a photo of me with my pastor's family in September of 2001, on my last Sunday at Community Christian Church before I moved to Haiti. I moved here on September 4, 2001, and had no idea that I would still be here 10 years later. Here is a list of some of the highlights and low points of the past decade. I'll leave it up to the reader to determine which are which:

-waving goodbye to my nephew Lukey at the airport and trying to control my sobs on the plane
-watching the 911 attacks on cable t.v. in the CSI guesthouse living room
-wondering why it hurt to move my eyes, my head, my entire body...then finding out it was dengue fever and I wasn't going to get better for a couple of weeks
-laying on my cot the first night in Seguin, in my damp sleeping bag, thinking "what have I gotten myself into?"
-laying blocks for the walls of my apartment on Christmas day
-meeting Margarethe for the first time and thinking she was so skinny I better do some bloodwork on her before we hired her
-clearing out the rat eaten meds and starting a new pharmacy room
-falling down the stairs of death...repeatedly
-learning to master a stick shift in stop and go traffic on steep roads (I apologize to all the walls and vehicles I gently rolled back on)
-rushing Jean Dony to the hospital to get him treatment for his burned body, while trying to dodge people dressed like bulls and other beasts (it was Mardi Gras)
-delivering my first infant (Idamanthe is a beautiful nine year old now)
-delivering two babies in two different houses at the same time (that involved a lot of running)
-trying to set up the internet (that sentence doesn't convey how much time, effort, and agony went into that process)
-delivering a baby in the back of the pickup, while trying to keep Margarethe from having her baby in the front of the pickup
-living with Chelsea and Jean Dony in a haitian home for two weeks (cooking on a charcoal stove is hard)
-telling Lifrane to stop knocking on my door for cookies (this happened nearly every day for six and a half years)
-teaching my first Sunday school lesson in Creole
-leading my first group of students in a baptism class, and then watching them get baptized
-wrapping 500 presents for school kids on Christmas eve, while listening to Christmas music in Spanish on the only radio signal Seguin received
-watching movies at night to hear people talk to me in English
-asking for a blanket when it was 90 degrees out (malaria makes you do funny things)
-working with Danny and Leann
-saying goodbye to Danny and Leann
-delivering Jabez
-saying goodbye to Jabez
-working with all my wonderful interns
-watching all my wonderful interns go back home
-hiking to Margarethe's mother's house (it's not too far, they said. they lied.)
-watching a witch doctor tell a pregnant lady to put a pot on her head and eat an egg, shell and all
-driving Kenscoff road and getting knocked off course by a boy with a herd of sheep
-walking Kenscoff road and getting schooled by a woman twice my age
-driving a hemorrhaging patient in my brand new truck to four different hospitals before finding her help
-delivering two non-breathing, nearly pulseless twins
-visiting with those twins and their mother a year later, and watching them crawl and smile and play
-praying with Margarethe and her family when the loneliness started taking its toll on me
-waking up each Tuesday thinking "ugh. it's dental day"
-staring at a broken generator. again, and again, and again.
-crying out "Jezi, sove nou!!" as I floated down a river in my truck with a haitian man named Chrisnet and a cat named Blackbeard
-riding on the top of a bus, the back of a dump truck, the bench of a taptap, the spare tire of a mack truck, the book rack of a motorcycle, and the bony back of an emaciated horse (to name a few)
-making the decision to leave Seguin, praying for guidance, and receiving an email from Jim and Sandy asking me to come to Christianville
-meeting an American missionary optometrist and thinking "he's cute, but quiet"
-saying goodbye to all my friends in Seguin
-preaching devotions at the Christianville clinic and seeing patients respond to the gospel
-getting engaged under a waterfall in Jacmel
-flying back to Christianville in a helicopter after our honeymoon
-meeting my baby girl for the first time and thinking "I didn't know I could love something this much"
-surviving the earthquake on January 12, 2010 and still attempting to survive all its aftermath
-sleeping under an avocado tree
-having church outside
-learning how to live indoors again without panicking
-giving birth to my baby boy and thinking "he's absolutely perfect"
-starting up a Sunday school program at church and busting out the ol' felt board again

And that pretty much brings us up to today. Some people have told me that I should write a book about my time here in Haiti. But I tell them, "I don't know the end yet." I felt God called me to Haiti 10 years ago, and I came with the intention to stay until He called me somewhere else. He hasn't called me anywhere else yet, so I'll keep serving Him here, one day (or decade) at a time.

4 comments:

Pye's In Haiti said...

Having been there for many of these it is crazy to see everything that God has done in the past 10 years. So many highs and lows. You have blessed Haiti so much T. We love you!

G in Haiti said...

I am amazed at all you've been through!! I know I heard it at the time but to see it all written like that WOW! You make me so proud. God is doing some amazing things through you. Thank you for being the example we all need to follow. LOVE YOU!!!

Vickie Brooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vickie Brooks said...

Thank you for taking the time to write such descriptive sentence stories. May the Lord continue to bless your work and ministry there in Haiti!