This is my last week in Haiti. Tomorrow we fly back to the "Night 'n States", as Eleanor calls it. It was a good week... working at the clinic, spending time with my mom and sister, saying goodbye to friends in Haiti. It doesn't really seem real that I won't be coming back in January. Just feels like a normal Christmas break, except for the 11 suitcases in our house, holding all our stuff from the past 12 years or so.
My favorite moment of this last week in Haiti happened last Sunday. The children in the Sunday School program decided to give me a little show. They put a chair up front for me to sit in, and then presented me with a gift. Several little girls got up and each sang a song or recited a poem. One of the girls sang a song of thanks to the Lord. She had such a sweet voice, and seeing her there, standing on the cement floor of the school classroom with the morning sun streaming in the door behind her, lighting up her flowery Sunday-best dress and ribboned hair, I couldn't help but think, "I'm going to miss this". This place, these people, my Haiti home.
After the children presented me with my gift, it was time for me to go to "big church" and speak a few words of goodbye to the congregation. I told them that God was leading us back to the U.S. and that I wasn't quite sure how to live there anymore, after so many years in Haiti. I shared with them how I had been studying Jesus' words in Revelation to the church in Laodicea, and how His admonishments to that church reminded me of America. They said they were rich and had need of nothing, but they were poor, naked, and blind. I told the congregation I am heading back to America to be a missionary there to those who are spiritually poor, naked, and blind. Then I encouraged them to be missionaries right where they are. The best missionary is the one who doesn't need to learn the language or cultural mores, because they have known and practiced them since childhood. The best missionaries are the Christians in the neighborhood, at the market, in the home.
And so, we are going back to our native language and culture with the gospel. We're going to be a missionaries in our neighborhood, our marketplace, and our home. Look out, America. Here we come!