In looking back at my own posts, I’ve realized several things.
(1) The quality of my posts depends on how busy I’ve been, and
(2) it also depends on me having some solitary time to think.
That becomes pretty clear when I realize how much more thought is in the posts from Grand Goave.
Now, I am there again. In my hammock, overlooking the bay. Today will be my Sabbath, although I may do some work sometime if I decide it is appropriate.
It is a surprising realization, which makes me wonder how much we overlook other things in the Bible, that we, as Americans, as christians, even as pastors/missionaries, typically do not observe a day of rest, in honor of God. We tend to get too busy to give God the time He asks for as early as Exodus 20.
It is usually not intentional, but we get too busy. Sunday becomes the day of church, youth group, “fellowship” with friends (known to unbelievers as simply “hanging out”, yet spiritualized by many to seem more appropriate in our use of time).
Throughout the course of a week here, I get pulled in so many directions. Much work is accomplished, and many good things are happenening to the glory of God. However, I notice in myself a loss of capacity, both in physical ability, and my capacity for love and compassion, as a week wears on. It is in this time of Sabbath that I am renewed in my strength through an intentional period of spending time with Abba.
Part of me still struggles to think that I am “wasting” a day down here, especially cause the workers at this beach property tend to only see me on my days of rest, but I know that God ordained this time to spend with Him. Therefore, I can honestly say that no time is ever wasted that is intentionally spent in honor of God. Like a drink offering, poured into the flames, this “waste” as we see it, is an acknowledgement that all we have is God’s, and we will gladly give a portion of it back to Him. It is not poor stewardship, it is a reflection of dependence on our Heavenly Father.
In another train of thought, I also got to experience some more times of compassion this week. I am realizing each day how important it is to make someone else feel important, and to take time for all other.
Typically, this has come with children. To be honest, I tend to shy away from interacting with kids a lot, becuase I can’t understand their Kreyol, and they can’t understand why I can’t understand. lol. But I have come to realize the importance of giving time and being kind.
Two brothers, Mackenlove (about 4-5) and Chrislove (probably 3) are commonly at the school for Mission of Hope. Both of them have infectious smiles. I cannot understand either of them, but they are the type of kids that just value your time. Chrislove was up too late last night since all the Blan’s (white people) were around, and he was getting cranky, but the simply act of holding him in my arms calmed him. This was a simple reminder to me that my excuses of not beind understood don’t really count. Sometime holding a child is plenty to get the message of love across.
Another example comes from Les Cayes. Our school’s maintenance man, Medalhor, had a meeting with Jan (Dr. Jay’s wife) on one of our first days there. I happened to be in the office getting a drink, and the part of the conversation I picked up on was that he didn’t feel appreciated. There may have been plenty more, but I never asked, figuring if it was important, Jan would let me know. However, I decided to help with what I could. Medalhor typically looks pretty gruff, and therefore I tended to avoid him unless I needed him to open a locked door for me. Having been in Haiti for a while, I have now realized the importance of simply exhanging greetings here. It may seem trivial, but a simple “Hello, How are you?”, even if that is all the farther my Kreyol can take me in a conversation, shows respect and compassion.
So, all week long, I made it a point to engage Medalhor. If I would see him around the school, I would say hi, or at least wave, smile, or make some other gesture of ackowledgment. I never talked to the rest of the team, but I think Jan started doing this as well.
By the end of the week, it was obvious that Medalhor was smiling more, and was looking forward to our arrival, and paying attention to what we were doing each day. It was not longer a big search to find him when I needed keys. Since I was showing respect to him, he was also paying attention and would notice when I needed into a classroom much more often.
I make excuses all the time for not engaging people more, but it has become obvious to me that at minimum, we, as chrisitans, should be greeting people with respect, and striving to make people feel important.
Anyhow, that’s just some more thoughts for the day.
As previously posted, my wish list is growing slightly.
-Clamp Meter with DC Amperage capability
-The invisible Children thing at Crucified
-Wisdom and Guidance for Drex Stuart and those involved in the new building project for Hands and Feet in Grand Goave
-That our well at this new building site would produce water once maintenance is performed next week.