I Want To Go To There!

Stories from abroad

Two Years Later (2 min)

When you find yourself in the exact same place after years of running, it’s bound to be disheartening. Unless, of course, that place is the solitary fountain of a vast desert. It’s been two years since I’ve returned from Haiti, and I find myself back at the same place, drinking from the same spring. I’m learning about ordinary faith again. And I’m thankful. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Welcome!  I’m so glad to see you this morning.”  She held my hand and didn’t let go as we all exchanged names.  “You should really stay for sunday school,” she said with the warm, deliberate cadence befitting her 80ish years.  “There’s a special guest.  He’s our missionary to Israel and he knows his stuff!”  I smiled.  Big.

After 6 months in Haiti, this exchange at my first worship service back in the states might have been my most important lesson.  Simple acts of obedience.  Grand overtures and great adventures are hollow if I’m not faithful in the mundane.  Sharing meals.  Listening carefully.   Making friends of strangers and enemies.  This is obedient love.

Haiti is amazing.  It is paradigm shifting, mind blowing, life changing.  But it is also done (at least for now).  I don’t want to dwell on what’s been done, but on what’s left to do.  I don’t want to be 80 and talking about what I did.  I want to be 80 and doing, sharing, giving, loving.

Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support.  My one last request is that you’ll pray for growth in ordinary faithfulness so if God calls me again to the extraordinary, I won’t be wasting His time.

Thank you all again!  It was my pleasure and privilege to serve with and for you these last 6 months.

Love,

Jon

PS – I’m still processing through all my thoughts/experiences, but if you want to hear more, let’s schedule some time together.  I fly out to NYC 8/9 for grad school.

Intern Fun Day

Yesterday was our last day all together since Liz left for a California wedding this afternoon.  To celebrate we spent the day doing what we love most – playing board games and eating.

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Glamour Shots

There’s no better way to commemorate 6 months in Haiti than team glamour shots.  It was such a special occasion that I left my zip-off cargo pants at home and wore my “23-hours in Miami” jeans (the jeans I brought solely to wear on my layover in Miami this weekend).  Yes, taking Haitian glamour shots is that big a deal.

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Obama-reoke

There’s a student at our language school that looks exactly like President Barack Obama.  I’m pretty sure he plays it up on purpose, too, because he’s always in black slacks and a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up.  All this to say, Barack Faux-bama blew my mind at our year-end party last Saturday when he took the stage with a rendition of I Want it That Way (yes, the 90s Backstreet Boys hit).

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5 of 6

5 months down.  Less than 1 to go.  What the what?!

How I Almost Died in Haiti #19-33

Pop Quiz!

Q:  What do you do with a crippled truck that’s got a busted radiator, a major oil leak, a faulty alternator, and one-odd sized tire that causes violent shaking at speeds above 50 mph?

A:  You take a 12 hour, 200 mile trip across flooded roads and a racially charged international border to get it fixed.

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Good Grief

An elderly lady, wailing at the top of her lungs, staggered slowly alongside the church.  Her left arm kept constant contact with the wall as her body bobbed back and forth.  Her right arm waved outstretched.  On one of the upswings, a group of young ladies brushed by.  I’d swear shoulders touched except nobody stopped, no heads turned.  The old lady kept wailing and waving, and the girls kept chatting and checking their cell phones.  All followed the hearse to the gravesite.

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Literature

I wonder which poor sap had to write 9 words instead of 8.  Three authors for a 25 word book.  Insane.  And then they had to find someone else to illustrate it for them?!  You can tell it’s one of Stellecy’s favorite books by the care she took to keep it pristine.  Enjoy this bit of early reader education found on our coffee table.

      

      

How I Almost Died in Haiti #13

Heavy rain.  Under a leaky tin roof.  Holding a microphone.  Connected to an amplifier.  Plugged in with exposed wires.  To a power strip sitting in a puddle.

I’m keeping a running log of the many ways I’ve almost died in Haiti.  Carbon monoxide poisoning as Valentin runs the gas generator inside the kitchen to make a smoothie.  Pick axe flying at my groin.  Dropping concrete blocks near my head.  And many, many more.

I’ve been missing online a lot recently.  Rainy season’s begun and there’s seldom electricity when it rains, which has been the story for the last month.  I’m pretty sure the absence of electricity is intentional.  I haven’t figured out if it’s because these flimsy power lines could break and flail live wires into the infinite puddles or if it’s because nobody can get to work at the power station since tap taps don’t run in the rain.  Either way, rain is pretty annoying.

But that’s nothing compared to the misery so many Haitians are experiencing as their tents flood daily.  Walking out of the church where I “almost died,” we waded through 18 inches of fast moving water.  And that was on a road.  I can’t imagine what it’s like in the sunken plots people have settled into with their tents.

Please pray for Haiti.