Friday, January 10, 2014

Make Up Your Mind Firmly

January 10th has become a fun day on my calendar. Last year it marked my first full year in Haiti. This year, my second. In addition, Chris & I have officially been, well, "Chris & I" for one whole year! 

This past summer, Rusty & I had the privilege of going to a conference at Duke Divinity School. The best part of the week, hands down, was being able to sit & talk with a lady who had worked in South Chicago for over 40 years. Listening to her tell stories, give wisdom, or simply ask questions & let us wrestle. One of the most vivid things I remember her saying was simple: Celebrate. She said if you are going to wait to celebrate until your whole ministry is a success or you reach the "light at the end" of the tunnel, you will never celebrate anything. So pick things- simple things- and make them a big deal. Get excited about where God has brought you. Look back at pictures and tell stories. Give a gift. Eat, laugh, and remember. Don't forget to celebrate.

"It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.
Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

"Oh my soul, bless God, don't forget a single blessing!"
Psalm 103:2- The Message

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Even wondered what Haitian music sounds like? Well, check out this music video! This song is written and performed by some of our neighbors, who also own and operate a recording studio. It's a hit! We have some talented people living on our block!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cold Prestige and Banana Bread

Happy New Year from Haiti! The first of the year here does not only mark the beginning of 2014, but it is also Independence Day. This is a much larger celebration than Christmas. Days leading up to December 31st, the market is hopping! Streets are full of vendors, bustling shoppers, and noise- everyone out to buy new things for their families. As we walked around the square before midnight last night, the market booths were still selling, lights blazing. We rang in the 2014 with fireworks and enjoying a gift from an unlikely source.
The new house. Well, just the top floor.
Our gift came from someone we call "The Big Man." We had the privilege of moving into a new house this fall. Living on the same street, still enjoying our neighbors, but a new house. Plus a new landlord. We refer to him as "The Big Man." He lives on our street and owns a very prosperous soda distribution center. I'm not going to lie, we have had our ups and downs with The Big Man. Bugging him to get us running water, power that actually runs our appliances, ect. It has been quite the adventure. 

So yesterday, Chris & I took an Independence Day gift to The Big Man. Homemade Banana Bread. He smiled at us, thanked us, then asked if we could wait for a minute. He went into his depo and brought us out around $35 U.S. in drinks. 7-Up, Pepsi, and a case of Prestige (Haitian Beer). Despite our ups and downs, we may win over The Big Man yet.
Independence Day Gift
So as we enjoy a cold Prestige on a cool, breezy evening in Gonaives, we are thankful for friends, new & old, near & far.
Enjoying glow sticks from my Mom.
Christmas fun!
Two years in a row celebrating Christmas with this little guy.
"Life's a game made for everyone
And love is the prize."
-Avicii- "Wake Me Up"