When I woke up this morning, this verse, and the accompanying song that I used to sing at youth group when I was younger, was running through my head. Why, you ask? Well, it is currently about 20 minutes until we leave the orphanage for the final time this year, and I am in an air conditioned room with my foot elevated because it is in a partial cast. But, more on that later. Let's talk about all of the other stuff I planned to talk about, and revisit as to why I have a partial cast on my foot. :)
It's pretty crazy to say, and I can barely believe it myself, but this trip marks the fifth time that I have been to Haiti. This week has been filled with a complex array emotions, as you can probably guess. Every year I feel deep, commanding joy when I am here, and of course that is the same. But I also feel pride. Pride in the mission and vision that we are supporting here, pride in these children and how they have survived, and pride in this country that has come so far after the earthquake. It's a wonderful feeling to see the progress that has been made in the streets, and also with the children. For example, last year there were twins, named Emmanuel & Emmanuela who were brand new to the orphanage. They were sad, upset, confused, and probably overwhelmed. Now? Happy, healthy, and very smart. Emmanuela is a little chatter box that was even holding a marker and able to draw on her own, and she is maybe a little over 1 year old. And Emmanuel, albeit shy, once you get him to break out of his shell he is Mr. talkative as well, and is super engaged in what is going on. He was playing with bananagrams on the picnic table and dropped a few, so he climbed down, picked them up, and came right back up to play. It's just so amazing and promising to me to see this kind of progress.
What the doctors Morquette have here is a wonderful, lifesaving organization, and is vital to this community. I am so honored to be apart of it and contributed at least a tiny bit.
When you walk in, these kids present you with this no frills, no judgement, come as you are kind of love. A kind of love that I have rarely found from children or adults in my normal life. This is the kind of love that allows you to show your true self; whether you sing off key, are a little goofy sometimes, can't get the basketball in the hoop, or can't jump rope that well, it doesn't matter. You are showing them love and attention in return, and that is all that matters. In the past, when I was younger, I struggled for acceptance. Even as an adult we all desire to feel wanted and accepted, and struggle with it occasionally. But I don't feel that here. Here, there's a constant feeling of love from the kids, and all they ask is that you show the same in return. Sounds like a plan to me.
So now, the foot.
If any of you know me personally, you know that I have gone through a bit of a transformation recently. I am now in the best shape I have ever been in my life, and love being active as much as I can. Having been here many times before and not being able to be as active as the others, you better believe that I had promised myself I would be as active as I wanted to be, and would seek out opportunities to do so. I have played soccer a bunch of times, basketball, catch, beat 3 of the boys in horse...a bunch of stuff that I have always wanted to do, but never could. So fast forward to yesterday. I was playing soccer with 3 of the boys, 2 on 2. The ball came towards me, I went to kick, and BAM, somehow a rock was where the ball was supposed to be and I kicked it. Really hard. So I just grimaced and kept on playing like a trooper, and just thought oh, it will get better, I just stubbed my toe. Just kidding. On the van ride home, it wasn't getting better. In fact, it was getting worse. So I got to our room, took off my shoes and socks, and asked Leslie to look at it. The verdict? Probably broken. Showed Ina, our nurse. Verdict? Probably broken. Showed Dr Morquette. The verdict? Probably broken, but not horribly so. A lot of ice, elevation, Ibuprofren and rest followed, as well as not being allowed to play anymore basketball or soccer until further notice. And now, I have a partial cast drying on my foot to ensure that I don't injure it further, and have been encouraged to visit a doctor when I get back to the states.
Now you can see why this verse and song has been playing in my mind today. I think God has said to me "Slow down & take it in!" by having this happen to me. I am so used to running around, organizing, making sure things are going good...and nope, can't do it. I have to sit on the bench and elevate my foot, or sit in the room and elevate my foot, or lay in the bed and elevate my foot. This is God telling me to just take it all in and process it, and that is what I am doing.
I will remember this trip as a wonderful and eventful one, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I want to thank you all for your prayers and support of this team. It has meant a lot to us, and your prayers have shown! We can't wait to share with you all!