I have to admit that as I come to my 3 week mark (in two days), the days have gone really slow. The first two weeks we had projects every once in a while but not enough to keep me busy to where I didnt think about how long the day was. Im not crazy about sitting around all day in the heat, but it is one of those things that you just have to deal with when you leave your comfortable home. Things haven’t been in any way close to what I expected. The three other times I’ve served overseas (Ecuador 2007, Swaziland 2009, Mali 2010) I have gone with people I know (family or friends) or a team that I didnt know at all, but we were still all in the same boat. That helped alot. Im so thankful that Im here living with this family of people, but that one of them is an American (Sarah). I dont know how well I would do or how long I could go without having someone of a same background to talk about things. And even this is hard since coming here I didnt know Sarah nor had I ever met her but we had corresponded through email the whole time. It was definitely a step of courage and bravery to just get on a plane and fly to another country I’ve never been to to live with people I’ve never met. But honestly, I wasnt scared nor was I worried about anything going wrong.
Today we had our first day of summer school. The kids that Sarah and Yves have taken into their family are behind in their education. Sarah wants to catch them up before school starts again in the Aug/Sept. Education is something that not everybody can afford in Haiti. And I heard a statistic that close to 90% of the country cannot read. Wow, Im very shocked by the number and for some reason cannot grasp that reality. So today we started around 8:30 and went to about 11. I have the younger 4.
ASHLEY who is 3 hasnt been to school yet therefore she doesnt know how to sit still and listen. She is sort of a distraction for the other kids and is a bit young for all this, but it is still good for her to sit in, listen and watch the kids on what they are doing.
REGINA is also 3 but a bit more advanced then Ashley. She is a great singer (sings loud!), likes to push my buttons and my patience, but I am very greatful that she at least tries to write the letters we are learning to write. Even though they arent exactly correct, she tries, and that is what counts. She also hasnt been to school yet so sitting in a chair in a structured setting is hard for her.
LOVE is my only boy in the classroom. He is doing soo well with writing his letters! I will have to post a photo of our first class today on writing the letter “A”. He sits somewhat quietly and repeats each letter down the entire row. He HAS been to school and knows his numbers as well!
And DAJNA is probably the loudest singer that we have. I love it. Sometimes they sing too quietly during a song, but never Dajna. She just sings it out like she is singing for the Lord. Dajna, Love, and Regina are siblings. Dajna is the oldest of the family and was very used to taking care of the younger two and telling them what to do in the family. She has those leadership traits which are good sometimes and which can make things difficult at other times. I see those traits during class and have to remind her to sit down and not tell the children what to do or MAKE them do it. Lol. She knows her numbers (for the most part, 1-10) and she is doing well with her letter “A” so far! We also wrote the number “1” today which is pretty simple but still needs to be explained in terms of the lines on the sheet of paper.
It is very challenging. I was exhausted this morning from our beach day yesterday and I havent been used to getting up early cause we haven’t had much going on to be up early. I was stressed because the children dont take me seriously, yet. They only know me in the way of playing with them, and repeatedly saying “What” to their long Creole sentences I dont understand. My patience wears thin when kids dont listen to me and repeatedly tell them to stop what they are doing and listen to me. I guess I need to put myself in their shoes. I need the Lord’s strength in me because I’ve been doing this all on my own and its not working. When passion isn’t there, obedience has to be. The Lord doesn’t ask us to live by our feelings in that moment, but by the truth of His Word and that obedience according to it. I never thought I would be challenged in this way. After feeling like I dont have a purpose in life and dont know what to do anymore (with no direction) for months on end, this experience is pushing me to the edge and making me let go of all control and let God do it for me. I guess He knows what I need even though sometimes I just want to give up and throw in the towel. But I wont.
Im trusting things will get better, I will learn better how to teach in this class in the mornings, and pick up more Creole so they can understand me and not just me speaking one-word sentences and showing them what to do. They do help me though. For a small-motor skill, today I asked them to cut on the straight lines. Immediately they spoke “cut” in Creole and so I knew that was right and therefore THEY were teaching me!! 🙂 Now if I can just remember that!
I’d ask that you would pray for me to just let go of my want and selfish desire to control everything and be on top of everything. Because that’s impossible here and if I keep trying to then I will get severely burnt out and probably close up. Let the Lord have His way with me. I want to be remade into your likeness. I want Him to show me how to love these children, even when they are very needy, whiney, annoying, or I just need a break away from them (which is impossible lol). Loving beyond my ability to love is something only Christ can actually do for us and do in us.