Two years. It's been two years ago today since we landed in Haiti after we decided to move. These past two years have changed us all in more ways than we can say. These two years have been full of growth, joy, sadness, and many challenges...but we wouldn't trade it for anything.
We have SO many pictures of our life here over the past two years. I tried to quickly go through this morning (before school!) to try to do a little review. There is no way to show you how much we've learned over these past two years in one blog post, but I thought it would be fun to look back.
Here we are...everything we own, all loaded up on a boat to take over to the island. I remember thinking...this is the smallest amount of "stuff" we've ever owned. Then,we got to the island and started trucking everything to our house and I was almost embarrassed driving down the street. Even though we had so little, we still had SO much in comparison to those we were passing.
Some of the first guys who introduced themselves to us...neighbors from our old house. We spent a lot of time with these guys and they were very helpful in our first months of learning Creole.
When we first arrived, the kids were put through the ringer. The Haitians were pretty used to seeing "blans" or white people, but they did not see many ti-blans...little white people. The kids were constantly being pinched, petted, examined and called to. They handled it with grace, even though it got to be pretty overwhelming. Here Jaron is at church...getting checked out :)
The kids adjusted very well, pretty quickly. I always say that God called their little hearts to Haiti way before he called Craig and mine. I am so thankful that He is in control!
Relationships is one of the huge needs in my life. We have been blessed with amazing relationships back home and I knew it would be one of the most important things here in Haiti as well. I'm thankful that we get to share in fun life stages with our friends here in Haiti! This is when Baby Brucinda was just born!
We also get to interact with so many teams who visit! This is one of our favorites from Canada. They visit every year (the group is a little different each time) and we always look forward to them coming! That's also the hard part of living here too. We are quick to love on people and open our hearts and lives to them. The kids too. Then, a week later, after you've just made a great new friend, they have to leave. Our lives are full of hellos and goodbyes...and many times tears from the kids.
Jaron's buddy at the orphanage.
Taking some of the girls back to the village after Morgan's 8th birthday party (Feb 2014)
How many can we fit on the quad?? Haitian's would say..."One more!"
Small plane adventures! Not many people have to charter a plane to get groceries!
Rooftop picnics with friends! Ann, the lady on the right, was Morgan's kindergarten teacher back in the States. She first visited in May 2012 when we were here for 8 weeks. We are so thankful that she has a heart for Haiti and is helping with the Education Task Force of Okipe.
When you teach an English class and don't get paid....just a forewarning....you may end up being gifted a goat. Yup, that's what happened here! We ended up having our neighbors help us kill, clean and cook it. Then we had a big party :)
This is one of my all time favorite pictures of the kids at the village. This non-religious, work team came from Canada and as they were leaving, the kids from the village asked if they could pray over them. This is the ONLY time I've ever seen this happen on their own initiative. I love how the Holy Spirit spoke to their hearts and how they were obedient. The team was moved to tears and I know it's a moment that they will never forget.
One of my roles! Teaching the kiddos...this was Oct. 2014...just after moving into our new house.
We got to meet some UN soldiers who came over to help with "crowd control" during the elections.
Our little monkey! See Jaron way up there??
This past January 2015, we helped another local couple here start a church. We now do two services, one in Creole and one in English. Craig and I lead worship for the English service each week. We're still working on the building :)
Celebrating the 4th of July on our roof with sparklers and singing patriotic songs for the whole neighborhood to hear :)
President Martelly visited the island! That was a neat surprise to get to "meet" the President of Haiti.
This summer, the aquaponics greenhouse went up! This month, we will start planting and adding fish!!
Jaron...all boy and dirt...what more can I say?
These kids and teachers make me proud. They have come so far and made so much progress over the past two years!
Hammock sleeping on the porch during the HOT summer months. It's much cooler out there!
Can't forget Fiona!
These got a little out of order, but here, we're celebrating Mme. Soliette's 40th birthday!!!
One of the many creatures that we find trying to make a home in our house...sorry, you come in, you DIE! ;)
An adventure on the mainland up the mountain. Haiti is such a beautiful country!!
Mme. Florence braiding Morgan's hair with "Haitian" hair.
Just this week...the kids finally both got their school uniforms and to say they are excited is an understatement! They love being a part of the new school where there are other Haitian kids. Even though we have our own classroom and hours, they enjoy being in an environment with other students. It has made it easier to focus and get our minds in "school mode."
Well, I'm supposed to be heading out the door for school! I hope you enjoyed this random spattering of photos from our last two years! God only knows what is next for us. We're praying and trusting that His plan is perfect. Thank you for following along and encouraging us over these past two years. It's definitely not an easy place to be...it can feel lonely so far away from friends and family. Sometimes you feel like you're literally on an island in the middle of the Caribbean...oh wait...we are ;) So make sure to drop us a line when you're thinking about us! It really helps to keep connected!!
Love and blessings to you all!!