Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Alive in Haiti

I have a large amount of pictures on my camera ready to make their debut on the blog.

I have a large amount of posts that are written in my head.
Stories of saying good-bye.

Stories of saying hello.

Stories about the flight.

My first night in Haiti.

Going to a new church on Sunday.

Eating Sunday lunch with John and Beth McHoul.

Crying with Beth about women, boobs, and breastfeeding.

How in love I am with the people here.

How insanely hard living in this place will be for awhile.

Beautiful thoughts.  Ugly thoughts.

A few months worth of experiences in only a short number of days.

It will take me a little time to go back…sift through my brain and put this new world into words.

We have limited internet at the house right now.  Limited as in hardly any.  Hopefully we’ll figure out a way soon to be online at home.  With all the strangeness that is Haiti…all the things I’m having to learn I think having internet in the house will help me to feel like a normal person again.

For now…my boys.  Today was the first day of school at QCS.  Aaron was excited to meet his students.  Last night we had to get onto our kids several times because their eagerness to see the next day caused them to giggle and talk way later than we wanted them to be awake.

Their teachers are an answer to prayer.  We live on campus.  I can see the boy’s classroom doors from my kitchen window.  What a neat life.

I had to blink back the tears as I watched each of the boys with their classes today.  White kids are the minority.  There was something incredibly lovely about seeing my children surrounded by so much color.

I will miss many things about homeschooling this year.  Not everything.  Oh geez…I’ve been so ready for a break from teaching.   However…the things I’m going to miss were so far surpassed and outnumbered today by all the good that these boys will experience…it’s been a wonderful day.  I guess that’s all I can say.

Thank you for praying for our family this week .  It has felt like we’ve moved to a different planet.

I have so much to learn to simply be able to keep clothes clean in this house and food in our bellies.

The boys are having a blast here.  They stay outside most of the day catching giant lizards and chasing rats (gag…yes…rats).  So far, no breakdowns from the boys.  I’m the only one breaking down, but we all knew this would be the case.

Even through the tears, the meltdowns, the moments of panic when I’m asking myself “What have we done?” one thing is consistent…

God is here.

I have never felt His care like I have in this hard, odd place.  As soon as I break…as soon as I start crying or I get crazy irritated something happens…something perfect, right on time and meant just for me.  The problem I’m upset about does not get solved, but a person stops by…they say just the right thing.  Or I sit in church and God speaks straight to me.  I get an email that says, “I haven’t seen you in seven years and I dreamed about you and your family last night.  I prayed for you in the middle of the night.”

God prompts strangers to email me and say, “I can’t stop thinking about you.  God brings you to my mind throughout the day.  I normally struggle with prayer and have a hard time remembering to pray, but I can’t stop praying for you.”

God is aware we are in Haiti.  He knows.  He’s been on this island forever.  He sees us.  He knows what day our plane landed.

I’ve never been more aware of how “in your face, right on God’s radar” I have always been.
I know it’s been true forever.  It’s true for me in Haiti and it’s true for you wherever you are. 

God is near.

He sees.

He knows every need.

He is aware of every weakness.

Every struggle.

Haiti has hammered that home in my soul the last few days.

I have experienced Emmanuel, God with us this week.  The God who comes close to broken, bratty, freaking out, melting down, crying themselves to sleep people.

Thank you Haiti.


Rachel Marie said...

So glad to hear you arrived safely. I know these first weeks will be the hardest, but know you aren't alone. God is there, just like you said. Praying for you!

Ann said...

So glad to see you all made it safely!! Still in total awe of your family! The boys look quite happy! Looking forward to your future posts! Take care!

Megan Fletcher said...

ahh...I was waiting for your first Haiti post. Been looking at your sweet family's picture on our fridge each day and praying for you. I can't wait to hear all those stories. What a wild and crazy adventure it is to follow Jesus with reckless abandon. Press on sista! and, I completely agree with you about the beauty of seeing your children amidst so much color. absolutely lovely!

shauna maness said...

Hendricks!! my heart skipped a beat reading this... well, many, many beats- i can't really explain it in any other way but pure excitement. I am thrilled to get to witness your lives as you live out love. thanks for writing heather, thanks for the magnet- every time i look at it i just giggle. God is going to do beautiful things in you- through you- for you- in spite of you- and it is going to be GLORIOUS.
i am overwhelmed with joy.
thank you for your lives.
AND HOW PRECIOUS IS THIS FOR YOUR BOYS? what stories they are living!!!
all our love from sterling :)

Sarah Shalley said...

I am sooooo excited that your boys get to experience a different kind of school. As a teacher, that makes my heart smile. :)

Ken Summerlin said...

You don't know me but I ran across your blog a couple of months back while preparing for a week-long mission trip to Haiti and have been following it since then. I smiled all the way through reading your post today. I loved seeing the pictures of your Aaron and kids and am excited for the adventure that lies ahead for all of you. More than that, I'm excited for the impact that your family will have on the people of Haiti.

Ken Summerlin
Fairhope, AL

Joyce Tipton said...

Loved looking at the pictures of the family. Beautiful! All of you. Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I miss Haiti but loving that I get to see a glimpse through you and your boys!

Praising the Lord for you and praying for you every day!


Lindsey G said...

praising God with you! Ive been checking back daily for an update :)

Sandi said...

I prayed for you today. Your pictures are beautiful and it really lifts my heart to see them and know that you all made it there safely. I look forward to seeing new pictures and hearing what God is doing through you.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear you are safely there, so excited to see the beautiful smiles of the boys, Praying for you, excited what God is doing and can't wait for the future posts...Love Ya Sista! Debi

Anonymous said...

Yeah! a post. As always you all are always close to my heart and on my mind. No father likes to see a Daughter in anything but pure bliss but I know you are doing what you need to do.

You also have an earthly father that will always be there for you and your wonderful family.

Love Dad

Bee Happy said...

I can't help it either. I have followed your blog for over a year. I am praying for you and thinking about you. Happy, TX!!

Bee Happy said...

I have been following you for a year!! I am praying for you. Can't wait to hear it all. You are so transparent. Thank you. I bought two Haiti purses because of you. Love ya even if you don't know me.

Jennifer Bacak said...

Oh Heather...it's good to see your voice in print. I have been praying like crazy. The pictures made me cry.
Jax can't wait to skype with hayden. He talks about him a lot, but has been calling you guys "the H word" because he's afraid to say your name because I might cry. :)
I miss you and can't wait to talk to you again! Love you!

The Mosiers said...

I love the pictures of the boys at school! Beautiful!

We are praying for you guys and so glad you made it safely and the boys are transitioning well. I will be praying for you as God continues to work on your heart. Thank you for your honesty.

Can't wait to hear more!

debra said...

i am a little jealous.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family! You are going to be such blessings to the people there, and I can't WAIT to hear what God has in store for you all! Cathy Trimble

Vashti said...

Have just been catching up. I am praying, I know how you are feeling, We moved from New York to Zulu Land and didnt have hot water, often no elcectricity, no washing machine and a HUGE language barrier. You WILL make it! It is an adventure and God is on it with you. Embrace it and enjoy it.
Praying for you all. x