I have mixed feelings when I go to make a new post. I want to laugh when I realize the reality of my day to day life once it’s written down while I also feel slightly overwhelmed at the task of describing even something basic! For example, I have a story that takes place in a classroom – whatever is in your head, erase it. It’s probably not a Haitian classroom.
- A day here is hilarious, because my Monday started with no intentions of teaching. A friend who knows English & works with us came over and asked Tiffany to come help with an ESL class that he was starting in about an hour. If you read my last post, you know that we are currently planning on teaching ESL in Bercy – of course we’ll go help, it means that we can both serve and learn for our own class! So we walked to the market & hopped on a tap-tap, rode to our friend’s community, and started to set up. What used to be the school is currently an unused building (See: small room equivalent to the size of a shed with a door and some windows) due to lack of funds – we unlocked the door and dusted off the tables, attempted to open the windows (Success was 1 out of 3), and wrote the alphabet on the chalkboard. In the opposite of ‘organized fashion’, about 15 students came in and sat down. Our friend sits with the students and asks us to go over the alphabet, leading to us teaching for over an hour and helping each student as we were all of a sudden teachers. I wasn’t called “blanc”, “You!”, or “Stiffany” (I get called this all the time – a hybrid of my name and Tiffany’s name) – instead, I was called “teacher”. When I heard it I was shocked to realize how abnormal my day had ended up. I am definitely NOT a teacher. You never know where you’ll end up in your day.
- A few nights ago, I asked a little boy (no older than 5 at most) how he was. He was silent and turned around, walking up the steep side of a ravine. I had no clue what to do, but decided to follow in case that was his plan. I started to walk after him, trying to keep balance as I wondered how this little boy with no pants or shoes was doing it. He walks over to a goat and starts to tug on it…this is where I start to talk in English as if he’ll understand. “Did you want me to follow you…?” “Oh look, there’s a goat where you’re walking, be careful!” “Um, maybe that’s someone’s goat, you might want to stay away!” …..Um, no. He’s going right for it, he looks back at me. I say “Ouvle ede?” (You want help?)…He’s still pretty quiet but starts to tug on the rope and try to get it so I mentally cross my fingers that he somehow owns it, and I go to help. I keep looking around for some guy to run over and yell at me for untangling his goat – but it didn’t happen. Eventually we get it untied (there were some tough knots, this was a five minute process of “The kid is still silent” “We’re on the side of a hill, one tug too hard and I’m gone” “There’s a goat under me how did I end up here?” “I hope I don’t get a machete to my hand for stealing a goat” “HOW IS THIS KID DOING THIS WITH ONLY A SHIRT ON?”) and the kid peaces out with the goat. Luckily I looked up and an adult looking on kind of nodded like, yes, that kid’s family owns the goat.
So who knows where the day will take me tomorrow?
GREAT tweet I read tonight that I’d like to share: “I was determined to have a quiet night alone and ended up talking to two strangers for two hours about Jesus. His plans are always better.“ I’m pretty sure that the stories that I have shared aren’t exactly parallel to @kaylajohnson28’s beautiful example of replacing our own plans with God’s – but I think that they reflect the truth that we sometimes find ourselves in a place that we would never plan to go.
Whatever plans we make for our day, week, year – His are definitely better. Better than we could intend in our own plans, and better than we could imagine in our own minds that were CREATED by him. I know that some awesome reward has come as I have let go of myself & my own motivations to make room to let God make HIS plans happen. Self-denial is hard, and SO not our nature, but it will lead to much better days. (This includes the harder choices, when the story doesn’t have a funny side to it like the ones that I have shared today. Believe me when I say that I have been there & I am so glad that I made the choice that caused my own tears in the past so that I can type this to you today.)
Let’s all plan to be content in pushing down our own plans to make room for what we were DESIGNED for this week. Agreed?
(As always, MESI AMPIL for your prayers & support!)