I Can’t Believe I Get To #1

You go through pictures a lot when you’re talking about missions, simply because they’re needed in talking about a world that many haven’t lived day to day. Pictures help us to see where we can’t go, travel the world while sitting in our comfiest chair. For me, they help me remember what seems to be way more than a year packed of stories. They prod me to pray and they cause me to sit back with perspective as I view a picture not in bed with one fan going and a rooster outside, but with clean feet on a couch in a living room full of family pictures.

Perspective does two things: it paints a bigger picture as you sit back while also working away at the ‘numbness’ (I can’t think of the word that fits better here at the moment) that comes over time. Better put, it hacks away against the idea that “Time in erodes awareness of” (Keith Minier, friends, that clever term didn’t come from me – https://twitter.com/keithminier).

What does that even mean? It means that I’m slowly becoming used to living in poverty. My feet are always dusty, my friends are always hungry. Mothers that I know can’t send their children to school and mothers that I don’t, ask me to take their children from them. Electricity is a luxury and plumbing is found in one place in the entire community: our Americanized home. Kids are always sick, many times from a simple lack of clean water. Groceries are bought from on top of a trash pile. I’m not looking at Port-au-Prince in shock as we ride in the tap-tap and your heart being moved at a hungry child with no pants is the part of process time that I smile and nod at, because clothes are so unnecessary to me after three months of half-naked children. Of course I’m asked for money around every corner and of course I’m struggling with patience to try and enroll a child in school through our sponsorship program, that’s life in Haiti for me.

But then I’m removed, and I look at pictures and think….this is my life? At 23 years old? Broken, imperfect, work-in-progress ME?!

Cause that’s Jesus. When we go where he goes, we’re running with all we’ve got (cause the abundant life is a FULL one), and then we take a second spend catching our breath to look around….and we’re amazed. “Jesus, THIS is what you’re doing with me? Through me? Wow. Amazed. Humbled. Blown away again by you.”

Anyways, there’s a lot of these moments. Without further ado:

I get to give Biyence her first ice cream cone & laugh with her cousins and neighbors as we all share

I get to give Biyence her first ice cream cone & laugh with her cousins and neighbors as we all share. (Sorry, that’s post-school clothes – uniform is taken off so it doesn’t get dirty)

I get to watch this one grow up, dress up for church, and whisper to his friends "Stephanie is my friend". Since 2012 & for years to come!

I get to watch this one grow up, dress up for church, and whisper to others “Stephanie is my friend”. Since 2012 & for years to come!

I get to meet and grow deeper in relationship with that boy’s family – over a year after I first felt close with little Devinson I am now welcome at his home and known by his six (soon to be seven) sibings & his gentle mother

Hahaha excuse my face, I didn't know they were taking pictures at this point.

Hahaha excuse my face, I didn’t know they were taking pictures at this point.

I get to be the one his older sister talks to and trusts (at least more than the other strangers) and is willing to pose with for pictures when she isn't  in her best clothes and hair (a real privilege with a teenage girl!). I'm the one person that this girl - so much responsibility on her shoulders - trusts to leave her youngest sister with.

I get to be the one his older sister talks to and trusts (at least more than the other strangers) and is willing to pose with for pictures when she isn’t in her best clothes and hair (a real privilege with a teenage girl!). I’m the one person that this girl – so much responsibility on her shoulders – trusts to leave her youngest sister with. Also, she lets my hair fly in her face.

I get to play doctor (yuck, but I feel accomplished afterwards) & offer clean water to guests while I do it - resulting in this kind of reaction!

I get to play doctor (yuck, but I feel accomplished afterwards) & offer clean, cold water to guests while I do it – resulting in this kind of reaction!

I get to hear the giggles & chatter of Creole of these little ones as they fight for my lap and we sit for hours with their family and friends.

I get to hear the giggles & chatter of Creole of these little ones as they fight for my lap and we sit for hours with their family and friends.

I get to spend time with beautiful, fun families & do ground work to pave way for opportunities through child sponsorship when I find out the boys laughing hysterically don't have a chance to go to school

I get to spend time with beautiful, fun families & do ground work to pave way for opportunities through child sponsorship when I find out the boys laughing hysterically don’t have a chance to go to school. I get to connect those smiling faces to be sponsored and get an education!

I get to watch this one grow happier & healthier with each day, doing life with her mama & loving them both!

I get to watch this one grow happier & healthier with each day, doing life with her mama & loving them both! I get to pray for this doll baby to grow up, dreaming big for her heart for Jesus and others.

God is using me here, where I get to do this?! Humbled constantly, Thankful always.

I am currently in Ohio looking for partners to help me work with CPR-3 for five more years. As a missionary, you raise your own salary, $29,000 a year for a single young woman – as a Christian, I believe that God has sent me & will provide as well. Please visit my Partner With Me page, e-mail me at steph2haiti@gmail.com, or go to cpr-3.com/give & choose “Movement Partner”, then enter my name. You get to do this too, by being the one who sends and who prays!

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