I have had a lot of fun the past couple weeks, full of many celebrations. On May 18th we celebrated Flag Day, on May 24th we celebrated IPEPH’s 11th anniversary, we celebrated Mother’s Day on May 29th, on Saturday we went to a graduation that Vanite was speaking at, and on Sunday we celebrated the Chapel in Musac becoming a Parish! They had many different activities for each celebration and I enjoyed getting to be a part of it. For Flag Day we watched the parade made up of the different schools in the area and each one of them had their own unique dances and songs. For IPEPH’s anniversary we had mass with the Bishop, had a big feast, and awarded our boys soccer team for winning the championship! On Mother’s Day we went to the church and listened to a beautiful sermon honoring all of the motherly figures in our lives – something that I particularly loved was that each mother gave their kid a boutonniere to wear. I experienced my first Haitian graduation, despite the fact that it lasted 6 hours, it made me happy to see how proud they and their families were of all of their accomplishments – they deserved every minute of it! And yesterday we finally got to celebrate Father Armand and the new parish at Musac. We had a parade, mass, and then a reception after. Everyone in the community came together to make this parish happen and the celebration was a big success! Now I’m exhausted and relaxing until my dad gets here on Wednesday!
I was challenged by a friend to recognize the angels in my daily life, so it got me thinking about the many wonderful angels I have in Haiti. Vanite and Ange are angels God has given me to take care of me while I’m here – give me a place to live, feed me, and watch over me. Sandrine is one of my biggest angels and best friend. She never lets me walk home without hold her hand, she makes sure the motorcycles don’t hit me, she always includes me in all the activities at school and makes sure I feel comfortable, and she gives me so much of God’s great love. Then there is Madam Da, the beautiful old lady that serves the teachers food at school. She’s the angel that loves treating me like her daughter even though we can only speak a few words to each other. There also is Father Armand, the guy who instantly brightens my day every time I see him, greeting me with a “Kir-ten!” and a big hug. He’s the angel that God gave me to remind me to always be happy, no matter what circumstances I’m in or how my day is going, he’s the light of Christ in my daily life. Then I have amazing angels back home giving me their love and praying for me daily. God has revealed many, many, many sweet angels in my life and I challenge you to find your angels. They could be people you’ve known forever or someone you’ve never met, but when they are revealed to you it helps you see how truly blessed you are.
I have a Haitian word for the week, “pazapa,” it means step by step. Step by step God is always with me and guiding my way. Step by step God has revealed himself to me. I’m taking this journey and every day of my life step by step. I have fallen down and failed God, but step by step he helps me up. The only way to live your life is step by step – don’t dwell in the past or worry about the future, be in the present. Step by step I’m getting closer to the ending and the start of new beginnings. Step by step I will follow God.
This is my last week in Haiti and I can already tell you it’s going to be filled with many tears and a lot of hugs. I already had my last day of school and that made me emotional enough, I can only imagine how the rest of my “lasts” are going to be. I will be sending one last email once I am home to conclude my time here and to reflect on the many great gifts God has given me this past year.
I ask for your prayers of safe travels for my dad and me as we are finishing out this journey.