Selah… It’s a term used in the book of Psalms that means to praise or to pause and reflect upon what has been said. Now that a year has passed, it’s a time to pause, a time to praise.
When we moved to Haiti, we knew we were entering a troubled country. The reality is that we don’t go out much because of the increase in gang violence, kidnappings and protests. We often hear the nightly “fireworks” that has become background noise to our bedtime routines. The terrible stories that trickle into the hospital are heartbreaking and the struggle of the local people are real. However, despite what goes on outside our hospital gates, we feel relatively safe within our compound and live our day to day lives without too much worry. Some days are hopeful and some painfully slow as a stay at home mom stuck on a compound. Some days we are burdened with heavy hearts while other days we are overjoyed with relief.
In summary of the last 13 months since we moved to Haiti—we’ve transitioned to life in a low-income country, faced the reality of racial profiling when COVID19 hit this country, took an unexpected 3.5 month furlough after evacuating Haiti, returned to Haiti in July to find that COVID19 did not affect the Haitians too adversely, transitioned back to compound life now with a growing fetus, and continued to establish our missionary work with the hospital and the community. We found ways to stay sane from our isolated life by taking a couple beach days, a weekend getaway and a visit back to California during Thanksgiving. It was nice to be with family for part of the holiday but we were also looking forward to spending time with our HAH missionary family before heading back to the states for the arrival of baby #2.
The week was busy with holiday plans—our dear friends Jo and Jonrey’s wedding at the mountain house, Christmas lunch, Eden’s birthday party as well as hospital events during the week. The week was going well. Our friends had a beautiful, intimate wedding and we attended a couple hospital events. Then Christmas morning we heard the news… Irma and her dad never made it home last night. Our stomachs dropped as the thoughts raced through our heads. Was it an accident? A shooting? A kidnapping? Are we mistaken? Let it not be true… The kidnapping was confirmed. The next four days we bound our hearts in prayer and clung to the promises in Psalms. “Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness” Psalm 143:1. “Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalms 27:14. We were hopeful but at times disheartened and discouraged. Our holiday plans became an excuse to keep our minds occupied. Then, finally, we heard the sweet, sweet news. They were released… the overwhelming joy and relief brought tears to our eyes. We embraced and prayed our praises to God. “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever “Psalms 118:29. Never has the Psalms come to life for us as it did in these moments of desperation and despair for our dear friend and her father. We are so grateful for God’s promises, His deliverance for Irma and Pastor Henry, His salvation and victory.
This time of uncertainty brought our expat missionary community together in a special way. I’m so grateful for the people here who have become our family and greatest support in this missionary life. We were all grateful and cherished the time we got to visit Irma and her family the day after her release and are amazed by their faith. Despite the recent events and hardships, they are declaring praises to the Lord. Amazing, inspiring and beautiful.
“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.”