Glimpses of Life in Haiti

Hi everyone! 

I’m so excited to start blogging more regularly. Life here is absolutely wonderful, but also very busy! It is going to be a challenge for me to figure out how and when I can blog, but I want to update on here as much as possible. One of the ways I think I will be consistent is by doing something on the same day every week. So every Sunday morning (or Sunday afternoon) I will be posting a blog titled “Glimpses of Life in Haiti”. It will have some pictures of what our life here looks like along with some stories and info on what is going on here in Haiti. So this one will be my first post like this! Hopefully I can keep it up! 

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“… and still You know me.” 

Over the past few months I have seen the Lord work in my life so clearly. I’ve seen His hand on a daily basis and it has been so sweet. When we were waiting to find out if I was going to get the teaching job here in Haiti, He was reminding me daily about what it looks like to wait on His timing. When we were originally told that there was not a job for Matt and we wouldn’t be moving to Haiti, He was reminding me that His plans are greater than mine and that something greater was ahead. When we found out we were moving to Haiti and that Matt’s job was perfect for him, He was reminding me that He is sovereign. When we were in Buffalo living with the Castronovas, He was reminding me of how He has been working in my heart since I was a young teenager and how He used them to instill a love for Haiti in my heart. There are more, but I’ll leave it at that. It’s so clear that through all those things and even now that we are living in Haiti that the Lord knows my heart and that He gives me what I need. Daily. A lot of times in my life I lose sight of the fact that the Lord truly knows me. He knows every little thing about me. He knows my heart. My desires. My fears. My pain. He knows what breaks my heart. He knows what gives me joy. Through everything I face, He knows me. What a sweet comfort that brings. He knows the things that resonate in my heart and uses them to draw me closer to Him and make me more like Him. This post will give you a glimpse into just a few of the ways the Lord has shown me that He knows my heart far better than I do. 

Here we go: 

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Laundry: I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when we have clean laundry. As some of you know, it is rather hot in Haiti so our laundry pile gets big really quickly. I am SO grateful that there are washing machines we can use to wash our clothes! It is definitely a blessing to have them around campus. The first day we did our laundry, we were blessed with no rain and our clothes were dry within two hours. The second time we did laundry? Well, a storm rolled in with some crazy wind, so we took the clothes off the line and then got locked out of our apartment. At night. In the middle of a storm. Life here is an adventure, yall! But we have awesome neighbors who opened our door for us with a kitchen knife. That’s talent! 🙂 So grateful for sweet neighbors!! 

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Sunsets: Those of you who know me well know that sunsets fill my heart with joy. Some of my sweetest moments with the Lord have been while photographing sunsets or just taking them in. I was blessed to grow up in a town where you could watch the sunset from the beach any night you wanted to. And now I find myself living on an island in the Caribbean and the sunsets (and sunrises) are more beautiful than I could even imagine. God is so sweet, isn’t He?

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Paint: Thanks to my sweet friend Brooke who is also on staff here and Brittany, an intern, our neon coral bathroom is now painted! My poor husband said he always thought he was sunburned because the walls were so bright and made his skin look red. What a trooper! But now our bathroom is simple and neutral. It’s the little things. Our little 300 sq ft apartment is beginning to feel like home and we are loving it more and more each day we are here!

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Coffee: It took a little over two weeks before I could make my own coffee in the morning. Thankfully, the guest house kitchen has a huge pot of coffee ready every morning for anyone who wants it, so I still had coffee! But being able to make coffee in the comfort of my own home is a game changer. We brought a french press with us, but had no way of boiling the water. I found this little teapot in Port-au-Prince last weekend when I went into town with some of the girls. Being able to wake up, make my own coffee, and get ready for work while drinking coffee puts a smile on my face. I’m a coffee lover, what can I say? 

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School: Well, this past week was a big one for me. First day of school with the littles!!! I cannot tell you how excited I was Sunday night. This is half of my job here in Haiti and I have to say it is a BLAST! I was getting burnt out on education in America. I’m not going to lie. But every morning I get to wake up, and go spend the first half of my day teaching three precious Haitian boys. Everything about school with the kids is awesome. We get to have fun, I get to teach them about the Bible, we get to talk about Jesus, I can truly help meet their needs, I get to watch the lightbulb click in all of them, and school is just FUN! The Lord is so sweet to reignite my love for teaching and my love for children. This is definitely where I’m meant to be. The first week was great!!! This week will be awesome as well, and this week I get to add the second half of my job in Haiti – teaching English to the Village Champions!! Thirty-two men and women who are missionaries to their own villages will  be coming in the afternoons to learn English so that they will be able to effectively communicate with the North American teams that come down and work in their villages. They are awesome and I cannot wait to get to know them. Matt works with them pretty much every day and his Creole is getting so good! He definitely has better Creole than me right now, but that’s going to change now that I’m working with the Village Champions too! Enough on that for now, next week you will get an update on how the first week with them went!! 

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These boys: They are beyond precious. I get to spend my mornings seeing their smiling faces (and sometimes silly faces), hearing them think through problems, watching them learn, and seeing them come to life. Give me a few more weeks with them and I’ll have plenty of hilarious stories to share! Anytime I walk past them outside of school they yell, “Mrs. Amanda!” and wave to me. Makes me smile a whole lot! 

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The baby room: At the orphanage on campus they have a baby room, which is really a toddler room now. Some of the toddlers were here when I was an intern back in 2010! It’s neat to see them talking and walking now. I went down there one night after dinner and got to hang out with the little ones. It’s so refreshing to my heart. Isn’t he just the cutest? I love that these kids are only a short walk away. I can’t wait to get to know more of the kids from the orphanage here, too!

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Storms: This picture was taken Friday night at about 9:45. Yup it was that bright thanks to the lightning. We’ve had a couple crazy storms here this week. My heart has been in a state of juxtaposition the past few days. Especially in regards to these storms. I usually love a good thunderstorm. There’s just something neat about them. Until you realize that just on the other side of the mountain are people living in tents, on the street, or in other conditions that make these storms a true danger to their life and their belongings. Last night as I stared at the lightning flashing every few seconds, I couldn’t help but feel heartbroken for all the families who were scared that their roof might blow off, or for the kids who went to sleep soaking wet from the rain. When you’re on the campus every day, you forget what life is like for a lot of the people here in Haiti. But it’s storms like this one that remind me why we are here – to show the love of Christ and the hope of salvation with those we come in contact with. 

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Rest: My body has been physically exhausted. I woke up yesterday morning and just felt like I could lay in bed all day. Saturday is our day off here and it was definitely a much needed day of rest for both of us. We hit the ground running when we got here and it’s so nice when we can just rest and spend time together. Even when the rooster misses the memo that it’s Saturday and wakes us up before the sun. Saturdays are definitely made for drinking coffee in bed. 🙂 

 

Those are some of the glimpses of what our life has been like in Haiti this past week. Well, I guess my life. Hopefully next week I will have more updates on Matt’s job and what his week is like. He’s been really busy working with the Village Champions and has had a lot of meetings. I am so proud of him. His work ethic is so great and he is really building good relationships with the Haitians he works with. I love seeing him strive to learn the language and the culture. He was definitely created to do this. I love seeing him thrive. I’m a VERY proud wife! 

Thank you so much for all of your support and love. We definitely miss all our friends and family, but are so grateful to know that you are praying for us and supporting us. We are still working towards our fundraising goal for the year, so if you haven’t had the chance to yet and would like to support us, click HERE and follow the prompts! You can set up a one-time gift or a monthly recurring gift that will automatically be drawn out of your account. 

Okay, I should probably stop writing and get ready to walk down the hill to church. 🙂 Hope ya’ll have a great Sunday!!

AJ

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