My goodness. We cannot believe we have been in Haiti for two months already. We feel like time is flying by, but going slow all at the same time. It’s that perfect combination where you love what you’re doing so much that you feel like you’re in a time warp, but you also are savoring every moment. Words cannot express how much we love life here. We truly feel like this is our home now and it’s wonderful. Thank you to all of you who have helped make this a reality. 🙂
We still wish we could sit down over a cup of coffee with each of you to share what has been going on here, but a blog post will have to do. We’re coming home in December for vacation and would love to really meet with you for coffee. Anyways, here are the highlights from month two of living in Haiti!
- Encouragement. Over the past month we have received notes, emails, texts, and messages with words of encouragement. Some of them have been from family and close friends, but we’ve also received a lot of notes of encouragement from people we have only known for a little while. Friends, we cannot tell you how much it blesses our hearts to be encouraged by you. Living in another country can sometimes make us feel disconnected, but knowing that you have been thinking of us and praying for us is so refreshing and encouraging to our hearts. We appreciate it more than you know! My (Amanda) best friend sent letters down with me to open when I needed them. Last week, I needed to open one of them and found this inside. My heart needed to hear that I was missed and the pictures just brought tears to my eyes. It was the perfect note of encouragement. We are always busy and yes, we are in another country, but please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to talk to us! We love hearing from our friends back home and would love to just catch up with you and hear about what’s going on in your life as well!
- Rest. Last week we both hit a point of exhaustion. We absolutely love our jobs (you can read more about that further down in the blog) but we are always busy and sometimes just exhausted. We got to take a Friday off and go to the beach for the day to rest – it was exactly what we needed. So thankful that we get to live in this country that is full of beauty everywhere you look!
- Work. It has been such a sweet month for us in regards to our jobs. The first month was spent really building relationships and getting in a routine of our jobs. This month we have been able to really see the fruit of our labor as well as the fruit of what the Lord is doing through the people we work with. As a teacher, it is easier to see the lightbulb go off, especially with little ones. My three boys I teach in the mornings are grasping concepts, learning to love reading, getting excited about learning, and the lightbulb is going off! I love it. English Classes with the village champions has been so stinking awesome. I love when they walk up to class and greet me in English. They always have the biggest smiles on their faces. It’s so neat because they’re all at different levels in learning English. The ones with really good English have stepped up and have been wanting to help the ones who are learning it for the first time. How encouraging!? Another thing that has been awesome to see this month is to see the dreams of the Village Champions for their village starting to become a reality. Matt has been working with them on prioritizing lists of needs in their villages. Some of those top needs are latrines, clean water systems, trees, houses, etc. This month we’ve begun to see some of those needs being met! This week latrines will start being built in Bercy. Next week 120 trees will be planted in Turpin to provide food and shade. Food will also be provided for roughly 300 people in Turpin! Ya’ll, this is life transformation! We love being able to be a part of it.
- Family. Last month we posted that one of the highlights was relationships with those around us. Those relationships over the past month have really turned us all into family. It is wonderful. It’s been a great transition but also a hard one. We haven’t really been settled in one location for the past three years. I’ve been the “new girl” in so many different ways over the past few years and it is so tiring. Our sweet friend, Melissa, blogged last week and made the comment that being the new girl is just plain hard. Well, I agree. It has been hard, but it has been so sweet. We’ve had a lot of fun with our family the past month. Here are a few pictures to show what we’ve been up to!
Canadian Thanksgiving – Yes, we celebrated it! We have a few people on staff from Canada and they are awesome! It was so much fun to get together and share a big meal with everyone! Not to mention, we get two Thanksgivings!!
Family Dinner – We all pulled together to make a big dinner and shared a great night of great food and games! Yes, we played cornhole for over an hour. It was fantastic! (See below)
Card games – When we were in Buffalo, we played Hand & Foot with the Castronovas ALL THE TIME! And loved it. We brought it down to Haiti with us and we have been playing it a ton!! The other night we had a tournament and lets just say that Matt & I make a pretty good team! 🙂
Those are our highlights from month two! There are tons of more amazing things happening, but hopefully that sums it up to give you a glimpse as to what our month was like! Keep an eye out on facebook for more pictures from our month!
Thank you for sharing in our life by loving, encouraging, and supporting us. We are so unbelievably grateful!
Matt & Amanda