Excitement for the Move
Bonswa!! I hope this post finds you all doing well and loving life. For my midwestern family and friends, I am a little jealous of the snowfall you are currently receiving as I was home for almost a month and did not have a single chance to cross country ski or engage in any fun winter sports (other than my regular runs through the woods).
What a week it has been with the deaf community. I know, I start off so many posts with statements like that, but over and over we find ourselves meeting amazingly passionate people who want to be involved, and I personally find myself even more indescribably blessed to be engaging in life everyday with people who are growing and taking up a massive challenge in a pursuit of new lives for themselves. It is so hard to sit here and try to write blog posts of a reasonable length as I everyday feel that even the most talented writer (and I am definitely not that) would have trouble articulating these experiences. With that said – onward with an attempt. . .
We have decided on an indoor solar lighting solution for the community and are currently seeking funding for about 1,000 of these units. The deaf leaders had a chance to try out the solar lights earlier this week and reported to me the next day that it was incredible. With one light they sat and talked late into the night inside one of their current temporary homes. Tired of communicating and needing to conduct a security check, several of the men took this portable light outside and used it as a flashlight until the early hours of the morning – this is one charge!!! Then came the explanation that the battery used in the light is the same battery used in virtually all Haitian cell phones. Meaning, all who can afford cell phones but do not have electricity in their homes will be able to charge their batteres!. The reaction was priceless – a community already sold on the idea finds out one more great feature and reacts with the equivalent of an – “Oh Lord” . . . accompanied by our usual favorite chuckles and giggles .
I shared in an earlier post the incredible generosity on Christmas Eve that resulted in full funding for the new church. I have been in discussions with an architect out of Gallaudet University (a world mecca in deaf education) who has provided amazing insights into how to make this a space that accounts for and appreciates “unique deaf ways of being.” We were able to share with the community this week that the new church in the community will have many design components specifically with the deaf in mind – to our knowledge a truly unique design in all of Haiti! We will remain in discussions with this contact to aid in designing all of the other spaces in the community – always including the deaf leaders in the process for their ideas on how to make everything more accessible to the entire community.
Ok – maybe to the true highlight of the week. On Tuesday a new cabinet member for the President of Haiti traveled to the community to meet with the deaf leaders. This man’s official title is “Secretary General for the Integration of People with Disabilities.” So to quote Ron Burgondy from the movie “Anchorman,” “Kind of a BIG DEAL.” He is very excited for the project with 410 Bridge and all partners and is amazed at the caliber of leadership he observed yesterday in the camp. To be honest, when I moved down here, true support from the Haitian government was not something I ever expected. Gerald Oriol (secretary general), I hope, will follow up on his comments and pledges of work and support from yesterday. We have already e-mailed a few times today on project components and support needs from the government – if this continues, I will happily eat my words and take back almost all comments made about the Haitian government in the last 6 months. He has committed to travel to our official moving in ceremonies that are now occurring on February 7th. Everyone who has visited the new land and has caught a vision of the plans for the community has been completely impressed and encouraged by the work – please pray that he will experience the same in our relationship and continued work together.
Well, I have one more personal story from the week but as this post is getting long and I have not yet included a prayer, I will wrap this up and have to include the personal story in a few days. For now, a prayer from my journal this week.
Reflecting on Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” PRAYER – Lord, this morning as we sit around the table with our coffee and swap adventure stories, we praise You for the adventures you have placed on our hearts for they have all involved unique communities and chances to stir up others (and ourselves) to love. There are so many ways to pursue adventure and Your will for us in this world and we thank You for all of the opportunities to dive in head first and go after them!!! PART 2 – Lord, thank You for this beautiful day. For a day that, as it ends, we can look back and be proud and encouraged by how we worked and engaged in life together. Prayers for strength, industry, discipline and peace amidst situations and tons of work that could be overwhelming for people of twice our number are being answered in HUGE ways. Lord, thank You for reminding me this week that You are a God who blows people’s minds. You call us to pray and ask for much, in the full confidence that you will always grant abundantly in all of the ways in which Your children are needy. Lord, I just praise You tonight for PEACE and for granting it abundantly. AMEN
wishing you all the continued experience of the abundant grace and peace or our reigning King!
grace and peace,