Thursday, August 30, 2012

6 Months Old!

6 months ago I stared in wonder at our brand new baby boy. I took in his rosy cheeks, his head full of dark hair, his silky long eye lashes, and his comical bushy eye brows. Breathing in his fresh baby smell, I counted his tiny fingers and toes; he was perfect and I was in love. Again.

Remembering my active first born, I marveled at how peaceful he was. 24 hours later I took that thought back. Those flailing arms and legs and bobbing little head were oh so familiar!

3 months later he easily rivaled his older brother's activeness, but was also just as happy! He cried little and smiled often.

Now that he's 6 months old he's got rolling and jumping down pat, and it wouldn't surprise me if he starts crawling soon! Check out those sweet, but mischievous blue eyes.

With two boys like this, there's never a dull moment at our house!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Goodbye Scout Group

Palm trees sway in the gentle breeze, their pokey fronds scraping the brilliant blue sky. Nestled in their branches colourful birds chirp shrilly, singing praises to their Creator. It's another beautiful day in the Caribbean!

Leaning back on the playroom couch, I push open my laptop screen. Now that the scout group has left, and Humpty Dumpty, I mean our house, is put back together again, I have a few minutes to post yesterdays pictures.

Soccer in the land of Canaan.

Painting the two homes, inside and out that they helped build last week.

Count your many blessings.

Thankful new home owner.

Make new friends.

A special meal for the community.

 This is delicious!

We will miss you!

Great scouts! Great leaders!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jacmel Scout Adventures

Up, up and away.

Over the mountains.

And there she is!  Picturesque and quaint, the coastal town of Jacmel.

Driving in style.

The blue ocean beckons.

Kayak adventures.

This is the life!

Long walks and hikes.

"Gade Blan!"

Riding in style.

Traveling back in time.

Exploring the beaches.

Haitian fishing boats.

Catch of the day.

Bassin Bleu

This is fun!

Look at me!

Diving in.

Tropical Storm Isaac.

What a mess.

Storm damage.

Cleaning up!

View from above.

Port au Prince bound.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sometimes He Calms the Storm, Other Times He Calms His Child

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, comfort for family, protection while we sleep.”  It’s 1:30 a.m. and fragments of song lyrics swirl through my mind as tropical storm Isaac pounds the island of Hispaniola. With Jason and the boy scout group weathering the storm in Jacmel, it’s just me and the two boys home tonight.  I turn to watch the peacefully sleeping Jayden beside me as our tin roof creaks and groans in protest above us. The wind howls and waves of rain sweep the city but nothing disturbs his serene sleep. 

“I will both lay me down in peace and sleep: for thou LORD only makest me dwell in safety.” I softly repeat the words of Psalm 4 as large branches of overhanging trees wildly slap our roof. The truth of the words calms my anxious heart as song fragments continue to play.

“We pray for healing, for prosperity, we pray for His mighty hand to ease our suffering. And all the while, He hears each spoken need. Yet loves us way to much to give us lesser things. Because what if His blessings come through raindrops, what if His healing comes through tears, what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know He’s near, what if trials of this life are His mercies in disguise?”

My thoughts travel back in time to the Woman’s Bible Study I attended earlier this morning where this exact subject had come up. We unanimously agreed that Haiti is a challenging place to live. Day to day life in every aspect is just more difficult, trials are around every corner and the needs of the people are simply overwhelming. Security remains a concern, and now with hurricane season upon us the unsettling feelings of uncertainty refuse to fade. But through it all, we’ve grown closer to God. Trials create dependency, comforts rarely do. 

The song words, “What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy. What if the trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are His mercies in disguise?” are true. It's in the trials that He gently draws us closer.

Feeling His comforting presence, and trusting in His mercy and love, the noise of the storm fades to the background and I slowly, peacefully drift back to sleep.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Glimpses of the Scout Group

Wrestling with the wheel I press down harder on the accelerator. Jason always did drive faster than me, and it now takes all my skill and concentration to navigate the winding, bumpy, obstacle ridden, back roads to keep up with him. We’ve just picked up the scout group from the airport, only 5 hours after scheduled arrival time, and we’re on our way home.

In the back of the pickup in front of us, Stephan and Curt steady the luggage as we jostle over rubble, bumps and potholes.

At home, the adults struggle, (and fail) to keep their eyes open. Was it 48 hours since they last slept?

Meanwhile Jayden and Justin enjoy some extra attention from new found friends.

That night, after house orientation and a spaghetti dinner, the ‘hotel’ is set up.
From 2012
“Cockroaches come out at night.” I warn the boys just as they are falling asleep. When they groan in horror and disbelief, I can’t help but remind them that boy scouts are supposed to be brave, and should show no sign of fear over some harmless, albeit disgusting, little critters that might crawl into their mouths while they sleep! Mean of me, I know.

The following morning begins dark and early. The clock is barely touching 5:00 a.m. when it’s time to get up. As the scouts and leaders get organized, I work as fast as I can to get breakfast and lunch ready for the group. When it’s time to leave I wave goodbye as they all pile into the pickup truck.

Today they will be working in the land of Canaan, a tent city that formed outside of Port au Prince after the earthquake on 'Promised Land'. Promised by the government, that is.

12 hours later they return, full of stories and pictures about Haitian pastors, Jerusalem (a part of Canaan of course), house building, food distribution, hiking Mount Moab, meeting a Haitian scout group, and making new friends.

A View of Canaan.

Mount Moab.

One of the two building sites.

First building site from above.

Second Building Site.

New friends.

Getting ready for a rice and pasta distribution via the local pastor.

Posing with a Haitian Scout Group.

Getting ready to drive home, and looking forward to some ice cold water and Haitan pop after a hot day in the desert like terrain.