28 September 2010

Our New Home

Yes, you read that correctly. God has provided us with a house in a great location--within MAF's budget!! We're so grateful for your prayers in this process--they were truly invaluable. So, we thought we'd give you a peek at what we've waited so long for! :) (If you click on them, they should get bigger.)


Our front door, inside the gate.


Our banister. A little fancy-schmancy for my taste...I might have to paint it something other than gold.

 Kitchen! The space for the oven is on the left, out of sight, and the space for the fridge is on the right edge.


Door between the kitchen and the living/dining room.


Living room/dining room. 


View from the upper level, front door below, and balcony door above.


Guest bedroom at the top of the stairs


View from the guest bedroom window


Guest bathroom. (Watch that step in the night!)


Another guest bedroom (and/or office)


Porch off the downstairs bedrooms.


Upstairs common area


Upstairs patio, with a view of the hills of Petionville. (This is going to be a favorite spot of mine.)


Alternate view of the upstairs common area


Yard, including banana trees! 


The househelp quarters, from above. 

That's the grand tour! If you want to see if with furniture...you'll have to wait a while. :) We're picking up the keys tomorrow! Praise God!

27 September 2010

House

Just a quick post to ask that you pray for our housing today...we are very close to a deal on a house that's a good size, good location, pretty good condition and the right price! The landlord stopped by to talk with our boss today, and they've worked out a contract. If it looks right tomorrow, we're signing it!!

This is what we've been praying for, for such a long time...please pray that if it's God's good plan for us, it would work out!!

Thanks, friends.

Christine

25 September 2010

Tomorrow

Yesterday, I was doing dishes when the wind started. Today, I am sweeping leaves, seed pods, dirt and water out of the gallery.

Yesterday, I heard it coming in time to pull my solar panels off the patio and my laundry off the line. Today, we hear that five people didn't make it to safety, and they died.

Yesterday, I ran to shut the windows as the rain drove sideways. Today, I notice that every horizontal pane is spotted in muddy water, but none of them are broken.

Yesterday, I called David to ask him not to drive in the storm, but couldn't get through (He still didn't drive in it). Today, I'm thankful that the many branches, power lines, and billboards in the street did not keep him from coming home safely.

Yesterday, I flip-flopped my way down my flooded driveway, soaked to the skin, to check on my neighbor, KM, who was home alone and scared and very glad to see me. Today, I hope she's remembering fondly our time yesterday, playing Boggle until her mom got home.

Yesterday, we cried over the people in tent cities, because their lives just got harder. Today, they still have nowhere else to go.

And I can't help but wonder how God's grace will be evident in all this, and what tomorrow will bring...yet, I'm listening to Matthew 6:33-34, and trying to believe that there's good things ahead.

Thanks for praying for our safety--you are being heard.

21 September 2010

Gracie

While “house-squatting,” we have been tasked with taking care of their animals. There are two: a calico cat named Sally and a golden…mutt named Gracie. I want to call her a lab, but I know she’s really not. Gracie wandered in just after the earthquake, and they took her in. She’s mixed up in a lot of ways, and it’s not just her breed…

She doesn’t bark at strangers…she barks at us.
She tries to bite kids.
She intentionally lies down when you tell her to go out.
She likes to chase the cat and eat her food.
She jumps up on you (even when you remind her not to with a whack to the head).
She will only chase one toy…and it’s inevitably the one we threw on the roof.
She’s afraid of thunderstorms.
She digs in the yard under the windows.
She won’t eat unless both her bowls are full.

She’s not really a good dog.

The night we arrived in Port-au-Prince, we accidentally left the gate open, and she took off. We looked and looked, and that’s when I realized…Gracie looked like every other dog in Haiti: “yellow, medium-sized, no distinctive marks.” For three very long days, we waited and prayed. “She’ll come back when she gets hungry,” Y assured me. I wasn’t so sure.

But after three days, a very penitent, tail-wagging Gracie showed up outside the gate. We were extremely careful to keep the gate closed after that…until last week. From then until now, something’s happened to this dog…at some point, we both developed nicknames for her (“Gracers” from David and “Gracie-bell” from me). David taught her to shake hands and not to lick him when he comes home. It has become a routine part of our day to throw the rope for her when we finish our evening walk. She likes to sniff my basil. I know the kind of sound she makes when she’s got fire ants in her food and wants me to get rid of them. She let me give her a bath (possibly the first one of her life). She’ll sometimes go out when I tell her to.

And last week, I left the gate open. As I gasped and whipped around to chase her, there she sat, in the open gate, her long tail thumping the concrete.

She’s not really a good dog…but someday, she might be. Oh, for the wisdom to have a heart that would rather stick close to God than to go it alone.

Housing update: Found a great one…talked them down to $4,000. Still too much. Found an apartment with possible earthquake damage in our price range…with the tiniest kitchen I’ve ever seen. Please keep praying!
Posted by Picasa

13 September 2010

My Second Soul

Back when we were in language training in Colorado, we heard a Czech proverb: “Learn a second language, get a second soul.” The thought kind of haunted me, I must admit, but I didn’t realize it had actually happened until we went to St. Louis. (Yes, I realize I didn’t tell you all that I was going to St. Louis. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: I’m sick, but I’m probably not dying any faster than anyone else.)

St. Louis was great. I got to see doctors and get tests. I ate apples and peaches and strawberries. I went to Target and got new clothes in a new size and Oxyclean and powdered Gatorade and other stuff I can’t easily get here. We went to the Arch, which made me feel oddly contemplative. We went to the zoo, which was way too cool to be free. We had the joy of getting to know Matt and Sara and their beautiful girls (Matt is David’s cousin).

It was great, but I felt like a part of me was…missing. I was different than when I left. I tried to blitz my way through reverse culture shock and very nearly made it, but five days just wasn’t quite enough. I still wasn’t right. I wasn’t me.

I didn’t feel like me until I got back on the plane to come to Haiti…and then I realized, I’d found my second soul. Sure, David and I spoke Creole in St. Louis, but it’s not the same as speaking with native speakers or hearing it around you. Creole is boisterous. It’s dramatic. It’s colorful. Even the way it sounds makes you laugh. And oddly enough, it draws out a different part of my personality to speak Creole, a part which I’d missed. But thankfully, I know where to find it from now on.

Despite the temporary housing situation, it’s good to be “home.” Thanks for the prayers for my health and for our housing…I hope to go out looking again tomorrow, so please be praying!