23 August 2011


As many can attest, I'm excitable. Well, excitable is the nice way to say it. My sister would probably say I "freak out" about things. It's probably true.

This is our third tropical storm since we've been here...her name is Irene. She's actually a hurricane, but the hurricane part of her won't be coming to Haiti, praise God. Weather websites like to put up scary pictures like the one below. Originally, Irene was forecast to come right across Port-au-Prince. As David put it this morning, "I'm starting to not trust those guys." I concur.

Her presence here has largely gone unnoticed, so far. She was supposed to hit us during the night, which I much prefer, because no one is out on the street without shelter. (Well, okay, some people are. We'll pray the prostitutes take the night off.) The airport has closed a few airstrips, mostly in the north.

But it's another presence I'm feeling right now. And it's probably unspiritual, but it's David's presence that's affecting me.

Last night, as I was folding laundry, I was reflecting on the fact that I'm not freaking out about Irene. I'm not worried about it, really. Trying to figure out why that was, it hit me: it's David. Usually, he goes off to work on days like this, and I sit around and speculate about how it's going down there. But now that I'm working at the hangar (a whole other blog post), I'm here...with him.

I've been a couple with this guy for ten years. That has an effect on a person. We just had our seventh wedding anniversary on Sunday, and with every one that goes by, I become more and more convinced that I'd be a lot worse off without him. So it's good to have him nearby today...and every day. And as much as it's been a challenge to be working in the same office together, it's also a blessing.

On the theme of presence, I've been thinking a lot about all the short-term missions teams here. I don't think they usually cause any harm. They come, they love, they leave. But as I was reflecting, I think what Haiti really needs is people to come and live their faith here in a normal, everyday way. It's not that most Haitians don't believe in God--He is constantly on their lips. "See you tomorrow, if God wills" is a common way to say goodbye. Their tap-taps write His name in big red letters. Church attendance is a badge of honor.

It's not that they don't believe--it's that they're not transformed by that belief. It changes nothing. As James writes, even demons believe in God, but they don't act accordingly. We all need to see believers who act accordingly, who let this good news stain every part of their lives. People for whom nothing is exempt from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit, who convicts us concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.

People like my pastor, S. When I was teaching English, I got a "TA"...R sat in the back of the classroom and didn't say much, but he spoke great English and obviously enjoyed our classes. He was hoping to be hired for the next session. When the next session list came out, I was shocked to find out that R wasn't teaching. When I asked Pastor S, his answer humbled me: "He was a good teacher, but we weren't sure about his walk with God." R wouldn't have been teaching Bible study, but that was irrelevant to Pastor S. He didn't want any ungodly example in front of these students. He wanted leaders who could lead from the inside out. What humbled me is that he sensed that in me...I hope it's true.

May God keep changing us with His presence and may others be drawn to emulate that Presence in us. 

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