I was sick all week. I had been working for weeks on the Haitian party and two days before the party I woke up with a sore throat. My body hurt, my head was pounding, and I had so so much to do. So I kept on working, sewing a dress and bow time for Claire and Autry’s Christmas program, organizing presents, preparing food, and making sure everything would be perfect for the arrival of 22 beautiful Haitian children. I felt like I was in a haze as I made my way through all the preparations and I if it weren’t for the prayers of friends and God’s grace I would not have been able to get it all done.
Finally the day arrived, we loaded 23 children, 2 teachers, 1 pastor, and 6 moms onto a bus and took the 20 minute drive to our home. For some of these children it was their first trip out of the community they live in. They all piled into our home and I thanked God for this big house he has given us to be able to fit all these children in. We played games, sang songs, heard the Christmas story, ate Nachos, opened presents, and had ice cream. At the end of the time all the children came up and hugged me saying thank you. They said thank you so all of their sponsors. Then each mom stood up and thanked us and the sponsors. Over and over again saying thank you. The pastor thanked us, the teachers thanked us, the kids thanked us, and all I could think was I can’t believe they are thanking me. Don’t they realize that I am blessed to be doing this. I know that gratitude is warranted because for the first time these children are in school, they are receiving food every day, and more presents than they ever dreamed. But really how great is our God that he has put me here serving these people as my job?
I am here in the Dominican Republic doing what I have always wanted to do. As I took pictures and shared in the lives of these children I can’t help but reflect on the fact that his is what I have always wanted to do. Who cares that I am sick? This is what I have wanted to do since I was a little girl and would tell my mom that I wanted to be a missionary teacher when I grew up. Right now my job is to serve my family, and these children. I can’t even imagine a better life. I am so thankful. I am thankful that the Lord has given me more than I could have ever dreamed. I am thankful for a husband who loves me and loves the Lord. I am thankful for 4 beautiful children that the Lord has given me to love and care for. I am thankful for the lives of each one of these Haitian children that I get to love on. I am thankful for a friend in a Haitian pastor and his wife that love their Haitian community and want so desperately for these Haitian people to know the gospel. I am thankful for a director of our school who loves on these kids and is an amazing teacher.
I often sit back and think why me Lord? Why have you chosen to give me so much? All I can think is that God has given me so much and because he has given me so much I need to serve him even more with what he has given me. My heart and prayer is that I will use all these things that God has given him for his glory. All the blessings that I have been given I will use to reach more people for the gospel. I pray that I will remember all I have to be thankful for even in hard times. I pray that I will be thankful for hard times.
As I reflect on this Ephesians 2:8-10 comes to mind, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in CHrist Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in him.” God chose me to be his child by no works of my own. I did nothing to receive God’s grace, but he chose me and saved me none the less. Because, of this I get to serve him my whole life. He prepared in advance for me to be right here right now serving this group of Haitian children. Thank you Lord you have given me more than I could have ever dreamed!