This has been a full, yet fantastic week. Martha and I are doing a pretty good job of balancing our day jobs with making preparations for Haiti, raising support, and touching up on some skills. Some days are longer than others, but all in all we’re growing more affirmed in our future ministry and have been given all the strength we need to ‘keep on keeping on.’ I wanted to share a couple highlights from this past week with the hope of letting you see what our lives are like doing this time leading up to our departure for Haiti.
Martha and I have applied to receive support from our church here in Seattle. This week we had our first ‘interview’ with some members from the mission committee. It was encouraging to hear about the vision the church has regarding missions and how our work with World Concern fits into that. Following some good conversation, we had the opportunity to pray together. This was another reminder of how blessed we are to be a part of a solid community of believers. The next step in this process is to make a presentation of our work to the entire committee in the near future. Looking forward to that.
As you may or may not know, Martha and I have begun learning French. We are using a software called “Tell Me More.” We decided to go with a software option versus a class or tutor because of the low cost and flexibility. In general we are pleased so far with the program and since we both enjoy language it has been fun. The majority of Haitians only speak Creole. Why then are we learning French? Our Haitian supervisors and colleagues at the headquarter office in Seattle agreed that having a basic understanding of French would be helpful for the transition to learning Creole. Additionally, some things like government documents in Haiti are often in French, so it will be valuable to understand the language for that reason. Eventually we will focus exclusively on learning Creole with the end goal of becoming fluent. We want to invest in our Haitian coworkers and neighbors, as well as do our best to share accurate and in depth stories of what World Concern is doing in Haiti, so really knowing the language is essential for us. In addition to using the “Tell Me More” language software to learn French, we have been listening to French music and watching French movies. This week we watched a French film called “The Class.” It follows a classroom in urban Paris that consists of a diverse group of lower class students and highlights the issues they face. Slow moving at times but I really recommend it. We’re hoping simply hearing the language will help us pick it up quicker. We’ll see!
One of our goals prior to arriving in Haiti is to really be present each day and build strong relationships with people here. A way we are attempting to do this and at the same time tell more people about our future work is through dinner or dessert nights. These informal, laid back events may be hosted at the home of a close friend or anywhere else that a friend of ours allows us ‘into their circle.’ Our friends Andrew and Tessa invited us to join their small group this week for dinner and to talk about what we are up to. It was really fun meeting new people, hearing their stories, and sharing ours. If this sounds like something you would be interested in hosting for us let us know!
So this was our week. We are always amazed at the people God puts in our lives and how he provides for us. Pressing forward in anticipation for what He has next. Happy Easter:)
Oh and it was my (Austin) birthday this week! How could I forget? I think 26 is going to be a good one.