The End of a Life Changing 2 Weeks

It is hard to believe that today was our final full day in Haiti. These past two weeks have felt so long but not long enough. As we are preparing to head back to Canada tomorrow I am filled with fear and sadness.

I am afraid of the culture shock I will feel when I get home, that I will have a difficult time adjusting to my regular life again. Before leaving for this trip I never even thought about how I’d be affected – I guess I kind of saw it as a vacation of sorts where I would be doing a little work. Man was I wrong. I now realize that this was not a vacation. I have been stretched in directions I didn’t know existed and I have been changed for the better. I am also afraid that I will treat this experience like a dream, let it slip from my mind as if it never happened. I know that this is an experience that I never want to forget.

I am sad because I love it here. As I said in my last blog, Haiti has become another home of mine. I am excited to go back to Canada but I am very aware of the loss I will feel. Haiti, unlike all my other ‘homes’, is too far to visit whenever I want to and that will be very hard for me to grasp – it already is. I will miss the sense of community I have had the past two weeks and all of the friends I have made while here. I am sad that all that I am used to here will be gone as soon as our flight takes off in the morning.

I will miss this beautiful place more than I ever thought I would. I know I will be back someday in the future.

See everyone in Canada in just less than 24 hours.

Nicole

Well, as we are wrapping up our trip there is a lot to reflect on. I have definitely experienced God in the last 2 weeks in a way that I will never forget. Being in this beautiful place with amazing people has showed me that God’s love is strong across all cultures and all nations. It has been difficult to process the transition period we are going through in getting ready to go home. I feel as though reverse culture shock is already setting in when thinking about all the distractions and habits I will face when I return home. In these past two weeks alone I have experienced the Lord move through my life and by pushing me out of my comfort zone and making me rely on him with all that I am. Just last night me and Toby lead worship and after our evening session we continued to play for anyone who still wanted to worship. It was amazing how something as simple as offering song and voice to God can bring such comfort among the chaos that is missions work. Through the last few days and over the 2 weeks I have been in this amazing country I have built amazing relationships, experienced the faith of a amazing people and ultimately grown closer to God. I am humbled by the love of God that is very evident in this country and as I leave this place, part of my heart will stay with its people and I will most certainly be back!

Jon

Ron Dunning;

Wow, we are heading home tomorrow.  It is hard to believe that our time here in Haiti is coming to a close.  We have had the opportunity to work alongside some very hard working Haitian labourers, and to learn just a little bit more about the people here. 

We have manhandled lots of rocks, rooted out tarantulas, and seen God at work. Being here has initiated change in all of us and I trust that God will continue that change when we get back home.

We have met some other really great people, beginning with Gayly our driver, interpreter and so much more; Sarah who has been indispensable to our team, and provided many opportunities for the ladies to serve and touch the lives of young girls here in Jacmel;  Gord our HFL rep who helped keep us on an even keel and meet all the challenges that came our way.

The thing that I personally am bringing home from this trip is that I need to value the older generation of believers back at Valley View.  It is too easy for us to overlook them.  They have a lot to give if only we take the time to listen to them.

Looking forward to seeing all of those back home!

March 03

Hi all, I hope you’ve enjoyed all the blogs and pictures over the last two weeks, I can’t wait to get home and read all the posts and re-read all your comments.  Typing this blog and uploading the daily pictures has been the only technology I’ve used this whole mission trip. To be honest, I haven’t missed all the computers and devices; it’s been quite the opposite.  Each day was full enough and the team has been used and stretched in ways they don’t yet realize.

During my time in Haiti from the work projects and working alongside some incredibly hard working men, the kids, the engagement in Haitian culture [including the adventurous food], unexpectedly and gladly learning about Sarah’s clinic “Olive Tree Projects” a place for Haitian women to go and receive care compassion and education around pregnancy and choices.  To the times of sharing and worship each day.  I have been stretched in ways I could never have imagined. 

Somehow I was expecting to have an incredible “ah ha” moment or divine experience and have been waiting for God to reveal to me what my roll was or what specifically I was here to do or to learn.  For nearly 2 weeks I have prayed and wondered. Then last night at our devotion time He spoke to me.  Not at all like I expected, but exactly the way He intended.  Funny how that is, just like the story of when Elijah was instructed to go out to the mountain to hear from God in 1st Kings 19:11-13 where a great and powerful wind came and tore the mountain apart, But the Lord was not in the wind.  Then an earthquake shook the mountain and the Lord was not in the earthquake. Then a great fire came but the Lord was not there either.  After the fire there was a gentle whisper and the Lord spoke to Elijah.

It was this way, in a whisper, that I heard him ask of me: “If I never tell you why, will you still trust me.”  I was broken.  Once again the Father showed me He cannot be put in a box.  So I have and will be stretching my faith to begin to accept I may never see the purpose he has for my obedience in all things, but I know He has a plan for me, And that will be enough for me today.

See you all really soon.

Ron Clifford

3 Responses to “The End of a Life Changing 2 Weeks”

  1. Benjamin Day says:

    Way to go Haiti Team. We will be praying for your safe trip home. Thanks for your hard work and spiritual presents in Haiti. You should all be proud.

  2. Jean Taylor says:

    Good morning. As you head home I just wanted to give you a reminder of what it is all about! The message for Haiti – and each of us.
    JESUS HAD THE POWER TO COME DOWN FROM THE CROSS. HE CHOSE TO STAY – FOR YOU AND ME. ISN’T IT GREAT TO KNOW HOW SPECIAL WE ARE TO HIM? HE LIVES!
    God will continue spreading this message in Haiti – and to using each of you returning home and carrying on. Blessings.

  3. Your last day, Haiti Team – how happy/sad the emotions flow – coming home yet leaving a place of loving relationships that feels like “home” too! God bless you for your heartfelt blogs. How your radically different cultural experiences these last two weeks have stretched your “comfort zone” and led to great spiritual growth.

    I vividly remember the Dean at a university graduation ceremony saying – “You have matured as a thinking adult when you become truly capable of seeing a problem or situation or solution from a radically different point of view – through the eyes of others, rather than just from your own personal point of view.”

    Ron Clifford beautifully captures this truth in his last blog: “It was this way, in a whisper, that I heard him ask of me: ‘If I never tell you why, will you still trust me.’ I was broken. Once again the Father showed me He cannot be put in a box. So I have and will be stretching my faith to begin to accept I may never see the purpose he has for my obedience in all things, but I know He has a plan for me, And that will be enough for me today.”

    How true – God’s viewpoint is not our viewpoint, and how hard it can be at times to catch a glimmer of God’s view! God moves in ways beyond our understanding; His ways are not the ways of this world! (1 Corinthians 12:13; John 8:23-24; Matthew 7:11; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 2:10)

    Josh, you and all the Team members and those whose lives you have touched in Haiti continue to be in our prayers — Gray and Esme Cavanagh

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