As I heard what had been discovered my heart dropped. I couldn’t believe that after working on Bellevue Mountain for over a year and not having ANYTHING stolen, it had happened. The sadness of knowing that something was taken from Bellevue Mountain crushed me…it didn’t matter that it was only a small piece of plywood serving as a little gate.
In my fit of fear and frustration, I rushed up to the mountain at 9pm on Sunday night…my fear began taking a hold of me. I kept thinking… We start school tomorrow, what if they come back and steal something again tonight…what if they steal something bigger… the whole way up the mountain my mind was racing…my heart was thumping so hard I thought it might fall out of my chest.
As I finally arrived on the mountain I stood gazing at Respire Haiti Christian School. The full moon lit up the school below. My practical mind began thinking…maybe I should sleep here all night…I need to make sure nothing happens…then, my mind clicked quickly to the thought of only a year before not even having a school on this mountain. My heartbeat slowed down, I took a deep breath and finally started to calm down and thought about the RUSH that had just happened.
I took another deep breath…
The Lord started speaking…somewhat laughing at me, somewhat with His gentle encouragement. “Did you forget that this is MY school? Did you forget that I am the PROTECTOR of all, NOT YOU?”
As I started thinking about what I had done. I chuckled to myself. For about ten minutes, I had actually thought that THIS school was MY school…MY responsibility…MY job to protect.
I began walking around the school, looking in each classroom thinking about the children that would be here the next day…
As Father kept speaking to me, He said…”NOTHING happens that I do not allow.” He reminded me, “YOU are my hands and Feet, but I am the one who does all of the work and controls everything.”
I took a deep breath releasing all of the pressure that I had just put on myself. He said, “You will be reminded of what this school is REALLY about tomorrow…go home, go to sleep.”
On the way home my heart felt light, I smiled as I thought more about what He had said….THIS is NOT MY school, this is NOT MY idea or even MY vision. As I thought about my freak out over a missing sheet of plywood, I relaxed and thanked God for teaching me this lesson the night BEFORE school started so I could be ready for what would happen the next day.
As they all walked up holding hands together, I could almost feel their anxiety. Their matted orange hair and arriving almost an hour late for the first day of school set them apart quickly…
I walked over to one of them and smiled as I squatted to her level to ask for her name. Nothing. I looked at the next one asking the same question. Nothing. Quickly realizing that they might just run away instead of actually come to school, I grabbed one of their hands gently, walked with her and the rest followed as I began to try and figure out what class they were in.
As I put my arm around one of the young girls, I took her arm and wrapped it around my waist…as soon as I let go, her arm fell to her side and she pulled away. Her eyes were wide and her face was filled with fear.
I bent down again, looked into her eyes and promised her, “We’ll get you in the right class, come with me.”
Walking up to one of the teachers whose class I suspected they belonged in….his gentle smile relaxed them a bit. As I asked for their name again…she quietly said Marie and the other children answered quietly too.
Monsieur Gabriel asked for their age…as one said 9…no 12…no 10 and the other one looked and said I’m 8 and I’m the oldest…Gabriel gently looked at them, smiled and brought them into his class which is a special program for children who have never been to school before.
We don’t know their ages. We don’t know where they live. We hardly know their name…and they hardly know their full names.
But they are here with us now.
And now, we have the opportunity to get to know them, to pour into their lives, to teach them and love on them.
A million things went “wrong” this week at Respire Haiti Christian School….something was stolen the day before school started…chairs arrived late…names were switched up…but when we look at all these details and realize they are just details…God has taught us to just smile and remember that this is HIS school….
Here we are a year and a half later…and God has MOVED like crazy in Gressier.
A year and a half ago, I remember sitting in the hot, loud and dark church trying to get our children not to stab each other with their pencils and fight with each other…
Last year when our Primary School moved up to the mountain…we had moved past the pencil stabbing…but still struggled with sitting in desks, not chunking trash everywhere and realizing that we actually were going to LEARN in school.
This past week has been amazing….walking down the corridor of the Primary Building…the teachers are not constantly correcting behavior, the students WANT to learn and the teachers WANT to teach. But most importantly, the children are learning to LOVE. To give and receive the LOVE of God.
My heart was full when on Day Two…Marie came running up and gave me a huge kiss on my cheek. This same little girl who was afraid for me to even touch her on Day One ran up and was so excited to come to school.
God’s vision for this place is TRULY amazing.
HE is moving here, HIS school is amazing and we are just BLESSED to be a part of it.
Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement this past week!