Turns out when you travel alone you have a lot of time...I managed to read a whole book (and a half), prepare and practice my talks, sort out hundreds of photos, reply to emails and watch a movie. All things I haven't been able to do in a long time. I was thankful for the time to catch up on some of the things I had needed to get done.
My trip to Missouri was brilliant and really helped to continue to build on the relationship our therapy department has with the Southwest Baptist University. I got to share with the 1st &2nd year students a little bit about my life and how God led me to Haiti to use PT to serve him. Its sort of strange for me to look back, seeing who I was as a teenager, not ever wanting to leave Northern Ireland to being in Haiti and being in situations I never thought that I would be able to cope with. It almost feels like I am talking about someone else.
I had some great conversations with a few of the students about using physio in missions and what that looks like. I got some good time with the PT professors giving me advice and treatment options for some of our patients at Bethesda, it is really great for Altidor and I to have that support network. I then had some more great time with Sarah (the pediatric PT) teaching me more so I can treat our kids better here in Haiti. And then of course the main reason why I went, I spoke at the graduation reception on Friday afternoon. I was pretty nervous but I think it went well. I am praying God will use something I said to challenge the graduates to use physiotherapy in fulfilling the great commission around the world.
The boys did great while I was gone and the first thing Joel asked was 'Where is my prize?' Unfortunately I didn't get my bags until Thursday so the boys had to wait to get their 'prizes'!
We leave Haiti this Sunday to travel to Northern Ireland. This week is busy getting ready to go, saying goodbye for the summer, tidying up what we need to at Emmaus and Bethesda and just to make things a little more crazy we are packing up our whole house as were swapping with our neighbours, and they will move into our house while were gone.
Please pray that we will get everything done we need to get done, pray for safety in travel and for 3 calm boys on the plane. Say a special prayer for Jacob, the two things Jacob loves most are being outside and moving...being on a plane for 9 hours is the opposite of both those things.
|The boys trying on their plane clothes!|
Our time in Northern Ireland is mostly to take a step back and rest a little before coming back to Haiti for another two year term. Between busyness, political unrest, uncertainty about the future of the clinic, ongoing fuel shortages and having a lot of sickness in our house, this year has been a lot. Were so thankful God has given us the strength we needed to get through and trusting in him for the future.
Which leads me to my last prayer request which is for Haiti, the political instability is ongoing and it doesn't seem like its getting any better which then leads to economic instability. The value of the Haitian gourde continues to drop which means life continues to get more and more expensive. Sometimes there is fuel but a lot of the time there is not so the fuel crisis is not over yet either. We hear of more violence with one of our security guards at Bethesda shot 3 times last Monday at 5am in the morning, close to his home simply for his motorbike. Thankfully he is ok but our clinic staff were pretty shaken up last week.
Time and time again I am convinced the only thing that will help change Haiti is the gospel. Pray for the gospel to go forth across the country of Haiti, pray for God to bring people to himself and that through the Holy Spirit changing one person at a time then Haiti will truly transform.