Packing for a one week trip-no problem, we just did this last month. But it will feel strange pulling out of the drive way in the afternoon not early morning as well as heading north not south. We will be joining a team from the USA for a week, working in Cap Haitian translating for a team who will do medical clinics, eye testing, visit schools....
We anticipate this will be a good experience for our family otherwise we would not be joining this team. But stepping out of one's comfort zone, even for good learning experiences always comes with a bit of those stretching, "will it be OK?" feelings.
We spent a couple hours with Pastor Kip, the team leader when he visited and took a tour of the garden this year. Otherwise we do not know these people or those they work with.
I talked on the phone with a couple of the nurses when in the USA this summer and found them asking good questions on how to help, how to improve things, wanting to learn and since then their E-mails continue along the same lines. Good.
With reflection I realize that my stirred up feelings really do not stem from the team we will be joining but from memories from last time we joined a unknown team doing medical stuff trying to push to the surface of my brain and to be recognized....memories from the post-earthquake field hospital.
More than once during that two week period I found myself apologizing for my attitude, tone or words. Many people saw the fallen, selfish side of me that under normal circumstances I can and do keep hidden away.
I remember telling a pastor how watching him get mad at people standing in line and yelling comforted me as it reminded me that other's in the Lord's family make mistakes too. Other's fall during times of stress and tension. Why is it easier to assure other's that the Lord forgives us, He understands, He loves us still.....than to tell that to yourself?
Other than the translating and clinic part everything about this trip will be different- the location, the team, the atmosphere, the conditions so I'm not worried about my loosing it in anger. In addition to these differences I'm different. The Lord continues to lead me and work on my life and my heart.
I know He's preparing our family to receive children already hurt and brused by life who will need lots of love, patience, consistency and peace. I'm thankful for the time at the field hospital and how it changed and challenged me. I'm thankful I can share experiences like that one and this coming one with Eli and Anna.
I'm asking for you to remember to pray for us. That we learn the lessons that the Lord plans for us to work on during this trip. That we can be blessings to those we connect with during the week, both Americans and Haitians. That we can show His love and give Him the glory and honor for our days.