This post is a heartfelt response that came bursting forth as I read this recent post by our friend Elizabeth Trotter, who lives & ministers in Phnom Phen, Cambodia. If we had been given more than 3 weeks together and didn't have SO much to process during our shared experience at Missions Training International on cross cultural preparation for life overseas, we may have been destined to be bosom friends....so much in our hearts is similar.
SO, before going forward review her post HERE at "A Life Overseas":
So what sustains you in your host country? How do you plant yourself in the place God has called you to serve? When the earth under your feet seems to crack, when your life is dry and scorched, what do you hold on to? When the soil starts to disintegrate and your well dries up, where do you go?
When no rain falls, when the crops wither away, and there’s no harvest, what do you do? What is your anchor, and where are your roots? Where have you put your signature?
How do you write your name in the land?
Being a fellow homeschool mom, I remember us reading & studying Sarah Plain & Tall AND Skylark and watching the movies when my kids were little.
It's SO true...and something I would have NEVER thought I would ever have applied that story to in the future. Back then I could never have dreamed that we'd be living in a 4th world country, in HAITI...where life is HARSH and complex.
I've just spent the past 5-6 weeks working with moms & babies in a more remote area here. The hardship & DANGER of childbirth for these women has broken my heart afresh...and yet they hurl themselves forward into motherhood just the same, sometimes by choice, quite often even against their own desires. But they are BRAVE and STRONG in the midst.
I've been helping train the FIRST ever postnatal nurses at this hospital to provide follow up care, catch lethal infections, identify breastfeeding issues that could lead to malnutrition, water borne diseases in newborns & death. We've discussed postnatal treatment for the rampant hypertension here...and it's already working. Babies have been referred to higher care that would have been unidentified & gone home & died.
So while what often DOES sustain me IS the beauty of this land...YES, I am a palm tree lover too and the SKIES, the mountains, the sunsets...nature has always FED my soul.
My answer is found though in the eyes of a mom looking down at her new babe...and praying to God for safety. In feeling the arms of a malnourished child grasping my neck as if holding on to life itself, as I sing to her. In the soft touch I must give to a family member who has just lost their loved one.
THIS is where & HOW - despite being completely overwhelmed at times by the raw & unforgivable sides of this country - I DO find myself writing my name in the land...
And then of course, Haiti has indelibly marked our lives as well: