We got up early to drive for 2 hours to catch our flight early on Friday. Unfortunately, this flight was delayed causing Caroline and I to miss our connecting flight and worse, we had to spend the night at a hotel (thank God we did not have children to travel with…yet) which messed up our big family surprise. We boarded the plane first thing the next day and off we went. Friendly and quite talkative people on board with us got me just a little bit confused thinking that I was on the wrong plane, one that was headed back to Mississippi. Then I realized that no one was saying “y’all” or talking about sweet tea. They spoke creole rather than English. That’s the smell of a place I call home, Haiti.
We’ve been here for almost a week now and almost everyday we meet with friends and family that have not yet seen us as a married couple. Before anything else, they each had to make sure they ask me the same 3 questions:
“Kijan w fe seksi konsa?” literally translated “How are you so sexy?” which usually would make someone feel flattered but here, they mean “how are you so skinny?” Not that I was not “skinny” before I left Haiti the last time but it’s custom that the man gains weight after marriage.
“Ou poko gen anyen nan kouti?” an old saying that I have forgotten literally translated as “Is Mr. Tailor making you anything yet?” which actually means “is your wife pregnant yet?” again, because it is custom that you get pregnant right after you get married.
“Kote w jwenn ak pil cheve woule sa yo, w’ap dwed?” Which is basically “What’s up with the spiky crazy looking hair, are you getting dread locks?
In most of my conversations with people down here, I talk about my “home” referring to mine and Caroline’s place in Mississippi but when we’re in Mississippi I talk about home referring to my mom’s house here in Haiti. In both of these homes are family and friends who are so dear to us, ones with whom we always have a hard time saying goodbye to when we’re getting ready to say hello to the others.
Saying goodbye and hello is something this life consists of. In the past couple of years, I have had to say goodbye to many, and I always thought it was too soon to say goodbye to them. These were people that have left to go HOME, my real home, this place where I will be going to sooner or later, it’s this place Jesus Himself promised to us when He said:
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have not told you. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there also you may be.”
This hope is what gets me going everyday. There will be anxiety, worries and fears that I may face, times of grief, sorrow and despair, but my family and I will continue to do one thing: share this hope that we have in the promises of our God. We are about to start a big season of trip leading this summer all over Haiti. Our prayer is that many would come to know about Jesus and His Promises, that many would come join His Kingdom and dwell in His green pastures. That they would follow him beside quiet waters. That their souls will be restored and that they will be guided in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.