Probably 99% of those who are reading this will wake up in the morning, take a shower, fix your hair, put on some nice clothes, and go to church. At church you will sing praises to our great King, be fed by His word, and fellowship with other believers. You will leave church feeling encouraged, and hungry. So you will grab your family, or best friends and hit up your favorite Sunday lunch spot. After that most of you will go home and take the traditional Sunday afternon nap, and relax for the rest of the afternoon. If you are a student, with a life anything comprable to mine when I was a student, you will skip the nap with much grumbling and head to the nearest coffee shop to get as much homework done as possible before class on Monday. At the coffee shop you will more than likely see people you know and maybe even make small talk. You will be distracted by those having conversations and maybe stick headphones in your ears to keep you focused on the assignment, and not on evesdropping. Did I mention that as you travel to and from church, home, and the coffee shop you will most likely drive a car with the appropriate amount of people per seat belt, or less? And you will be able to drive without swerving to miss potholes and bottom out every 3 seconds. Also, did I mention that people will not be staring at you the entire day? Analyzing everything that you do and then whispering to their neighbor about it. You won't be distracting in church, you will fit right in, you will barely be noticed as you drive home or walk into the coffee shop. Because its normal for you.
None of that will happen to me tomorrow. I will wake up, maybe fix my hair (like re-do the ponytail), probably put on a skirt and maybe something other than a white v-neck shirt, the only make-up I will wear is chapstick, and then I will walk to church. As I walk to church people will stare at me. When I get to church I will be noticed. The children's attention is going to be gone for the rest of the service as they whisper. We will sing songs in French. Someone will graciously lend me their song book, so I will have some idea of how to formulate the words, but I won't understand the majority of them. We will sit, and the pastor will begin to teach. I will count it a success if I can find the right passage without asking for help, much less understand the main points of the sermon. After church, I will mill around for as little as I think is appropriate and then leave. I won't be going to Rancho Grande with my family and friends, I'll come home alone. I won't be studying at the local coffee shop. I won't drive a car. I won't be normal and I won't fit in.
I LOVE church here. It has given me a wider veiw of the body of Christ. I LOVE living here. I have learned so much and grown so much. But I miss singing to my Jesus in English! I miss knowing the words to the songs and being able to close my eyes and sing them only to Him. I miss NOT being stared at! I miss sunday lunch with family. Or Sunday afternoon study dates with friends. I miss fitting in. I miss being able to understand conversations around me 100% without having to strain to understand each word. I miss being able to call my mom on the way to study just to hello. Or running into random friends at the grocery store.
Yesterday I cried. A lot. Actually, I am suprised it hasn't happened sooner, seeing as how I cry at least every 2 weeks in the states whether I need it or not! The underlying theme of all the times I cried yesterday was that I am a little homesick. I think there is a common misconception that missionaries love God and the people they are with so much that they don't really need friends. Every single word in that statement is false. Maybe I'm not the normal missionary, but I miss my friends and family. I miss things being normal.
But I'm not ready to come home just yet. The hardest part about living in two countries is trying to explain it to others. When I'm in the States I miss Haiti. I get homesick for Haiti. I miss the people I miss the smells, I miss it all! When I'm here I get homesick for the States. It usually takes longer for me to miss the states than for me to miss Haiti though. Typically, by the time I set foot in Miami I'm ready to return home to Haiti. But after 3 months here I'm missing the States. I'm not saying any of this to make anyone think that I am miserable here or that I would rather be in the States right now. I'm not, and I don't. I'm simply sharing with you how I am feeling so you may be praying more effectively for me.
Hudson and Daniel coming to work and visit here was such a huge encouragement I can't even express it. They encouraged me in ways that I really needed. They made me laugh until I cried (and thought I was going to pass out from lack of oxygen) at least once. I don't think I realized how much I needed them to come until they were here. It was such a wonderful breath of fresh air. But now they are gone and its just me again. Today and yesterday I have been thinking of home often.
I know its impossible for me to write something like this without many of you worrying about me. Please don't worry. Like I said, I AM loving it here. I AM NOT ready to go home. I just miss a little bit of normalcy. Pray that my heart will be full. I know that my Savior is with me. Closer than the air I breathe. Pray that I will be overwhelmed with a new love for these people, and a new urgency to show love to them.
And tomorrow, in church, sing your heart out to Jesus for me! I will be singing in French, but God understands what even I do not.
Praise Him for being so big and wonderful!