Today, I’m working from home on my couch, at my house in Haiti. I temporarily live in the States while my daughters are enrolled in high school. We came here with for Spring Break planning to only stay 10 days. Haiti got its first documented case of COVID-19 on March 19 and closed the borders immediately. So, I guess you could say I’m stuck here for the foreseeable future.
That’s not really bad though. I’m with my family and I’m thankful for everything that I have the chance to be a part of during the past couple of months. Sure, I have had some anxiety over the “what if’s” of the moment, but I also have the peace that my human mind just can’t grasp.
Philippians 4:7, 'And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.'
As I sit here typing away, answering emails, getting disconnected from Zoom calls, and longingly waiting for the fan’s next oscillation this way, I’m more than a little overwhelmed. I’m actually a lot overwhelmed. Today, as I’m working, my son, Lane, is sitting just down from me jamming out to his music playing on his Bluetooth speaker that has been carefully placed just out of his reach on the table beside him. We learned to place it out of his reach the hard way, that’s for sure.
So far today we’ve listened to VeggieTales, Motown, bluegrass, and worship music. Lane loves music and seems to have what I can only describe as the Fruit of the Spirit at his core. Today he has been a perfect display of joy and peace in a moment of chaos and confusion here in Haiti. It doesn’t rattle him in the least. He goes with the flow as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. Sure, he can get feisty if he’s uncomfortable or feels like he’s being ignored, but it’s his attitude that reminds me of how blessed I am at this moment.
Instead of another, “This is what we’re doing today in the land of COVID-19” email, I wanted to share that in the midst of everything, God is still using the most unexpected people to advance His Kingdom. He uses us here in Haiti daily, but today, God used Lane to remind me that my call is to be a follower of God’s plan, not asking God to follow mine. He’s been using Lane since his birth to remind me that God’s plans are much greater than my own (Isaiah 55:8). Lane has been a catalyst for change since day one and he’s been teaching our family about LIFE every day since.
We are not about our own plans here in Haiti and once we remember that, things seem to be much easier to tolerate. Like Lane, I need to be willing to both go with the flow and find peace in the midst of the uncertainties and when things are unknown.
As I look at the work of myLIFEspeaks, a couple of things have become clear. We are here for this moment. This is our chance to show the love of God with our words and actions. We meet physical needs to be able to address spiritual ones. This is our chance to lead well through faith, without fear or doubt.
When it comes to COVID-19, we are about 5-6 weeks behind where the United States is. The number of cases here in Haiti has just begun increasing sharply. We are having to make the same hard decisions many of you made a couple of months ago. It isn’t easy when the reality of what Haiti has to offer is next to nothing. Rather than stress and complain though we know we can rest in God’s love and let Him lead us to do the right things for our community, for His glory, not ours.
I recently heard something that stuck with me.
“While we were all practicing social distancing—God wasn't. There is no pandemic, epidemic, disease, or disaster that can stop the love of God. Nothing can stop the love of God. So, Press On.” -Tim Tebow
I like this reminder. I believe I needed it today. I hope you did as well.
'Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.'