Saturday, February 26, 2011

Homesick in Haiti

Today I am feeling homesick. I know that in 6 short days, I will be back in Nashville, but today just sucks.

Today was my sister's baby shower. Not only have I missed pretty much her entire pregnancy, but I missed the shower today. I was supposed to be skyped in to the shower, but I haven't heard from anyone in the family today. Every ounce of me wishes I could just teleport myself to Nashville to be there for this occasion.

I know that what I'm doing here is what I am supposed to be doing, but right now, I am just wishing I could share in this occasion.

Isn't she the cutest little pregnant lady ever! At least I will get to meet Kailee while I'm home next week!

I whole heartedly believe that I'm in Haiti for a reason and God is doing awesome things. Even though I wish that I could be there with her, I'm excited for this week before Spring Break to pour into my students and be the best teacher and mentor that I can be.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Am I A Missionary?

Am I a missionary? Yes, I am. But so are you. Say whaaaat? At least I think so and I hope so. The term missionary is such a weird term. What exactly is a missionary? I was talking to some friends the other day and we were talking about the term “missionary.” When I come back to the States, I want to continue to be a missionary. A missionary, in my opinion, is anyone that is actively sharing the Word of Christ.

I think that being a teacher makes it very easy to be a “missionary.” I encounter students every day that do not know the Lord. The interesting thing about my students is that they are surrounded by poverty everywhere they turn, and many of them are apathetic to that. A lot of the students do not realize how well off they are and how big of a problem the poverty is.

It is super ironic that I started blogging about this earlier because today at Bible study we talked about money. We read in James 5 where it talks about the wealthy. I keep thinking about my life in the States. What do I want my life to look like when I get back? I live SO cheaply here. I don’t worry about cable, I don’t spend much money on food, and other things that are “necessities” in the States have no value here. I really love the simplicity of it all, but I know that once I get back to America, things will change drastically. I would like to say that I’m going to try to maintain the same type of lifestyle that I live in Haiti once I get to America, but I know myself. Friends want to eat out. Friends want to go see movies. Friends want to do things other than sit in the apartment and watch DVD’s that we’ve seen a million times.

I need to be praying more. For my lifestyle, for my students, for my friends. I want all of us to realize that money is something that is here today, and gone tomorrow. Success does not equal happiness. It is my mission to be a missionary at all times. Whether I am living among the poor, the rich or the in between, I need to be sharing Christ will everyone, all the time. I need to love the unlovable. I need to be with the poor. I need to show my students that there is more to life than being rich.

Some days being a missionary is hard. But isn’t that the same way for all believers? I never want to be content and comfortable, because I want to be taken out of my comfort zone and given opportunities to share Christ at every opening.

I feel like I just needed to share all of that. I challenge all of us to be missionaries all the time.

In other news, today is Melissa Hope’s first birthday! I cannot believe that she is one year old today! Although she still looks like a 6 month old, she is growing like a weed. Jenny, the lady adopting Melissa, flew down to be with Melissa on this special day. It truly broke my heart that I could not be there celebrating with her, but Jenny is so gracious and Skyped with me this evening so I could see her on her very special day.

This Friday, we have another basketball game. This is our third one of the “season.” We are currently undefeated. Here are some pictures from our last game versus our rival, Union School.

Some of my awesome sophomore girls

Another sophomore student of mine shooting free throws

Team huddle on a time-out

Final score! Go Eagles!

Also on Friday, I am meeting up with these lovely ladies for our discipleship time. Our time together has been really good, but I really feel like they could open up a lot more. They are such incredible girls, and I know that God is going to do amazing things through these girls. It is so wonderful to get out of “teacher-mode” and hang out with these girls on a more “friend” basis. They are all relatively closed off when we join in small group, but I’m really hoping they come out of their shells. Two of the girls have really opened up to me. One girl seems to be somewhat angry with God. She doesn’t understand why the earthquake happened and why Haiti is the way it is. She believes that God is punishing the country and sometimes the answers are so hard to find. I feel like she is having a major transformation in her heart, and I’m really excited to see where that leads.

My discipleship group: Maika, Taressa, Lorena, Paige, Celine, Alexandra, Claudia, Myrlene

My sophomore girl's class. Somehow this is the only class I got a picture of.

This blog is a lot heavier than I originally thought, so I’m going to end on a light note that makes me very happy. Vols won! So glad my boys got it together and finally pulled out a win!

Until next time,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Party in the Moulin Sur Mer!

Staff Retreat. Beach. One whole weekend. All you can eat buffet.

Those are my favorite phrases right now. I keep reliving last weekend in my mind, over and over again. We live in such a dirty place. Port-au-Prince is known for its trash and its smell. The weekend getaway was exactly what I needed to refresh.

We ate a lot, we swam a lot, and tanned a lot. We also got together to worship and sing to our Savior. After singing to our Savior, and learning more about Him, we were able to enjoy his creation.

Every morning, I woke up saying, this is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

The water was so fantastic. Since we live close to the equator, the sun blazes down, and there is nothing more fantastic then jumping in the ocean to be refreshed. God really blessed me to be able to relax and hang out. I spent a lot of time with the girls and got to know several of them more personally. It is so important to me to have super good friends and be able to express what is going on in my life. This weekend definitely allowed me to know the girls better and talk on a more personal basis.

Who knew, there ARE ducks in Haiti!

The water was beautiful!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Defense, Eagles! Defense!

Quisqueya Christian School had their first boys basketball game of the season a little over a week ago. If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE basketball. A small piece of me is dying inside as I write this because UT is playing Kentucky, and I'm not able to watch it.

Now, QCS is definitely not college-level ball, but it was so great to watch the boys play and really put their whole heart into it. Carl, Jonathan, Israel, Ramih and Kevin started off the game. We played MorningStar Academy (I think), and they had several fans show up to support them. There was even one crazy lady in a white shirt and jeggings that LOVED to dance. I think she was probably talking some "smack" too, but their team was constantly down by at least 10 points. I really wanted to shout my favorite UT insult, "You're ugly!" but I figured that might not be appropriate for a high school basketball game.

Crazy lady in white shirt and jeggings. She spent most of her time dancing it up.

Coach McMahan watches the Eagles from the sideline

The boys played so great! Most of the boys on the team are in one of my English classes, so it was so great to support them as they took their team to victory. Although we were constantly up by an insane amount of points, it still felt as though it was a close game. That might be because their fans were constantly cheering, giving their guys more motivation to score.

Final Score: QCS 57, MorningStar 37
Total Domination.

MVP of the game, in my opinion, would go to Jonathan. He scored 21 points and really displayed awesome leadership skills for his team. The students decked out in the purple in yellow to support their classmates. I even decided to show some school spirit and put on the colors that I have grown to love.

Cristina and Kathryn, sophomore girls, paint up to support their school

I haven't rooted for a high school team since ole' faithful DA, but the Eagles are soaring into a special place in my heart.

Go Eagles!

QCS plays Union School this Friday. Union is our biggest rival in all of Haiti (and one of the only teams we play) so hopefully we will be able to pull out another win and watch our arch enemy lose once again!

Also, I've decided to start being "pen pals" with some people. I find e-mails to be much more significant, and I'm able to learn about the lives of others and share things that I sometimes don't share on my blog. If you interested in being a "pen pal" just comment with your email address, or shoot me an email at I would love to share more of this journey with you!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Special Prayer Request

Hey friends,

Today has been a rough day. I am so frustrated with so many things, and today brought out the worst in me.

My first class was good. We had a quiz and I thought they would all ace it. I graded them. Maybe one person passed. Am I teaching it wrong or are they just not studying? Obviously, something is wrong, so tomorrow we are going to hound it out. These kids WILL understand quadratic equations!

Then my second class. 10th grade boys. They are a hard age group to handle. They are young, and they are boys.

Then another lump was thrown in my day. I found out that I going to have not one, but TWO new students within the next two weeks. I really wish I could just excuse them from the first month of school, but that won't help them for the final exam. So, I have to catch up these students on everything that we have done. I'm excited about the new students, but really frustrated with the amount of work they have to be caught up on.

But with all those frustrations, there is a much more pressing issue. A freshman girl has been sick this year. She fainted last semester and after having a lot of tests found out that she has epilepsy. She has not seized at school until today. Everyone started running to where she was and after ushering them all away to get them to go to class, I found her there, seizing. Luckily, the math teacher was holding her head so that she didn't get a concussion. The other English teacher was there to help as well. Luckily, her mom was on the school's campus for a meeting and was able to quickly get her to the hospital.

This girl is such a sweet person, and I'm begging you to join me in prayer for her. Many of her friends were so concerned about her, and you can tell she is loved by all. Mentally, her brain is tricking her and she needs so much prayer. Her medicine often makes her do and say things that she may regret in the long run. So please, please, join me in prayer for this sweet, sweet girl.