Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Haiti Update #6: Missionary Mama?

Tuesday, July 21

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a missionary and a mother. I’m often torn between these two roles here in Haiti. While I am mothering I am feeling the pull to minister, to be a part of the team, to contribute in some way. Last week I was out on the field coaching and my girls were at home with my mom. I loved the chance to coach and spend time developing relationships with the Haitian kids. I also longed to be with my own children.

This week our Music Camp is underway. Our good friends, Marcy and Jeremy Pusey, are here with their almost-2-year-old Corban and 3-month-old Hannah. Ericlee and I are committed to watching the two Pusey kids along with our own girls this week. We do not have such a huge role leading as we did last week for the Sports Camp. I’m getting a taste of what it is like to care for four children allowing Marcy and Jeremy time to use their talents in music, drama and art. Admittedly, four kids in the same room under the age of three is a challenge. I sometimes long to be on the other side helping with the camp instead; the ministry calls to me. Yet, there are so many glimpses of God even in these little ones and training them up as well. This morning I breathed a sigh of relief as I sat breastfeeding Giada, rocking Hannah in the stroller and watching Meilani and Corban color and play with stickers. Yes, this too was by the grace of God.

During this season of life, I know my first calling is to be a mother and I strive to do that well. Ericlee and I strongly desire to have me watching our girls full-time until they go to school. This is such a critical time of their young lives. We also feel it’s our calling to expose our family to ministry opportunities, and especially to share Haiti with our girls. It is certainly a delicate dance to balance both of these. I do really feel God is calling me to both for this short season of time this summer. I continue to ask for His grace during the times when I feel impatient with my children or when I am just longing for some family time away from the others.

Then there is the whole risk of raising little ones here in what some people call the “fourth world” or perhaps in a more politically correct way, a “developing country.” I know that children just outside the gate are dying of diseases. Am I crazy to risk my own kids’ health to minister here? If we are called by God to be here, won’t he cover us under the shadow of his wings. I read the stories from Ericlee’s grandma’s writings and marvel at the way she did so much with three children to raise and even more environmental hardships than what we face today.
Maybe God is teaching me a lesson or preparing me for a new lifestyle this fall. I continue to search for my purpose as a Christ-follower.

Ericlee has accepted a job at Fresno Pacific University. He will be teaching four classes this fall, which is a very full load for the college level. In addition, I will be providing childcare for a friend’s daughter two days a week, watching my own girls and teaching one night class at Fresno Pacific University. In a way, I feel overwhelmed by the season ahead but I know that God would not give me more than I can handle with His help. Now I can draw from my experiences here in Haiti as I enter this new season.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

D, I've been catching up on the Haiti posts and enjoyed this one the most- perhaps because it felt captures that very initimate reflection that goes on inside your soul, regardless of the activities around you. Your sincerity in wrestling with God's path, shape, form, and direction, are so human, and so vulnerable. Thank you for sharing.