Once again, after a long month of fundraising and speaking engagements in America I’m being sent out into the mission field. This has been my life for the last 4 ½ years. I stood in front of my church last night with my head bowed and heart pounding as it always does when I’m standing in front of a crowd. I listened to my pastor pray for my future and safe travels. Last night, I was ordained as a minster of the gospel but to be perfectly honest, it was only a piece of paper telling me what I already knew. My job is to go out under the covering of Soul Harvest church with the blessing of my pastor and teach the gospel message to a group of people completely different than myself. Many times I return to the States, but its only briefly and out of necessity. This is my new normal. At some point, leaving West Virginia stopped being a leap of faith and became a familiar skip towards home. And my life, though it my seem abnormal and sporadic to most, has evolved into a comforting routine.
I buy my tickets through American airlines. One week before departure I make a trip to Wal-Mart for supplies.
A shopping cart full of supplies meant to last for at least 3 months. I pack my bags and weigh them with my uncle’s fish scales. Fifty pounds each and it can’t be over or you’ll get charged at the airport. My flight leaves Columbus at 6:00am and I arrive in Haiti by 1:00pm. Then it’s a 3 hour drive through Port Au Prince depending on the traffic. I usually arrive home exhausted and filthy before sunset. I take a quick cold shower and force down a plate of rice before I crawl into my bed. My sheets are stiff and smell of lye soap and bug spray, but its home and I’m asleep within minutes. The next morning will be dogs barking and children yelling “Ms. Carrie” from the bottom of my steps.
It’s a strange thing, but it’s usually easier for me to adjust back to Haiti life than it is to readjust into American culture. This realization scared me at first. I saw myself letting go of my old ways and being swept away by the new. I was afraid of who I would become if I stayed away from my own culture to long, but eventually I consented and allowed God to lead me. Although I’ll always be considered a foreigner in Haiti I’ve become used to standing on the outside. Those brief moments when the Haitians invite me into their lives are small triumphs I live for. And when I think about my unusually, erratic, unconventional routine of life I wouldn’t change a thing. This is what God has chosen for me and I’m thankful just to be a small part of his plan.