This blog is written by Tim and Lucia Van Maanen. Tim and Lucia are serving with MH4H over the next two weeks in Pignon. They have been to Haiti multiple times since 2010.

As we continue our journey, I was reminded this morning to never give up. We have been working on securing the dorm and workshop so we will have no more break-ins. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday was spent moving, cleaning, sorting, arranging, and building. At times it could get discouraging and humdrum.  We kept asking, “Where is God in all of this?”

When I take time and sit with my King, He usually will make things clear for me. Before we come to Haiti, I have in my mind all the things we will do. Sometimes life just doesn’t go like you think it should, in Haiti or the USA.  This is the reason I must stay connected to the True Vine. God has reminded me to not get discouraged by the difficulty of keeping my focus on Him. God knows my heart’s desire is to be aware of Him continually. He also knows this is a lofty goal that never will be totally achieved in this life. God is telling me not to be alarmed or surprised when my mind wanders.

We live in a world that is rigged to distract us. Some distractions look like….. when we gave Manise a bath, I gave our bucket to a girl, had Woodson tell her to only fill it half way with water, never to see the girl or the bucket again. Or…..trying to find someone that will let us sleep in their house with them just for fun. They say their neighbors will get mad at them, getting in “good” with the “blancs.” Or….. finding out just how much stuff was really stolen in the 3 break-ins. Or….. seeing just how powerful the caste system really is, and how it can crush people’s dreams because they were born into a certain “family” or “level.” Or…..finding out one third of the town of Pignon lost all its water from the mountain spring because someone simply cut the pipe.

These are all “heart checks.” I can choose to become hard and bitter, or trust God in these things. “When I am weak, then He is strong.” God tells me to let the Light of His love fill me. God tells me His power is always available to flow into a humble and yielding heart. A humble and yielding heart does not whine or rebel when the going gets tough. I rejoice in the tiny triumphs that God gives us in the tough days like…. dancing with Beatrice…. sharing a lolly pop with Baurns…. praying with Mary as she goes home healthy from surgery…. seeing Beatrice laugh so hard she almost fell down while cleaning…. the fun filled joking around with the teenagers…. learning the “word of the day” and being laughed at for saying it wrong…. enjoying Haitian food…. trying to buy eggs and not knowing what any one is saying…. etc, etc, etc. God bless. Tim and Lucia