What a month it has been! Update on Shelly’s health is that she is doing much, much better. She is still recovering and will continue to be on strong antibiotics for a few more weeks but she is regaining her strength and we are very thankful for the progress she is making. We are also extremely grateful for the wonderful care she received when we returned to the states and for the outpouring of love and concern that has been expressed by so many, including many of you. Thank you so much!
Due to the facts that Shelly has not been released by the doctor(s) to return to Haiti AND that she had some more procedures, blood works and follow-up appointments, she was not able to return to Haiti with Darryl earlier this week. Thus the mixed and meshed title of this month’s post. One of us is returning to health while the other has returned to Haiti. The hope (and prayer) is that Shelly will be able to head down to Florida in mid-March and Darryl will join her there for about 10 days before returning together to Haiti.
The next month we will be apart which will be hard. This is not what we want at all but it is the path before us. It kind of feels like the picture above of a labyrinth. We are walking on the way and then we take a turn that has us going farther away from our ultimate goal, like a maze. But we continue to trust and obey and know that God’s plan is good. That his path for us is the right path. And that his will is perfect.
This will be an abbreviated update but as always, thank you for reading it and for your ongoing support.
PRAYER REQUESTS FOR THIS MONTH
- For Shelly’s heath. That she has a complete recovery and regains her strength.
- For us as a couple as we spend five weeks apart.
- For protection for us, physically and spiritually. There is no doubt in our minds that this whole ordeal was a spiritual attack.
- For the continued good work of MH4H as an organization working to spread the love and fame of Jesus and to break the cycle of dependency in Haiti.
- For the country of Haiti. Things seem fairly calm right now for which we are thankful. Pray that it continues that that the government leaders figure out how to work for the people more than for themselves.
WHAT THE FOODIE IS UP TO
Spoiler alert – there aren’t any new food adventures from Haiti to describe this month! Unless you count the high possibility that food poisoning was the gateway to the multiple week long “lousiness” I was experiencing!! Here’s the brief recap: Christmas day I had sudden onset of GI symptoms, fever, and overall feeling like I was run over by a couple of donkeys. I seemed to feel better for a couple of days, then a relapse resulted in leaving Haiti and going straight to a trusted friend who happens to be an amazing doctor. From there a short week in the hospital and now I am home in Michigan for some medical tests, strength gains and enjoying the snow – seriously I am enjoying it! “All things healing” is the theme for this time before I head back to Haiti in April.
While home we’ve shared some meals with so many friends and family. And cooking for our kids is definitely a “healing” kind of activity I enjoyed. I pulled out a family favorite, which I haven’t made in years – homemade (bread maker assisted) cinnamon rolls. Did you know that a bottle of wine works as a rolling pin? Since most of our kitchen gadgets are boxed up, we often can’t find things, the rolling pin was the lost gadget this time.
I have been able to embrace being the one cared for by good food these last weeks, a role reversal for sure! Initially, people brought amazing food to the hospital. I loved everything about the hospital but the food! I enjoyed some amazing restaurants via my own “grubhub” network. And even when out of the hospital, my sister made work of finding me the one food I craved while at Mercy Hospital was -chicken potpie! I experienced the grace of being loved with good food – whether it was nutritionally good, or deliciously good from so many people. One of my favorite examples is how my mom stocked her fridge with gut building ingredients because she knew I would want those things to help my immune system. Darryl too encouraged me to choose rest over activity, and he made it possible by his cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning, and library runs for the books requested.
I am realizing that I could write a small novel based on the ways people loved us during the last month. I’ll sum it up: God is love and we experienced this love through all of you. Keep loving people through your presence and practical gifts of food, laughter, and time – it could be a counter cultural showing of grace in our culture that is anything but grace based. Go love well!!!
Returning to Haiti was bittersweet. It was so good to get back and to resume the good work that we are doing in Haiti but obviously not the same being back without Shelly. Reconnecting with the staff and coworkers was special and I did really miss them while I was gone. They all did a great job while I was gone and I found everything in good order upon my return. I was super pumped to see that all of our campus trash cans got painted (see below). I have wanted that done for a long time and finally had some talented team members who knocked that project out. My first and biggest task was to get caught up on the finances. I spent the first three days entering and coding all of the expenses into the spreadsheet, reconciling January financials, and getting the books current for February. It was an arduous task but it went well and it feels good to have that completed. I will continue to work with the school and with the agronomy department. We will be conducting a Phase 2 of the Seed Corn Project we started last year. And of course we have the goats.
UNTIL NEXT MONTH….