Sarah Ripperger is interning with MH4H for the summer to help with an agricultural project. A common phrase Sarah quickly learns is, “Nothing is easy in Haiti.” The greatest difficulty she grapples with is the ability to be patient in a season of waiting. See how Sarah processes these new developments.
To read Sarah’s previous blog, click here.
Hello again! I’ve been in Haiti for two months now. I’m more used to the heat, as used to as one can get with the tropical summer heat. I’ve learned the simple joys in life, such as an ice-cold coke after a long day in the Caribbean sun. And I’ve learned that sometimes mixing a Spanish word into a Creole sentence can still be understood.
My primary project while I’m here in Haiti is working with processing small-scale local crops and seeing if there is any viability for their production. If there is, anything produced could be used in various ways in our programs. The process is simple on the surface, but is actually very complex and highly technical process. My education in Chemical Engineering has prepared me to work with this process, in fact, my senior lab report was focused on this exact process.
When I first got to Haiti, we didn’t have the right parts needed for the project and it took a long time to get what we needed. I spent what felt like a lot of time waiting just to start my work. I really questioned why I was here and what God was doing with me here. I felt like I wasn’t doing God’s work, because I wasn’t doing the exact work I came down here to do. I was trying to figure out what God was trying to teach me by having me wait.
While I was waiting for parts, I tried to keep busy elsewhere. I studied creole until I was messing up my words in English. I helped Liz with organization and data entry for our First Thousand Days program. I assisted anywhere and everywhere I could, no matter how little the task. I got to see every aspect of the ministry and got to interact with a lot of the Haitian staff. I really enjoyed seeing other aspects of the ministry but there was still a lot of time where I simply had to wait.
There was a lot of lessons in waiting. There was time to read, something I had never dreamed of having time for in college. There was more time for prayer and thoughtful reflection. There was more time for intentional, deep conversations. There was more time to learn and observe and take in everything happening around me. I learned to slow down, to rest, and that not everything needs to happen right now.
Now that I have the parts I need, I’ve been spending most of my time in an extra bedroom in Irene’s Place turned into a laboratory. I’ve been running lots of trials and have spent lots of time scribbling into a left-over notebook left behind by a short term team. I’ve still got about a month left in Haiti and I have a lot of trials ahead of me. But, I’m happy just to be working.
In my last blog, I shared with you a creole phrase that I’ve been trying to live out, “Ale avèk Jezi” or “Go with Jesus.” I’m going to leave you with another that is part of a popular hymn at morning devotions, “Briye pou Jezi kote ou ye” which means “Shine for Jesus where you are.” You don’t have to be a perfect Christian or a Pastor or a Missionary to shine for Jesus and share His love with others. You don’t have to be doing the exact work that you think God wants you to do. You can shine for Him right where you are.