Tonight, the rain is falling again. Last week, heavy rains swelled the rivers in Cap-Haitien, flooding hundreds of houses and killing twelve people. Twice last week, we had to mop up water that flooded through a hole in the wall into the study and onto the porch of our house. A few old photographs, stored in cardboard boxes on the floor, were ruined and lost for good. I felt bad for our visitors from Tacoma, Washington (a missions team of 10 people), who came here expecting Caribbean sunshine and instead spent many hours inside since it poured almost every day they were here. Of course, lost photographs and a spoiled trip to the tropics hardly compare to the suffering of the Haitian people, many of whose houses were completely flooded. It has been painful to glimpse down side streets and see people wading in water up to their thighs. This time, I am praying that the rain stops sooner rather than later.
At the Bible school, we are past the midpoint of the semester. I was handed an ESL class this semester and though I was initially unenthusiastic about the prospect, it has actually turned out to be a hit. I have twelve students and good class participation. My other class, Old Testament Survey, has four students. However, the number in attendance varies from week to week. Work in Haiti is so scarce that students will often jump on work opportunities even if they conflict with their class schedules. Not wanting to lose credit for their classes, they will sometimes neglect to tell us teachers they are working unless we press for an explanation. One of my students got a job with the census bureau and will be out of town for the next month. Another student was mysteriously absent for several weeks. When he returned, he said he had been responsible for selling a piece of land for his family out in the country. This can be frustrating at times, but it is simply how life works here.
Our visitors from Tacoma provided a welcome respite from the daily frustrations that accompany life in Haiti. We watched several episodes of The Office on DVD together while waiting out the rain. They also laid tile in both of the houses on the mission compound and painted several rooms in the smaller house. The greatest benefit of their visit, however, was fellowship. Life here can be extremely lonely so it was nice to have other Americans to talk to for a while. One member of the team, George, stayed behind and will be here for another week or so. It is good to have him here.
Looking ahead, I will be in Haiti over Christmas break barring an unforeseen change of plans. Then comes the spring semester. At that point, I will decide whether or not to return for a third year. Would you pray for me? It’s a big decision and I need God’s help.