So in three days it will have been a month here in Haiti and today is our 7th day officially at the orphanage (also its Marie's 6th birthday today!)
We are learning a lot about this strange new place we call home now.
We are also learning 11 new faces, hearts, and behaviors.
As well as the hearts, faces, and expectations of the 3 women who work at the orphanage. Let me try to fill you in on what we have learned thus far:
1. Grace is what makes the world go round---> we will return to this concept later!
2. "Tilling" up dirt to make a garden in Haiti is a little more challenging but we had 13 great helpers to make our first garden possible (ALL the kids helped plus both mommies that were there that day!).
3. Haiti has worms and grubs in their dirt just like home. And just like home- three of the boys were so proud of the ones they found they decided to chase some of the girls around with them ;)
4. Rocks do not work as good as hammers, despite what our Haitians tried showing us.
5. Anytime we have a building project- we will have a back up activity (puzzles or games) to balance the chaos of too many helpers.
6. Having 11 kids on a swingset is too many (we already knew that but we didn't realize how hard it would be to tell the biggest kids no. We are working on more outdoor activities for the big kids to be able to get that gross motor energy out also).
7.When the kids move a rock and tell you they have found a crab-- its not a crab. That is what they call tarantulas.
8. When the "crab" runs out at your feet- it will be quicker than you expected.
9. Having a bible study and a time to share the highs and lows of your day will be more than you could have imagined <3
10. God's creation story is so great to share! We have started with this and it brings up lots of good discussion at night and lots of questions we have been able to ask to get to better know the kids and moms.
11. We have really only had to show the kids how to do something once and they take it over! Like watering the garden or building the pallet wall or drawing pictures for our creation story.
12. Catching a baby lizard for your youngest is HARD but its his favorite thing God created-- so you assemble a team of lizard catchers and make it fun!
13. Taking your four & five year old's to get ice cream is fun. Taking them to several stores after they have consumed all that sugar not as fun :P
14. Watching them draw their own version of the creation story after we did this as a group activity was very cool- it was unprompted and just a surprise we saw they had hung up :)
15. Sunday's make for great family movie nights!
16. Its hard when one of your girls gets an inch long piece of wood embedded in the skin under her big toe nail and you have no way to comfort her while it gets taken out because your translator just left.
17. We want so bad to learn the language! Keep praying for it sink in- I know a teensy bit.
18. Having meetings once a week will keep things running smoothly.
19. Sometimes the mommies just bless you by creating you your own comfy space at the orphanage because they want you to have somewhere to go since you don't live there <3
20. There are so many more but I will stop with this one:
You are braver than you thought you could be.
You are stronger than you thought possible.
You are more capable than you realize.
And the key is: There is ALWAYS GRACE.
His GRACE is enough.
In my weakness He is made strong so I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that His power may work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I am not perfect and here we are trying to get things together and adjust to the heat and the bugs and the language barrier- and His grace is enough.
Give each other grace- He commands it.
When the traffic is backed up or things just are not working out how you planned- give it grace.
When you feel like a failure or incapable of something- give yourself some GRACE. Let God work in your weakness.
Doing anything less than this goes against our Gracious God. The only way to successfully be Full of Grace is to ask for it from the one who created it and is wrapped in it- God. He has an abundance of never-ending grace.
Wrap yourself in Him- read your word, pray to the Lord who bends down to listen, praise Him with thankfulness, and ask Him to see things the way He does:
Eyes of Grace.
8/8/2017 01:49:29 am
So beautiful. Thank you for sharing your sweet story. God is wonderful and you are truly blessed to have been called by Him to take this journey and do His work through you. God bless you both. Love you bunches 💕
8/8/2017 07:52:24 am
This is beautiful and the joy your experiencing is so abundant and adorable.. except the "crab" story terrifies me😳..at first I thought ..a crab? Under a rock? That's cute but weird since it's not by water🤔..BUT then you said TARANTULA and I was terrified as I imagined myself being chased by one and trapped in a room sweating and screaming as one hovers over me..So I'll have to support you from here, as I pray for this fear to go away..😖🙏🏻 No more tarantulas.. please no pictures😖😬
8/8/2017 07:41:45 am
I am so proud of you and so blessed to call you my daughter. And my son Alex I am over the top proud of all your doing on your journey to Haiti. It was hard to let you go. But when I see what you are doing in Haiti I understand God's love and grace and mercy. He has shown me without a doubt how to trust him. I am thankful for you and and all that you were doing there. I'm sorry I can't be there to be the mama, (cuz thats what momma bears do, protect their young). You are in the best hands of the father, God, who knows all things, sees all things, and loves all things. I long to see more of your journey. I love you to the Moon and back. So from him through him and to him are all things Godspeed Kristen and Alex . Love Mom
8/8/2017 08:02:09 am
Sounds like your heart is so full and you are right where you are called to be! So proud of you both ❤️
8/18/2017 10:13:24 am
Wow, Kristen, wow! Every time I read something that you have written I see the grace of God in it! You have received the gift of a beautiful writer. It's wonderful because it conveys so well the journey and the heart you and Alex have for the mission God has given you. Both of you radiate God's love and joy in the pictures you post. Clearly, as you mentioned, His grace and love are upon you. And the children look like little rays of sunshine!
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Kristen & Alex Bradshaw