Monday, February 20, 2017

Outside the Studio

We are just back from working in Haiti for a week. We remain grateful for your patience in shipping during times like this. I am finding the studio, our house and my life way too quiet. That's ironic as I'm a bit of an introvert and often crave quiet. In fact, creative inspiration often comes best to me in places of solitude such as a worship sanctuary, an art museum or a library. But what I think I'm actually missing is the rhythm and ritual of the sounds of Haiti. We wake to the guard unlocking the supply room that is below our bedroom, then the roosters begin to crow. Next the unique sound of the broom made from dried leaves scraping against the courtyard as the overnight fallen plant material is swept. The last of the morning sounds is the preschoolers running and enthusiastically cackling on their way to class. The rhythm of the sounds never fails. The predictability is comforting.

All this makes me think of the God given rhythm of work, rest and worship. With Jesus' life as a model for this we try to replicate it. So as I transition back into American ways this week I am reflecting on my life here. I obviously crave rhythm. And I am questioning how I am applying this to my walk with the Lord. It's always good to step outside of our "normal" as it gives us perspective. I remain thankful for our time in Haiti for this and many more reasons.
*photo-a Sabbath moment enjoying old and new friends after worship

Most of my work in Haiti this trip was focused on the library we started several years ago. Last week the book collection grew to 2950 books, I met the Haitian librarian and we formed a vision and plan for the use of the library at the mission school.It was fruitful and encouraging!

But what about the art? There are several artists on this team that are always looking for art projects to do with the students. This time was extra successful as a group of young men were introduced to bottle cap art. There is no trash collection in Haiti so things like bottle caps are found on the the ground in plentiful fashion. The boys hammered them into new shapes for keychains and necklaces. They were paid for their time and the items will be sold with the profits going back into the educational system at this school. New skills, free materials and money for education -- that's a win win!

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