Today was perfect. Well, technically it was yesterday since it’s 3:30am. But you know what I mean.
The kids threw me THE most BEAUTIFUL surprise party ever! Thank you to all who were involved! It was complete with a Miseline and Lumaine singing Bless the Lord, followed by a group dance of Watch me Whip ( i mean, it wouldn’t be an orphanage party with out a little whip and nay nay), and topped that off with Clara, Christella A and Christella J sharing kind words.
I was presented with a certificate by Mr. Marc on behalf of the mission thanking me for my years of service here. Mr. Lookens shared many kind words and then we all popped some bubbly and had lunch together. Lunch consisted of ALL of my favorites.
I found out that the kids are the one that planned this beautiful party. They went to Mr. Lookens and asked for his help and it truly was the best.
The rest of my day consisted of packing, a full house of kids and laughter, and visits with my people.
I went up to Rachel and Kenol’s and said goodbye to my sweet Jubilee. I got to put her to bed. I read her a story and I cried through the whole thing.
A Friday night tradition that often gets lost in the busyness of summer is Friday night Family dinner with the staff. I requested one last “porch night” and it meant the world to me that people rearranged their schedules to eat dinner!
After dinner it was finishing up packing, again with a full house of kids. As I sit here I’m surrounded by sleeping kiddos. There are 4 in my bed, 1 on the couch, 2 on the daybed, and the rest are scattered across the floor. There’s gotta be close to 15 girls here.
There’s not too much that’s easy when it comes to leaving. My heart is sad, yet excited for what God has in store. I’m going to miss this place so much, but more than anything I’m deeply going to miss these people. It’s a depth I can’t even really find words to describe. I slept for a little bit in the bed of 4 (so ya, that’s why i’m up now, haha), but when I woke up to a knee in the back, I just laid there.
As I laid there I just felt so overwhelmed with love. God has given me the greatest gift ever by allowing me to live in Haiti these 4.5 years. Today I didn’t just feel loved by the kids and my friends. I received an outpouring of love from Jesus. God has brought so much redemption to so many things over the last 2 months. In a little over an hour a car is coming to pick me up and take me to the airport. I’m already crying. But I know when I get in that car and travel down the bumpy lane at MOH and onto Route Nationale #1 that I will have poured out everything I possibly could in this season. I’m leaving knowing, without question, that the kids know how much I love them. I’m leaving confident that God has so much more in store for them and will be faithful to complete it. I’m leaving knowing that I got to be a small part of raising an army of Christ-Followers that are going to change the world. I’m leaving knowing that the scared Katie that moved to Haiti in January 2012 is no more, but through this journey Christ has made me new. I’m leaving knowing that I could have run so many times but didn’t, and I”m so glad because I know this was the ordained time for me to go. I’m leaving and walking into a scary season of the unknown. But I’m leaving knowing that this is just the beginning of the next chapter. I’m leaving knowing that God’s not done with me yet, there’s so much more to come. I’m leaving a piece of my heart behind. But I’m leaving knowing that this is not goodbye, because I’m leaving knowing that I won’t be able to stay away from this precious place and these beautiful people.
Today is hard. The days to come will be filled with so many different emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond excited to be reunited with my family and friends. But when the reality sinks in that I’m not going to be coming back I know it will be hard. I’m looking forward to a season of God challenging me and growing me. I’m anticipating watching God move in incredible ways in and through me. Today I step into a new season, arms open wide. I’m yours, God, and I can’t wait to go on this journey together.