Thursday, September 11, 2014

When You Can't Make the Bus

It was Wednesday morning, the 2nd of July.

My daughter and I had just welcomed the fourth sunrise on our mission trip in Haiti. Like every other morning, we awoke on top of our sheets, grateful for fans that kept a steady breeze while we slept. We dressed and readied ourselves for breakfast. Unlike other mornings, however, we took our malaria meds on an empty stomach. Prior to this, we had taken the meds at night. Our digestive systems were not ready for the change.

It was only 15 minutes later when Anna became light-headed. Her mouth began to water and we both knew what was coming. She didn't have a breakfast to lose, so she ended up dry heaving. I wasn't far behind. Neither one of us could eat. We were both too nauseous to attempt the meal.

With the departure of the work truck only minutes away, it became clear that the best option for our day was to remain and rest. Anna and I were going to have to stay behind.

Our teammates loaded onto the work truck and pulled out of the Villa. They were off to serve the Lord. We hadn't come this far to stay behind, but that's what happens when you can't make the bus.

Anna and I retreated back to our room. She collapsed on her bed; I on mine. We were both asleep within the minute.

It was as if a silent alarm called us both to attention simultaneously. To our surprise we had slept for nearly 2 hours! Obviously we needed the rest.

There we were. Alert and eager with no place go. We journeyed out of our room and explored the Villa. We were the only Americans within sight. Surrounded by Creole speaking Haitians, we readied ourselves for a unique day. Anna and I sat down upon some patio chairs and went to the Lord in prayer.

"God, show us what You want us to do today."

It was a simple prayer. But it was honest.

Not long after the prayer we found a Haitian man who spoke English. Shortly into our conversation, arrangements were made for Anna and I to go visit a nearby orphanage.  It was then that we were grateful that we were too sick to make the bus. Apparently, God had other plans for our day.

The hours that followed were special. A few quick photos with the phone don't really do justice to the time my daughter and I spent with these beautiful boys and girls. The Haitian girls giggled with delight as they played with Anna's hair. The young Haitian boys squealed as I challenged them in handstands. Life was shared in those hours. There was no neutral exchange.

We intended to pour out, but somehow we left overflowing. Its funny how love works.

Our surprise visit to the orphanage came to end. I couldn't wait to get back to the Villa and share the day's events with my wife back in the States. Wait until she heard about our incredible day of missing the work truck only to find ourselves right where God wanted us...sharing Life with Haitian children who are longing for family.

When we arrived back at the Villa, my phone reconnected with an internet signal and I noticed I had missed a message from my wife.

Her text was brief. But I'll never forget the words she shared.

"I just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking about adoption today."


My wife. In America. In Iowa. She was thinking about adoption?

On the same day that we missed the work truck because we were too sick from our malaria meds? The same day that Anna and I ended up at an orphanage sharing the love of Christ with children longing for a family? My wife was somehow thinking about adoption at the same time I was with boys needing a home?

My wife thought I was in Haiti building homes. I thought we were done having kids.

Something happened that day that will change our family forever.

That's what happens when you can't make the bus.