“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3
While not listed in Ecclesiastes I’m sure the writer would agree that there is also a time for coming and going, for being sent and returning, for taking a leap of faith and moving away from everything you know and taking a leap of faith and moving back to the things you used to know and now are not so sure of.
A few days ago we sent this email out to our supporters to let them know we are leaving Haiti soon.
Dear Supporters and Friends,
Over the past few years I have been extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in the work God is doing here in Haiti. Through our partners and through programs like Strategies of Transformation and IMPACT clubs, I have been witness to the ways the Holy Spirit is working through and among our Haitian sisters and brothers, healing broken hearts and bringing restoration and change to communities.
I am writing today to inform you that after four years working for Christian Reformed World Mission in Haiti I am resigning my position effective May 31, 2016. At that time I will have completed two two-year terms of service and our family will return to Canada.
The past four years in Haiti have been an amazing experience both professionally and personally. My Haitian colleagues, who I have been privileged to work with, have taught me so much about Haiti, its culture and how to do ministry well in this context. Being closely involved in programs with youth and those on the margins of society along with the discussions and conferences I have been fortunate enough to have participated in, have been formative in molding my theology, and my philosophy of ministry and development.
Our experiences here have been life changing for our family. The opportunity to travel and see different parts of this beautiful country, meet and get to know some amazing Haitians and experience the language and culture of the birth country of our two youngest sons is something we will never forget.
We would like to thank all of you for your support of our family and the ministry in Haiti that God has allowed us to be part of. During this time your prayers, financial support and interest in the work of World Missions in Haiti has been a huge blessing to us. The ways you have supported us is your partnership in the work here in Haiti but more importantly your partnership in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been honoured to be your representative of that partnership here.
While we are returning to Canada to continue whatever God has in store for us there, we know that our connection to Haiti will remain and the work of our Christian family in Haiti will carry on. We hope to find ways to continue to support this connection and are also hopeful that some of you will feel called to continue to support the work of Christian Reformed World Missions in Haiti.
Over the next few months and into the fall of 2016 we will be connecting with many of you in formal and informal ways to say a personal thank you. If you have any questions for us before then feel free to send an email or give us a call.
The reasons for leaving are not medial, marital (though a week-long vacation for 2 would be wonderful), security related, or that we had issues with the field leadership. It is not that we feel we were never called to Haiti or that the work was not fulfilling. We are not washed up and we are not fleeing this country. This decision was not made hastily.
In many ways we feel the purpose for us coming to Haiti has been accomplished. We are grateful to have been able to be part of the plan God had for us here in Haiti and we know that he has plans for us back in Canada as well. We are excited and maybe somewhat apprehensive to see what God has in store for us but we continue to follow where we believe God is leading us, convinced that the story of our journey has more chapters to come.