No, I haven’t actually been running through mud recently. But, figuratively, this is what we feel like sometimes. When I look back over photos from the past seven years since I moved to the Plateau, I am always amazed by all that has changed. It is exciting to see the trees that have grown, the buildings that have been constructed, and the personal growth that has happened in the lives of so many.
But, in the day to day, it can sometimes feel like running through waist-high mud. You passionately put all of your strength, mental faculties and energy into realizing what God had laid on your heart to do… you start running with all your might… only to realize that pretty soon you are completely exhausted and, compared to what you had originally wanted to accomplish, have hardy moved at all. Sometimes Manis and I sit up at night thinking, dreaming, of the things we would like to do. It is fun to toss ideas back and forth of all kinds of things, big and small, that we would love to realize. And then the excitement crashes as we remember that none of the things we just talked about are going to happen… at least not anytime soon.
Perhaps it is the curse of a dreamer that you’ll never realize all your dreams. Perhaps it is Haiti. Perhaps it’s just life.
In thinking about it, though, I realized that while many of you continue to follow our progress, rarely do you get a peek into our dreams… those things we would love to do but that may take years to happen, or may never happen at all. Some of these things are small, seemingly insignificant things, some of them are huge… but they’re all in the dream stage right now 🙂
1. To finish the school (office roof, floor, doors, windows, second floor chapel, playground, painting, and furnishing/equipping offices, classrooms, library, computer lab, and auditorium) and to provide: A. A fun, stimulating, place for the children to learn, B. A place for afternoon classes (adult literacy, English, work skills, etc…) and maybe someday even high-school classes. C. An auditorium that can be used for any Lemuel activities and can also be rented out for weddings, conferences, etc… D. “Dorms” (the classrooms) for camps and retreats during school breaks
2. To invest in the development of our staff… travel with them, send them to or sponsor our own training seminars, provide learning experiences outside of the work environment, give bonuses for Christmas, or out of the blue just because they are doing a good job. One specific idea that would fall under this “dream” is to take our hospitality ladies to a beach resort for two or three days. Let them see how hotels and resorts are run, watch how the staff treats the guests, how the food is prepared and presented, etc…
3. To encourage the church by giving them little boosts. We don’t want to undermine ownership but we can give them little boosts of encouragement… adding a bit to a project to help them complete it, painting a mural on the wall behind the pulpit, fixing the pulpit that is always about to fall over, etc…
4. To have a women’s center and trade school where men and women are not only learning but creating items that they can sell or learning valuable skills that can help them on the job market.
5. To have an ongoing “community beautification” project so that we can enable the community to clear out the thorns and plant trees.
6. To host and sponsor an artists competition to be able to see what kind of talent already exists in the area.
7. To build a clinic where people can receive basic care and where medical teams can periodically treat more significant issues.
8. To find ways to develop, enable, and/or encourage real business so that more people can find work and make a living from something that is generating its own funding.
9. To have a well on our own property.
10. To buy and fence in waste land and plant hardy mesquite trees in order to address the diminishing wood and charcoal resources as well as erosion and soil depletion.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor would the dreaming stop even if all of these were realized… Hope you enjoyed this little view into what keeps us trudging through the waste-high mud:)