Each time we return to Haiti, the transition has looked a little different. There have been times we have returned completely exhausted and ready to be back in our home. There are times we have come back with heavy hearts, sad to leave the states, and wondering what the next season would look like. This time was probably the hardest re-entry I (Cathi) have ever had. I really did not foresee how difficult it would be.
The first thing that made this so difficult was getting sick upon re-entry. However, I think another major contributing factor was that we spent 4 months in one place, in one home, in the states. We lived with “family,” and got reconnected at our home church. The kids attended youth for the entire 4 months, and I attended a small group. We built new relationships and strengthened old relationships. We were really at home, and we were able to just figure out life there for that time frame.
After four months of that, it was hard to leave. We love our church and the many we call family there. We are so thankful for how well the church loves us and our kids. Leaving that, coming back to a place that often feels lonely and leaves us feeling disconnected from our state-side life, was hard. It took (and still takes) a lot of prayer daily – often minute by minute – to keep my attitude in check. There were times I cried and just wanted to go back. Yet, God would whisper to me once again that He has me in His hand, and I am right where I need to be. I may not understand the restrictions I feel on my free-flying spirit (routine and schedules are really not my thing, haha), and I am definitely grieving. I am grieving what I have lost back in Oklahoma – again. I am grieving what I have lost here in Haiti. I am not free to just go and visit with the women whom I love sitting and talking with. I cannot just jump in the car and go run errands for a day, or go out with a group of missionary women. I have a little one who needs me – every 3 hours at the very least. So, I am working on contentment.
So, for those who wonder, here are the top 10 things we are missing (other than the obvious – people), but we are choosing contentment without:
I have often seen a piece of artwork at the local metal market that says, “I am satisfied.” It is a beautiful piece that I have never even considered purchasing, because it is a hard statement. Could I honestly hang this in my home? Lately, I think it is time to make this declaration – to remind myself daily, minute by minute, to be satisfied in Him and all He provides.
Gami & Cathi Ortiz
Best friends; married for 17 years; parents of five wonderful children; living on mission in Haiti since 2013.