I live in what is considered to be THE nicest resort in Haiti. It has hotel accommodations for short-term guests and an apartment complex for long-term residents.
When I was driving from the airport to here, I was contemplating the poverty and desolation of the average home, and I started feeling a certain level of disdain for missionaries who lived in splendid quarters while the Haitians around them lived in that. I wondered what mission stations looked like, and wondered how anyone could be so insensitive and culturally inappropriate as to maintain the American lifestyle while trying to reach the Haitians.
Then I realized that I was one of those people. I was going to be staying at Club Indigo.
But the other side of that viewpoint is that "obedience is better than sacrifice." It's not necessarily more spiritual to live in poverty. My life is about doing what God calls me to do, and it doesn't really matter what form that takes or what it looks like, as long as I am walking in obedience to Him. If He calls me to live in America, fine, and if He calls me to live in Cité Soleil, fine. Privations and a Spartan attitude do not make missions more effective or the Gospel message more powerful.
For our first week, we were at Club Indigo almost every day, and I ceased to feel like I was even in Haiti. The only Haitians I came into contact with were the Club Indigo employees and our Haitian nannies. I had to make more of an effort to reach out and show an interest in the people around me, like our cleaning ladies, because I couldn't just go exploring out on the streets. How I longed to just mingle with the people and discover what their everyday life was like! But for safety reasons, this was not possible, and I didn't speak Creole anyway, so I just made it a point to use my new Creole every day on somebody on staff here.
It was hard to deal with this adjustment, especially once we started getting out and about a little more, visiting the creche every day, and having a little more contact with normal Haitian life. But I trust God that He has a purpose in it. Our primary role here is the rescuing and nurturing of abandoned children. (However, this is not to say that we have the attitude of "I'm here to teach, not to witness. Leave the evangelism to someone else.") However, Club Indigo itself is its own mission field, and we have ample testimony to live and speak a testimony of Christ before the employees, residents, and guests here. Perhaps later we will be called upon to live in a ramshackle hut that leaks when it rains, but for now, we're getting our feet wet and learning the ropes in Haiti while enjoying a gentler transition.
With that said, here is the basic idea of what kind of place I'm in.
|Club Indigo from the outside|
|You go up these stairs (sorry I had to blur the baby--Hague rules forbid me from posting pictures of these kids)|
|Walk down this hallway.|
|Then walk down this hallway.|
|Open the door and go in. Welcome to my apartment!|
|You will appear in this hallway. The first door is the toilet, and the second is the shower & sink.|
|Here is my side of the room (I sleep on the double bed).|
|Here is the other side of the room. The apartments are a mirror image of each other.|
|Sink and shower area|
|Shower--and so far, the water has been hot every day!|
|Inside of the shower|
|Our other sink/shower room (we use this one for dish washing and baby bathing)|
|Closet area for hanging clothes, etc.|
|Closet area on the other half of the room|
|Some of our books...riches!!!|
|View of the sea right out our windows|
|System for safe drinking water: Buy a bottle & install pump! The outside of the bottle might look a little iffy, but so far the water inside has been pure and has kept us healthy.|