Rarely before have I been in a situation where the line between My Life and My Work has been so blurry.
Used to be I sat bored stiff in an office for a determined amount of hours, after which I cheerily left all behind to commence real life, i.e. visiting family and friends, church functions, Bible studies, eating $5/Footlongs from Subway, etc.
Far cry from life now.
This week we’re hosting a team of 30. If I counted the number of hours I’m putting into my job it would be pretty much the same number of hours I’m awake. On the other hand, it could be said I’m not working at all, just living.
I do enjoy working diverse jobs instead of being pigeon-holed. Which means I should be in 7th heaven right now, because in the last few days alone I’ve had my fingers in like fifty different pies. From troubleshooting water problems, electrical problems, and auto-mechanic problems, to managing others working, to driving groups of people around Port-au Prince, to woodworking, to acting as resident tour guide, to assisting in the design of a solar-panel setup, to fixing the back of the canter after it backed into a tree (softly), to discussing the finer points of aid-work with guests, to answering the phone, to answering the door, to comforting a lady who was crying, to chasing a rat around my bedroom with a stick, to you name it, I’m probably doing it. That’s all within the last 72 hours.
Sometimes I feel frustrated for not having a more relational focus though. I want to be learning more of the language and interacting more with Haitians. Discipleship, teaching the Word, working with street kids, aren’t these why I’m here? But… everything in good time. Right now I’m getting a crash course in the "logistical” side of living in the 3rd world 🙂
I was telling my co-worker Josh there is no doubt value in us knowing how to drive in Port-au Prince. That way, when the End of the World hits and America is under marshal law and the masses are rioting, we’ll be prepared to drive up on sidewalks and zip around road blocks. He just laughed and said pretty much everything we’re learning here in Haiti will be useful when the End of the World hits.
On the flip side, Haiti is also good at teaching us how much we’re not really in control of life at all. There’s a lot of religion in Haiti and I can see why, this place has a raw quality that can drive a person to their knees, looking to God.
In fact, just that has been happening to me. The last several days an old hymn has been running through my head and in the mornings before getting out of bed I’ve been singing it:
I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.