Writers of popular television shows often say that the fifth season is the hardest to write. Okay, that’s not true at all, but it got me through my first sentence of a long-overdue blogpost (which sometimes is the hardest part).
This August, we began our fifth season in Haiti. Like television shows, we see our cast changing season-to-season, encounter new plot twists, and get to experience our own character development.
Season Five Casting:
-Cassie is returning for her fourth season. She along with Kristen were our pioneer teachers at the JAK Academy. However, Cassie has returned alone and in a new role. She has stepped in to administration as a co-director along with Paul’s protégé Samuel. This summer, we got to celebrate with Kristen as she married Blarizel (as we call him) and they are starting their life together in Toronto. We miss her a lot and hope that she not only makes cameos in our story, but may even return for future seasons.
-Returning to teaching this year we have Peyton (3rd season), Kenzie (2nd season), and Emily (2nd season). We are so grateful for the faithfulness of our teachers to leave careers or potential careers stateside to teach local Haitian kids in English and with the love of Christ. If anyone knows someone who would be interested in this, please let us know!
-Also returning this year for their second season are Isaac and Chelsea who are solid supports for Paul and me. With Isaac running financials, Chelsea running sponsorship, and together they run short-term team experiences, they keep us sane with helping hands and insights.
-Our new cast members this year at the JAK Academy are Marissa (1st grade), Krista (Kin 3), and Paige (student specialist). We are excited to get to know them more in our communal living and kingdom work together.
-As far as our Haitian staff, we’ve still got our solid team of Ronald, Lubin, Gertrude, Kenold, Samuel, Robenson… the whole gang.
-One new cast member we are excited to welcome is our doctor who will be moving from Port-au-Prince to come live on the compound with us and serve in our new medical clinic opening late fall!
Season Five Plot Twists:
Okay, so that may be a little dramatic of a statement, but it’s continuing on with the analogy, so we will go with it. And, since I don’t know the future, I can’t tell SPOILER ALERT or anything, but here’s what we’ve got going on this year.
-Paul has resigned his role as the director of the JAK Academy (to Cassie and Samuel as I said earlier) to focus his time more on just being the Haiti Director of the mission. This has been a much-over-do and much-need change, although he’s shocked that he’s not really any-less busy than when he was doing both things. He’s working a lot with legalities in Haiti to make sure that we are as “by-the-book” as we can be and setting a good example for the community.
-I (Bethany) have also resigned my old job of running the sponsorship program to take on the new task of opening our new medical clinic. There will be much more to say about this as we get closer to opening, so stay tuned for that.
-Tiona and Lieuna get to spend half of each day over at the orphanage with Gertrude’s mother, whom we affectionately refer to as Grann.
Season Five Character Development:
-Paul always never ceases to amaze me. As long as I’ve known him, I’ve seen small leadership opportunities and ministries given to him, and over the years they have grown into big, bigger, and even huge opportunities and responsibilities. He not only has stepped up every time, but thrives at each new platform. Please pray for him as he continues to learn to juggle life, make very hard decisions, and discern directions – as well as keep that charm and goofiness about him that makes him oh-so-very Paul.
-I (Bethany) will be forced to grow (and already have) as I take on this new leadership role in the community. Truthfully, when I think about the reality of it, it makes me pee a little, but I’m excited for a new challenge ahead. I am forced to push harder into my study of the Creole language and interaction with the people in this village, as well as leading a group of people for a similar goal to provide as excellent quality of medical care we can. I am grateful for the time I’ve had with my babies over the past few years, but also I am very excited for the opportunity to re-get-to-know the people in this village and have hands-on ministry.
-Tiona and Lieuna get a very special opportunity to get to know their Haitian roots in a way they never would have if they just stayed with me all day. Almost half their waking hours immersed in Creole, Haitian food, and interacting with the kiddos in the orphanage that we love so much that are their new brothers-and-sisters. It truly is a blessing for them as well as us.
For new episodes of Season Five, please follow Mission-Haiti on Facebook (@Mission-Haiti) and Instagram (@mission_haiti).
Thank you for all your help to get here. Also, feel free to take a browse around as I’ve re-vamped the blog (after all, it’s about time after five years, right?!).
Alright, Cheers! Until next time!