Sunday, June 13, 2010

Graduation and Feasting

Quisqueya graduated ten kids on May 29.
They moved over their tassels, they received diplomas, they made speeches.

A handful of the places they will be studying next year: Brown University, Indiana University, McGill University, Florida International University, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Virginia Tech.
They presented roses to their families, they hugged mamas, they took family photos.
Sophomores and juniors came, too, and we hugged everybody. These are three really bright stars of our school, with good 'ol Mr. Kilpatrick.
Us with some Good People. These are the (should be famous) Ackermans, who I want to be like, and who wear really awesome tuxedo tshirts, and who know where to find nativity sets made of coconuts, and who cook a mean pizza casserole.
Sassy, fabulous Haitian women. I love Danielle and Miquette, who were 2 of my roommates during this post-quake time.
I got to thinking about our grads. The graduation address was given by Mr. Clay, the teacher who shepherded the seniors through their remaining English and Bible studies this semester. He also invested heavily in them in a more mentor-type way, teaching them extras like preparing international cuisine and even some "how to use a power tool" lessons. At one point in his speech he said something to the effect of "if you don't all come back after college and help Haiti, I will find you and beat you up", and everybody laughed.

But he was serious. We all are. I mean it. Those of us who come to Haiti to teach at an American-style private school don't do it so that we can facilitate a Brain Drain of Haiti's best and brightest young people. I, too, hope they come back to Haiti. I dream of Kreyol-speaking, Jesus-loving, college-educated young people back here, starting businesses and pastoring churches and running dental clinics and getting elected Senator and figuring out how to export Haitian mangos to Texas and planting 17 million trees. Helping.

But will they come back? Why should they?

Why won't they?

The same reason I'm home right now, spending my summer break from teaching in Dallas instead of in Port-au-Prince.

It's really, really nice here in the States.

It's really, really comfortable in Dallas. And Plano, and Portland, Garland, Milpitas, Alameda, Oklahoma City, Rutherford, Fayetteville, Chapel Hill, Waco, Harrisburg, Norman, Chicago, Houston, Bulverde, Ingleside, Mc Neil, Springfield, Humble, Webster, Brentwood, Palmer, Del Rio, Kenosha, East Peoria, Seattle, Lacey, New York, Toronto, Goderich, London, Rainhill, Queretaro, Freiburg Im Breisgau, Nice, Austin, Tyler, and all the other places Google Analytics tells me you are reading from (hello!).

We have Targets here. We have an app for that. We have school bus systems, school lunch menus, and no police man has ever asked me for a bribe. We have entire aisles of soap. I have had electricity 100% of the time since I've been in America.

I went to the dentist today for a teeth cleaning. There was a television, with satellite service, mounted to the ceiling for me to watch during my 15-minute cleaning. The dentist's gloves were mint-flavored. The gloves were flavored.

Last night I Google Maps'ed "pizza places near (name of my church)". The search found 26 places within 10 miles.

I went to get a bowl of cereal for breakfast this morning. In my mother's pantry there are 13 boxes of cereal. In my mother's fridge there are 3 different kinds of milk.

Why would any of those graduates not just stay in the States and start feasting (literally and figuratively).

One word and one word, over and over, flopping in my brain this last week in America- feasting.

Our life is a feast.

It's fun in the feast-land. It is so comfortable here, I am loving every minute. And it's not just a feast of physical comforts, but of love and encouragement and social occasions. It's a sweet, sweet, stuffed-full life. So why will our seniors leave the feast and go back to Haiti after college? There are very few earthly reasons to do so. It will have to be the Lord, I think.


1 comment:

  1. Why will they return???
    ... because there is a different kind of feast that fills us greater and satisfies deeper than any of the material things this world can provide... it's feasting on the priviledge of serving, of teaching, of painting, of mentoring, of chaperoning, of enduring, of pouring into lives of those God has called us to reach out to. It's Kingdom Feasting... in His topsy-turvy kingdom, it's when you give it all away that you are most filled.

    As I was searching your blog today to remember what you and Haiti have been through and to pull off a couple of pics of you and Ben and Sarah and Miquette, my heart did a pitter-patter dance. Seeing the faces of your students, the children and families being helped by TeacHaiti and Quisqueya and other missionaries and YOU TWO, gave me such a longing for that same purpose to be evident in my life here (in the comfortable States). It's THAT kind of purpose, calling, fulfillment that will bring those students back. They will feast and be satisfied beyond understanding when they allow God to use them to change Haiti for Good.

    ... and you will have had a part in that amazing miracle.

    As I feast on the many earthly pleasures we have each moment here, may I remember what truly satisfies! Thank you Katie and Ben for the constant reminders!


    PS: It was SO great to hug your necks today! :)



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