I have an awesome friend, JT, that eloquently explained to me the tension in Christian life: "already and not yet". We as Christians believe certain things will happen and are happening, yet at the same time we know that they are not yet perfect.
For example, we are new creations in Christ. We believe this; we claim this on t-shirts, coffee mugs, and hideous wall art that is hanging in someone's home in Plano. But while we know that we are becoming a new creation, we also know we still suck. That we have the same struggles and problems.
Already, not yet.
This post is difficult to write because I am in the middle of one of those Already/Not Yet situations.
In the last month we have had three students withdraw from school in one grade, and I struggle with letting go and accepting that they will be fine without me. I know that it is God who saves, not me. I know that I am not as instrumental as I think I am. But I worry about what will happen when they do not have the awesomeness of Quisqueya to guide them.
There is the tension. I know that God saves. I know that His will is sovereign, but they are not saved yet.
They have all left for different reasons. One left because her mom got a promotion (albeit to a remote South American country). Her year was rough. Being bourgeoisie in Port-au-Prince is more like living in a small country town and less like living in a city of 3 million plus. There are very few strangers, and everyone knows your business. Now she will have to make it in the jungles of South America.
One young man left, and he was the person I had spent the most hours praying for. He was here in February, we were laughing and joking and he was making remarkable progress in his academics. I think he was just on the precipice of making a decision about Christ. Now he is gone. I honestly struggle with the lack of closure here. I put hours and hours into praying and I feel like I have little to nothing to show for it.
The most recent student to leave is very sick. The medication for her condition is not helping and the situation is becoming very serious. Specialists are rare in Haiti. It breaks K's and my heart to see her year be interrupted like this, though we know it is for the best.
Many of our kids are not Christian. In fact for most QCS is the only spiritual influence in their life. This is where my over-inflated view of my role in their salvation comes from. I know what their home lives are like. I know what their friends are like; I know the pressures they are under. If not us, then who to guide them? I already know they are in the sovereign care of God. I have not yet learned how to let go of the feeling that I am (or should be) in control.
I have been praying for trust. To trust in the sovereign plan of God. To trust that He saves. I have been asking that I can remember my place in all of the work that is being done here. I already trust and know that He saves. I have not yet learned how to practically live like it.
I have also thought seriously since I have faced the fact that I am not guaranteed any time with my students. I think I have several years with them, broken into nice, neat, August - June chunks. However, the reality is that my time with them could be up at any moment. Nothing is a given. So I have been asking myself, who do I need to talk to? Who do I need to have a hard conversation with? Who needs to be encouraged, who needs to talk about their home life? Who needs to wrestle with who Christ says he is?