Report by Tyler Normand
Today was a good day.
The past three days have been full of clinics, time spent about the village and around the mission house, church services, and team devotionals. Alongside all of it, I have been struggling inwardly. Here in Haiti, I am simply Tyler who is following Christ, but back home in America, I am Tyler who is following Christ, studying to obtain a degree, applying for entrance into physical therapy school, interning at a children’s hospital, working part-time at a library, attempting to be a relational friend and family member, and balancing all the anxiety I have. Normally, on past trips, my life back home would not follow me to Haiti, but this year it has been more difficult to set it aside.
Today was our chance to relax on our spring break, so we excitedly made the trip to a beachside resort. Personally, I have a thing for blue skies – reminders of good days past – and today the sky was exceptionally blue. Traffic was crazy and the van was packed, but we made the best of it by talking to our translators, purchasing some cookies and fried plantains at a market we passed through, and simply enjoying each other’s company. When we finally got to the resort, we all took to enjoying the day as we saw fit, whether that was to jump in the water, soak up the sun, or reconnect with home via the resort’s wifi. I started with the latter.
For a little context, I have been spending my downtime in the evenings this week going through a study in the book of Acts and supplementing it by reading Radical, by David Platt. An important point that God has been convicting me of is making the most of opportunities to point glory to God, whether with strangers, friends, or family, despite my anxiety and feeling unable to do so. First, I checked my inbox for important messages – none worth stressing over. Second, I glanced at my Christian fraternity’s Facebook page and wished them well from Haiti. Finally, and most importantly, I messaged my Mom. In the midst of messaging with her and the blue sky I was enjoying at the beach, I remembered the last time we enjoyed a vacation as a family. Feeling a growing desire to better connect with them and shine Christ’s light into their lives, I asked my Mom if we could take another trip to Florida after I graduate from college in May. She gladly started planning the trip as we were communicating, and I could not help but daydream about that vacation. You see, these trips to Haiti are not completely about what I can bring or do here. Another amazing part, testifying to God’s wisdom and sovereignty, is how he uses this place to heal my heart and rejuvenate me to go back home better than I was when I arrived here. It was a good day.