I have a hard time calling myself a missionary. Many of us have read those missionary stories, right? The ones that talk of all the heroic deeds missionaries do and how they led many people to Christ every week. The ones that sound near perfect in many ways. People who gave their whole lives to live in some jungle, and seemed happy about living in that jungle even when snakes slithered next to their beds.
I am here to tell you that I have a hard time calling myself a missionary because my life doesn't look like that. Sometimes I really hate the bugs and the heat and the lack of privacy and the illness. I miss family and friends and get really sad about things my family and I are missing out on with them. i get stressed every day because I used to love cooking for my family and now it seems like such a chore because I am not used to the food and it is such a task to go to market. I am pretty sure I struggle with sin more here in Haiti as a missionary than I did living in the States. I get crabby, tired, anxious and selfish. I feel frustrated with the needs that surround me when I don't know how to help. I get sick of crying children. I get annoyed when I can't communicate what I want to say either with words or in a culture that I don't understand. I am hot a lot and sometimes I just want to stop sweating. There are times when I just want everyone to get out of the house and let me be alone.
I want to be like Jesus to the people around me, to my husband, my partner in ministry. To my children whom God gave me first, before moving to Haiti. To the Haitian children in our care, the aunts that are here every day, the fellow staff here at COTP, our Haitian friends, people in our village and surrounding areas. There are so many needs and it feels like I fail so often.
People write and say "I wish I could do what you are doing." Or, "God is using you in amazing ways." Sometimes, "Those children are so blessed to have you!" Yes, God can use us and I believe He is. The children living with us are experiencing family and consistency and love. We have made some great friendships and are looking forward to getting deeper with relationships and talking more and more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is something great about having a peace that you are right where God wants you. The life in Haiti is simpler in so many ways. We get to learn a new language and culture first hand. Our biological children are getting experiences that will impact them forever.
I just thought you should know how much we need your prayers. It isn't always pretty here. If there was a story about the Willis family, it wouldn't be flowery. We do feel that God called us here, and He is ALWAYS faithful to complete the work He has started. There are many things to love about Haiti and about the people here. We know that God often uses the hard things in our life to mold and shape us and so being here isn't just about the Haitian people, but about us, too. Will you pray for us? We know so many of you do and we are so grateful.