Saying good-bye to that little girl in May was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. Eddy tried to talk to her when she was so upset and he told her that I would come back. So I knew whatever I did I had to live up to that promise. The picture below shows the little girl that I left in Haiti that Friday morning. I did not realize until I looked at my pictures later how upset she was with me for leaving. For anyone that has been to Haiti or lives with someone has been all of the emotions that you experience are so hard to sort out. I remember saying to Brian on the plane "when will this pain go away" & as soon as those words came out of my mouth I thought- I don't think I want it to. God used the people and girls Coq Chante orphanage to change me in a way I can't put into words and that hurt is a daily reminder of the person that he wants me to be and what he is calling me to do.
Coming back it took me a while to "fit" back in to my life. I don't think a day has gone by since that trip that I do not think about the girls or the Gaspard family. Some days I think back to all of the amazing things that happened while we were there and other days I am so grieved missing a little girl that I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. As the summer went on and life got back to "normal" I still could not look at Odette's picture without feeling this tug as my heart that I can't explain. Andy started talking about the possibility of taking an elder trip to Haiti along with a few other guys that were going to work on a water-filtration system for the orphanage. I was so excited that Andy was going to get take a trip to love on the girls and to meet Odette.
When Andy was on his trip he called me one night & said "here someone wants to talk to you", Odette got on the phone talked to me. I can't remember what all was said but it was the sweetest phone call ever. When I finished falling apart I realized that just hearing her voice filled that hole in my heart that nothing else could. We have been asked many times in the last few weeks why we "chose" her and our answer is always the same "we didn't choose her- she chose us". I will let Andy tell you his story of their September trip and meeting Odette for the first time.