Storyteller: Curtis Stout
A popular Haitian proverb says, “Deye mòn, gen mòn.” Behind every mountain is another mountain. How true of life is this? After one challenge is finished, another challenge is ready to chase. Just when we think we’ve got “it” beat, we see a bigger, uglier "it" behind the first one. Behind every mountain is another mountain.
Last Summer (2013), two friends (Guy & Greg) and I went hiking near our property in Haiti. We climbed a small mountain just for fun, just for a break from the week of work. We enjoyed each others company and God's creation, descended into a nearby town, drank toros (Haitian energy drinks), and hopped on motorcycles to ride 5 miles back to our land. Last summer, the three of us were climbing mountains for fun, this summer we are climbing mountains for influence.
A lot has changed in a year. Our school is no longer an idea, but a 1-year-old baby. Guy has become the Assistant Director for our partner, Ephraim. Greg has become our principal. I have been a full-time employee of Project 117 for almost 1 year. Yowzer.
Just one week ago I was in Haiti for my annual recruitment trip. My goal was to hire Gregory as our Principal officially, meet with current staff, interview a new teacher and secretary, enroll 25 new students, and oversee some construction work. Together, with my two friends, we did all of these things.
What I realized on this trip and saw to be true about our climb is that my Haitian friends are the leading the ascent. I listened to my friends drill potential employees protectively. I listened to them strategize distribution of roles and responsibilities. I listened to them dream about the future and talk about God’s faithfulness when we take one step. This was incredibly encouraging to me.
So, looking ahead, we have a big mountain to climb. We have a building to build so that we can provide hope through education. We have a school culture to create and steward. We have staff and students to care for. We have sponsorship and operational funding needs. We have mountains beyond mountains to climb. But, before I get worked up into a worried frenzy, I need to remember that:
- There are strength in numbers…challenge isn’t unique to me, you have your own set of challenges too and together, we can share in the joy of being challenged and encouraging one another to overcome!
- When God calls us to take a step, he provides a place for our foot to land or will at least give us a hand up when we fall down…either way he is teaching us something about his love.
If you see me, remind me not to worry and to keep climbing. Thanks for reading.