A Curious Life: Toby, Chris, Caleb, and Lauren Clark

This “Curious Life” article
is from my brothers family.
They have taken their kids
out of school and are spending 6 weeks in Haiti!

I am laying in bed our first night of 42 in Haiti and my thoughts are running amuck.

Even after my cold shower in the dark, I’m still sweaty, hot and uncomfortable. I’ve just tucked in my little girl who is in tears already missing home, her bed, her comforts. Also I can’t even begin to settle down after my husband killed a giant spider in the sink I just washed my face in.

This is not going as I had planned in my head.

How could THIS be our dream? Is this really what we’ve planned and hoped for so many years? Did we really choose this?

Six weeks in Haiti, with our family and close friends, but this first night, reality is pressing in like a sweaty fleece blanket in a sauna and we are all second guessing ourselves.

Dreams are often like that.

It’s simply human nature and perhaps a motivating mechanism to only dream of the good. The easy. The great things that will come once the dream has come to fullness. The accomplishment. We dream in big picture. It is what gets you going and allows God to grow the dream in your heart.IMG_4556

Being married to a dreamer and eternal optimist, this originated as his dream of escaping the dead of winter to live and minister on a Caribbean island, homeschooling the kids and showing them how the majority of the world lives in poverty with no electricity. Honestly I can say, this dream has been a source of many an argument in our home over the last few years. Not because I disagree, but because I’m a realist and I knew this first night would happen.

It would be hard.

It’s hard to choose the hard for yourself, but it’s that much more difficult to choose it for your kids. Even if you know ultimately it will be for their good, as a parent you constantly weigh the hope of what God will do in them through the dream, and what the constant of normal will provide them.

Since I’m basically “a let’s not rock the boat”, and I’m married to a “mover and shaker”, you can see why there was some friction. However, as the Holy Spirit so often does, in His time, He brought our hearts together and set our feet on a path that we know He has ordained. Individually seeking and yielding ourselves to the Spirit’s work in our lives was the key to unlocking God’s plan and purpose for our family in this time. This goes for our kids as well. We have prayed and sought the Lord for years about this dream and our kids also had their say and gave their yes.

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But if dreams happen in the big picture, the work to accomplish them occurs in the zoom. The blood, sweat and tears. The little and big steps of faith it took to plan the trip, pulling the trigger on un-enrolling the kids from school, saying goodbye to family and friends and pets for 6 weeks.

And the steps continue on here, even this first night as we encounter the hard truths of life without power, light, air conditioning, clean water, comforts from home, boiling water so we don’t get sick, riding in the open beds of trucks, and swatting away at mosquitos that could give us malaria.

It’s here in the zoom that we have to keep choosing the hard.

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What’s so funny is that some of what seemed so hard the first night is no longer hard but normal. Which feels like a gift. To feel some normal reminds us that God is helping us, growing us, and working in us. He whispers in our ears,

“Hard is good. Keep choosing it. I am with you.”

Once you make a habit of choosing it, we are learning the good comes a little easier.

And so with a week under our belt and some feelings of normalcy, we are seeking to glean even more out of our experience here, setting our hearts on serving the Haitian people and bringing the hope of Jesus to open and willing people.

So dream big and watch God meet you in all that is hard, to teach you all that is good!

Living Life with No Regrets!

Toby, Chris, Caleb, and Lauren Clark

www.ShowMeHope.org

*Follow our 6 week Journey on Facebook and Instagram by searching the Hashtag “#TheHopeProject”.

2 thoughts on “A Curious Life: Toby, Chris, Caleb, and Lauren Clark

  1. I remember when I left my wonderful job at Southeast Christian Church, sold our beautiful house, packed up the family and moved to Poland for 3 years to plant a church. During the first few months I would often wake up in the middle of the night but not open my eyes. I would pray, “Please God let me open my eyes and be back in our house in Kentucky. Let all of this be a dream.” It did turn out to be a dream and it was wonderful. Once God made it “normal” for us. We saw so many come to Christ. We learned a new language. We helped plant an amazing work. Each one of us is so much broader in our thinking and understanding of the world. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything in this world. And to this day we remain close to many of our Polish friends. In fact, just this past Friday I spend the day in Disneyland with one of those families. God is amazing. If we tell Him that we will go anywhere at anytime then our lives will be adventures worth living!

    1. I am so thankful for you and your family Rick. I love your line “once God made it normal for us”. Powerful. It takes time even for dreams to feel good.
      Thanks so much for sharing my friend.
      Keep DREAMING!

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