Our move from Haiti to the U.S. May 26, 2006
In one day the Shoemaker family went from being field missionaries, living in Haiti, to being missionaries living in the US. Many hands helped us pack in Haiti, including 2 wonderful gals who came from Chicago to help Deb pack the kitchen & other household items. The Missionary Flights International DC 3 was loaded in Cayes, Haiti on May 26, 2006. When it took off, 25 years of field service ended. When it landed in Port St. Lucie, Florida, that afternoon, a new era of life started for us. A U-Haul was loaded with our belongings and we, the dog and 3 cats made the journey across the state to our home in the Ft. Myers suburb of Lehigh Acres. We were able to sleep in our new beds that very night!
We found another meaning to John 14:2 “In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” Yes, the Lord has prepared a place for us in Heaven, but we found that He had gone before us and prepared a place for us here in the US.
Since last year, when we bought the house, we’ve been working with a Christian contractor to make needed changes in the house. Almost everything was finished when we arrived and we love it!! What a gift from God this gentleman has been to us.
God also prepared a church (McGregor Baptist Church) for us, complete with a Sunday School class that adopted us and made our homecoming their personal project! The women held a housewarming shower for us and a large group went to the house to do an extensive cleaning inside the house and outside in the yard before we even landed!
The morning after we arrived, a group of 35 people showed up to help us unload the truck. The “geek squad” unpacked the computer and set it up. The ladies grabbed the kitchen bins and unpacked them. Beds were set up and the little furniture that was there was moved around and put in place. It was an amazing sight. We have been humbled and so thankful for this provision.
We feel that God even prepared friendships for us through this church and Sunday school class. Folks have taken us in and loved us. All of these things have helped take the sting out of the upheaval in our lives.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for 1 1/2 years already. Bins and boxes are still a part of our lives. We’ve come to the conclusion that moving is a point in time. Settling in is a long term process. Little by little we’ve “feathered our nest”. We have furniture, lamps, etc. now and the inside painting was finally finished in March. It’s been fun starting over almost like newlyweds. We are “re-defining” ourselves.
We have found that we enjoy the area very much! We are learning all the fine details of being suburbanites and living in the states: when to take out the trash, where to buy things, learning what goods & services are available in our little town, finding the shortest routes here & there, etc. We’re finding out all kinds of new things...did you know that pre-made pie crusts are made in regular and deep dish, that the dog and cats need a license and Christmas trees now come pre-lit?