Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
It's Sunday and our last day in Haiti. It always seems hard to even remember what you did since morning at the end of these full days. Fanfan preached for us this morning and we returned to Gertrudes to give all the kids a fluoride. Wow, let's just say Haiti has a huge dental opportunity! We traveled up to the top of a mountain range bordering the city, it was beautiful and I was cooler than I have been in 7 days!
I'll end with this since this is what got me to Haiti to begin with.
Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bands of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and to bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call on the lord and he will answer; you will cry and He will say here I am, if you remove the yoke from your midst the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.
We don't know precisely when these words were penned in Isaiah's life, but probably near the end which mean't the northern 10 tribes were already captives of the fierce, savage and powerful Assyrians leaving the remaining tribes paralyzed in fear of them and aligning themselves with godless nations rather than going to Yahweh as they watched their temple doors and implements of worship leave on the backs of donkeys bound for Assyria as tribute. Where was God? Why wasn't he answering? The point is...he was always a whisper away! When you read the chapter in context, He longed to fellowship, to tabernacle with them, but not as long as they were not serious about their personal bondage to sin and selfishness in spite of their fasting he couldn't abide with them! These were hard times for the southern tribe as nations warred against her on multiple borders; her need was great. Some of the tribes were fleeing to neighboring cities for refuge and food was scarce because of these border squirmishes. God was trying to show Himself faithful when they fully trusted Him to act on their behalf but He required them as us "to love their neighbors as themselves." He had brought this calamity on them causing them to turn to Him. He longed to be their protection from their enemies to show Himself faithful. Yes, Haiti is our neighbor and surely needs our help, but so might our neighbors in Minnesota or a U of M student. I think Gods heart breaks over the limitless power source that He is, to bring real change to our infected planet and the angels even marvel that He chooses to use us as His conduit of healing and joy and peace to the disease that has corrupted His creation. We are blessed and much will be required... no matter where we are tonight.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I could not get this song out of my mind as I stood there and looked down…
You're the God of this City, You're the King of these people You're the Lord of this nation, You are! You're the Light in this darkness! You're the Hope to the hopeless! You're the Peace to the restless! You are!
There is no one like our God !!! There is no one like our God !!!
For greater things have yet to come. And greater things are still to be done in this City. Greater thing have yet to come And greater things are still to be done in this City.
…And greater things are still to be done in this City, Greater things have yet to come And greater things are still to be done here!!!!
Before coming to Haiti for some reason I thought of it as a very spiritually oppressed place. I thought I would see even more helplessness, more sin, more evil. I had heard the history of how years ago Haiti was dedicated to Satan (although I know that it was recently rededicated to Christ). What I thought I would see was totally not what was there….
I really did see Jesus in Haiti. I saw him in the eyes of each of the children we touched.
I saw people seeking after him as we drove by the packed out churches as sounds of worship leaked out of the cracked walls.
I saw him alive and at work in the missionaries we met,
definitely in “Healing Haiti” ministries...
and the incredible staff they have working with them …
I saw God at work in my incredible team members...
AND I felt his mighty hand working inside me … leading me, teaching me and molding me just a little more into who He wants me to be. He is the GOD of that City and the King of those people He is the only LIGHT that will pierce through the darkest of times. …. I know there is so much more to be done there … BUT I have complete confidence He is at work in a mighty way.
With that said, I also think we can find Jesus everywhere we go…. If we are seeking after him, If we prepare our hearts and minds and want God to work in us and through us. While God used Haiti to show me so many things… I know that the same God is at work here today as well. We do not “HAVE TO” go to Haiti to be his hands and his feet.. to feel or see His presence at work.. to be molded into the person that He wants us to be… BEING ABLE TO GO TO HAITI AND TO BE USED IN SUCH A WAY is a privilege, and honor… one that I humbly hope I will be able to do again sometime soon.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Ok, I have to go back and tell you about the day we met Jude JohnPaul. He is a young 17-year-old boy who at the age of 5 started having seizures. His mother showed us his school pictures when he was a normal active young boy running around and playing like everyone else. The problem was when the seizures started they had no medication for him to control them like they would in the U.S. They became so severe that Jude John-Paul must of sustained brain damage at some point and for the last 12 years he has been bed ridden, his mind and body both completely affected.
As we laid hands on him and prayed for him I was overcome with emotions (YES, AGAIN!! ;-) ) So many things were running through my mind all at once and still do when I even try to process that moment. I guess the bottom line for me is that of submission. I will never have all the answers to the questions before us. I do not completely understand why God allows Jude JohnPaul to remain like this for so long.
Verses flood my mind like…
…“Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
(in which I know 100% that God could heal Jude JohnPaul if he wanted to, is my faith really so little)
(LORD, We ask for this that your Glory be Reviled!)
Yet, I feel Jude JohnPaul is another example of us learning to submit to God. learning to trust that His ways are better than my ways even though we don’t always understand. For those of you who know me well and have read my other blogs know this is a repetitive subject for me. WHAT IS GOD TRYING TO TELL ME?
For now I will just …
“Keep on asking and it will be given to you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you
For everyone who keeps on asking receives; the one who keeps on seeking finds; and to the one who keeps on knocking, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:6-8
The book goes on to say …
“I can talk about compassion for others and yet be utterly tactless and inconsiderate to my own family. In which case, what I am at home is what I am. Or I can think myself reasoned and self-controlled, but what I do and say when angry and unobserved gives me away. My character is what I am when I am alone.
…. There’s old Adam within, with vast potential for greed and selfishness. I know I can’t change him much. Frontal attack has never worked for me. As soon as I resist sin, I endow it with more power. This same power it usese against me. Inner transformation, thus is God’s work. As Mother teresa put it, we may will holiness, but He must do it.
What I need is more of God in me. He must work His work. Righteousness is His gift, which I may receive, David’s prayer in Psalm 19:12-14 becomes my own.”
But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
It's Saturday and we are home taking a break after a morning at Mother Theresa's, this is a Catholic orphanage where they take in orphaned and really sick babies! These Haitian kids are so beautiful....sick or well, there are probably about 100 cribs all together and the lower level houses the sickest ones. What is amazing is how they feed themselves real food like rice and beans at a very early age. One little guy I held was another National Geographic picture he was five years old and had been in the orphanage since December 12 he was really skinny, his little bones stuck out and he looked like the poster boy for a malnourished kid. The nuns are amazing! And we met a lot of folks from the Twin Cities today, there is a Catholic Church that has adopted 18 kids this trip! One couple left with their new little girl while we there to go home to Bayport! God has moved the church to answer the cries of Haiti.
We are being treated to an authentic Haitian meal of Creole or Kreyle tonight and it smells amazing in here. Tomorrow we will go back to Gertrudes and do fluorides on the kids, visit the mountains, and metal market which is where they sell their metal products.
We met a centurion today that looked like someone out of a time magazine photo, a hundred and three years in Haiti is a long time. She was beautiful!
Healing Haiti has built homes and sponsored several old and handicapped people in the city where the orphanage is almost completed, we visited some of them today. But the highlight of today was the kids at Yvonne's orphanage singing to us. I must say these Haitian kids cannot only sing but are amazingly well behaved. When we got there they sang to us, and had the nicest things to say to Jeff about Alyn, we all were in tears. But the most amazing thing to me is to watch 30 kids sit without fighting or fidgeting at dinnertime and sing solos and duets for over an hour. I'm shocked that these kids who have nothing will not touch or take the supplies we've brought until they are given to them. They played a long, sweaty game of keep away from the adults. And since we were on a roll with the paint thing we introduced these kids to finger paint, which was something you could tell they had never done. It was a good day!
My word of the day was baptism, I'll explain. A big theme in Isaiah is the importance of the lamb and the blood required to pay our debt; which is signified in baptism. In haite at the end of the day you and your clothes are grimy, filthy, sweaty, germy; in a word you're disgusting. You don't want to sit, or anything else until you've showered (with bleach Becky)and changed. God feels that way about this infected planet and the way it has corrupted us, we soooo need his cleansing to come into His presence. Thank you lord for rescuing us from this tent city of hopelessness, can't wait to be home with the saints of every tribe, color and age!
Friday, January 14, 2011
Yesterday we started off with going to a school Healing Haiti sponsors and it was a three-story building that teaches primary and secondary school. We handed out toys and necklaces to all of them. The school was filled with kids from Cite Soliel; surprisingly from what we saw the first day with the water truck, the kids looked well groomed and the school was very nice. Normally these kids would not be able to attend school, but because Healing Haiti pays for the salaries of the teachers, the children can go there for free. Then we went to the mass gravesite from the earthquake. The only word to describe that was: Speechless. I was just in ‘aw’ the whole time. After that we went to Grace village, the village that Jeff is building on top of Titanyen. It is B-E-A-uuuuu-tiful. I can’t wait to see how it will be when it is finished. Phase One is going to be an orphanage, and a food center that will feed local kids on the street. Healing Haiti also envisions building a church on the site to reach out to all the people surrounding it, but for now they will hold service where the feeding center is. Last, we went to Guilluame’s Orphanage. When we pulled up all the little kids were in a circle singing. Their voices were outstanding, and man do those kids know how to pray. We did rock painting that soon led to painting a colorful and artistic mural on the wall. You know even though the people that will have to clean that up will be mad( and I feel horrible), it really gave the orphanage character.
So mother I was thinking… the little boys need friends right? Oh my word did I fall in love with these two twin girls. They were gorgeous and so delicate. They just wanted to be held and loved. I want to adopt them too. So then I was talking to Noelle and five kids that have two aunts sounds like a great thing to me!
We finished off the night with watching Alyn’s celebration service. I did not get to meet this amazing woman, but she sure seemed absolutely outstanding. Jeff and her were the package deal because Jeff is one of the most genuine, heart-felt, kid -loving, God-seeking men I know.
Yesterday was one of my favorite days but it felt like the longest day I have had in a while. I got sick at night, but in the morning I felt a lot better.
So today we started off with French toast instead of the usual pancakes. My taste buds thought that that was spunky and liked that. Our first stop was the market. It was on the side of the street in Titanyen. It was a crowded place with people trying to sell vegetables, beans, and second-hand clothes for a living. This market is only on two days out of the week. When you look at the women you see that many of them are older. Some had little pieces of fabric hanging over them for shade and many were sitting on tarps on the ground. What they had in front of them were many of their only possessions and their way of supporting their families. In this market there was a little place that was selling goats. These goats were not like what you would picture them being sold, (having a leash or tie around the neck or let loose to run around in a little area), these goat’s legs were all tied together and they were lying on their side. It was sad and really weird to me.
After this we traveled on foot (and it was really hot out) to see this boy named Jude- John Paul. This boy is truly special. He was a normal regular boy that went to school and everything up until the age of five. Then he started to get seizures and since he couldn’t get his hands on medicine his body shut down and his brain and his body were affected. He is one of those boys in ‘Alyn’s terms’ where instead of asking God ‘Why?’ you need to ask God ‘What are you trying to teach me?’ His boy is currently 18 and he just lays in his bed everyday. His mother sure does love him! We laid our hands over this amazing boy and just asked for his glory. My heart just goes out to him and his family, and he will stay in my prayers. We stopped at a few elderly peoples house and gave them some bags of ‘goodies’ that consisted of hygiene products. We met a lady who was 103 and she lived in a tiny little shack. She was so happy to see us!
The last stop of the day was at Yavonne’s orphanage. It was another orphanage that Healing Haiti sponsors. When we arrived all the little kids ran up to Jeff and gave him so many hugs and loving. It was so cute! They sure do love him. We were greeted with them singing songs. One little girl stepped out and started a song with a solo. I am not kidding you she had a voice of an angel. I truly believe that when you get the goose bumps in situations like this it is the Holy Spirit. Let me tell you the Holy Spirit was all around in that place. When the kids sang I could not hold back and my tears they just kept coming… I don’t know what it was but I know it was God’s presence. For an activity we traced the kids on paper and they painted their traces- much like a ‘flat Stanley.’ Then I set up a beauty parlor and did many girls hair. Before I knew it my hair was being pulled in every direction and I got a lovely ‘free’ hairdo. Oh it was just gorgeous!
Before we left many of them sang solos for us. Even the little three year olds. It was so amazing how all these little kids love to sing. What is even more amazing is how they do it all for the glory of God. I feel so blessed to have met all these kids. On my way out they told me that they will pray for me. They for sure have a permanent spot in my prayers. Haiti as a whole does!
(Through all of these blogs I have found out that Amy might actually be worse at spelling than I am. It is okay though I am not judging! I still love her anyways J J J)
...wonder how long they were waiting. We pulled up and they all started to greet us singing with the most beautiful voices. You could tell they were so excited to see Jeff. They continued to sing songs of worship and praise. If you ever wonder what true SONGS OF WORSHIP was suppose to look like it was what I saw and heard today coming out of the mouths of babes. AMAZING!
Thanks to Noelle’s creative mind we came up with a craft to do with the kids. We thought it was pretty simple, paint a rock, put a couple eyes on them, a dab a glue on the top and plop the little fake hair we brought. It started out pretty good..
but then one thing led to another…
We had so much fun playing with them. Jeff and Fan Fan took some of the older boys and played some soccer, and keep away. I really could not tell you who was having more fun.. the boys or them. It was obvious how much the kids love them and it was obvious how much joy they bring to Jeff. AMAZING!
We seriously have to do this at home sometime.. Maybe for my birthday!!! ;-) j/k. but it was AMAZING!!!
Really an incredible day….
The Lord is Good and His spirit is most definitely alive here in Haiti!-AMY