Monday, April 14, 2014
Women of God, our Father designed you to receive life-giving and be spiritually life-giving. He will bring you people who will cause you to leap for joy. I bless you with people who minister to you. I bless you with divine appointments where God connects you for a moment or an hour with mighty men and women of God. I bless you with drawing life-giving strength from their spirits. I bless you with God bringing joyful people, with companionship with those who know the joy of the Lord. I bless you with being mutually life-giving. I bless you in the name of the almighty Life-giver.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Whether we are hauling sloshing 5-gallon buckets of fresh water through tent cities or ministering to children in orphanages or sick homes, members of this women-only team is coming to expect the same touch, sight and sound. Little open palms start battering our tummies, hips or bums. When we look down, we see sweet faces and little arms shooting straight up and we hear the words, "Pote' M!"
The term, "Pote' M" translates into English as "carry me," or "hold me." This is what Jesus promises he will do when we are in our darkest times.
That's God's message we worked to teach today to 10 teenage boys from the neighborhood and 17 kids from Juno's orphanage. We took the two groups together as one to spend the day at the beach. Most of the kids had been to ocean only once before when a Healing Haiti team took them last year. For others, it was their first time to see the big, beautiful water.
They all piled into a tap tap, along with a few brave team members, thrilled about the day ahead of them. The journey was half the fun. Despite a traffic jam, cramped quarters and Haiti heat, the tap tap group sang Christian songs and silly songs and laughed and chatted as the little bus sputtered and tottered all the way to the beach.
Once we arrived at Wahoo Bay, the kids were undoubtedly anxious to jump in the glinting, turquoise water. But, they were patient and waited until we attached wristbands, counted heads, gathered gear and secured life vests.
Most ran right into the water toward waiting team members. A few held back, a cautious attraction. The women held the bobbing little bodies and spoke words of encouragement. Soon all the kids were comfortable in the water, knowing they were being supported. Some of them made it all the way to the giant trampoline. What fun they had jumping! The joy on their faces was something we will never forget.
Everyone was ready for a break. We found some shade and gave the children a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk, cookies and apple juice. Refreshed and re-energized, the children were asked to sit in a semi-circle to hear a story. We asked them if they had ever felt sad, frightened or lonely. They said, yes.
We told them the "Footprints'' story in which a man laments that the Lord left him when he was at his saddest, loneliest and most frightened as seen by only one set of footprints in the sand. The man said, "You promised me Lord that if I followed you, you would be with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have been only one set of footprints in the sand. Why when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?'' The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand is when I carried you.''
We asked the children what the story meant. One boy summarized the story and said that it is God one should to turn in the darkest times.
After the story, other team members helped the kids make "footprints'' of their own. We applied glue with rollers to the bottoms of all their feet and made imprints on construction paper. The kids poured sand on the glue, shook off the paper and voila! they could see their own footprints! They loved the craft and, we hope, got the message. The kids wrote their names on their creations and were encouraged to take them home and hang it on a wall near their beds.
Weary and happy, the kids all went to their respective homes. Juno's kids were dropped off and the neighborhood boys rode back with team members. We exchanged hugs and said our good-byes, but not before one team member made a point to tell the boys how well-mannered they were and what good, young men they are.
A beautiful ending to a perfect day.
Today was an amazing day. We spent the day at the beautiful blue Carribean Ocean. We picked up ten neighborhood boys and then went to an orphanage and picked up another sixteen children. Can you imagine in the states taking twenty-six children ages 3-16 to the beach. All of them were in awe of swimming in the ocean and then to their surprise they even got a boat ride. None of them have ever been in a boat! As I sat in the boat with one special little girl, she first held on tight to me and as we took off she gripped even tighter. As we glided through the water, her grip loosened and I gently took her hand and we put our hand in the water as we moved along. To see all of this from the eyes of a little girl, I felt her excitement and wonder of a beautiful day on the water.
Friday, April 11, 2014
|One of many rides in the Tap Tap.|
|Wendy with our Fearless Leaders|
|Ring around the Rosie|
|Cheat sheet for words.|
|Every day is full of love and prayers.|