Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Too Busy for Jesus

This week marks the 6 month anniversary of the EQ in Haiti. It was a time for me to think of the day it happened and what has happened post EQ. It is sad that so many people are still without housing, that giant loaders are scouping up rubble and in the rubble lies someone daughter, son and family. Society pages in magazines show stars and famous people lending a helping hand to Haiti and to other countries but I wonder if they really think of what it must be like. I for one cannot imagine not having closure after the death of a child, a family member. I heard time and time again in Haiti that same painful truth.." I never got to have a funeral". With no sense of closure with billions of dollars being sent and only tiny portions actually making it ground zero it is no wonder that many in Haiti think the world has forgotten about them.

It reminds me of a Christmas play when our daughter Kelsey was little. She wore a polka dot dress with a large floppy hat, high heels, pearls and a great hand bag and she was Ima Rush. Ima Rush was so busy with her social engagements, her charity work and her church she was too busy for Jesus. The plot was bigger than that but the thought of her scurrying here and there, making people smile for the brief glimpse of her heading in another direction beings me back to how it must feel in Haiti. Do the Haitian people feel like we are too busy to help long term? Do they see the numbers of NGO's and hear about the amounts of money coming into Haiti and wonder why more isn't happening? Do they pray for God to bring them out of the tent cities they are living in and trust that He will? Do they pray that change will come to Haiti in the form of social systems that they hear about, similar ones to other nations? Do they pray that someone would listen to their hearts and hear their story?

Politicians and famous people, people with connections, military from countries around the world, and dozens and dozens of NGO's all came to Haiti. They came with the plan to see what they could do to help. They came with good intentions and they came with manpower but the sheer scope of what needed to be done was so overwhelming they felt defeated at the outset. Where would they even start?

I see the Haiti that was pre earthquake and I see the social problems that were, I see the missions and organizations that were working tirelessly to make a difference. Most of them, already okay with the knowledge that things take time, Haiti would not change overnight.  I am thankful for all those that have gone to Haiti in hopes of seeing where they can help. I am thankful for all the missions that have been in Haiti for decades and served faithfully. I am thankful that God is in control of the relief effort, in His way. But...I pray and wish and dream that the commitment was not only money. Yes, money has poured in and I wish I could say I know it has all been spent in the way it was intended but prayer is what is needed and a commitment to do our part. From our living rooms, from our staff rooms and from our churches, we need to share about Haiti.  Many people want to help, many have, many have given all that they had but we need to continue to pray for Haiti. I have had pre-chrsitian friends and those that believe in karma and positive thoughts and they all still believe that we need to continue to help Haiti. Do not let it off the radar. I know the world saw the Olympics, then the earthquake in South America, then a volcano in Iceland and then an oil spill in the gulf, but Haiti never stopped needing your prayers. Haiti was hurting and still is.

Please take time to pray for Haiti, take time to share about Haiti. I do not want to be so busy in my church, so busy at my work or in my life to be too busy for Jesus. We are called to be His light and maybe sharing about Haiti and your connections will bring someone else to the team. Haiti needs all of us. I challenge everyone to share about the needs in Haiti and take time to see where you fit. Are you goer, are you a supporter, are you a intercessor, God appoints all three.

I am so thankful for all those that have given selflessly over the years so that we could be the goers. For those that never stopped praying for us and for our Haitian connections. I am thankful for so many people I wish I could surround you with the love that the Haitian people have showered on me.
I know Haiti has a face to each of you. I am thankful for your prayers and know that you are making a difference in the Kingdom. Please join me in saying a prayer for the continued relief effort, for the million plus people still living in tents, for the children orphaned, for the missions that work day in and day out, and for the government.

I have a little sign in my kitchen and it says..."What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"

Thanks for reading...C

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sounds in the Silence

Each morning I have the absolute pleasure of sitting in the quiet with the loudest sounds being the snoring dog or the tick tock of the kitchen clock. (hey that rhymed LOL) So many times in Haiti the noise that accompanied my morning cup of coffee was one of horns, dogs barking, children crying, animated chatter (that would in North American culture would be considered arguing) and the rhythmic sound of sweeping. Oh I miss the sound of sweeping....there is something comforting about the endless sound of a banana palm broom sweeping the dirt. I remember the first time I realized that the ladies were sweeping the dirt, and they had no tile floor to keep clean, but they cared about their home so much that each day they swept the dirt to a shine. I remember thinking how much that broke my heart they were making the best of what they had and over the years I have realized the women in Haiti like all the rest of the people do without so much.
I am honest when I say I hate sweeping, I don't like the sound of my own sweeping, but this morning as I missed the sights and sounds of Haiti I wandered into my dining room and look at my Haitian broom. I love my broom, a gift years ago from Ma Jacques, I love the fact that I can transport myself myself back to Haiti in an instant and hear the sounds, capture the scent of the morning air, see the hustle and the bustle of children going to school, all of it in an instant returning to my senses. I miss Haiti.
I love being home with family, and this week farming I have realized how much I love our home here. How can God give you the desires of your heart when you can't even understand them?  I liked a line in my devotions this morning that said..."God does not open a door to an opportunity while we are lying on the couch. We need to be on the lookout."
Today as I go about my day, as I do each day I will be on the lookout and searching my heart, seeking His will, praying for direction and doing my share.
I might even take my broom outside and sweep a little and smile and remember the part of Haiti that is my heart.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A want to be a vine..holding fast and not letting go...

It has been a crazy week of ups and downs. The hardest part of living in Haiti is not the living in Haiti it is the leaving Haiti behind. We recently had opportunity to celebrate Canada Day and our life here at home but it is Haitian food, language, crazy roads, people and every day life that we think about often. We are blessed to have a beautiful home and great friends and family. The old saying home is where is your hang your hat, or home is where the heart is, home is what you make of it, home is where the story begins, home is where I want to be and I love all of the sayings. They have created a retail market for rugs, plaques wall words in addition to the lyrics for many songs. Our home is nestled in a bunch of trees on our property and then surrounded by hay fields, barns and outbuildings. We have been waiting on weather to cut our hay, year after year the harvest is the big event. We pray for weather because our trips to Haiti always seem to rotate around our time in Haiti. In order to get drying weather we need winds and hot sun and at least four to five days in a row. We monitor the internet, watch the weatherman on TV and check and recheck before we cut it but nothing is ever for sure. If your hay gets rained on it is virtually useless, our buyers will not purchase rained on hay. Now some of you maybe thinking rain? Yes, we live on the west coast and rain is a factor all year long and it can strike in the middle of the night.
So today is the day that we will start the harvest. We are anxious to get started and happy to report we have a week of great weather ahead. Jussi and I share the tractor work and I am hoping this summer he will take a day off work to help. I do days around and around and around in the field, listening to music and feeling the heat of the sun. I also have plenty of time to think.
Recently I heard a program about waiting on the Lord, and funny thing I never recognized waiting as a physical thing. The Lord has shown me that waiting can mean, drawing near. I was given a vision of a vine and some lattice and remembered my own garden and how difficult it was to tear down the vine without damaging the lattice. It is a parallel of sorts to see waiting as a sitting still and be patient to the vine that never seems to budge. Vines grow like weeds, they are hard to kill and as Jussi often chimes in, like "a union" impossible to get rid off. LOL. I am thankful for the vine imagery because like me, vines are also stubborn and independent. I want to draw near to Him, I want to not, let go, I want to be so difficult to shake out of my christian roots that it would be not worth trying. God has me in his palm, but I also know the enemy is the one who can tear down and destroy. I am watchful and careful that the enemy knows that I am a stubborn vine! As we, Jussi and I prepare for our next adventure that God will take us on, we are thankful that we can cling to Him. We are thankful that we know and understand His word is mightier than any schemes of the enemy. We are thankful that as we seek and pray and cling to HIM, that He will reveal all that He has for us. That even if we cling to a rocky surface or a slope, that He can and will sustain us. He is our rock. An amazing promise, a lifetime of hope, and the ability to walk through the adventure called life with a spirit of expectancy.  As we spend the next week farming or reaping our harvest we pray that we can join you in seeking His face, for your lives to be blessed, to draw near and count upon His promises and allow Him to settle into our daily lives life, as normal as  coffee and waking up. Allow Him to the be rock that will give you strength, that will add depth, and color and character to your life, the ever changing palette that He created.

Some of my fave pics...of farming