Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Decisions...




It has hit me lately that some days we makes dozens of decisions; easy ones, hard ones, ethical ones, painful ones, and even flippant ones that have no real value in the importance of life. For example what color earrings to wear, what color of paint for the bathroom, what kind of ranch dip to buy. Okay, maybe that might be edgy, Jussi is a connoisseur of ranch dressing so I don't usually play around too much with that one. Back to the thoughts...In the middle of this bathroom demo/reno I am doing, I realized that there are so many little decisions, many hinging on our price range rather than life altering change.

In our Christian life we make decisions every day too, some days more than others and some that draw us closer to Him and some that pull us into the worldly side. (Not going to lie we have a big TV. ) We are so blessed to be living in a warm dry house with food in our cupboards and water that we can drink from the tap. To seek Him, decisions that glorify Him and further the Kingdom, sharing stories of trust and provision, being sure we are called,  is what matters to God, it is the "yes.”  I imagine God being so softened each time he heard those in tent cities, sharing their stories and " I am alive today because God saved me for a purpose.” From out of nothing they are rising to greatness, not in a worldly sense but in an eternity sense that everywhere you turn God is being glorified in Haiti. Every day without exception we heard praises from the people, testimonies of salvation, testimonies of faith, trust and provision, (How I pray for that for Canada.)
Yesterday I was blessed with a long chat with Eunice, she and Pastor Ken are our home church Pastors but also our spiritual mentors, our measuring sticks as to what we pray that one day we can achieve for the kingdom. They live each day loving, encouraging, blessing and guiding others to seek His face in all things. They humbly bow down their lives to His will; they look to the Lord for answers in all things. They also stir us on in the importance of faith and the evidence of things unseen. Eunice reminded me that "God can and will work in our lives and decisions that change the path that we thought we may take if they are from Him and they will be blessed " What an amazing place to be living in "His will".

I need to guide my daily decisions around what I do today and whether it will be glorifying for the Kingdom, if I follow the path he has set before me and that I trust in Him: then I need not worry it is the right decision.

When a mom sits on a empty sack nestled in the mud near her small sheet covered tent feeding her baby, does she have the decision of where to live, what to eat each day, no, but her decision to sing praises to the Lord take her children to church, repeat memorized scriptures, and singing songs of praise quietly to the almost sleeping baby shows her complete trust in God.

I am praying for my continued growth in Him. Hebrews 12: 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.... and knowing that all He desires daily, is to hear my prayers, my praises and to see me walk out all that He has set before me.  I am so thankful that God brought us to Haiti in 2005, and throughout the years as we stumbled back into life here or there that we never really felt settled. Did we live here in Canada, or did we live in Haiti? Our hearts were spilt between family at home and a desire and a longing we could not express back in Haiti. Each time we come home we seem more unsettled but God has a plan and His plan for us will be made clear. If we trust in Him, make decisions that are centered on prayer and soak in the word... Eph. 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. 
I am thankful for the men and women in Haiti that have taught me about faith, about praising God in the valleys and not just on the mountains and about living under an umbrella of God's grace.  To each of you reading today I pray you will never have to see the destruction of your home, family or country before you stop and say  " I am alive today because God saved me for a purpose." He HAS saved you and ME for a purpose, and for that I am humbled at all that lies in front of us. 
"Lord Jesus You are the Author and perfector of my faith. Would you please strengthen me to keep my eyes fixed on you? It is You that I look to for strength to live in accordance with your will for my life. Help me to live a life full of joy and with a settled mind. Fill me with your fullness of peace and joy. I know You are trustworthy, reliable and faithful. I need your guidance everyday.  Help me to bear mature fruit as you increase my faith each day. Lord you are my Rock. Keep me strong as I demonstrate a wholehearted devotion to you each day. Help me to follow you. Amen

Even though our hearts yearn for Haiti, together we are declaring great things for our nation of Canada. Celebrating Canada this week, wear your red and white, wave the flag and pray for this nation and our leaders. Happy Canada Day for July 1st!




Friday, June 25, 2010

Considering my worth

As we returned home from Haiti I struggled with the ever present what is next. Jussi had returned to work, praise the Lord and so I found myself missing Haiti, Ft Jacques, containers and meeting people during distributions in the community. It is a good thing that when I am feeling sad sackish.  (not sure if that is a word) that I am able to repeat something I have used for many years...I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I found myself bumbling around and talking out loud.  Thankfully we live in the country because more often than not I am in conversations with God and I ask questions expecting an answer.   Of course one day I pray there is an audible voice booming from the heavens saying "Why do you always ask? Have I ever made the wrong choice for you?" LOL

I know without any doubt that love,  acceptance and a sense of safety are hardwired into us by the Lord. These are the very things that we seek the Lord for, and He is able to provide, but ultimately the root of all of our heart needs is to be valued. When we do not feel acceptance or self worth we question if we can really be loved, can we love in return? Can we feel safe if we do not feel accepted and loved? Does God ever question our worth? NO! You see because I need to be reminded that He sent His son to die for me, the measure of His love for me, Jesus died because He considered that I was worth dying for. How does that make me feel....like I have been kicked in the stomach. I sit home in my nice house with great friends and family and wonder if I am good enough. Stop the insaneness this is not yo yo thoughts, well maybe she is, well maybe she isn't. It is the unquestionable devotion and sacrifice that we...you and me...stand as proof that we are of infinite value to the creator of the universe. How thankful I am that we can visit Haiti, that He puts all the pieces together and we have been able to return four different times. I know that both Jussi and I and many others yearn to be back hugging babies, working at GLA and being able to share what God is doing in Haiti. Please pray for all of us, burdened but home in North America for a reason, and on God's time schedule. Some days I could jump on a plane and do something so crazy impulsive I would regret it and other days I can smile at memories, and then some days I am happy and content to be home here in Canada. No matter what kind of day I am having I know to rejoice in it and not allow the enemy to put self doubt, fear or worry in my head. I know God desires to be my emotional resource but He wants carte blanche...unlimited and no strings attached. Today my prayer is that each of you are reminded as I was that my self image needs to be rooted in Christ , because we are redeemed, beloved and holy children, and that nothing changes His opinion.

Haitian prayer...
Senye,
Nou remake ke pawol ou tankou yon tet chou.
Chak fey nou kase, nou pi pre ke a.
Tout tan nou pi pre ke a li pi dous.

Lord,
We find your word like a cabbage.
As we pull down the leaves we get closer to the heart.
And as we get closer to the heart, it is sweeter.

Draw into the word...C

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Keep Haiti in Your Prayers


Happy Fathers Day.
It has been a busy week with three days of travel from Haiti to home and then one day doing errands and unpacking and then three days in Vancouver. We feel like maybe the world will stop moving today or at least that is our prayer. The weather is sunny and Jussi and the dog are having a nap. I am so thankful to have such a nice chair to curl up in and watch the birds outside the window.
We cannot imagine how we are going to ever fit back into life in North America but God does and we have done it before. It seems like either we have forgotten what it felt like or we just get deeper into our passion for Haiti. Haiti for us started out very slow but once we stepped foot on Haitian soil the love we felt for the people we met was instantaneous. Why would God bring us all the way across the nation, across the water to show us His plan for us? Because that is what He does, He takes ordinary people and blesses them with relationships that grow them, stretch them and will last a lifetime.
We can not imagine our life without so many people we have met on the mission field. Where else could friendship prosper in such intensity? Visitors would come to the mission and ask us why they felt a strong connection to us so soon after meeting. We could never exactly clinically describe it but we knew that God brought people together and everyone that we have met have played a part in HIS perfect plan for us. We are so thankful to all those in our home church, our Pastors, our families, our friends, but we are also thankful for all of you that we have met along the way. We pray that God will bring us back to Haiti in the near future, we pray that we can keep in touch and that between all of us we can continue to share the needs of Haiti and talk about the resilience of the people. Lord burden me for the needs of Haiti, give me clarity to share with those that You want to hear, and give me the patience to wait for Your will for our lives. I pray for each of you that God will use you and provide a peace that covers more than Haiti but that our link to each other is our love for the Haitian people. Allow God to speak through you today and share your experiences of Haiti with someone new. I imagine a peace that each one of us will know we are in His perfect place.


We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.

- William E. Gladstone

Good idea for starting conversations with new people...T shirts with rebuilding Haiti on them in Jacob stores in Canada. On line check out Cafe Press..they have lots of items that can be worn as conversation starters, or go to GLA in Haiti buy yourself a shirt to wear to the next work function....people are needing to hear and we are all the voices that need to share...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Our last few days...

This is a pic of the refugees that fled from the city after the earthquake and live in tiny shelters on a hill outside of Port Au Prince.
We have known for many years that God had called us to missions. He had instilled a passion, a burden so deep that we could not ignore it for the people of Haiti. For years we said why Haiti, and had a million excuses why we could not go. Looking back we are so thankful that we have a patient God. For what He had for us in Haiti was so much more than we could have ever dreamed or imagined. I was remembering an old blog post of mine so I hope you don't mind that I am reposting one from last summer/


Today I had Judges 6 v 14 written down on a sticky note. I was not sure what it was a reference to, so I thought before throwing it away I should Google the verse.

(thanks to http://www.word-on-the-web.co.uk/studies/week287.htm)


Judges 6 v 14-16 The LORD turned to Gideon and said, “Go with your strength and save Israel from the Midianites. I am the one who is sending you.” But Gideon answered, “Lord, how can I save Israel? My family group is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family.” The LORD answered him, “I will be with you... Gideon’s response to his mighty commission tells us a lot about the man, but also probably tells us a lot about ourselves as well. How would you respond to God, if he appeared to you and gave you the task he gave Gideon? Would your response be, “I’ll get right on with it; you chose wisely in me Lord, I’m the prefect candidate”? Or are you more likely to react like Gideon, who said, “You don’t mean me do you? Don’t you know my background? Aren’t you aware of my circumstances? Can’t you see how weak and pathetic I am?” Gideon’s perspective was distorted; he only saw himself through his own eyes. Eyes that only had one view of the world, a world where God’s people were defeated and dejected and feeling deserted, resorting to hiding in caves. It is like Gideon saw his world through a pair of glasses that were blurred, tinted and scratched by his experiences of life. Wouldn’t it be great if, when you became a Christian, God gave you a new set of lenses to wear that would let you see everything the way God sees it? Life would take on new meaning and everything would be much clearer! However faith isn’t that simple. The truth behind this story is that we put much less value on our lives than God does. We have a limited view of who we are or what we can achieve for him. Gideon thought he was useless and inadequate; God thought he was a mighty warrior. Who was right in the end? The Lord of course!

Gideon wasn’t the only one who felt inadequate. Jussi reminded me yesterday of how God spoke to Moses, and told him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt . But, Moses said to God, “Why me? Send someone else. Then there was Jeremiah, when God told him that He had appointed him as a prophet to the nations, who said to the Lord, “I am only a child.” We, Jussi and I have made excuses and have not fully believed that He can use us in the same mighty and powerful way that He used Gideon, Moses and Jeremiah.


Allowing Jesus to be the center of our self esteem...WOW. He sees much more in us than we see ourselves. God has said to every believer; I have called you, I have anointed you, I have set My seal of approval on you, and sent you in My name.


Imagine what that looks like for your children, it gets you all excited to realize you can raise world changers, but God reminds us…we are His children and He has chosen us. We can be world changers. One smile, one hello, anywhere in the world, including your neighbourhood, the mission field is right outside the walls of your home. How cool is that?

Jussi and I are so thankful for our time in Haiti again, this time with a renewed sense of the call and faithfulness in His provision and guidance. We will never leave Haiti in our hearts, but for now we are going home. It will a time to see family, friends and seek council and guidance for our future.

Thanks for all your prayers, love and support.







We went to a museum and were reminded of the hurt of slavery from centuries ago, and then the freedom and independence with the blowing of the conch, then babies, the future of Haiti and the blessings they are.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Work at the new site of GLA


This week at Ft. Jacques has been wet, wet, wet. I tried not to think the group from Alberta brought the rain but it rained everyday of their two-week trip. Rain did not dampen their spirits as they set to work doing just about everything, from swinging sledge hammers to break rock, building a pen for two orphaned baby goats, building a few rock walls, painting, caulking, carrying tubs into the warehouse and getting wet daily in the back of the truck. They left without getting to finish the rock wall beside the warehouse and so this week, TJ and Brady are perfecting the new skill of masonry. They are doing a fabulous job finishing the steps and the last of the painting. It is such a blessing when teams come in with willing hearts and hands. The last few weeks we have finished all the distribution, installed kitchen cabinets, tiled the counter tops, the back splashes and nook. The trim had a final coat around the doors and cupboards, the floors were washed as rooms emptied and prepared for the arrival of the next containers. Jussi finished all the shelving and I loaded each one as fast as he made them. Each of the bins we have entered into inventory and labeled for GLA. The system on the computer will ensure monthly accountability of inventory, allow items to be tracked so that we can update our wish list and let us know those items that we can share with other missions and use for distribution. It has been a busy week in the rain and many times we hear a clap of thunder and know to run for cover. It is great to see the rooms empty and know that over 1500 pieces were unloaded, reloaded, unloaded and reloaded again, put into every available space and then sorted for GLA or distribution. Praise the Lord for all those who pack the containers and a huge thanks to all those that have contributed; nothing is left unused. Our prayer request now is for the containers to clear that are here in Haiti. Please join us in praying the waiting containers out of customs.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Rocks Cry Out



I am humbled in Haiti daily by the evidence and the knowledge of Christ that I witness and I hear. So many are thankful for being saved from the earthquake, for having food, being blessed with items we have given out in distribution and for knowing God. I woke up this morning wondering how God feels when so many are hungry, so many are needy. I realized here in Haiti the people sing praises, they shout thanks in the Name of Jesus, they offer repeated praises to God, and they praise Him for all things, because I hear it. I visualize the hurt in Haiti to be so big even the rocks cry out and it reminded me of the passage in 1 Peter.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:4-10 and then in Luke 19:40 So don't remain silent! Don't let the rocks cry out !

My mind was going a million miles a minute, what was God showing me in the rocks? I scrambled in my pjs with my morning coffee and I was excited to find so many references to rock in the bible and my favorite He is our rock our strong tower, it was six blog stories not just one.


Peter depicted the church as a building, and each believer as a living stone in that

construction. The foundation or cornerstone was Jesus Christ. This week at Ft Jacques the guys are building the road with pavers. They started in one place and are building upon the maze of stones to create a road. So I imagined the vision of Jesus as the cornerstone and where I was in the construction and I was overwhelmed at the vision. I was in a myriad of stones of peoples of every country of the world. I was placed in my heart beside a Haitian women, a women whose life was a testimony to God's grace and mercy and love. I knew that God have given me a passion and a burden for Haiti, He brought me here again, gives me strength and He sustains my every need, but what did I give him. Did I praise him enough, was I the weakest link in the mass of stones. I wanted to be a strong rock.

In the myriad of stones I sat beside the women. I saw as she praised him, as she prayed out loud, and lived a life filled with Him. I saw in her eyes a strength that cannot be measured. I had the priviledge of meeting that women this week, a women whose face spoke volumes of a life more difficult than most. A heart so tender that as she thanked me for helping the children she teared up and so did I. Her legs were wrapped in bandages, she was frail but her heart shone a light so powerful I had been compelled to walkover to her house to say hello. We had dropped off the last of a few boxes of blankets, winter coats and childrens clothes in the mountains of Kenscoff, A community high up above Port Au Prince, with windy roads, beautiful terraced gardens, and a breathtaking view of the valleys below. I know that God had orchrasted this visit, for I was not supposed to go along but had been invited to go last minute to take pictures. Her eyes and smile will be forever etched in my heart and when I grow weary or disenchanted, I will remember her, I saw the eyes of Jesus and they were encouraging me on a mountain in Kenscoff in the pouring rain to continue to praise Him, and not grow weary. It can be so difficult to stay in good spirits some days but my day did not end there. We visited with the children, they sang and I danced and they sang some more, we twirled in the rain, and everyone learned to give me five. it was a picture or reflection of our connection, our family in Christ. God brings me from across the miles to be the bearer of blessings that were sent from other corners of North America, I had that few moments in the rain, thanking God and the sound of children singing praises. I had been given a gift to be the hands once again. The rocks in Haiti do not cry out for the pain they see, I do. The rocks cry out in the neighborhoods where many are weary and weak of the daily struggles, but they cannot praise him because they do not know Him. Haiti is a country that is eager to hear the word, a country that is hungry for the word, a people willing to listen and learn more. Please pray for those people who are lights in community to continue to shine for Him, for the churches to increase ten fold and for those that desire to hear will come to a place where they can.

As His living stones His praise is to be continually in our mouths, blessing His name at all times (Psalm 34:1). We are to offer up a sacrifice of unceasing praise, giving

thanks to His Holy name (Hebrews 13:15). I need to praise more, I need to shout to the rooftops His unfathomable love and be thankful for all things. Today as I start another day in Haiti I will remember in all things give thanks. As we wind down our time here and struggle already with the goodbyes to come I am reminded not to dwell on that but to sing praises to Him.