Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Mother's Hope


I have been reminded lately of the fragility of life, of a mother's love, and of the hope we have in Him.  I have been brought to my knees for a woman I never met, cried tears of anguish for her broken heart and sat motionless resting in Him with thanks for all I have.
Today is my birthday and so I was thinking of all the things I am thankful for. Each day we lift up our children in prayer, we pray for their safety as they go out to work and on the roads, and their families and we pray for children around the world. During prayer this morning, I thought about the mothers of children like Lovely and Erikson. Two treasures in heaven, that only had a short time on earth, and their mother's pain as they buried their sweet infant child. We often question God's healing when He calls the littlest of them home. We question if there was anything more that could have been done. I understood the need to pray for the mothers of these wee babes, because above all else I don't know what else to do.
I have been blessed to be part of the incredible staff at GLA, God's Littlest Angels in Haiti. www.glahaiti.org The missionary staff, the national staff, all going above and beyond to care for critical babies in the south of Haiti. What a gift that they give to these mothers when they arrive pleading for help. With humble hearts, and quick medical intervention these tiny babies are cared for medically, the mothers are prayed with and hearts all over the world are interceding on behalf of the fragile lives. Recently God showed me a side of this process that I had not understood as  one of the intercessors. I seldom prayed for the mothers. As a mother I should have seen it. As a mother that went into labour at 25 weeks and spent two months praying for the life I was carrying, I should of understood what it meant to these women in Haiti that delivered babies early. Kelsey was born at 34 weeks and we were so thankful of the extra time she had to develop, but this  doesn't happen in Haiti, the majority of women in Haiti deliver their precious babies early. Praise the Lord they have somewhere to go with the facilities and medical knowledge to give their babies a fighting chance. "But" here is the but, they not only bring their babes to a medical environment they bring their babies to a loving environment. Each fragile little person has a mother, waiting, scared and wondering. A mother that would do anything to have her baby healthy, thriving. A mother that needed to come to GLA because there someone cared.  They fed her, allowed her to stay and bond with her baby, and to be prayed for. In Lovely and Erikson's stories the ending is not happily ever after with mom here on earth but happily ever after with a loving Daddy in heaven, free from struggling for breath, free from pokes and machines. Now as you read it, you imagine my heart break for the mother's that walk away knowing they did everything they could, and still God called their baby home, for the staff that shares a word, a prayer. A mother that against all odds made her way to GLA, and a mother that with tears and a broken heart knows the dignity and compassion that was showered upon her as she walked away. Erikson's mom had lost three other babies, this was her fourth, because she was born in Haiti and I was born in Canada? Another blog but why I was born here and not there...could I trade places and carry her burden for a  day, for a instant. I ache her for loss, I will not forget the mothers.  I will continue to pray for those at GLA that each day face difficult decisions, impossible odds and continue some days with weary hearts to walk out God's plan and purpose  I will hug Kelsey for these moms today, and try not to tear up, for His mercy has shown me something new.   In Romans 15 v 13, we are told about a God of hope, today I pray for the mothers all over the world that have lost their babies. I pray this verse over you.

Romans 15:13 (New International Version, 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ròm 15:13 (Haitian Creole Version) 13¶ Mwen mande Bondye ki bay espwa a pou l' fè kè nou kontan nèt, pou l' fè kè nou poze ak konfyans nou gen nan li a. Se konsa espwa nou va toujou ap grandi ak pouvwa Sentespri a.

Romans 15:13 (Maori Bible)13 Na, ma te Atua, nana nei te tumanako, e whakaki koutou ki te hari katoa, ki te rangimarie, i runga i te whakapono, kia hua ai to koutou tumanako, i runga i te kaha o te Wairua Tapu.
Bréf Páls til Rómverja 15:13 (Icelandic Bible)13Guð vonarinnar fylli yður öllum fögnuði og friði í trúnni, svo að þér séuð auðugir að voninni í krafti heilags anda.
Warumi 15:13 (Swahili New Testament)13Mungu wa tumaini awajaze ninyi furaha na amani katika kumwamini, ili kwa nguvu ya Roho Mtakatifu, mpate kuwa na tumaini tele.
15:13 (Chinese Union Version (Traditional))13 使 滿 使
Римляни 15:13 (Ukrainian Bible)13 Бог же надії нехай вас наповнить усякою радістю й миром у вірі, щоб ви збагатились надією, силою Духа Святого!
Romanos 15:13 (João Ferreira de Almeida Atualizada)13Ora, o Deus de esperança vos encha de todo o gozo e paz na vossa fé, para que abundeis na esperança pelo poder do Espírito Santo.
15:13 (Arabic Life Application Bible)
 13 فَلْيَمْلَأْكُمْ إِلهُ الرَّجَاءِ كُلَّ فَرَحٍ وَسَلاَمٍ فِي إِيمَانِكُمْ حَتَّى تَزْدَادُوا رَجَاءً بِقُوَّةِ الرُّوحِ القُدُ

Monday, March 21, 2011

We Are United Under One Heaven

Stories beach...my childhood playground
wishing life was simpler...
My head is full of random thoughts. In fact I was feeling so powerless I was going to post a funny video to make light of how I was feeling, but then realized I need to praise Him in the valleys, not just on the mountain tops. The news of what is happening in Japan, the ante being upped in Libya today by the US, then Haitian elections I feel so powerless. Thankful at least the elections are over and seemingly democratic. I am also thankful for a God that knows all and knows the inner most corruption in countries all over the world, and that He appoints leaders.

The wave, the earthquake, the leader that brought the people to the ground, in the bible there are similar accounts of roaring seas, leaders that had no conscience when it came to their people, and the shaking and trembling of the land. We need to continue to understand the power of prayer..If my people who are called by my name...2nd Chronicles 7 v 14.

Please continue to pray for nations around the world that daily fight and struggle for the necessities of life, like water, food, clothing and shelter.
Allow yourself this week time to think of all that we have, and thank Him for each and every blessing. Praise Him for allowing each of us to be hearts that are connected to others, to be intercessors.

Recently in our news, we had a 4.4 earthquake http://www.globaltvbc.com/world/Small+earthquake+rattles+Vancouver+Island/4473872/story.html

and as testing is done in the air to protect our coasts from radiation fall out from the Japans crisis, close monitoring and intentional watching our shorelines; it seems it could take years to discover exactly what the effects will be. We too need to live each day not fretting about the what ifs, but looking for opportunities to do.

I know when I feel powerless to understand the complexities of situations, (some days I have to look at maps, just so I am not so ignorant as to the whereabouts of these world events) I need to listen to my well informed husband and ask questions why, for how long, when did this start, what does it mean for the people. I think it may be high time for me to start being more informed, although the sadness of world news, usually changes my mind. I desire to learn more, so that I can pray more effectively. We are all under one heaven, one sky, one moon. Thanks to a friend for her beautiful shot of "our moon" bold, beautiful and not to be seen like this again for decades.
Photo by M Harris Courtenay BC
Dear Lord, I pray for your children, united under one heaven with me, not even a small speck on this planet, gazing out at a moon, and asking for you to burden me with the needs near and far. Amen
Nehemiah 9 v 6
You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Least Among You

Well interestingly enough I think we over use this phrase. Scripturally I understand that Jesus tells us as we remember the least of these, feed them, give them a drink, He makes the parallel that we are to see Him. Would we walk past Jesus sitting on the side of the road asking for spare change? Would we take care of children in our prayers but never commit to a life overseas being His hands and feet?
I have studied every book I can on faith, on missions, on hope, and on expectancy. Each author takes a stab at a different part of the process and I love to learn, but my desire is to do? We started our day with a link to a video we were sent, that had us in tears. Someone else was telling the world exactly what we were thinking. That was cool. (see below)
Tonight we watched the movie "The Least Among You" starring one of my favourite male actors, Lou Gossett Jr. and once again I was a not disappointed. His role of mentor to the young Richard Kelly (Rev. Charles Marks) was brilliant. The film based on the true story of Marks post the Watts riots of 1965 and the first African American student at an all white seminary. Small review: The Least Among You isn’t the standard “oppressed person makes good” story. It addresses prejudice on many different levels, demonstrating how stereotyping and prejudice negatively affect humans from many different arenas including race, religion, economic status, and geographic location.


 Gossett Jr. says "I just want my life to count for something, I just want one person to be inspired like footprints in the garden. At which point the young man says "to me you are the garden." It was a wee bit of tear jerker, as we all know people God has put in our lives to spur us on. I have gardeners in my circle of friends and family too numerous to mention.

The final challenge like a gauntlet thrown down in front of his all white classmates...to honour change and accept integration of all students regardless of race.

"Act on your faith not on your fear, what we believe over what we know"

I am all filled up, content and blissfully aware of His presence in my times of fear, His presence in my times of uncertainty, His commitment to never leave me.
Does it get any better than this? I think not!
As I promised from above...Depraved Indifference...the same message twice in one day..thanks God!
Watch this link but grab the Kleenex first, Blessings on you and your families, C

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In Jesus's Name...

I am so thankful for blind faith mixed with obedience.  Jesus taught all of us to not only take His word to the ends of the earth, but to cast out demons and heal the sick. God's word in the heart of a friend and disciple  Belony, the first time I met Belony, his smile lit up my classroom as he worked with me the first month of my English class.  From that time he was a young man of integrity, and so on fire for the Lord it was infectious. Last year we had the opportunity to sit in the new kitchen of the seminary and hear all about what had been happening in his ministry post earthquake. I was so thankful for this young man, and all that he believed he could do for his people. I prayed silently that God would give me the same passion for reaching the people of Haiti. This blog is a repost from friends we served with in Haiti. It is lengthy because I have posted Stacey's post in its entirety. She is a gifted writer that allows me to feel like I too was there. Recently at church we have been talking about signs and wonders, healing the sick, raising the dead. It can happen...are you ready to boldly pray for what looks to be an impossible situation? 

You gotta read this. 

Morning, family!  Didn't plan on blogging today but just heard great news I'm anxious to share.  Yesterday afternoon, Lily and I were across the street, playing/talking with a household of women and small children.

While we were there, Belony, Junior and Lynton approached, and I knew they were heading for Konpech.  It was late in the day, but they wanted to share the next Bible story and show the Jesus film as it was getting dark if Konpech was interested.  However, when they arrived, the community was in a bit of an uproar.

A woman in the community was terribly sick, and had been for several weeks. No one was very interested in the guys because everyone was concerned about this woman who was quite seemingly breathing her last.

For over a month now she had been unable to get up, had been unable to urinate for 3 or 4 days now, and was quite lethargic.

Belony (dear Belo...please keep lifting up this apostle) immediately asked if he could pray for the woman, and the men of the village quickly and harshly told him "NO."

However, in just a few moments, someone from the woman's household came to them and asked if they would please come and pray.

The guys headed into the house, where everyone was very divided.  Half the household yelled that they couldn't pray for her, the other half, that it was her only hope.

"Stop," said Belony.  "Let me tell you a story first.  I want to tell you about a guy
 named Pehpay."

But immediately, Belo was interrupted.  "We already know about Pehpay!" the people said.

"GOOD," said Belo.  "Then you know that he should have already been dead a long time now, but that instead he and I were hanging out at the Seminary earlier this afternoon, because of God's great power in his life."

"Yes," everyone said.  "We heard that some man of God came to him and that God healed him and that he is alive and well today."

Just then, the master of the house silenced everyone and asked the guys to please pray for her, as that it seemed to be the last hope.

Belony said everyone stood to the side with their arms crossed, just staring, while Belony, Lynton and Junior prayed for the woman.  After a few moments, Belony said he felt very moved to grab the woman's arm.

"Because of Jesus, Get UP" he commanded her.
And she did.


Once again, I find myself with complete lack of language to describe something so miraculous.

She did.  She got up, and immediately ran from the house, saying, "I've got to pee!"  (you're allowed to smile...I know He is :)

When she was finished, everyone crowded around her to help her stand, and Belony said, "Back off!  Let her stand."

And she did.  She was completely with them now, standing strong, and immediately, Belo said, raised her arms to praise Jesus.  By now, the entire village had come out, and the crowd parted as the head of Konpech, the lead witchdoctor, came to see for himself.

He stared at the woman and her household, arms raised in praise of a God they have barely been introduced to.

Finally, he spoke begrudgingly and shuffled back out of the circle : "When I offer the sacrifice for our demons, now, I will no longer offer them for your house."

Everyone was deathly silent.

"
Don't" said the healed woman.

With a community completely amazed, baffled and astounded behind them, the guys headed home.

"I didn't ask anyone to become a Christian," Belony said.  "They were just reeling.  They needed some time for it to soak in."

But suddenly he broke out this morning in his signature God-grin.  "But I will today!"

After lunch today the student body will make the hike together and do what the Body of Christ is supposed to do....join together and life-on-life Konpech, preaching and sharing and praying the whole gospel according to their gifting.

Sound a little crazy?  Jesus is.  Spend five minutes in any part of your Bible and tell me that this can't be. SO excited that Christ's power through Belony got a little crazy in our dirt corner of the world yesterday.

Go share this blog with someone, and I'll keep you posted after this afternoon. Stacey



Stacey's blog is on my favourites, just click on the link to stay updated on all that God is doing in Haiti with the students of Emmaus Biblical Seminary. 
You can also read more of the exciting way God is using Belony at:
http://ebshaiti.blogspot.com/2011/02/missions-trip-of-month-and-hope-belony.html

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

As God Speaks

Do you ever wonder if God is speaking to you, do you wonder if the thoughts that go through your head are from Him or if it is wishful thinking or not for you? I know sometimes I struggle with the "Is it you God its me Colleen". I know that is different when I am in prayer, begging God to take me back to the mission field, that if I heard a remote 'yes" I would be convinced and pack and go LOL.
But ultimately how do we differentiate between God speaking to us and what I usually refer to as my conscious or the little person my shoulder. I know I talk to Him through prayer. Prayer being the easiest way that I can think of to commune with God, to run things past Him, to talk honestly and openly. I am not an eloquent prayer person, once at the table I said goodbye, instead of amen. I think I was simply talking to God. Back to my first question though, how do I know when he answers or speak to me?

On Thursday night I was at a prayer meeting at church and instead of praying in song and walking and pacing and interceding as I normally do, I found myself in a quiet corner with my journal. When I opened my journal and bible I expected God would show me where He wanted me to read and pray.

I started writing because I had thoughts running though my head and I wondered at first if it was a verse I was remembering, if I was supposed to concentrate on a specific topic but I chose to write down as I understood the thoughts that filled my head. After twenty minutes of writing like crazy trying to keep up  and put them on paper. This is what I had wrote down. (without capitals when necessary and any punctuation) Exactly as I heard it.

As God speaks...
Favor is for you and thine alone
I will give you peace strength and hope
As you wander through your days, look to me
Open your eyes and see
No longer must you worry and fret
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
The heavens will cry out at the sound of my name, but my desire is to hear you sing and praise
Laughing and calling our the joy that you have in your hearts
When times are still and you hear my sweet whisper
That is the testimony of my  love for you
No one will ever love you life I do
As you humble yourself in prayer I hear your cries
Your spirit is burdened for heaviness in your heart
But as you commit to a life of faith
The rocks will cry out with sounds of triumph and rejoicing
The burdens that consume you will stay but I will never leave you
As we walk through life's journeys together
I see in you, the glow of mine eyes
The way you see out the lost broken and hurting
Know the tears you cry are healing another's soul
As grace rains down and mercy flows like a waterfall
I commit to bathe you in my protection
For the witness I have called you to be
Salvation lies in you.

 God spoke to me while I was not expecting it, but open to receiving it. I am so blessed to be loved by my Abba Father. I am so thankful that He speaks to me and that I can speak to Him.
If you have anything troubling you, talk to Him, there is a reason we call him Wonderful Counsellor, no couch or notepad but peace that surpasses all understanding.
I feel God wanted me to share this word, so I am not sure who or when it will encourage someone but know as I do that we stand  in the shadow if a God that is unchanging!