Friday, July 29, 2011

The Next Step

I love walking with God.  It's an adventure.  It's a journey.  He's the Author and the Finisher. He prepares the good works.  We just walk in them.  It's comforting to me, and exciting.  I don't need to have the long term plan for Haiti all figured out right now.  I'm just in for the ride.  He's going to lead the way.  I just need to follow.

When God called me initially He said, "I've called you to work with orphans."  So I thought I was going to start an orphanage.  My first step was to go to Haiti for 6 months, live at an orphanage, learn the language, get immersed in the culture, and let God further develop and clarify His plan.

A mere 2 weeks into my time there, He gave me a vision one night.  I wrote about it here.  It was big, and it changed things.  It involved much more than an orphanage, but a youth center for all of the children of Jeremie.  I started praying and looking for a large piece of property. 

God spoke to me one day randomly as I was studying Creole:  "These people have heard the Gospel; now they need to SEE it."  

Marco, transformed by the love of God.

Another night in my room praying, He said, "Start with teaching English," which I knew was the Lord, since I'd been rather resistant towards this idea previously.  

I slowly felt Him putting the orphanage on hold for now, and changing my heart as to what it will look like, giving me more of a heart to raise and disciple kids in a smaller family setting.  I knew He would give the kids in His timing, I didn't need to rush into trying to make it happen.

Another morning, studying Acts, I felt Him putting on my heart that the vision He had given me of the property and youth center was for long term, down the road.  It was not yet time to be behind 4 walls, with people coming to us.  Right now He wanted us to go to them.  To be salt and light all around the community.  To show them the Gospel lived out.  I saw the other thing specifically He wanted us to start with.  To go to poor parts of town and orphanages and teach kids Bible stories, using the tool of a flannel board.
Maria teaching at the Point, during the April trip to Jeremie with Impact.

I was encouraged after this, as I spoke on the phone one day with our missions director from Impact.  Teaching English, and teaching Bible stories to kids were the exact same 2 things God was putting on the leadership's heart to start with in Haiti.  Flannel boards had even been donated.  This indeed seemed to be the Holy Spirit.  This was where God wanted us to start.    

A team of 12 from Impact 195 has formed, including myself, to head back to Haiti on September 8th for 6 more months.  We will be focusing on teaching the Bible to street kids and orphans, teaching English, digging water wells to provide clean drinking water for the people, mentoring the youth from the local churches, and continuing to seek the heart of God for His long term vision for Jeremie.

As it seems now, I'll be one of the long-termers, and other groups from Impact will continue to come through for 6 months at a time to be trained as missionaries, and go out from there to where God is calling them.

I'm beyond blessed to be a part of God's heart for this city and nation.  I love following Him. We'll see how He continues to unfold things as we go.  It's already not what I expected.  And I love that.  One step at a time.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Little Things

It's taken me some time.  To process.  To readjust- (I went through a solid month of pretty hard culture shock).  To even know where to begin writing again because my heart has just felt so full.

I still don't know where to start, how to sum up that most glorious 6 months.  So instead of trying, I will just share some moments.  The little ones, that might not have made it onto my blog as a big story, yet were a big part of my experience.  Because life is often more about the small things anyways.  The big things are more few and far between.  It's the day to day little things that make up our lives.

~Marco always smiling.
~Hand holding on the street.
~Dancing on the beach.  Dancing in my bedroom.  Dancing in the hallway.
~Rough around the edges street boys letting me kiss and nuzzle them.
~Goat heads in the freezer.  Cockroaches in the bedroom.
~Reading missionary books.  A great cloud of witnesses.
~The Spirit touching my spirit deep.
~Dust on my feet.
~Watching kids literally be transformed by love.
~Guitar in the hallways.
~My heart singing.
~Candlelight evenings in the bedroom when the electricity was out.
~Stargazing praying on the roof.
~Rocking chair nights.
~Children's Bible stories, crowded in close.
~Conversations on the streets.
~Coke in a bottle.
~Chairs pulled out for house visits.
~Intimacy with God like never before.

I remember these things with a smile that reaches deep down inside of me.  My life is changed. And although it has been a sweet time to be home for the summer, my heart longs to return to Jeremie.  7 more weeks...  :)

Psalm 66:16
Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul.