Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In Haiti, nature (daylight and livestock noises) dictates when you go to bed at night and when you wake up in the morning. So Wednesday morning, I woke up near dawn. This was the view in our room, outside the window, in the CSI missionary house we stayed in.
On that particular morning, as I looked out on that breath taking view, I read Matthew 25 in my quiet time. Here are just some of the verses started off my day with…
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Wednesday turned out to be one of the hottest day’s temperature wise of the entire week, reaching over 100degrees. So when I saw the last patient of the day through the triage area of the medical clinic where Ashlyn and I was working, I was relieved to find a spot in the shade to sit and catch some reprieve the scorching Haiti heat. As soon as I made my way to spot in the shade outside the mobile medical clinic, I noticed a friend waving me over. This friend was a little boy who had lingered around the clinic site all week… not being seen as a patient, not attending the school next door, but just hanging out all week watching what we were doing and soaking up any love and attention he could from the medical team visiting.
As he motioned me over, I knew exactly what his intentions were. He wanted to play “slaps” (a game in which one person lays their hand palms down upon the other persons hands and the object is to quickly flip your hand over and slap the other person’s hands before they can move them away)
I had played “slaps” with this little boy all week but on that particular day… I was exhausted, drenched with sweat, and just wanted a quiet moment to myself in the shade before we started loading up all medical supplies back into the truck.
But as soon as I had resolved to ignore my friend’s insistent motioning over, I was reminded of the verses in Matthew 25 I had read earlier that day. I heard the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit nudging my hardened heart and whispering “that little boy wants to play slaps with you… will you play with him? JESUS wants to play slaps with you… will you play with Him?”
Needless to say, I decided to forgo my spot in the shade for an encounter with Jesus himself and I am soooo glad I did. After playing slaps with my friend until the top of my hands were bright red and burning, my friend and I retreated to the spot in the shade together.
As he was sitting on the steps, holding my red hand, he started softly singing to me in the sweetest voice…“God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me”. Looking at my friend, wearing the same dirty clothes he had worn all week, with mismatched shoes, handicapped, missing one arm and covered in scabies… I thought to myself “he is singing in English, he probably doesn’t even know the words or what he is even saying.” But after a couple rounds in English, my heat skipped a beat when my sweet friend then started singing it Creole and I could barely hold the tears in as we sang the song together.
That “ah-ha” moment challenged me to the core. How many times have I missed the opportunity of a face to face, hands on encounter Jesus because deliberately chose to ignore someone around me? How many times do I get so caught up in uncomfortable circumstances that I lose sight of the goodness of God?
GOD IS SOOOO GOOD!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Last week, my family (minus our youngest son Jimso) had the opportunity to spend some time in Haiti exploring a possible future with a mission organization called Christian Service International (CSI). My husband and I have spent lots of time doing short term mission work in Haiti and my son, Drew, had previously accompanied us on one of our trips. But this was the maiden voyage, so to speak, for my 11 year old daughter Ashlyn.
Prior to leaving, several friends commented on our decision to go to Haiti with our kids and the week of school they would have to miss as a result of the trip. To which I can confidently say that all they saw and experienced last week was something most adults will never experience and something that no classroom could EVER teach. Teaching my kids that most of the world does NOT live like we do as Americans and the invaluable lesson of service to fellow mankind was PRICELESS!
Because serving the country of Haiti is something we are very passionate about and therefore something that gets discussed around the dinner table at our house quite often…. Ashlyn had heard all about Haiti, seen more pictures than you can imagine, and knew many of the heart breaking statistics surrounding the precious people of Haiti. Yet one of the most exciting aspects of this last week was to see Haiti through her eyes.
As a mom, words can’t describe how proud I was to see my daughter stretch herself as she came face to face with overwhelming poverty and suffering. Throughout the week, she helped a team of doctors and nurses at a mobile medical clinic. Ashlyn’s assignment included helping me work in the triage area of the clinic and her smiling face was what greeted the more than 125 patients we saw each day. Sometimes Christians limit ourselves by focusing on what we think we lack or what we feel we can not do instead of embracing what is we can do for the kingdom. She didn’t know how to take blood pressures, compile a list of chief complaints, or diagnosis patients but she did know how to extravagantly love on the people who came through the clinic, especially the children.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, I will let these pictures tell the story of how two worlds came together under the banner of Christ’s love… how a privileged Caucasian American girl and Haitian children who knew nothing of her world could come together and just simply do what kids do best… PLAY. The differences between the two worlds were drastic from an adult perspective. Here are children whose way of live included waiting all day to see a doctor in a make shift outdoor clinic and a girl who never has to wait more than a couple of hours in a comfortable waiting room to see a doctor. Children whose world and culture say that the basic necessities of life like an education, health care, and food/shelter are a privilege or luxury not a right playing with a girl who has been given every chance to thrive. Haitian children live in the reality that their place of birth determines their right to life. While my daughter has had it ingrained in her mind from birth that with a lot of hard work she can achieve whatever she wants in life. But the differences of language, culture, and quality of life issues didn’t keep them from forming a bond with each other so much so that every morning as our truck pulled up to the mobile medical site, children would come running up smiling, waving, and yelling, “Ash! Ash! Ash!”