Starting with family devotions in 1 Peter this morning, the first paragraph was full of blessing. To paraphrase:
'To God's hand-picked strangers of the world, scattered just the way He planned and obedient to Jesus: Grace and Peace are yours for the taking, as much as you can handle!'
Right after that there was a knock at our gate, and Pastor Pompee arrived. My boy stood to answer, moving slow as molasses, not yet awake for the day.
"Hurry Boy! God's ELECT is standing at the door!" I yelled. It was enough to put a bounce in his step. :)
It breathes hope to me now, even today, to read this Scripture, but imagine how it felt to be those scattered, anxious, persecuted, sojourning "Little Christs", living in hostile lands, never knowing when they might be hunting you down. Then one night by the candlelight, when you gather together against all odds in the name of the Lord, someone stands and whispers, "We have a new letter here from our brother Peter..." Fresh words inspired by the Holy Spirit rain down and seep into the cracks of your parched soul, giving you exactly what your spirit needs to persevere and keep hope alive. Armed with His conquering, you strive out once more into the world to share Jesus, a love and a peace that passes all understanding. You serve it up to those who come after you, and those who come after them. Over 2000 years later, there is still Hope enough for me to read, to pass on to my own children, and a little Haitian girl...
How important it is to take the time to encourage one another each day. It should be marked on our calendars over and above every other to-do today.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
This woman looks upset at me, but she's really just tired. These ladies carry their goods around all day trying to sell, usually with loads that can vary from 50-100 lbs, depending on the fruit or vegetable. I've often wondered how Paul and some of the early missionaries found it convenient to share the Gospel in the markets. There is so much noise and activity and busy-ness going on. Vendors yell out their prices and feisty customers haggle and stomp about as if they're being robbed at gunpoint if the price isn't just right. I don't usually go with Kari into the throws of these markets. I'm normally waiting for her on the street or running a more 'manly' errand like buying nails or propane. When I do decide to tag along, all the momma's see this sucker coming and they give me their sweet momma smiles. They tell me their woes and I'd buy just about anything. Kari is much more savvy. She doesn't fall for it and can negotiate with the best of them. I cave in and decide we must certainly need some extra black beans and onions...She says it's very difficult to market with me. :)
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I have also have the freedom to teach my 13 year old how to drive.
I can plant a tree anywhere, dig a ditch anywhere, so long as my neighbor is good with it. I can baptize down in the local river. I can take a shower, outside. I can stake my daughter's horse, and two goats, anywhere.
There is a monument to Jesus Christ, dying on a HUGE cross, at the largest intersection of the biggest city in the south. EVERYONE who enters this city must drive around Jesus.
This is Haiti.
Yet, in America, we shut down War Memorials for veterans, National Parks and a school in Ohio must pay a $95,000 fine for a picture of Jesus on the wall....
Are you kidding me, America? Could we not find a better way to spend that money, as our entire government acts like toddlers? Where is our freedom?
At what point do we stand up and say NO?
When do Americans start acting like Americans again?
This is a lullaby. There is no time to sleep.
I see old, great-grandpas, war veterans, and truckers willing to jam up DC in standing up for their country. But where are the rest of you?
They didn't build our country and shed their blood so we could just give it all away.
Jesus went up on a cross and shed His blood so I could have the Ultimate Freedom. I will not give that away. They CAN'T take that away.
But they can take your America, America.
My grandfathers and great grandfathers and their fathers fought for this country. My dad fought for this country.
For me personally, I would like someone to run for President who is prepared to take us back, and I mean all the way back, to the grassroots of our great country. I would like ideas, values, and morals restored, please, to what our Founding Fathers or Abe Lincoln stood for. Just go back to those building blocks and we'd be so much better for the wear. I would like National Prayer, National Fasting, and a call to repent and turn to Jesus, and I'd like a leader who has the guts to stand up and lead by example. I vote we repeal all the silly laws that say I can't hang up a picture of Jesus. I vote we be finished with hiring senators and lawmakers and Presidents who only want to squabble on camera, and judges who only know righteousness based on a bankroll.
I'd like to vote for someone willing to stand up completely, in humility, for Jesus, and someone who will lead our country down the narrow road.
Friday, October 4, 2013
We just watched our neighbor hack down a very tall and beautiful Mango tree. It must've been atleast a hundred years old. We used to watch the kids, young and old, gather there every day to practice their aim and knock some fruit out of that tree, and it bore fruit for hundreds of hungry stomachs.
When I asked the man why they took down the tree, his answer was simple and matter-of-fact.
"For charcoal. They needed the money and the fuel."
It broke my heart.
But they don't have a choice.
We have some friends who are trying to bring import ethanol into the country, along with some more friends who've made ethanol-powered cooking stoves. Hopefully the visionaries can see through the red-tape and this dream will become a reality sooner than later, before there's nothing left to burn.
The trees go down, the topsoil blows away, the crops suffer, the people breathe in the smoke and the entire process is a state of accelerated atrophy.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
She turns 15 years-old today, and she's not very thrilled with me. She thought because she's having 'girl problems' and it's her birthday, she should be allowed to skip school. I explained to her that unless she's throwing up or bedridden from a high fever, she's going to be sitting in the school room and learning.
I sang Happy Birthday to her first thing this morning, but she didn't know how to take that. She was nervous and bashful and turned her back to me.
I told her she needed to go to the city with me today, and sit in a busy bank and an Immigration office. She thought at first she wouldn't like to go, and couldn't understand why I'd make her do that, but now she seems 'in the mood'. She keeps asking me when we're leaving. She does, after all, get to ride on the motorcycle, and I don't know a kid in this country that doesn't appreciate that.
A woman from the old village is also baking her a special cake today. This is not a common practice here at all. We hope it will arrive while we're in the city. Yesterday I bought pink streamers and used balloons, and little gifts, like her favorite, Haitian roasted peanuts. The kids have been secretly crafting special cards for her. Kari hopes to have everything set up and ready for when we return from our 'miserable trip in the city'. :)
In 15 years, Oberline Limite can't remember ever having a cake or a party in celebration of her birthday. Today will be the first.