Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Keeping the Focus

We were approached with a tremendous blessing from an entire SCHOOL that wants to help with this ministry in Haiti.
I really felt like I was supposed to let go of this, that my wife was the right Christian for the job.
This morning I woke up and saw a message she'd written to a teacher and friend in the school. It showed me her genuine interest in caring for this project, that she is God's perfect pick for the job at hand.
Now, especially with the coming Holidays, I was moved by her words and refreshed, reminded of something very important....our call.  With her permission this morning (given I check and double check for grammatical errors and mispelling) she's allowed me to post it here. These are her words, and this is our ministry:

Hello! Sorry for not responding sooner. I really wanted to pray about this and talk to Dan. I didn't know that your whole school was getting involved. That is absolutely amazing to me! I am constantly so in awe of our God and how gracious He is!! So, these are my thoughts as I was seeking God for direction with this. Honestly, my first gut reaction was, "YES! Let's do a Christmas celebration and give care packages to the community. I mean, I know we're not a "stuff" ministry, but it's just once a year, and's Christmas!! There's nothing wrong with giving gifts and simple toiletries, we're called to care for orphans and widows and the poor. This is a perfect way to show Love to the community!" Then, I talked to Dan and he cautioned me to think this through but whatever I thought was best, was fine with him. So, I prayed about this and your school and for Haiti and sought answers in the Word. And as much as my flesh wants to give gifts, I really feel my spirit saying no. I think we can bring more glory to God if we approach this from a Scriptural perspective, even though it may not be as "fun" or "attractive." I think it fits better with what God wants to be His ministry. When you have time, read these Scriptures and I think you'll understand why I think best to keep focused on the Gospel.
Colossians 1:24-29 Pauls ministry to the church - to make the word of God fully known.
Acts 3:1-6 "I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you"
Matthew 10:7-10 Jesus sends out the 12 with NOTHING
2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge you....preach the word
James 5:13-15 Is anyone suffering, let him pray...
Philippians 4:10-13 Rejoice in all things, in plenty or in want

I could go on and on with scripture supporting what ministry should look like. Nowhere do I see candy or toothbrushes, or soap, or toys, or anything! I think it is so easy, especially as moms, to want to do these extras because we simply love people. God put that in us. But I think we need to be careful that the extras don't distract from the Lord's work. I think often it does and we don't realize it. I have seen the effects of giving things away and it isn't pretty. The day after Thanksgiving, word got out in the village that we were giving out Bibles and our place was almost overran with people that had a "give me" attitude. We went from a simple one-on-one ministry to a full yard of Haitians demanding Bibles (probably just to sell them.) It was crazy and ministry was definitely hindered. I never want people to see Jesus as any kind of prosperity gospel...especially here. More than likely they won't have any chance of prosperity....ever! We want to minister to people who truly want to know God and not be enticed by care packages. Once we start that, we'll have so many that all of a sudden....want to know God. By keeping our ministry simply preaching the Word and giving Bibles, God is bringing us people who have no other motive....because we have nothing else to offer. I think this is an important lesson for kids (and adults) in America too. We should never have to "entice" anyone with entertainment or gifts to hear about Jesus. The Gospel really is powerful enough to do the enticing. That is what I am learning here. I know I'm rambling so I'm sorry, but God has really shown me something with this.

So, now that I've written you a book, I can maybe answer some of your questions. Donating online is probably best if that works. If parents want to know specific numbers, Creole Bibles cost us about $8.50. There are some children's booklets I'm planning to get, but I don't have a cost on that yet. Our focus is simply to preach the Word, disciple those who want to know God more, teach people how to use and study a bible, distribute God's Word, and love His people. We also know that we're called to help others in need, but this is as God brings people to us.

I know you might face some opposition to helping us in this simple way because we have found that people get MUCH more excited to help with physical needs than for spiritual needs. But I encourage you to use this to teach your students, and even some adults as the opportunity comes, God's heart. He desires that NO ONE should perish and that everyone should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9b). Knowing this, every bit of our time and resources should be poured into spreading the Good News of the Gospel of Christ so that All the nations will PRAISE HIM!

What you can send us is letters and pictures from the students. Even photographs of what they are doing to help raise funds would be great (which you could email). My kids love getting mail, but you could also send them to people in the community. I can share their notes, prayers or pictures to encourage the people. Also, to let them know that these are not "hand outs." The hands and feet of Christ are working to ensure that Creole bibles are getting into their hands. It's truly a beautiful thing.

Also, I can get pictures and maybe some audio/video clips for you. Let me know your thoughts with any of this.

Talk to you soon!


  1. I strongly disagree that care packages would take away from your main focus. As Christians we are called to serve others at all times. Yes your main mission is to bring the word of God to the Lost, but Christmas and Easter are special celebrations. What better way than to give them something special for their needs as a way of showing God's love for them through other Christians. I think it should be a day set apart from other days. I know everyday should be special in the eyes of the Lord. It is good that we give what we can and celebrate it in a special way. I llove you lots but I disagree with you.

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  3. Kari, I am in complete support of your decision and work! You and Dan have been given a mission and I pray you stay on target. Satan doesn't always need to stop our work, sometimes he can just keep us busy doing good things. Renee, unfortunately I strongly disagree with you. I do agree that care packages and gifts CAN be good, but having been in Haiti and seen their spiritual needs, I'd say Dan and Kari are doing great! I once had someone approach me because she felt kids around the world needed Teddy Bears. She collected donations and had boxes and boxes of Teddy Bears. She had tears in her eyes as she explained how much she believed in the fact that every child deserved a Teddy Bear. The thing is, that was HER mission, not mine. I think it is awesome if Dan and Kari gain a reputation of being the Bible people in Haiti, not the care package people. Christmas and Easter can not have any meaning to the people in Haiti if they don't know who Christ is. I'm sure that when Dan & Kari are confident that everyone knows Christ, and has access to a Bible, they will be more than happy to pass out care packages. Jesus did do many things, but he also made it clear that his main objective for being sent to earth was to "seek and save that which was lost". Renee, I don't think you are wrong for having your opinion, but I do think Dan and Kari are doing the right thing!