Monday, April 30, 2012

All for One, and One for All!

You can't run out of strength, or hope for that matter, so long as you remember where to find more....

When the bread lady comes to our door in Haiti with that big, beautiful basket of steaming hot bread, I send the boy,
"Go get me 50 gourdes." and off he runs. Moments later he returns, excited, already imagining the taste of that warm goodness in his belly as he forks over the money for the bread.

Getting the money wasn't difficult for him.

It wasn't hardly a thought, and he wasted no time fretting or worrying, wringing his hands. Why? Because my boy knows his Dad always tosses his wallet in the tupperware bowl on the counter on the right. He knows that's where I keep my money. He knows exactly where to find it.

In 1 Samuel 30, when David and his Mighty Men return home from the battle lines, they find that another enemy had ransacked their village, taken their wives, sons and daughters captive, stolen everything but the kitchen sink, and torched the rest. Burned it straight down to the ground.

David's Mighty Men, warriors all, begin wailing, crying out! Can you imagine what you'd be thinking? What are they doing to my wife!? What are they doing to my little girl?!

The terror of your own imagination, unleashed and irrational. It would be crushing, suffocating, to think your boy might be snatched from you. Maybe you didn't say your proper goodbyes. Did you tell them you loved them? Did they know God? Will you ever see them again?

The passage says that they wept until they had no strength left to weep any more. These strong brutes were defeated, empty vessels. His 600 warrior men were so torn they were talking of stoning David to death. Imagine these men, eyeing you with bitter cold in their eyes, picking up great rocks in their hands, ready to take out their futile revenge...


What's this we see? At the end of verse 6 it's there so casually written, a simple matter-of-fact..."But David found strength in the Lord his God."

What did the former Slayer of Goliath, the Fighter of Lions and Bears do?

Did he draw out Goliath's mammoth sword, strapped about his waist! Did he shout out the song he was so famous for, 'Saul's killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands' as the sword rang with a cinema-quality 'sssschhhwwiiiiinnnng'? Did he draw upon himself at all?


He went to the one place where he knew he could find more. He FOUND strength in the Lord his God!
He inquired of the Lord, if he should chase them down, and God told him to go. This beautiful characteristic of David we see! Perfect obedience! He goes!

All of them begin in hot pursuit of the marauders, and yet 200 of his men are so exhausted that they can't go on. Really?
They were tired? Maybe it was something much, much deeper, a matter of the heart.

Have you ever seen a man with no more hope?
All he wants to do is sleep, cuddle up into the fetal position, and shut out the world.
But David continued on with his 400 men and they fought, valiantly. They rescued their families and brought back everything that was taken. They were given great victory over their enemies, over an impossible circumstance.
And when they returned to those hopeless men of fatigue and some of David's men didn't want to share in the plunder, it was this young leader who made the noblest decree, a Kingly decision:

We share.

All the soldiers! Those in the front lines, and those in the fox-holes. Those in the fog-of-war, and those bringing up the food wagons in the rear..... yes, my friends.... All for One, and One for All!

So what do we do when we run out of hope and strength?
We go to the Lord for more.

What do we do when our brothers and sisters fall at our feet, parched, because they haven't drank enough of this Living Water?

We fight for them. We bring home the victory. And then...we share a piece of God.  We show them where to find more.   
The Haitians have a word that I love here.   When a Pastor heard that my friend's brother had a brain tumor and needed surgery, there was nothing sapped from him.  He didn't droop his shoulders.  He did not tuck his tail, or shuffle his feet with his hands in his pockets.  There was no Gomer Pyle 'Surprise, Surprise' with crackled voice... He simply shot his fist up into the air, with firm assurance, and this Christian boomed, as a Spartan of old, as a Marine might belt with familiar "Ooh-Rah!"  From the pit of his stomach came one word:


It means to be has a familiar, age-old ring to it..... a 'ssssccchhhhhwwwwwwwiiiiiiinnnnggg' if you may.
It means to take courage!   And now I ask you, child of the Most order for you to take it, do you remember where you can find it?  Now run along while there's still time, beggar. Go show the other beggars where they can find bread too.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Because he Loves me..."

Are you seeking wisdom?  Do you have more than 2 minutes to devote to your endeavor....How deep is the water you choose to swim in? 

“The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
when there were no springs abounding with water;
before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
before he made the earth or its fields
or any of the dust of the world.

I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

Then I was the craftsman at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.

“Now then, my sons, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not ignore it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.
But whoever fails to find me harms himself;
all who hate me love death.”  ~Proverbs

'Hold on!' you might think... 'I know, I know.  6 days, He formed the world and mankind, and on the 7th day He rested, yada-yada, but what? What came first, before this blue marble was formed and began zipping around the cosmos?'  

And it changes everything, doesn't it? Oh Yes!

Because it means that God knew, before He set about creating the Earth and every living thing, that His creation would one day kill His only son...yet He continued to breathe life into Adam's nostrils.

'What kind of wisdom is that?!'  You might say.

It's not your kind.  Mine either.  The Bible says there are two kinds of wisdom, that which is from God, and that which is from the Devil.  One is the genuine article, the other is nothing more than a cheap imitation.  One is a beautiful flower, perfectly scented and dusted with pollen, the other is that feeling you get when you reach out and touch a fake flower, and your sense of touch transmits to your brain that it's just fabric, and your eyes feel cheated, your nose is upset.  There will not be a slow, drawn inhale of beautiful aroma.... 'stupid fake flower'.

Think of it. 
There is Almighty God, and there is Satan, masquerading as an Angel of Light.  
There are the Romans, thinking they've taught the world a lesson in suffering Christ the worst death known to man, putting Him on display for the world to gawk at as they pass by,  and then there is God's account of those nails...

'And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,  by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him.' ~Colossians

Did you see the descriptions?  He cancelled the record.  He disarmed them.  He triumphed that day!   'Over what?' You ask.  

Over death!

'We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him'. ~Romans

We can think we're so smart, but when it comes to the understanding of God we are no closer than the clay pot in contemplating the passion of the potter.   How can the Romans see victory when really they'd orchestrated their own defeat.  How can the same event yield such different perspectives?

Two kinds of wisdom.  

'Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age?   Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?'... 'For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.'  ~Corinthians

Yet He gave us evidence, so blatant and everyday, so all-around us that it doesn't matter where you look, you see Him.  

'For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature,   have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools...'~Romans

Go outside.
Look at the leaves on the trees.
Study a flower.
Pick a blade of grass.
Now tell me, can you make one? 
Can you see the detail in the flower?  Some are colored specifically for hummingbirds, some just for bees. Did you know that? 
Do you see the leaf?  It's network of veins.  It's simple purpose, yet so divinely designed.
Now, consider the stars.  Not all of the billions of them in the endless light-years of the universe. Just pick one. The Sun.  The perfect distance we have for life in those 93,000,000 miles. The level of oxygen in the air. The temperatures. The moon and the tides.  
I don't have to understand it.  I don't have to understand God.  Don't you see?  Even if I strive for the upper echelons of man's knowledge, I will still not have reached the foolishness of God!
I need only to stand in awe, like a child.  It's why Jesus said, that unless we become like them, we'll never gain entrance to the place He's preparing for us.

So Why? 

What is the point of it all? Why does He go through such efforts to prove Himself to us?


It's the answer to every unknown.  It's the constant we solve for.

Why did He continue to breathe life into man?  He loved us.  'For God so loved the world that He gave his only son...'

So why did God set wisdom in place first?  Love. 
Wisdom allows us to differentiate between the genuine article and the cheap imitation.
Wisdom allows us choice.
He knew He could not force a love upon us.  What wife will truly love her husband if he shakes her out of bed one morning and says, 
"Wife.  Today you will love me, for I have decreed it. I command you."  
He knew that for us to have a genuine relationship, we would need to choose Him. 

And why does it matter if I love Him, if I follow Him, if I want a relationship with Him?

“Because he loves me,” says the  Lord,  “I will rescue him;  I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  ~Psalm

What do you choose today?  It all spins perfectly.  It is all placed just so, so that you might find Him today, and choose Him.  To Love and be Loved.


p.s.  I purposefully omitted chapter and verse, but not to confound. Only to dare to you reach into the scriptures and discover, to be in awe for yourself.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Great Leveler of Man

Because of the rains and sickness, the church where we were waiting to give Bibles was almost empty. We decided to begin anyway. I told them that a week ago we had our largest distribution with 3 churches and worship so loud I thought the roof would shake off the building. And then here were were, just a few of us. But isn't it grand, and beautiful, and comforting to know that God doesn't see things the way we do?

Before David was anointed as the next king of Israel, his Dad had his most 'kingly' son pass before Samuel, a fine young specimen of a man who really looked the part, and God said something very important that gives us just a peek at the way He conducts business:

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."

At the close of his life, King Saul was about to fight his last fight. Across the battle lines, in the enemy Philistine camp, ready to fight for and protect Israel's greatest adversary, was David, the future king of Israel. How could this be?! The once heralded Slayer of Goliath, now a fugitive!

Both men had been anointed by the Lord. Both men would lead Israel as king. Saul looked the part. He was tall, rich and handsome, and he was leading his countrymen into battle. David looked anything but the part. He was young and ruddy, an outlaw on the wrong side of the lines. He was confused and lost, but he had one thing that Saul lacked. One thing that would make all of Israel remember him as the greatest king ever to lead them. One thing that even God could see....David was a man after God's own heart.   He had years of screwing up left in his bones, and yet God stands outside of time.  He sees the beginning and the end of every man.

He loved him. and when we read the Psalms we see how tender and genuine that love really was, we have a glimpse of what Almighty God can see.

It's not in the numbers. It's not in the appearance of greatness that we find courage or integrity, honesty, or true love. Saul was tall and rich, but he was a scared, coward of a man! God is the Great Leveler of Man, because He sees us from the inside out.

"This little Haitian girl, this Haitian pastor, this white American man...doesn't matter. He sees our hearts!"
Only God knows! Only God!

A Bible distribution of the grandest proportion, or a few people who've braved the rains to step out of their homes and walk to a little country church to hear a stranger speak about Jesus and give them the greatest treasure in the world, the Living Word.

I pointed to a young man sitting quietly in the pew and said,
"For all I know, you could be the next president of Haiti! I could well be in the presence of the next leader of this country!"

He smiled.

"But, if you've repented of your sins, and you follow Jesus alone, then all of us in this room are nobility. Sons and Daughters of the Most High King!"

More people trickled in. We'd brought 36 Bibles. When we were finished and it was time to go, all we had left were the cardboard boxes.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

1/3 the pi of .5% or the equivalent of x, which is a variable....

If anyone knows me, they know that I'm the farthest thing from a Numbers guy.  The title of this post is how I picture them in my head.  Menacing no-good-for-nothings....confusing little nemesis's....At last week's Bible distribution, 3 churches came together for our largest, and most profound distribution yet.  As we rounded off 800 Bibles and make a good dent towards reaching 900, I had a moment when a fleeting thought crossed my mind,  "Wow.  That's alot of Bibles! We've done alot of work this year!"
It was at precisely that moment that God arranged for my 12-year old son to walk up to me, who IS a Numbers guy, and say, "Wow! Just think Dad, pretty soon you'll have given out 1000 Bibles, and then you'll have reached less than 1/9000th of the population of Haiti - HA!!"
That struck him as particularly funny.
Yep.  The equivalent of .01111111111%    Ahhhhh - Humble Pie.  I remember what that tastes like now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The 5th Verse

Ladies and Gentlemen of the World, may I present 'the 5th verse':

The first verse of the song How Great Thou Art was written by a Swedish pastor who'd just witnessed an amazing storm in the 1880's. He jotted down how he felt, writing literally, 'Oh! Great God!'
He never planned nor expected the great hymn that would come,
The next 3 verses were written by a missionary serving in the Carpathian Mountains, around 40 years later.  The song proclaims the Majesty of God and the humble longing of Christians for the day that Christ returns.  It's my belief that the greatest command from Jesus should not be forgotten as we wait for the return of the King, and that is that we should Go.  That we should make disciples, sharing the love and hope of Jesus with anyone who might listen.

In John 4, we see Jesus, just after speaking to the woman at the well.  His disciples return with food, but He isn't hungry:

"My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.  Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.  Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.  For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.'  I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."

Christ speaks of this great harvest, ripe for the picking.  I imagine cotton fields, late August or September, rolling as if freshly dewed with a carpet of snow.  In Luke 10, He gives us further insight into a great work that is yet to be accomplished.  Ripe fields, overflowing for the reaping,  but workers who are lacking:

"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." 

I feel it is my God-Given right, if not my duty, as it's obvious to me that the song begs it, and it seems that this glaring implication has apparently been hidden from all civilization...until now. :) For that reason, in accord with this most profound cannon,  I do humbly present the close to this beautiful story, the greatest undertaking of Love that the world has ever known -(Oh, How Great Thou Art)!

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
Until that Day, my labor shall endeavor 
with fellows few, in harvests white as snow.
A greater Joy, I have not found could measure
But Thy Command, Great God, That I should Go!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee!
How Great thou Art! How Great thou Art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee!
How Great thou Art! How Great thou Art!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yes and No

We had two pastors over today, making plans for next month and going over last month's work.  Somewhere in the middle they wanted to give me a list of the expenses they'd incurred for my friend Torrey's pastor's seminary. Torrey had already given the money and as of today he's left the country for a family emergency, but the pastors still wanted to show a line item of how that money was spent.  One pastor took out his wooden rubber stamp and an old bottle of ink.  The other put on his reading glasses. He dipped in the seal and then they both very delicately pressed the ink onto the document.  It was signed in real ink by the President, the Treasurer, the Secretary and a Delegate, all from the League of Pastors.
This country is notorious for certificates, badges, and credentials.  
I am notorious for rejecting all such "rubbish" as Paul called it.  Skubala was the actual word he used for that... which is a nice way of saying it all amounted to nothing more than feces.
But I'm firmly aware of the ideals of the country in which I serve, so I took the paper and smiled.
They'd listed everything, right down to the napkins and the 4 gallons of gas for the generator.
I asked,  "Torrey's already given you the money for that project, yes?"
"Correct.  But I wanted you to see.  This is where every dollar went. ' Let your Yes be Yes, and your No be No.'" he said.   Then it made all the sense in the world.
He wasn't just handing me some receipt, and this wasn't just any signed and sealed document.  He was handing me his integrity and his reputation.
I have to respect that kind of character.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012


This is a poem I wrote in the middle of the night based on Reveille, fetching thoughts of a new day, the sun rising, flag raising, troops and militia scrambling and scurrying to attention, to readiness. I began to reflect on that old French word, from which we get another.... Revival! 

I stewed last night on the need for an honest, humble crying out to God for the sweeping power of the Holy Spirit!  To Wake up the Sleeper!  To right our path and bring us back to Him! To give us cause not only to rise, but even then to leap, to fly to readiness on the wind of His breath.  Based on Psalm 85, that our great God has done it before, that with our pleading He might yet revive us again, and on Ephesians 5, that we all have a perfectly natural tendency to be found asleep at the wheel.  Stir us Lord! Awaken us all from our drooling slumber!  


Oh, great God! 
Bring Reveille!
With the rising Son
the dead are free,

To proclaim rescue
from the fiery grave.
Oh great God!
We are saved!

And now 'tis ours
to own this call,
to take this Word
and preach to all.

To know this gift
yet mute thy tongue
is to count the sum
of this life dung!

The Slaughtered Lamb 
nailed to the tree
all sins of those
who do believe.

Draw us all 
to drink deeply of
the charge and call,
'For God so Loved'...

Wake us now
to rejoice in Thee!
Oh, great God!
Bring Reveille!

~Dan Elliott 4.21.12

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Chair

Everywhere a white person goes in Haiti - To the mechanic. To the church. To the market. To someone's home. On top of the mountain on a farm or in the middle of the city down in the valley - It absolutely does not matter. The Haitian people are such generous and hospitable people that they will offer you the nicest seat. From out of nowhere, a chair will appear. Some are simply woven strips of bamboo and some are finely crafted specimens of workmanship. All are considered by the owner to be the best seat in the house. A place of honor. They will even choose to stand that you might sit, and immediately following the greeting there will come a most gracious "Please, sit here." It's disrespectful not to accept. It's also humbling and embarrassing, and beautiful at the same time. And these are the people that WE are here to serve...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Southern Range

I thought some of you might enjoy this shot of the southern range in Haiti. Click the image to see a larger scale.

The Simple Things

I have a theory. 
I'm thinking if I ever own a home in America again, (which I probably never will) I'm going to find a way to make it more like Haiti. I might automatically throw the breaker at random times during the week. Some nights we'll have power, some nights we won't. Here, when the power DOES come, everyone shouts with jubilee, you can hear the kids scream, "Kurant (Power!), and someone else gives praise to God with a "Mesi Jezi!" Then, if you're really lucky, it might become Movie night and someone might start popping popcorn. A fan is inevitably turned on and a cool breeze begins to the flow through the house.

Life is so much more exciting, all because we never know when the power will come and go, and therefore it's not taken for granted. Think of all of the different avenues of life where we could apply this theory!! In every scenario imaginable, it would seem to give new freshness to an otherwise stale and forgotten amenity. It's not so much of a theory here in Haiti as it is a reality.

Some days there is no gasoline at the gas station here. We all get worried. Lines form. We start judging every turn of the ignition - is it purposed, is this worth-while? Do we really need potatoes? Then the gas truck shows up, everyone is smiling and happy, you even give the car an extra vroom-vroom for the kids as you're dodging the man-eating pot hole in the road. Everyone shouts with glee as if you're on some new-found rollercoaster ride.

The same has happened with water here. One day, it just quit coming. No rain equals no pressure, and the little spring that keeps our village hopping just couldn't anymore. We began hauling water by 5 gallon buckets for a month. We were so happy the day that pressure was restored because of the rains, and the water just arrived again. Right now I hear the tank beginning to overflow outside my window. It makes me smile. Makes me want to take a shower. Makes me want to cuddle up with a book and read while that sound woo's me to sleep.

We've never had hot water here either, unless it's so hot outside that the water in that tank warms just a little. There are days when it's been raining and you're cold to your bones, even though it's Haiti, and you just want to be warm. We start the water boiling, and we add it to a 5-gallon bucket of the regular cold water. The girls start getting all giddy, thinking about conditioner and a good scrubbing. The boys, who detest showers, let alone showers where they actually use soap, might even sing a tune out loud while they chisel away at the layers of dirt. Everyone is all smiles. Something as simple as a shower becomes a beautiful highlight of the week.

Have I made my point, proved my theory, laid out my hypothesis, well enough for you to believe me?

I dare you to try out my theory, and after a few months, tell me that you're not overjoyed by the simplest of the sweet things in life. Take stock, make inventory of the things that have become mundane, in whatever vein of life. Then, if you're honest, look at the long list of gifts you've taken for granted for the better part of your life, and start to play.   Stir the pot.  Live again in the simple things!

There is still no guarantee that LIFE in and of itself will be blissful. Sorry, well, not really.  That's life.

There will still be ups and downs, knock-down, drag-out fights mixed with uncontrollable laughter and happiness.  Stress, mixed with serenity.   Fun, mixed with work.  Good and evil.  Black and white. Picture Darth Vader, "Luke, I am your Father!" (Yep, I went there) Sin and forgiveness.  Pride and Humility.  One day you will be wise. One day foolish.  I can hear some frilly cliché coming from a fairy as she sprinkles pixie dust, "without the valleys we could never appreciate the mountaintops", meanwhile we all go running for the fly-swatter. Better yet, shake up a can of Raid.....but wait.  It's true, isn't it?  That's why we love it deep down inside.  That's why every movie has the same plot.  Every book the same ending.  It's David and Goliath, then David the Drooling, David the Warrior, then David the Adulterer.  David the Murderer, and alas, (drumroll with the ring-side announcer voice) David the Redeemed!  It's life, up close and personal and yet such a strange bedfellow. 

Just like those pesky 5mph speed bumps that are so ever-present on the ONE blacktop road we do have in Haiti, much as you hate them, they still make you downshift, put on the brake, engage the clutch, slow down, i.e., see more.  And when you see more, you appreciate more.  I promise you, if those speed bumps weren't there, I'd have driven right over the edge, a long, long time ago. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Man with the Blue Hat

An old drunk man walked with me up the mountain today.
Excited to see something new in his patch of the world.
White people. Lots of them.
He made jokes. He laughed. He shrugged his shoulders in a nervous tick.
I could smell the rum on his hot breath. He wore a blue hat on his head.

When we came to the little mountain church he froze.
All of us walked inside, except him.
The people were waiting, and so we set about our work right away.
As I gave the Gospel inside the dark church, he stood just outside, glowing in the harsh light of the Sun.

A cool breeze was flooding in from behind me. Just to my back and out the window, I could see the entire southern peninsula of Haiti. Almost every trail I've walked, almost every church and soul I've visited, could be seen between a few palm trees.

We talked about sin, about God, about how He knew even before He formed the world and Man that the very thing He was creating would one day require the gruesome murder of His only Son....yet He continued to breathe life into Adam. We spoke of that death on the cross, of that sacrifice, of the Slaughtered Lamb who took our place, and we talked of repentance and what following Jesus looks like. We read from Romans 12 about the power of love:

'Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. '

We began to give away the Bibles, the whole time the man watched me from just outside, framed perfectly by the frame of the door.
Then he looked at me, asking permission to enter.
I nodded my head.
He eyed the frame of the door as if trying to determine if it were dangerous.
Then he placed a foot inside the church and waited.
God did not strike him dead. He was not struck by lightning.
He breathed again.  

And that's when I saw his heart.  This old drunk man, once bold and belligerent,  drooped his shoulders.  His hand reached up and crinkled the old blue had off of the top of his head.  He looked to be a mixture of reverence and fear, perhaps thinking all of these people may stone him on sight. 

"I have just one Bible left.  I don't want to cause a ruckus, but do any of you know this man with the blue hat?"  

"Yes!" they all said together.  Some laughed.  Some shook their head as if to say, 'how could we not know him?'

The old man's eyes locked on that Bible, and he began to inch forward, taking little baby steps.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Haitian Easter Hunt....for Crabs

Instead of hunting for easter eggs, the kids got to do a different kind of hunting yesterday. The seaweed drifted into the bay,, and with it came the crabs, hiding inside. The kids and the Haitians began the hunt, shaking out the seaweed into buckets and old tshirts. With the help of our next door neighbor, Molena, we wound up with enough to fry for supper. So instead of coloring eggs, we colored some crabs from blue to bright red. Not much meat, but alot of fun . 

This morning they still had a scavenger hunt designed by the Moms. Clues were hard enough to cause severe anxiety and frustration, but in the end everyone got some candy (thanks to grandpa Frank), they went swimming this morning and got some Haiti French Toast for breakfast. Happy Easter. 

As I floated in the water this morning, all was quiet. The water was calm as glass. I stared up at the sky while listening to the ocean, and I thanked Jesus Christ for His wonderful grace. A grace so wonderful that, while we were yet sinners, He died for us....and Praise God He rose again. The price is paid in full because of His sacrifice. And I can breathe in this salty air, and see this marble blue sky, and float in this sea, because He first loved me.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

We witnessed a beautiful thing on this day before Easter. As Christ went into the tomb and conquered death, these Haitian youth symbolized the laying down of their own lives, being baptized and washed by the Blood of the Lamb, and raised again, renewed, refreshed, recommitted, to Jesus Christ. There was singing and praying from the moment they left the church until the very last person went into the sea.