Saturday, June 19, 2010

what am i doing?

if you enjoy reading, i highly recommend this book, "stones into schools" by greg mortenson. it is the follow up to his highly praised "three cups of tea". mortenson grew up the son of missionaries living in kenya and now his life is producing much fruit in the dangerous regions of afghanistan and pakistan building schools and bridges to peace. he makes me ask the question of myself, what am i doing? this question gets ramped up after reading the book, "radical" by david platt which i will post about very soon. i don't know how much time i have in this life but as i approach my 55th birthday in a couple of months i realize i am not so young anymore but i do not see quitting as an option. actually, i find myself desiring to do something significant with the remainder. i do not need success as that is viewed in the world just significant efforts. another recently read book, "halftime" by bob buford gives some practical advice on what that looks like. like the song says, "i still haven't found what i'm looking for" but i am working on finding it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

moment of compassion

Catalyst 2009 Compassion Moment from Catalyst on Vimeo.


while i was not at catalyst this year, this moment at the event is transforming.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

communication breakdown

tonight our journey team focuses in on our prayer life. we are utilizing the nooma video 019 "open" which centers on prayer. my prayer life is need of help and i wonder if others in our group might have the same affliction. sometimes my prayer time is full of life and sometimes it feels dead. sometimes i have those thoughts that God has enough on His plate and my stuff does not matter. that's foolish thinking. how do i know what is on God's plate and how much He can handle? the problem with me is that i have that "conditional love" thing going on in my head. i don't stop to think about how "unconditional love" works. no matter how distant i might feel from Him, that distance is on me - not Him. He is constant - i am inconsistent. that is why i need this message - i need the input of others and the way they pray. after all, this is our communication with God - that's big!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

oh, wow!

our daughter jessica and grandson jay came to visit last weekend for mother's day. one afternoon after jay went down for a nap the girls went out shopping (imagine that!) and i stayed home with jay. he woke up not feeling well and just cried for his momma but momma wasn't home. so i walked around with him in my arms trying to substitute something for his need for his momma. nothing seemed to change things as he continued to cry. but as we were walking by a wreath on the front door, jay spots an artificial butterfly and all of a sudden without a hint of tears he exclaims "oh, wow!" and he is amazed at the beautiful butterfly. it has taken all of his focus from wanting his momma to sheer beauty. i think that is why Jesus says we must be like little children - to be able to find the beauty of God when all of our focus is on ourselves. oh, wow! - how i love the way this little guy teaches me new things. last night at journey team we talked about the ways we see God in our everyday lives. mostly we see Him through the nature that only He can create - the birds that sing, the flowers that bloom, the beauty of sunrise and sunset. some see Him through the melody of our favorite songs. i think those ways are our opportunity to become childlike and marvel at His creation. the deal is that we don't stop enough to smell His roses - to feel the wind upon our face. "be still and know that I am God", psalm 46:10.

Monday, May 11, 2009

education


i was a disaster as a student. from early childhood i was a rebellious, mischievous punk that disrupted classrooms making a general pita of myself. i could not see the reason for education. later in life i was diagnosed with add, adhd and dyslexia which are now treatable. i have been married to an educator for twenty five years and now have a profound understanding of how education shapes your life. therefore, i have added my name to the one campaign petition "the big read" aimed at helping all children with basic literacy. i hope you will watch the video and join the campaign.

Monday, April 27, 2009

a must read book

i was looking for a new book the other day when i stumbled on to one i can not put down. this is a true story and i don't want to give any of it away except to say - read this!! this is God's work in an extraordinary way. a little embarrased to admit but i was so overcome with emotion last night in the latter part of the book that i had to stop reading. i thank God i found this book. to learn more about this incredible adventure, here is a link to the website: http://www.samekindofdifferentasme.com/

the ravine

just a block from the guesthouse is an area of port-au-prince known as the ravine. houses are stacked upon each other covering the mountainside as far as you can see. in the last photos you see the drainage ditch with pigs and goats scavenging for food.






meeting edwide

on thursday morning i was picked up to go to meet our compassion sponsored child, edwide (pronounced similarly to edward and rhymes with squid). in the photo right to left are edwide's mom, edwide, the director of the compassion project in the area where edwide lives, and a friend of edwide's mom. they had made a ten hour drive from the northern part of haiti to port-au-prince on wednesday.

this is jeannot, our compassion field office interpreter. jeannot is also an assistant pastor at his fathers church. i promised jeannot that one day he will look out at the people of his church and see me sitting in the pews. maybe this summer.



deborah and i went shopping for edwide before the trip. since deb is an educator, we decided to send school supplies and coloring books along with a pink backpack. edwide was wearing a beautiful pink dress and the backpack matched perfectly! at first the meeting was very awkward as i thought it would be - this little girl is only seven and probably had never seen a white person before. but after the backpack was given to her i began to take some photos that i would then spin the camera around and show to her and the group. well that broke the ice and it was now smiles, giggles and laughter.


she did not want to take the backpack off! we had some lunch and then a tearful "bonswa" (goodbye/good afternoon) but not a goodbye - just an "until next time".

























seeing your compassion child smile - priceless!

wednesday with the lashbrooks

keith and cindy lashbrook have been serving the children in the port-de-paix area which is on the north coast of haiti. they are pictured here with their adopted two and a half year old daughter, sabrina. the lashbrooks have been in haiti over twelve years and have built a boys home, orphanage, school and church. their story is so amazing as they came to haiti with no particualar mission focus or training and no funding. they picked me up from the guesthouse and showed me around parts of port-au-prince. i really came to love and admire the lashbrooks. my next trip will take me to see their ministry on the north coast. for more information on their ministries, here is the link; http://www.lfmintl.com/

this is the caribbean super market in port-au-prince. you go inside and it is like you have stepped back in to america.



































they even had bubba burgers - what's up with that?









but then you go back outside and you are immersed in the poverty again - strange paradox.

driving in port-au-prince

driving in port-au-prince can go from this kind of road -











- to this kind instantaneously.

the view from the roof

this is the rooftop patio of the guesthouse - a fabulous place to hang out. the views of that part of port-au-prince were interesting. we were located in the southeastern part of the city of about two million people. looking northward you see a mountain range in the distance and thousands of rooftops. in the last photo there is construction next door.




the bensons and the guesthouse

this is cathie and greg benson, field directors for csi - christian services international - and hosts at the csi guesthouse in port-au-prince. the bensons have been serving God in haiti for over twenty years and they were great hosts. for more information on csi: http://www.csiministries.org/index.shtml


this is a view from the rear of the guesthouse with the first floor kitchen and dining rooms, second floor with dormitory style rooms and the rooftop patio. the guesthouse will accomodate around thirty and the rooftop patio is the place for morning devotions and evening get togethers. the guesthouse in open air - no a/c with cold water showers but that was okay 'cause it was refreshing.

these two ladies ran the kitchen and fed us. great food!! and i would help out a little by drying dishes, pot, pans, and eating utensils. i really liked them. while my haitian creole was about as good as their american english, a good "merci" and "okay" between us meant a lot. i'll know more creole when i return next time.

fenel pierre

this is fenel pierre from the compassion office in port-au-prince, haiti. if fenel had not been at the airport to pick me up after landing, i might still be lost there somewhere. i arrived in haiti on tuesday, april 14th with less than fifty u.s. dollars in my pocket and no complete address as to where i would be staying. the arrangements had been made through the compassion office and i did not print out the last correspondence. haiti immigration was not going to let me in without some sort of address and phone number - neither which i could offer. finally i found a printed-out email with the compassion port-au-prince office address and phone numbers and they let that suffice. as i was beginning to panic about my lack of information and money, there stood fenel pierre holding up a sheet of paper on which my name was written. i waved acknowledgement to fenel and as i approched he stuck out his right hand to shake but i put the biggest bearhug on him that caught him a bit off-guard. i was so glad to see him. he shuttled me to the csi guesthouse in p├ętionville, a sort of suburb in the southeastern part of port-au-prince. i owe so many thanks to fenel, who was a compassion-sponsored child growing up. i look forward to seeing him again soon.

priceless














roundtrip airline tickets miami to port-au-prince - $380.
three nights/two meals per day guesthouse stay - $120.
meeting our compassion sponsored child, edwide - priceless!
yes, i made it to haiti and met with edwide and her mother. it has taken me a week or so to return and put my thoughts together. now i will tell the story for those who are interested.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

invisible

i was struck by an article in the augusta chronicle yesterday - an associated press story about a 72 year old woman found dead in her home 18 months after she died. this happened in a small community between columbia and charleston, south carolina. come on - 18 months and nobody cared or knew her enough to check on her? wow - how lonely could that have been? how did she slip through the cracks? one of the paragraphs stated that the authorities didn't think she attended church - you think? while i don't say that church is the answer to everything, it is a place for true community - true love for one another or it should be. church is where everyone should know your name - know if you are not there and care enough to go find out why you are missing. i feel so bad for her and the people that lived near her - near enough to look in on her every now and then. and her car sat in front of the house - never moved - for a year and a half and nobody noticed. so what does this have to do with you and me? do you/i know your/my neighbors? are we in touch with them enough for them to know if you/i died or they did? i think it is easy to just forget about the elderly. they don't mean so much any more do they? one of the hardest things ever is to visit an assisted living or nursing home. seeing people - really shells of people. but they are still people. the really scarry thing is that might be us one day - lonely people.
if you care to read this story, here is a link;
http://www.besternews.com/related/Yahoo!%20News:%20U.S.%20News/Reclusive%20woman%27s%20death%20sobers%20small%20SC%20community%20%20%20%20%20%20(AP)/?ref=national|MOUNTAIN-VIEW+CA+US

touch

last night our journey team members laid hands on me in prayer as i prepare for the trip to haiti. it was a powerful and moving experience. i have been a part of laying on hands before but it had been a while. it kinda freaks some out but i think it is a great way to share God's love for others. i shared with the group last night how i had begun to feel some fear about the trip tuesday after being informed that the week i am in haiti, senatorial elections will be going on and that the city gets a bit rowdy. they cautioned me to be aware. some of that led to other fears and if i was doing the right thing. then yesterday i get an email from a close friend who has contacted some of his friends in haiti and they are going to meet me to show me their ministry and that stopped the fears. "strength will rise when we wait upon the Lord". thinking about last night i realized that God has laid His hand upon me and will not take it off. our j-team finished up the "crazy love" study series by francis chan. i think it brought out a lot in all of us. it makes me contemplate "what am i willing to give Him who gives me everything?" what is He worth to me? as chan ends the dvd study he shares the same hope that i have - that i will hear those words touching my soul,"well done".
can you imagine the incredible feeling with those words - well done. isn't that what we all so long for - someone to affirm us - to say well done. and to hear it from the One who gives us everything - i can only imagine.