Follow us, following Him.

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it." ...Well, why don't you ask Him?... "Because I'm afraid He would ask me the same question."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I don't get it...

Every single thing that read these days leads me back to poverty.  It's like a kick in the stomach.   My Bible study is on the book of James and of course this deals with the issue of helping the poor, but I had no idea how much.  I have read James so many times, but this is the first time I am actually getting it. It is starting to stick and it hurts.

James 1:27 says "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."  One of the images that comes to my mind is the little girl in Cite Soliel, the slums of Port Au Prince, that didn't have a mother around and was looking for someone to hold her; protect her.

 Our first stop is when we met her.  I wish I knew her name.  Beautiful little girl with only a pink and white shirt and a necklace on.  She followed us to our second stop and then to the third, but by the third stop she had lost her shirt.  Who is protecting her?  She HAD a shirt and then she DID NOT!  Where did it go?  I can only assume that it was taken from her. 
I WANT TO PROTECT HER and the others just like her, but I am not sure how.  Lord, give me the wisdom to know how to help those in need!  Use me. 

I feel like there is a "revival of a prominent command in Scripture" (Beth Moore, study of James).  Why am I just now figuring out that this is what God created us to do? 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

while i'm waiting

So, I was sitting on my deck today thinking about being obedient to God and He spoke to me...

This morning I filled the birdfeeder and I hadn't done so in awhile.  I went outside at lunchtime to work on my bible study and was watching the little chickadees eating at the feeder.  God told me to put a handful of feed in my hand and they would eat.  Normally I would second guess my "thoughts" from God and think it was just me, but this time I didn't.  Then I waited. 

Five minutes later they were eating out of the palm of my hand...

 What is God trying to teach me from this?  Listen, first of all.  Secondly, He expects me to obey in the little things and when He trusts me with the little He will trust me with much. (Luke 16:10).  He cares about  feeding the chickadees. His eye is on the chickadee and I know He watches me.  (Matthew 10:31).

He speaks in so many different ways.  His prompting to feed the birds was like my prompting to go to Haiti.  Others don't even feel prompted at all to do or try anything like that, but it doesn't mean He is not going to bless if you step out of that comfort zone.  It's the still small voices that can rock your world.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

what took me so long?

My first trip to Haiti was February 20-27, 2012.  What took me so long to blog?  Well, if you go to Haiti and God breaks your heart the way he did mine, you will understand.  It takes a long time to put all of those thoughts and feelings into words.  This is my attempt.

February 20, 3am.  I am scared to death.  I know that God called me to be on this trip, but I just want to stay home.  It's easier there.  I don't want to know what is going on outside my bubble.  I know there are hurts and there are pains, but I can barely handle my own.  Obedience.  I hear ya Lord, obedience. 

I have felt, for as long as I can remember, a tugging toward missions.  I kept it hidden in a secret little box for nobody to see.  Can someone call me Jonah?  Like I said earlier, it's easier to just live each day thinking about yourself and your immediate family, but I knew there was more.  All along, I knew there was more.

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,  "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you." Jonah 3:1-2.
Thank you Lord for second chances... and thirds, and fourths...

So, I boarded the plane from Miami to Haiti with my vessel completely empty, waiting to see how God would fill it.  Little did I know how much he would break that heart open wide and use all sorts of different colors of tape and glue to put it back together. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

That aha moment...

There is a quote by Philip Jenkins that says "Christianity is flourishing wonderfully among the poor and persecuted while it atrophies among the rich and secure".  This is exactly the feeling I had on my first trip to Haiti.  A friend of mine once said that when we arrived in Haiti she really felt sorry for them.  As the time progressed, she felt her feelings change.  It is us we really should feel sorry for.  They have NOTHING yet they worship, we have EVERYTHING and we forget about God. 

I am reading the book The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns and it is rocking me to my core.  His story on how God worked so hard to get him to listen was amazing, but when he started talking about our responsibilities as Christians, I started to choke.  "We would much rather believe that the only things needed for our salvation are saying the right words and believing the right things--not living lives that are characterized by Christ's concern for the poor,"  (Stearns, p. 59).  I can't sleep at night.  I lie awake thinking about how I should be helping those less fortunate...let me just say it for what it is...poor.  Of course my mind goes straight to the nation of Haiti that I have seen up close and God broke my heart for.

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; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.  Matthew 25:35-36.
We all know these verses, but is this how we are living?  Will others see us as someone willing to give up our "stuff" for others?  Stearns in his book writes up his own version of this passage of scripture which I feel fits our American culture to a tee yet leaves me feeling shaken. Hurting.

For I was hungry, while you had all you needed.  I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water.  I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported.  I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes.  I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness.  I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved.