Saturday, February 28, 2015

These Boots Were Made For....

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
Romans 10: 14-15

When Avonlea left for 2 months with Teen Missions last summer she had on new boots. Those boots endured a 2 1/2 week boot camp in Florida and then 6 weeks of hiking, street evangelism, and drama presentations in Italy and Greece.

When I was frantically packing for our Haiti trip earlier this month (approximately two hours before we had to be at the airport) I realized all I had for foot gear were Nikes. Really cute Nikes with hot pink laces. Could I Haitify them? Not in good conscience. Avonlea saved the day by bringing out her Teen Mission boots. They fit. Mostly.

The boots in Haiti

When I was asked several months ago if I would be interested in going to Haiti, I said "no". Immediately. I don't even like to go camping. But after my "no" the Spirit began to whisper "yes". He also whispered some hard questions, such as, "Will you go when I send you regardless of...." Fill in the blank with all my legitimate arguments.

After much prayer and thought I decided to go, and I was scared stiff, but I learned something. My daughter was brave. She stepped out in her new boots into unknown situations and experiences. She obeyed, even though she is an introvert and loves to be home with her family; she went. And God provided what she needed to obey. I learned that I could trust Him to provide what I needed to obey, too.

This summer Grant is going to Trinidad. He will probably be wearing these same boots. He will have the same fears and insecurities that I had, that Avonlea had, but he will obey his God regardless. And it's not about the boots (although I love the symbolism) and it's not about the feet in the boots necessarily. It's about a good God, who loves this world, sends His people to proclaim His love, and equips them to do it by His Spirit.

Our team at the construction sight of the home

One of the girls in the family we were building the house for. She is holding her doll.

You can kinda see my nose.

Crying over the beauty of these children.

The house we were building right next to those blue cans.

This year, God has asked me to let my children go serve Him,and to go myself. Both of these things were terrifying for me.
But let me testify to the faithfulness of God
in both these situations
and the blessing that comes through obedience.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Last night I awoke to the sound of rustling.
My heart quickened and the thought that waved through my mind like a banner was, "There are angels in my room!"
Not perhaps a typical reaction, but then, it was my first night home from Haiti.

Dave and I left for Haiti on February 6th and were there for 9 days. We went with a team of 10 from our church to build a kindergarten classroom at a school that our church supports. However, when we got down there it turned out that there was a transportation strike over gas prices so it was impossible to run the risk of getting to the school. Instead, we started to build a house in the neighborhood of the seminary where we were staying. We were able to work in the community and later at the school and both experiences were amazing.

Dave is still there so I don't have any pictures to show until he gets back, as he has the camera. But I wanted to get some of my main impressions down.

Walking through the squalor of the neighborhood that first day was shocking. The houses are built stacked together (the "law" is 3 feet of space on every side). The paths between the houses are littered with garbage and waste. And this is where, walking through this labyrinth of bodies and homes and garbage, the image of our happy, well dressed, prosperous church chanting "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good" slapped up against this reality. I didn't want this slapping. Perhaps if I had gone to the school first, and seen all the happy, beautiful children in their school uniforms singing about Jesus, the contrast wouldn't have been so stark. But stark it was.

Slowly over the days, God allowed me to see a beautiful truth. That the working out of God's sovereignty, of His redemption, is in the very bowels of the earth that He created. That the layer we see here on the top, be it lovely or hellish, is only a very thin layer, and underneath that, He's moving. And often, the stirring in the depths will explode like a mini volcano of hope and light amidst the darkness. It was after seeing these mini explosions that I started to understand, He's here, He's working.

These explosions often came in the form of people. Mason and Lauren are missionaries in Haiti and long time friends. They serve the people of the community tirelessly. That doesn't mean they're not tired, but they are unfailingly motivated by the love of God for these people. They have helped rebuild dozens of houses for people living in scrap metal.

Johny, who laughs. Johny is the big Haitian man who started the school in Merger that our church supports. He drove to Merger daily even though it was often not safe to do so. He explained, "If the God in the Bible is real, He is able to get me safely to Merger." It was later reported to him by thugs that when they would lay in ambush to attack his car, his car would simply disappear. Yes, God is real. Johny saw a slum through the eyes of God and built a little school. The school now has almost 400 children and goes to grade 11. Next year the first child will graduate. These children are happy and bright and have a hope and faith in Jesus that is astounding.

WaWa is the president of the seminary. He had dinner with us and explained his heart for discipleship that surpasses just imparting Biblical knowledge to the students. He teaches the teachers how to invest in lives, like Jesus did, so that the students can see the practicality of loving Jesus. Yes.

We visited Chantelle who had a house built for her in 2011. She was laying on a thin blanket on the cement floor on the house. She had had diarrhea for 4 days (which was why she wasn't in a bed). When she saw several of the men who had built her house, she sat up and threw her arms open. They bent down to hug her. She had nothing but joy, nothing but gratitude for the roof over her head. We filed out of her home solemn, choked with the stench and the joy and the shock of having witnessed a volcano.

There were many other believers that we met that were faithfully, joyfully serving God among their people. They didn't look like volcanoes, but they were.

In truth, the very fact that our team was there was a volcano in itself. We hugged and kissed the children and we (the girls anyway) let them do our hair. We sang with them and laughed with them and told them "Jesus loves you" as we pressed our white finger onto their chocolate chest.
Jesus loves you. That is the truth that all the volcanoes proclaim.
God is working. Often it's in bowels, where it's not easy to see.
But I'm listening now, for the groaning and stirrings in the depths (or for the rustle of angel's wings).
I'm watching now, for the explosions of light that illuminate truth in this dark world.
Jesus loves you.

The people chanting "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good" were right, and it didn't matter what they looked like on the surface, because He's working in the depths just the same.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Since the holidays, I have been on overload. I am now going to share that overload in an attempt to feel less overloaded. Or  maybe it is simply because I have an hour to myself right now, as my husband and son make weapons of mass destruction and my daughter does homework and my other two are in bed.

On my birthday post I relayed the information that our beautiful trees were being executed. I have been reminded, once again, that there is beauty in death. The sunlight that lit up our previously dark living room almost took my breath away. Sunlight that came because of a cutting away.

After a lovely Christmas at home, we headed up to LaPine, and then onto the cottage, where we lived in a blur of activity and laughter. Truly a time I treasured.
Ice skating!

Sledding by tractor in the moonlight

My cottage decorating is the kitchen remodel so far.
this is how it looked when we bought it

this was the first phase
Not done yet, but getting there
Next...came Grant's birthday. He was given responsibility in the form of a gift. A precious gift that he named Comet.

Grant picked her out as a two week old baby

We brought her home at 6 weeks

She has become Grant's constant companion

Needless to say we've been in puppy heaven. Comet is so sweet. Grant got to learn how to wake in the night to puppy whines and take her out to potty. He feeds her, walks her, and trains her.

This last weekend we had a birthday party. Grant is growing up into a fun, loving, God-fearing man and part of this is reflected in who he has chosen for friends. These boys are kind, polite, and considerate. I feel tangible hope when I look at these boys and the men they are growing into.
The nicest boys ever, even if they are armed
I think that brings me up to date on Christmas, puppies, and teen birthdays. I no longer feel overloaded.
Now I can fix my sights on the next thing....
which happens to be Haiti!


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