Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You Revive Me.... A Season of Growth

I have the ability to get lost in a song.  I’m not sure if this is really an “ability” as I would hope everyone has the “ability” to feel lyrics and melodies penetrate to the very depths of their heart and soul.  With eyes closed, humming the tune as it becomes more and more familiar.  Meditating on the combination of words placed together to capture thought and longings.  If there were anyway for a iTunes track to be worn and tattered, You Revive Me by Passion - Christy Nockels, would be my most tarnished and faded song of late. 

It is the chorus that has taken me to a new place of comfort and strength.  You can click here to listen to the song as you continue reading.

You see, this summer in Haiti has been one of the most difficult seasons I’ve ever walked through.  The hustle and bustle of the summer was the same as in years past.  Literally thousands of volunteers came down.  It looked to be the most promising summer MOH had ever seen.  And it didn’t disappoint.  Thousands of lives were transformed.  The Gospel was advanced.  The battle raged on and we pushed back against the enemy and his schemes.  But with great victories for the Kingdom came great opposition from him.  The words in John 10:10 have new depth and perspective for me.  “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.”  This summer, I experienced the deaths of three people that left me in a place I’ve never been before: one of a dear friend, one of a beloved partner in ministry who radiated the love of Jesus to all he encountered, and one of a complete stranger whose life echoed a pure love for Jesus and a life well lived. In a flash, each was gone.

This summer wrecked me.  It left me more broken than I have ever been.  And yet, the love of my heavenly Father was more tangible and real than I have ever known.  The peace and comfort was something I clung to.  Psalm 91 became a cherished and transcendent portion of scripture as I took one step at a time, one day at a time.  I also believe that I have a small glimpse as to why Jesus finished the John10:10 statement with “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  Even as I type these words I cannot contain a small smile.  He has not left us or forsaken us.  He does not leave us to be devoured by the enemy.  No.  He has come that we may have LIFE.   We are alive!  I am alive!! 

I’m alive!  I’m alive!  You breathe over me.  You revive me.

Revive.  It is defined as the act of restoring to consciousness or life.  To restore from a depressed, inactive or unused state.  To bring back.  To renew in mind.   

Jesus -  Thank you for not leaving me.  Thank you for seeing me.  Thank you for taking my place.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  Thank you for paying the wages of sin and death that I should have paid.  Thank you for the gift of eternal life.  Thank you that you are peace, you are joy, you are comfort. 

Hopefully the song has begun to weave it’s way into your heart.  Maybe play it a second time. Thank you for letting me share my heart. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Memories of Meme

If you knew my grandmother well (we called her Meme), then you would know that she loved ice cream.  I remember her homemade peach ice cream.  If I close my eyes and think of it, sweetness starts to tingle my tongue.  If you knew my Meme really well, then you also would know that it wasn’t just a love for ice cream but banana splits!  Those were her expertise!!  I don’t know how she did it, but she had every ingredient - at all times.  Whipped cream, maraschino cherries, hot fudge - they all had prime real-estate in her refrigerator.

My Meme would be proud.  This last tuesday we had banana splits.... IN HAITI.  It wasn’t easy gathering the necessary supplies.  I had to search multiple places and even get a bit creative with substitute toppings but I know she wouldn’t have minded.  

She never got to see my journey from Colorado to Arkansas to a little island in the Caribbean that I now call home but I know she would have loved every minute of it.  I really believe she would have even come to visit me.  She loved to travel!  I miss he deeply.  But with a plastic bowl, chopped bananas, creamy goodness, walnuts, whipped cream and a cherry on top - she was the first one I thought of.  I love you Meme and can’t wait to see you again some day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thankful each day....

Are we as aware in the days after Easter?

I had a very unique thought go through my mind over and over this past Sunday, "Will I be as thankful tomorrow?"  Please hear me when I say that taking a day to remember and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus is something I believe we should definitely do!!  But i was challenged in my own heart and mind if I would be as thankful and mindful in the days to come.  If I'm honest with myself, probably not.  I can quickly get carried away in the business of work and life and so quickly forget that the reason I even exist and have this hope, is because Jesus died for my sins over 2000 years ago.  Without his sacrifice and atonement for our sins, we wouldn't have the DAILY joy and promise of an eternal life with him.  I promise I won't get preachy.  Just a simple thought - Will my heart rejoice today and in the days to come as much as it did on Easter Sunday?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Power of the Gospel

We opened the Bercy campus for the first time this year on March 7th. We had over 60 people and we were very excited to begin a great week. That Monday, were some Bercy villagers who had gathered at the front gate, seeking jobs at the new campus. We asked them to send us people that were qualified for the positions we were looking for and we would interview them, explaining that the jobs we were hiring for right now needed people that loved Jesus.

Yesterday, I was helping interview translators with our Haitian director for the translators.. We do an "English-only portion" to test their ability to communicate in English. I've used the approach of having them share the Gospel with me to test their communication skills. I pretend that I am a Haitian women and I don't know Jesus. I encourage them to help me understand how to become a Christian. There was one younger man I was interviewing and he was really struggling at being able to convey the concepts of the Gospel. He said he'd been going to church for a long time but it became evident to me that he
definitely wasn't able to express the ideas of salvation. The Holy Spirit prompted my heart and I realized this man was not a Christian, which is why he couldn't explain it to me. Our interview quickly changed and I put down the interview form and began to explain the Gospel to him. We used the diagram of the cross and walked him through salvation. He prayed to receive Christ! He's not going to be a translator quite yet, but we've invited him to the weekly meetings where he will learn more about the Lord and more about his new salvation.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

And together we sing...

A few mornings ago I had the opportunity to lead worship for an amazing group of women.  I led with a wonderful woman named Roselaure.  She is from the village of Source Matelas and she is a Village Champion, working with Church Advancement at Mission of Hope.  Let me tell you, this woman was born to lead worship.  She has an incredible anointing and when she sings, you know that she understands who Jesus is.  I am inspired by her love for the Lord and her continued faith in His goodness not only for her but also for her home country, Haiti. 

We decided to sing the songs mostly in English but then sing the choruses of the songs a few times in Haitian Creole.  It was absolutely beautiful.  A room full of women, singing “Holy is the Lord God Almighty…. Here I am to say that you’re my God….. You have overcome the grave, your glory fills the highest place” not only in English but in another beautiful language.  Truly a glimpse of heaven.  As every knew will bow and every tongue (language) confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A simple step

“My prayer is that someday I can walk, just like you.”

She gently reached out and touched my leg.  Her words piercing. 

Scars.  Crutches.  Pain. 


As I looked back into her dark eyes, tears began to fill her gaze.  Tears filled mine as well.  I don’t know what happened or how this woman can no longer walk without the aid of crutches.  I don’t know her story.  But these simple words are one that I will never forget.  I stood in silence and looked back at her.  No words.  The only words that ran through my mind were hers.   “My prayer is that someday I can walk, just like you.”  They literally wrenched my heart.  I stood in silence a moment longer and all I could think to do was pray.  So I gently asked if I could pray with her.  Apple cheeks began to form and light shone from her eyes.  A beautiful smile spilled across her face and she nodded in agreement.  We stood together her hands in mine and we prayed.  The only thing I knew is that Jesus knew her story and He loved her more than me.  Amen was spoken and I was enwrapped in her warm embrace.  Her grip was tight and long.  She released me, kissed my cheek and slowly hobbled back inside so she could get back to work.  In a matter of minutes the moment had come and gone.  I stood by myself for a time and let the cool breeze kiss my skin.  The hot flush of my cheeks such a contrast to the refreshing wind.  I knew this memory would forever be etched in my heart, mind and soul.  I knew I would think of a simple step in a very different way.  I knew that now there would be days and times that I would look at my two perfectly normal, healthy legs and I would be more thankful and grateful than I had ever been.