November 22, 2010

Still Thankful

Mmm, Christmas is in the air! My coffe has a cinnamon creamer. My Christmas tree is up, my home is decorated with shiny tinsel. The nativity scene my grandmother got me is on the end table. Pandora Radio is singing "O Holy Night". It's November 22nd.

Once upon a time, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday. I would have 2, sometimes 3, Thanksgiving feasts in one day. The holiday was filled with food, family, and football...The big 3. As I've grown up, however, I've moved far from my family and this holiday season is a busy one in my current occupation. It's become nearly impossible to go home for Thanksgiving. Because of that, I may be a bit bitter about this holiday. My first Thanksgiving in California, I cried the whole time I cooked my Green Bean Casserole. I'm much less homesick in general around this time of year, but I can't help feeling like Thanksgiving just isn't what it used to be for me.

However, just because I'm not SUPER into Thanksgivng, don't think I'm not thankful...I'm thankful for Christmas! Jk, I'm genuinely thankful for a million things. In fact as thankfulness goes, I'm at the top of the class. I'm prepped and ready for a fun-filled Thanksgiving dinner with my favorite Canadian friends on Thursday.

This is not a pity-party. Oh, it's certaintly not. It's actually the opposite of that - I've found a whole new appreciation for Christmas. On top of celebrating the precious birth of my Saviour, enjoying the unity of the giving season, and Starbucks holiday drinks, this year, Christmas means family! I'm going home in a couple weeks and after Christmas, my in-laws are coming here to visit us.  Spending Christmas and the New Year with my family is the best Christmas gift I can recieve.

And so, some may scoff at my premature Christmas spirit, but with every Starbucks Caramel Apple Cider, I inch closer to my new favorite holiday. Everytime I hear Bing Crosby sing The Christmas Song, I get giddy with excitement. And with as much uncertainty as our lives hold, I love the certainty that in 32 days, 12 hours, 1 minutes and 27 seconds, Christmas will be here. I'm thankful, for all of this.

October 2, 2010

"What Can Hollywood do?" Oh no.

   I read an article online this morning entitled, "Gay Suicide on the Rise, What Can Hollywood Do?" The article highlighted how this week, 5 gay teens in America committed suicide as an apparent reaction to bullying. Heartbreaker. The article went on to encourage homosexual actors to come out of the closet in order to make homosexuality more normal for teenagers.  I'll just come out with it and say that I don't believe God creates us to be anything other than heterosexual, but like anything else in life, beating homosexuality can be tough. We are in a war against sin, and too many beautiful, talented, creative and kind people are lost in the battle.
    What really caught me off guard was the title "What can Hollywood do?" Oh no. This makes me panic. The LAST thing we need is Hollywood getting involved in solving people's personal issues. And yet, my next reaction is grief. Someone HAS to get involved, and sadly, the church (overall, not individually) is doing a crappy job. Have we accepted, comforted and loved our self-proclaimed gay teenagers or have we ostracized them? Who feels more uncomfortable when a "gay kid" enters our church or them? If you ask me (not that I'm a true expert), this is the battle of our generation. In our So Cal school system, it's cool to be Bi. That means you are open-minded. Nearly every week we have students walk into our youth ministry battling their feelings, emotions, inner-demons. I've had multiple gut-wrenching conversations with students who feel pressured, confused, and scared of the reaction of authorities in their life. What do we have to offer that Hollywood doesn't? Grace, Truth, and Love.

   Grace and Truth are like Batman and Robin. Together Grace and Truth are unstoppable.  Hollywood gives grace. It's a twisted, political and controversial grace, but it makes people feel accepted. The Church has THE Truth. Unfortunately, we've preached the truth on this subject with fists in the air and billboards dripping with condemnation. I'm still pondering why we have ready-grace for some sins, and others we draw a hard black graceless line on the concrete. Maybe it's all too personal? I don't know. What I do know is that if we, the Bride of Christ, would come to our gay friends with boundless Grace and unyielding Truth, we would have a much better chance of representing ourselves as those also saved by grace. 

   And then to this equation, we add Love. Who truly loves this broadening community of people? Hollywood loves the cause. The Church hates their actions. I'll tell you who loves gays, God does. At the San Diego Pride Festival and Parade, every year there are people with signs that read "God Hates Gays" and I want to tackle them. In reality, sometimes it seems like He's the only one who really loves them. 

   If we are going to claim to be Christians, you know, "like Christ" then we need some introspection. We can't be afraid of Loving. We must remember the Grace we received. And we can never walk away from the Truth that set us free.

August 27, 2010

Not So Graceful

Recently, I have been digging deep and thinking about people in my past who have disappointed me. It's like every 5 years I look back and evaluate my life 5 years earlier and pick it apart: the good, the bad, and the ugly (the ugly is usually how I was acting at the time).  Anyway, as I search into my fairly recent history, I am seeing some obvious disappointments. People I thought were solid and loved Jesus, who made decisions that sent them running in the opposite direction of everything Holy. Let me make it clear that I have intense trouble with this. Someone can slap me in the face and call me names, yet, I'm willing to work through it, but disregard Jesus? Oh, I just don't know what to say to that sometimes. I remember the heartbreak I felt during that time as so many friends I thought were strong stepped away from grace.  Some of those relationships, I sought to keep strong.  Some I never heard from again. Shamefully, some I judged and walked away from (*shameful*).

So here I am today, thinking about those friends. As I washed dishes this morning, I walked through some steps to relationship recovery with myself. Step 1: Forgive them. I have heard it said that true forgiveness means being able to wish the offender well. To bless them. Well this took a bit of work, but the 5 years that took place in between most of the drama sure helps. I started remembering the good times, and oh, those times were good. Fun and youthful.  Step 2:  Remember grace. As I worked through "How could they...", I remembered King David. God REALLY trusted this man and yet he shacked up with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. Bad news. And there's Noah- built a boat, survived annihilation by water, and then got drunk and naked. Boo. Oh my, thank you Lord for the reminder. My biggest beef with my friends came from the fact that they were a part of something awesome. God used them in their gifts. They saw people saved, changed. And then they left ministry to pursue...other things. Well, so did David, Noah, and so many others.  God is graceful. He forgives and he uses us in spite That brings me to Step 3: Who am I? Better than them? No. In many of these cases, I only made things worse.  God's kindness leads his children to repentence, and I was not a good example of this to many of my friends. I am so sorry. I have been focused on my hurt and my lack of understanding, that I failed to be loving, gentle, kind, peace-making, yada- yada. I realize that I am a different person than I once was. I occasionally remember how I handled situations in my past and I cringe. I definitely lacked gentleness and grace. I aspire to be better at those qualities now.

God, let me be graceful and humble in my relationships. Those qualities are much prettier than the ones I have previously exibited. Stay 5 years I'm gonna write another blog like this.

August 26, 2010

The Nomad's Anchor

Lately, I have been pondering where I fit in on earth. I was born in the small town of Neosho, Missouri. I grew up with white Christmas', Tornado Season, the smell of chicken houses, the safety of a small town, the world's largest flowerbox, bare feet in green grass, creeks and crawdads, family reunions, pork chops and fried okra, churches on every corner, Ticks & Chiggers, childhood friendships, Grandma's homemade chocolate chip cookies, hills, Thunderstorms, bike rides, aunts and uncles, and colorful autumns. I lived in Neosho for 19 wonderful years. I was very happy there, in fact, I was so happy that I seldom thought about life outside of my small, beautiful city. At 18, I began to feel a tug on my heart. It was dangerous to my contentment, but I began to see that God's plan was taking me places that I never envisioned. One crisp morning in October of 2002, I packed everything I could fit into my '94 Mazda and drove 7 hours to the big city of Dallas, Texas.

As I drove through the metroplex cities of Dallas/Fort Worth, hot wind sweeping through my hair, Audio Adrenaline blasting from my CD player, darting in and out of 5 lane traffic; I knew my life was different already. I spent the next 6 years in a place very unlike the one I grew up in. Dallas was hot, flat and full of life. I found that the city was exciting; concerts, restaurants that were open all night, shopping, celebrities, skylines, the only reason that I was ever bored was because my gas tank was empty and/or I was a poor college student. Texas was full of surprises for me like fire ants, traffic, HEAT, Tex-Mex, stolen CD Player(s) from my car, a sweetheart turned marriage, a whole new Texas family, 4-wheelers, jet-skis, poor inner-city children, Certificate of Ministry, and a bunch of beautiful friendships that I will cherish forever.  It was 2007 when my circumstances began changing and I prepared for new scenery. Adam and I opened our hearts to another adventure, telling the Lord that we were willing to go anywhere.

In the Spring of 2008, my husband and I drove across the southwest states of our great country to our new home in a quiet suburb of San Diego, CA.  Alpine was beautiful. The weather was perfect. I remember commenting that the Garden of Eden may have been located in this precious town. Over the course of the past 2 years, I have fallen in love with many elements. I love the harvest of fresh fruit that falls off of the trees at this time of year, 300 days of sunshine a year, the view of the rugged mountains, sunsets, Palm Trees, and of course the sandy beaches that line the Pacific are a glorious addition to my life. Out on the west coast, I often feel like the world is at my fingertips. Big Cities and beaches, what more could I ask for?

Here's my dilema. I know what more I could ask for. Dogwood trees in full bloom. Indian summers. Noisy holidays. 4-wheeling through arcres of undeveloped land.  Evenings spent watching deer run in pairs through open fields from the backporch of my uncle's farmhouse. Buttermilk pie. Family. BUT, if I went back to Missouri, I would long for the sound of the waves and the fair weather and the big cities with their cultural blends. Moving is not the answer. My problem is that I am now a compilation of all of these places. I am in love with San Diego. And Dallas, Texas. And Neosho, Missouri. These places and the people in them have shaped me into who I am, and yet I don't fit perfectly into any of them anymore. Who have I become? I am a nomad without a home, without a permanant residence.

1 Peter 2:11, "Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it." What a reminder!  I am often homesick, but where is my ultimate home? Not here. Not even on this planet. As much as I long for the changing seasons of my youth, how much more do I long to spend eternity with the creator of the rain, snow, and sunshine. I long for Heaven. 

Being a Christian means giving up the right to becoming comfortable here. As lonely as I often feel, I am anchored by my mission. I gave up my right to choose where to live a long time ago. My prayer is that God uses me as much as possible during my short stint on Earth. Because of that, I will be a nomad.

Along the way, I am thankful for the precious experiences held in each place He has given me to enjoy.

July 10, 2010

The Lady in the White Car.

Warning:  This is a graphic read.
     Adam and I were pulling into our apartment complex tonight when we saw it. Adam saw it, I heard it.  Two cars collided, one while screeching on its side after tumbling throught the air.  As Adam screamed, I looked to see the aftermath of a horrible accident.  We both jumped out of the car, running to the scene; me, with my cell phone dialing 911.  A semi-elderly couple were climbing out of the chrystler clutching various cuts and possible broken bones.  I told the 911 operator our location, what the cars looked like, and what I had (hadn't) seen. She asked "Does it look like there is anyone trapped inside?"  I looked toward the car accident and saw a picture that haunts me.  A small river of blood ran down the street toward my feet.  "Yes.  Someone is trapped inside",  Adam was walking away from that river with tears in his eyes.  The events that followed, the sights I saw, I cannot share here.  What I will share is that the lady in the white car didn't make it.  She was alive when she passed Adam and I driving down the street an hour ago, but she isn't alive right now.
    I am changed.  I keep thinking about this young woman that I don't know, will never know.  Who was she?  Are there children who are motherless now?  A husband who lost his love?  Will someone be called on Monday and told that she won't be at work?  More important than any of that right now is where is she now? 
     I walked into our living room and sat on the couch quietly.  I was going to get on Facebook, then maybe go swimming, drink a soda.  None of that even mattered anymore.  Where was this woman spending eternity?  That is what mattered.  And there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.  She was totally gone.  The chance to tell her about the saving power of Jesus Christ was in the past now.  Her decision had already been made.  What a crater there is in my heart.  My gut has been wrenched.  See here's the kicker:  today, I spent 5 hours sitting in front of Albertson's Grocery store, the hub of my little town.  There is a greater-than-normal chance that I saw this woman today.  I might have looked in her eyes, shook her hand, even watched her walk in the far entrance of the store in order to avoid the rowdy teenagers selling baked goods in front of the store.  That's not what gets me, what gets me is that IT DOESN'T MATTER IF I SAW HER TODAY.  I told no one I saw about the eternal security of my Saviour.  "God bless you" did not save anyone's life today.  The brownies we sold had a greater chance of giving someone food poisening than it did give someone a chance at hope.  I was focused on my day, my responsibilities, not my real mission.  As someone who knows the TRUTH, I must be aware of my surroundings.  God, don't let me miss an oppurtunity.
     Lady in the white car, I'm praying for those who loved you.

"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone."  - James 4:14

June 28, 2010

What's Next?

     "What are you going to do after High School?"  It's graduation season on the Youth Ministry front and I've watched many a student cringe as they've been asked this question over and over.  And over.  Some feel very prepared with a well thought through response and a smile of confidence, while others feel nervous and unsure of their future.  The truth is, this conversation never ends.  Yes, most of us graduate from High School and eventually move away from mom and dad to something else, but the question of "What's Next?" continues to linger.  Those poor unsuspecting graduates who think they will get a break from this question in the Fall when College begins, are in for a real wake-up call when they come home for Thanksgiving only to hear, "Have you met anyone?"  And then when you finally do fall in love and have a steady relationship..."When are you two finally going to tie the knot?"  Knot tied?  "BABIES?!"  I've literally been at the hospital visiting someone after they have given birth, when another visitor walked in and asked, "So how long do you two plan to wait before you have another?"  The list of questions grows as you get older, "Preschools? Promotions? Retirement? Remarriage? Grandkids???"
     I don't know exactly why people do this.  I have been guilty as well of attempting to move people through the stages of life very quickly.  As the person being asked the questions, the whole proccess gets old pretty quickly.  You feel like you are being rushed to take the next step in your life that will lead to ...?  More happiness?  Satisfaction?  I'm not sure.  What I do know, is that every stage of life has it's joy and pain.  I am a fan of enjoyingit all.  I look back now on these portions of my life and think things like: what if I would have succombed to the dating pressure instead of enjoying all of the things that come with being single?  I would have missed hanging out with friends til all hours of the night, making all of my own decisions, even being lonely.  And what if Adam and I would have listened to my mother (jk, mom) and all of the other voices telling us we should have had kids right away?  Our lives would be different now.  And I'm happy the way my life has been drawn.  Is it possible for us to enjoy every season with our frinds, relatives, and aquintances?  I hope I can, because in reality, I ask myself "What's next?" enough for all of us.

June 19, 2010

The Scandalous Life of Clara Laird.

It was 2am when Clara Laird was awakened by a knock at her door.  It was an officer, she was needed immediatly.  As Clara made her way into her office at the Pentagon, she immediatly noticed the somber moods of the 15 plus officers in the room.  It was 1952 and Clara had been summoned to type some pressing documents, centered around Balistic Missle Defense. She was surrounded by some of the countries highest ranked and most important military men.  Driven by habit and instinct, the young woman reached for the coffee pot and headed towards the group of heavily decorated officers. One gentleman stepped up to her and took the pot of coffee,"Miss Laird, right now you are the most important person in this room."

Clara was a beautiful, confident and independant woman. She was tough and dignified, known for working in military offices, starting right after her graduation from college during WWII and working her way to the highest position a woman in the 40s and 50s could ask to be in.  Clara was respected by many and was good at her job.  She was sassy and never intimidated by the pressure of working in the Pentagon, surrounded by men no less.  Her days in DC were exciting and full of adventure.  Sworn to secrecy about the projects she worked on, she took all that she saw and heard with her to her grave.

After several years in the military, Clara moved back home to Joplin, MO.  Clara went from working from an expensive desk in DC to the trenches of a social service office.  For the next few decades, she worked on behalf of families and children, spending every free moment caring for their needs.

Clara Laird was a spectacular woman, but I knew her best as Aunt Jeannie.  I learned several things from Aunt Jeannie:
1. A well styled bob is always a classy choice.
2. A packrat is only a negaitve term if you are not in LOVE with every item you own.
3. Stubborness keeps you living on your terms.
4. Generosity from a packrat (see #2) keeps your guests giggling.

My Aunt Jeannie never married, never had children of her own, but she was a happy woman.  She was stubborn and always spoke her mind, but that Laird giggle made it impossible to hold anything but adoration for her.  She was lovely and dignified.  Tonight, Clara "Jeannie" Laird passed into eternity.  I will deeply miss the influence my dear aunt had in my life. She inspired me to make bold and corageous decisions, gently waving aside the criticism of others to experience my own exciting ventures.  Thank you, Aunt Jeannie for your unconditional love, generosity, and honesty.  You made my life exactly what you worked to make your own, an invigorating quest of self-discovery and adventure.

June 9, 2010

#195 Calm Before the Storm

A dead silence grips the air.

The ground is moistened and a cool damp wind hisses through the trees.

The smell of rain mixed with the pleasant air, fills my lungs.

With it comes the calm before the storm.

The green plants drip with the cold water from past rains as another soft gust of air passes me by.

The land is covered with a light wet fog of moisture.

The light gray clouds swirl into a distant, dark, angry sea of sky.

Aside from the soft sway and hiss of the trees; dead silence.

This calm hush over the land is a tranquil getaway for the mind to be at ease.

The land, in all of its complexities, awaits with me for the inevitable storm.

The sound of distant thunder breaks the silence and slides across the darkening sky.

The clouds above take the light from the sky as if they envied the sun's presents.

Almost like an invisible snake, another cool breeze slivers though the distant field of grass and peacefully caresses my shoulders as it passes by.

I try to soak up the remainder of this peaceful moment, as the storm moves ever closer.

The air is now filled with a slightly agitated sky, the storm, towering, impermeable, and determined to destroy this placid moment, stretches and pulls to fulfill its mission.

The still calm and peaceful land seems to know as well as I, that there is no stopping this darkness that is soon to come.

The storm is now almost upon me and it smothers the remaining land before it with a thick curtain of water.

Only the hope and faith that the storm will be over to reveal another peaceful moment are now left.

The hope and fact that there, as inevitable as the storm's path, will be another peaceful moment worth seeing, feeling, and living is all the reason to wait through the darkness.

Author Unknown by me.

May 17, 2010


   So there is one story that I have told over and over again about Haiti.  I haven't written about this story here, seems to big for words.  My typed words cannot describe what I saw, experienced.

It started the day we went to see Evansbord in his tent. (If you havent read about him, please check out my entry entitled "Invincible" before reading this entry.)  His condition moved us and we agreed that our great big God could touch this young man's life.  We prayed for him every time we entered his tent.  One day, our physical therapist, Tiffany, went to visit him hoping to give his mother some exercises.  As she examined Evansbord, she soon looked bewildered, telling us that she couldn't find anything physically wrong with him.
   The next day, Thursday morning, several members of our team went into Evansbord's tent with a brand new resolve.  As we talked to his mother, we soon learned that after Evansbord had suffered from a seizure at 2 months old, she had taken him to a voodoo doctor to stop the seizures.  The doctor had given her some steps that would "help" his situation, but after another month, her baby was sicker than before.  Evansbord's mother then took him to a medical doctor.  His diagnosis?  There is nothing physically wrong with her son, the problem is spiritual.
  It was then that we realized that God had saved Evansbord's life in that Earthquake for a larger purpose than we had realized.  We began to pray and intercede for Evansbord.  We prayed for 2 and a half hours.  We felt strongly that this young man needed to be baptized, so we grabbed a large tarp and filled it with all the water we could find, using the water from our water bottles.  We baptized Evansbord and then went to lunch.

  When we returned from lunch, Evansbord's mother was glowing from ear to ear, "The evil spirit has left my son!"  Evansbord was laughing and his eyes were focusing on objects, he was mimicking noises and motions with his hands.  By Friday morning, a boy who has never left the fetal position, crawled across the tent to look outside!  By Friday afternoon, Evansbord was speaking full sentences in Creole and playing catch with a ball!  Many friends of the family came into their tent and celebrated with Evansbord's mother, they were witnesses to what God had done.  THIS WAS A MIRACLE.  God healed Evansbord.  I was so honored to be there.  Thank you, God for using me.

If you want to read this story from another perspective, check out: 
This is written from the perspective of my friend, Stephanie.  There is also a short video clip of the baptism.

May 6, 2010

Tent City

Ghost Town
   We ministered this week in a tent community.  On Monday as we walked to the field where the tents were, we passed through the neighborhood where most of the people living in the tent city, used to have homes.  It was very green and private, low walls were present covered by vines and flowers.  It was a Caribbean ghost town.  Some houses stood, while others were leveled.  There was the faint outline of three walls with a cracked sign in the front reading "Baptist Church" in Creole.  In this community there was an elementary school that was still standing, in the field nearby was rows of tents.  I was nervous to go in at first, after all, the people we were about to personally encounter had been homeless for the last four months, and I knew the spoiled life that I live.  My nerves were soon put to rest, the Haitian people were warm and welcoming.

   We brought a soccer ball and some other games for the children.  We brought our prayers and support for the adults.  Adam, a few other members of our team, and I walked around the community with a translator, talking with people about the earthquake and their lives since.  We heard dramatic stories of life and death.  Many heroic stories of mothers saving the lives of their children while suffering great injury themselves.  Over the next several days, I found myself laughing and crying with my new Haitian friends.  I couldn't hide my sadness as I listened to tales of hunger, loneliness, and physical pain.  Several teenagers and young adults expressed their need for schools to be rebuilt, and education to be started again.
   As the week progressed, our AIM team compiled our skills into a fairly organized visit each day.  Members of our team constructed a VBS (children's teaching time) each day and the children watched Bible stories being dramatically acted out, learned scriptures and made crafts.  At the same time, Adam delivered a word of hope and encouragement, with the help of an interpreter, to the adults under a large tree at the entrance to the community.  In the midst of our language barrier, our relationships deepened and we became very close the people in this community.

Meeting Needs
One day we brought loads of medical supplies and set up a tent at the entrance of their tent city.  We created a make shift clinic where we met the physical needs of nearly 100 people in this community.  We brought simple tools like band aids, antibiotic ointment, baby wipes, pepto, aspirin, ace bandages, crutches, aloe vera, etc.  One of our team members is a physical therapist and she worked hard diagnosing issues and giving people exercises to help them heal. After we "doctored" them, we gave each family a bag filled with soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and similar things.  For those we could not help with the tools we had, we prayed for God's healing. 
   As we prayed, we saw some pretty amazing things happen.  There was a man who had been suffering from severe stomach pain for 4 months.  He was laying on the ground and his wife told us that he was rarely able to move from that position.  We prayed for him and went on our way.  When we came back the next day, he was sitting on the ground talking and laughing with his friends.  I almost didn't recognize him.  When our interpreter asked him how he was feeling, he said he felt great, God had touched him.  While we were praying for needs, a young man approached me.  His name was Sanon.  He explained to my translator, Dorly, that his soul had been sold to a voodoo priest and now he had been marked for human sacrifice.  I worked hard not to show my shock at what Dorly was translating to me. I held my composer, but I saw the fear and vulnerability in Sanon's eyes as he waited patiently for my prayer.  I asked Dorly if this was common and he said no, but he was aware of the practice.  He also shared that outside of the safety of Jesus Christ, there was no escape for Sanon.  After I prayed with Sanon, it was hard to move on.  My heart was broken for this young man living in fear, but I was (am) confident that God would rescue him.
   One day we were surprised by a visit from UN Military.  Apparently, one of their helicopters had flown by our tent city and saw a large mob gathered (in line for medical care), so they sent troops to check it out.  They walked around our community for a bit with their large guns and ammo, but left when they were satisfied that we were holding a peaceful gathering.  It was nerve racking having so many soldiers from all over the world so close with such dangerous weapons.  That was the ONLY time in Haiti that I was fearful for my safety.  And they were the good guys.


Wednesday 4/28

Even as I sit here and write, I am sitting in the midst of 30+ beautiful Haitian children who are learning a Bible verse, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life."  It's a beautiful sound.  I've been hugging and kissing these precious kids all day.  Today Adam and Mark (our team leader) talked to the community leaders about our organization buying chickens for them.  When we do, they will be provided with fresh eggs regularily and they will reproduce, giving them a financial and substancial source.  We won't be here to see them delivered, because the process will take a few weeks.
   Today I visited a very special young man.  His name is Evansbord, we nicknamed him Invincible.  His family of seven lives in a tent of probably 15x15.  Evansbord had a seizure when he was 2 months old that left him nearly braindead and paralyzed.  At 15 years old, he makes a few noises, his eyes jet around side to side, he has little use of his limbs.  We call this young man Invincible, because when hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in the earthquake, "Invincible" survived more than 24 hours under an enormous pile of rubble.  His mother found him with only a broken hand and a few bruises.  Even so, meeting Evansbord broke my heart.  Until today, I've never really seen skin and bones.  His shin was about the size around of a silver dollar, maybe a quarter.  He layed curled up on a blanket on the ground, and this is how he lives.  My heart was moved for Evansbord, and also for his mother who suffers with Malaria, is criticized by her community for continuing to care for her invalid son, and who is the sole provider for her 6 children and her orphaned and sick nephew.  Yes, my heart was moved to say the least.

This journal entry was recorded on Wednesday.  Please see my blog entitled "Miracle" for more on Evansbord.

May 4, 2010

Glimmer in the Rubble

Tonight on the way home from ministry in the tent city, we were surrounded by gems of hope - fresh construction in Port-Au-Prince.  Originally I was so distracted by the mass amount ot destruction that the totallity of the project seemed extremely overwhelming, even impossible.  Even so, tonight our eyes were opened to the physical progress that the Haitians are making.  On the way back to our base, we passed trucks full of wood beams, pipes, and rock.  We saw men on the side of the streets shoveling rubble and clearing sidewalks.  Our team observed more men rebuilding roofs and crushing rocks by hand to make cement.  Our eyes were opened to some things we hadn't seen before, beyond the trauma, there is a resiliance in the Haitian people that will help them see their land restored.

A Deal With the Devil

We were told a story today that changed my whole perspective on the earthquake.  Once upon a time, Haiti was owned by France. Much of Haiti was enslaved by France and greatly desired their freedom, which the French would have no part of.  The Haitian government made a treaty with Satan, that if he would help them gain independence, he could have control of Haiti for 200 years. Haiti gained their freedom and enslaved their souls.  Their national religion became voodoo.  Most Haitians believe that 2009 marked the end of the contract Haiti had made with the devil.  As the dark age came to the end, Pastor's and Missionaries all over Haiti came together praying that God would "Shake whatever is shakeable".  And God did that.  What we see in the physical is God having mercy on His children, shaking off this curse and giving His children new life.  From every report we have heard, the church of Jesus Christ is exploding in this country.

Acts 2:47 "And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved."

First Impressions

   As we flew into Haiti, the destruction was immediatly evident.  As soon as I could see land, I could see hundreds of tents.  Some formal looking, donated by the US or other countries; many made of sheets of metal, tarps, and bed sheets.  In many places, streets and walkways were unrecognizable because of the immense amout of debri.
   We got off of the plane into the muggy Carribean climate. At 7:30am, it was already 85 degrees.  Stepping off the airplane we were greeted by the sound of a local Haitian band playing for tips.  It was pleasant and several of the airport personel were singing along quietly.  As we traveled through the airport, I became immediately aware of the presence of military, many different countries were represented. I felt proud to see Us military men and women, a part of a worldwide effort.
   We were met outside the airport by one of our trip leaders, Marcio.  He apologized for running late, sharing with us that he had been stopped by the Haitian police.  They tried to take him to jail for not having a certain permit, but he refused to go stating that that the government is crooked and trying to get his money.
   As we rode through the streets of Port-Au-Prince, the poverty was overwhelming.  It was unreal to see the effects of an earthquake that lasted only 45 seconds.  There were buildings that were missing a balcony or pillars on the outside.  Buildings that were cracked down the middle and half or more of the building was missing-an unlivable mess.  Sometimes, we saw only a plot of gravel, the ghost of someone's home or business.  We passed through and area of town where many donated clothes from all over the world were put in massive piles on the ground.  For an entire city block or more, this scene went on. Men, women, and children rumaged through the generous donations.
   When we finally arrived at our base, I could ponder - this whole earthquake thing was worse than I thought.


Over the next few blogs, I'm going to write about my time in Haiti.  I wrote in my journal there, but some of my days are a little out of order.  Please keep this in mind as you experience this trip with me.

April 24, 2010

Goal Achieved.

I'm sitting on my couch, enjoying coffee and TV as if it's a normal Saturday morning.  I'm leaving for Haiti in about an hour and a half, but you wouldn't be able to tell it by my morning regimen.  When Adam and I got married, we had certain goals in mind that we wanted to acheive before we had children and going on another international mission trip was at the top of my list.  As time went on, I left that goal behind, not seeing the possibility of it happening in my current life.  Today, I am seeing that goal achieved.  Thank you, Lord for seeing the desires of my heart!

April 8, 2010

2 Weeks and 3 Days

I'm going to Haiti in 2 weeks and I'm not prepared. Adam and I decided to go about 6 weeks ago. We didn't have the money and we knew it. We sent out letters to friends and family asking us to help us go on this trip. Not surprisingly, God has provided for us. I should trust Him more. I was pretty stressed, but He provided everything we needed. Actually, we were preparing for Haiti and we found out that our taxes were going to be like $1500 and I got very stressed. I knew we couldn't do it all, there was no back up plan but God's faithfulness. In the end, God has provided for all of it! We will step into May debt free! I'm so thankful for a God who directs my path. He is certaintly loving and kind. It's not the financial side I'm concerned about. Emotionally, I'm not sure I'm fully prepared. Everytime I see photos or read articles, I weep. What if I go to Haiti and cry for 7 days straight?! I don't know if I will be taken seriously, but maybe I will be taken more seriously. We will see. I've been looking at the daily photos from The pictures give me an idea of what I will encounter, and of who I will encounter. God give me hope, so I can deliver it to your people.

January 12, 2010


There is a cliff I sit on as I look into the blue ocean.
I lean into the boulder and watch the ocean go on forever.
The great Pacific always becomes the sky.
I can no longer tell the vastness of the bold and deep ocean from the weightless open sky.

I find strength in the repetition of the waves.
They are timeless; crashing on the same rocks daily, hourly, momentuously.
Only changing with the tide and wind, but returning none the less, tomorrow.

There is no sound that roars in my ears like the furious waves -
beating their brothers
for a chance to reach the shore.
The wind whips the water,
becoming friend or foe of the chaotic torrent.

The salty aroma draws me out.
I close my eyes and become a fisherman lost at sea,
engulfed in my love with this adventure.

I come to the cliff at night.
When my world has drifted into darkness,
and I cannot see so clearly.
I hear the pounding of the waves
I smell the damp ocean air
I feel the wind whip through my hair;
and sense the effects on the waves below.

But I do not see the deep blue sea.
I can no longer make out the breadth of the majestic ocean in front of me,
I only trust that it is still there.
I have seen it before.
My senses tell me that this time
seeing is not believing.