The first pages of Holy Scripture contain a dreadful saying which people use an excuse for themselves: Am I my brother’s keeper?” This question, with its implication of irresponsibility permeates the whole history of humankind and the life of each of us. Each of us has to take issue with such reasoning : ‘My horizon is limited. So-and-so is no concern of mine. I can take no responsibility for him.’ How cleverly we try to pass this off as logic, but in our heart, faithfulness says: That is not true. We are obligated to do everything we can for others, for friends and strangers alike. Jesus impressed this upon us, in his moving way when He said that everyone who needs us is our neighbor. Everything we do for anyone is also done for Jesus and will receive it’s blessing from Him. Albert Schweitzer
Monday, November 28, 2011
Last night as about thirty of us danced in the dark once again, no one seemed to miss the electricity. Perhaps it’s because the Light of God was shining brightly as we loudly, passionately and whole-heartily sang Him notice of our thanks, love and worship. I suppose if there had been electricity it wouldn’t have changed anything, but somehow, as it was, it felt primitively pure and pleasing to Him.
And when I saw 6 year old Lovely (yes, that really is her name) raising her arms and closing her eyes, unprompted by anyone else, I knew without a doubt I was surrounded by holiness. These orphans are dirty, worm-infested, scabies-afflicted, in mismatched clothes and to worldly eyes, nothing to look at. But oh what a different perspective our Daddy has. He was visiting us with His presence, pleasure and favor.
The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Thanksgiving is not a holiday here in Haiti, but it is a way of life.I wrote the following entry on turkey day and am importing it here for those of you who didn't get a chance to see it.
Tonight I sat on some concrete in the dark (no electricity) with at least 20 orphans surrounding me, pushing in for the privilege of touch and presence, and I marveled at the fact they were singing worship songs at the top of their lungs. I only had 1 meal today because food is running out, and the kids are constantly telling me they're hungry, but in the midst of lack, there is still laughter and joy and thanksgiving. One little girl kept saying, "Merci Jesus" to everything I said and she meant it.
Then there's little Ketia. Less than 2 months ago this 7 year old weighed less than 25 pounds! Most American children are minimally twice her weight at that age. My fingers easily circle Ketia's upper arms. This summer, Ketia had mumps from head to toe and a month later she was in a body cast covering her from waist to feet. Now I get the privilege of washing Ketia and applying cream to treat her scabies, and after the tears finish, we laugh and play and I can scarcely comprehend that this vibrant gentle kind little girl who grabs my hand any chance she gets- well- to think she was near death so recently- I tell you, my thanksgiving will not be about food, but it will be about God's love for orphans like Ketia.
"I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. But in any case, it was kind of you to help me in my present difficulty." Philippians 4: 11-14
The children here walk a precariously fine line between life and death every single day. If any of you want to help these orphans out of their distress/hunger/difficulty, please do! (Fastest method is Paypal using firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send to: Melinda Nelson, 13866 Dow Lane, Beulah, MI 49617. If you need a tax-deductible receipt, please make cheque out to: The Life Church.)
These children are worthy of our sacrifice - James 1:27 is crying out for attention and adherence- let's show God our thankfulness with more than a cooked turkey.)
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Wow, what must that feel like to just be ‘thrown into’ an orphanage and be the only boy and no one really knows you? No wonder he was being obnoxious. Thank God he was, and not huddled in some corner in a fetal position. God, forgive me for not noticing anything other than that he was a bother. Here I am to love orphans and I wasn’t really paying him the attention he is so desperate for.
Because this is a girl’s orphanage, he will have to be moved again and I’m told they will probably take him to the place where the 9 boys who were rescued from SOG were taken. That is a work-camp type of setting where the director stated, ‘emotion is not allowed.’ I can’t picture this hungry for attention child of God doing well amongst 200 other boys, being a nameless faceless entity in a sea of abandoned children. Will you pray for Ericsson Louis please? I know God has better plans for him than what he’s experienced so far.
I’ve prayed that Bob Pierce prayer about ‘God break my heart with the things that break your heart,’ and I’m pretty positive the history of this young boy is reason enough for another ‘Jesus wept’ incident. So God, please hear my prayer and just as these girls have been rescued, rescue this one too. Please intervene or show us how one of us is to intervene and bring hope and transformation into this chosen child’s future.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
PS I wrote that on my first day here, and since then, they've not served me coffee anymore. I know they didn't see me writing this - so maybe God thinks I'm sweet enough already, eh?! (Okay, cut me some slack as it is 4 a.m. and the electricity just came on so I am quickly posting this comment through the fog of sleepiness!)