Fish need Water!!!
Yesterday we went to the beach with our summer campers. This was so crazy to me; this visual picture came to my mind as all these bait fish were washing up on the shore. Flopping all around trying to find there way back to the water and off the dry land, we rushed over there to pick them up, the children and Kim Pugh. I say we I hesitated “for a bit” cause I didn’t want to touch those slimy things, then I felt bad for them:(
We started tossing them back in the water one by one. I thought to myself, “I can’t imagine being a fish washed up by the waves now pushed onto the shore gasping for air on this dry ground.” Then it hit me, how many times have I been like the bait fish struggling to survive? It may not have been in a physical sense but emotionally and spiritually speaking I was being washed up by the waves of this world. The waves of the world for me have been a number of different things, struggles of all sorts that for some reason I have thought I could handle or maybe not even thought I could necessarily handle but became so consumed by what was going on with the circumstance or situation that I had been washed up by the water.
Haiti, Praise God, renewed my soul again. Where I was washed up by the water and pushed onto the dry land because of situations that had taken place that had consumed me instead putting me in the water.
When out of the Water…. “The Word” that’s when I became dry. I would read the Word BUT I really wouldn’t draw from it like I needed to on a DAILY BASIS!!!!!! If Haiti was not a test of so much I don’t know what is. A test of patience, endurance, strength, “weak bladder” 🙂 and so much more. On a daily basis the people of Haiti live this life. This is what they are accustomed to and what they know. The people of Haiti were an encouragement to me. They taught me when the waves of this world come if you stay in “THE WATER” that’s what will keep you from drying out. The Thirst they have for God in the most desperate situations they are in was such a true testimony to the WAVES that I am talking about…… In a sense I went over to Haiti as”A Fish Out Of Water” but by His Love,Grace and Mercy ” I Am Back In The Water”.!!!!!!!
“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1
WOW!! That is the only way I can sum up the last 48 hours of my life. In case you missed it, here are some highlights:
1) Saturday I got a message from Melonnie at Northwest Haiti Christian Mission asking me to pray for one of the missionaries who has been very ill. I contacted her back and found out they were having all kinds of problems getting her out of Haiti and to the states. I then contacted Kevin Stratton who works for Missionary Flights International. Two phone calls later I was scheduled to fly out to pick her up and return home with her on their Cessna twin-engine plane. So, yesterday morning at 5:30 we took off from Ft. Pierce, landed in Haiti at 9:30 and touched down, missionary in tow, at 2:30. Beautiful partnership between local church, mission and mission support ministries. That is the Body of Christ working together!!!
2) Since I was needed to go to Haiti, someone else was needed to lead the teaching at LifeQuest. Praise God for godly men like Randy Newnam who stepped up to the plate to lead a communion and prayer time in our worship gathering. Randy had little notice and yet I heard from several people how great he did filling in. That is the Body of Christ at work!!
3) So, for several weeks now I have been promoting a “Game Night” for our church family. OK, I got PUNKED!!! Alana and I showed up to the church building to find a note on the door leading us on a ten Year Anniversary at LifeQuest Scavenger Hunt. We eventually wound up at Sandhill Crane Park to find such a huge group of our church family together celebrating God’s work at LifeQuest over the last ten years. Needless to say, we were overwhelmed. Thank you so much for your kind cards, loving hugs, sacrificial gifts and love for me and my family. That is the Body of Christ!!!
So, this morning as I try to sort through what all has happened and is happening around LifeQuest I am, for lack of a better term, consumed by the amazing nature and love of our Heavenly Father. It is our joy and privilege to serve such a great church family and to live out daily the fact that together we are the Body of Christ!!!
So, here is the next phase project for One Life Adventures. Operation Barnabas is a prayer and encouragement ministry in support of the mission staff of Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. For those of you who may not know, Barnabas was a supporter and encourager of Paul in the New Testament. In fact his name literally means “Son of Encouragement.” (Acts 4:36)
Here is how it works:
- You will be given the name and e-mail address of a missionary with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission.
- You will agree to pray for that missionary on a regular basis and to contact that missionary weekly through e-mail, Facebook or other contact and encourage them. You can send Bible verse, encouraging articles or quotes and find out special needs that they may have that you can pray for.
- You will become a regular part of feeding their souls as we support and encourage them in their ministry.
To sign-up for Operation Barnabas, contact John Harvey at John@lifequestchurch.com and you will be assigned a missionary. We will have more than one person assigned to each missionary. Thanks for your support.
“He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11
One of the most amazing aspects of having a heart and desire for missions and missionaries is how God shapes and challenges our hearts and minds in the task of going, serving, and sharing. But what happens after we return home? How does the investment of our life for a week in a Third World country really impact us in the First World? How do we keep a fire stoked for the people, the work, the full-time missionaries who impacted our lives so deeply while we were there? Is it possible for our “mission trip” to become a mission mindset?
Here are three very practical and powerful ways God has shown me to stoke the fire to serve the mission and missionaries I work with in Northwest Haiti now that we have been home for a few weeks.
REFLECT– “The beautiful thing about obedience is seeing what God had in mind.” Henri Nowen
We spent six months preparing for our trip and making sure we understood what it was we were heading into as we ventured to Haiti. Now that we are home, it is important to reflect at a deeper level to see what it was that God did in us and through us as we were serving.
To reflect is not to simply look at pictures or tell stories; although those things certainly help in the reflection process. To reflect is to dig into the deeper elements of our experience and to see what it was that God showed us. We answered the call to obedience to go to Haiti, now is the time we reflect back and see what it was that God wanted to show us about ourselves, our faith, our pride and Himself.
Now that we are home, reflect back and see what it was God wanted to show you in your obedience to serve him and others.
PRAY- “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18
In Haiti we were driven to our knees to pray because we were helpless in our own power. Now that we are home, don’t lose the passion and desire to pray for what God opened our eyes to see and our hearts to feel. The need has not changed. The kids in the Miriam Center still have serious needs. The missionaries you got to know and love still are tired and weary; especially as the last groups of summer are coming and going this time of year. The mission still needs funds to carry on the ministry. The people we met going hut to hut are still hungry; spiritually and physically. The “Bracelet Bandits” still need Jesus.
By praying we can impact the eternal realm from our home and can partner with our Haitian family to be a part of the God work taking place in Haiti. Pray for one child, one missionary, one need, one bandit.
PREPARE– The habits of today will develop your foundations for the tomorrow.
If you begin now to prepare for how you are going to leverage your experience overseas to last more than one week, you will see an impact that is eternal and fruitful. Was your journey to Haiti a “one off” event in your life? What I mean is you can see your trip as simply an event that is now over or the beginning of a lifelong journey. Maybe you won’t return to Haiti or anywhere overseas, but God still wants you to be connected with his mission to the nations.
There are needs you can meet. You can raise funds for special projects. You can support a child in the Miriam Center. You can help fund the mission staff. You can raise awareness of the need and desperation of people you met. In short, you can continue to care and serve in the midst of life in the States.
God’s calling is not for the short-term. We may not serve overseas longterm and we may never see people we interacted with again, but God has given you a unique insight and perspective in the world of missions. Don’t waste what God has begun in your heart.
In the next few days I will be sharing some prayer needs. I am looking for people willing to commit to lift up God’s work in powerful, committed prayer. If you want to be part, keep an eye out for the updates or contact me directly.
One Life is not over!! In many ways, the journey has just begun!!!
I have recently been challenged by a friend of mine to look deeply into the aspect of God’s character I take for granted far too often: truth. Intellectually I have no issue with God’s truth. I trust God to tell the truth, I trust God to lead me to truth, and I trust God to demonstrate the power of truth. Over the last week I have become aware that truth is not simply an idea or a concept, but a character and value of the very heart of God.
When Jesus describes himself in John 14 he says that he “is the truth.” The power behind those words are amazingly deep. Jesus does not possess truth, he is truth. Jesus doesn’t tell truth, he defines what is true. Jesus doesn’t point to truth, truth points to him. The very nature of the Messiah is truth incarnate.
Even in understanding truth as defined by the nature of God, I must come around to the question of what it means in my life. If Jesus is truth and I trust in Jesus, I place my faith in what is true. If I place my faith in what is true, I must by necessity be changed by that truth. If I am changed by the truth of Jesus, I must let go of what is not true and cling to what is true.
The implications are huge! Jesus is God in the flesh. God is eternal truth. Jesus is truth. I trust Jesus. I live truth. Except when I don’t.
What about those times when I condemn myself for the sin or even the temptation to sin? Romans 8:1 says “There is now therefore no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.” I have just denied truth. What happens when I listen to the lies of the enemy tell me I am not good enough to serve Christ. Ephesians 2:10 says “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” Which voice do I choose to listen to in those moments?
The reality is far too often I listen to the voice of condemnation instead of the voice of grace. I listen to the voice of doubt and fear rather than the voice of freedom and strength.
The only defense against the power of the enemy to steal the Word of God from our heart and mind is to take a stand on the truth of God. Truth brings freedom. Freedom is found only in Christ. We must stand in the truth of God in order to live free from the traps of the enemy.
My friend challenged me greatly with this verse last week:
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:32
What voice are you listening to today?
Today is another guest post from my friend Karen Cottin. Karen taught on Treasure in the VBS in Haiti and God opened her eyes to some great truths we all need to be reminded of in our own lives.
You. Are. God’s. TREASURE!!!!!
TREASURE…I have been thinking a lot lately about the message that I was talking about at VBS in Haiti. When asked to do VBS God REALLY just kept pressing upon my heart TREASURE….TREASURE…TREASURE…
It started with a treasure box; on it saying in Creole, “I am Gods TREASURE.” Then the children had shiny gem stickers in which they could decorate their treasure boxes. I have been thinking a lot these past few weeks now that I am home and things are settling in. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The crazy part of this is, I didn’t realize how much of this was for me until I actually started teaching and preparing for it.
I am just going to be flat-out honest I have really not been “Treasuring God” in the way my heart truly should. I think because of that I have felt some disconnection like with any other relationship.
When you Treasure something you INVEST in IT BECAUSE YOU CARE ABOUT IT!!!! GOD INVESTED IN US IN A BIG WAY……. WITH HIS ONE AND ONLY SON . It hit me when I was in Haiti really hard as I was teaching, seeing these precious little faces treasure the small little things in life. I need to make sure that I spend my time INVESTING in HEAVENLY THINGS not EARTHLY THINGS.
I only say this because I am speaking from experience and not a good one by any means; one that leads you down a bad road!!!! We have to make sure we are putting no other relationship in front of our relationship with Christ. HE needs to be the first in our treasure box then our husbands, children and friends.
I sat one day at the top of the roof and remember just crying my heart out to GOD. The children looked at the shiny beautiful gems and there eyes lit up…..”That’s how God looks at me I question?” Yes, that’s how he does look at me and you, our messed up broken selves that we are. That’s how he looks at us and he wants us just the way that we are.
HE WILL USE US…. You Are a Treasure to God!