Archive | November, 2010

Passion, Pursuit, and Encouragement for the Journey

17 Nov

I tend to be energized by spending time doing what I love- listening to women, reaching out to others, feeding the multitudes, and opening my home to strangers I’ve never met. The early part of my week was a little disappointing

( OK, more than a little) as my car broke down, and then I was unable to spend time in La Carpio. Apparently four days without water in that barrio had provoked a protest of sorts, and the road was being blocked. For many of my friends twitter followers, and family, that would signal relief at 5:30 AM, and a quick return to bed… I put on running clothes, grabbed the dog’s leash and ran and while running, prayed for a peaceful resolution (and abundant water to flow into that community soon) to this problem. The kids were happy that I chose to pick up their favorite doughnuts on my way back, and we spent a cozy morning together!

Does our Heavenly Father feel the same when he pursues the the thing He is passionate about–US–and we have something that impedes our time with Him? I believe so. Creating a space or place to meet Him(whether it is indoors or well, on during a long morning run), being intentional, and seeking His face demands commitment…but the benefits are beyond compare!
A double blessing was waiting for me today. A listserv sent a reminder for a call-in meeting and, although I rarely take time to look at non-personal or urgent emails in the morning -this particular email caught my attention. It was strange to open it, see our family’s picture on the margin….and realize, this meeting was occurring in Charlotte, NC around lunchtime , and I could be a part of it via our stateside phone.
Although the connection failed midway through the call, this divine appointment encouraged me, and the other ladies who intentionally put aside time to be together, learn from God’s Word and one another, and pray. I am not alone on this planet, my Heavenly Father has placed others along the hills and valleys of my life so I may be encouraged and, in turn encourage others. For some that means a slice of homemade pizza and a brownie, a cup of coffee and for others a listening ear, a hug or a smile. My friends and family know me too well–for me, any of those work….
” Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” I Thessalonians 5:10-11

Jenny is safe and thrilled to see us

9 Nov

One of the places we've been helping in Haiti is an orphanage in Leogane, a town that experienced flooding during the hurricane last week. God was merciful to the orphanage and there were no problems. Matthew and I helped them unpack from their hurricane prep and get food supplies back in order. I had a very clear directive from my wife and youngest daughter, "Please go see Jenny and make sure she's OK." Jenny is a young orphan who captured the hearts of Cathi and Anna this summer. As I walked up to Jenny this morning her eyes opened wide and her smile brightened the sky. This was the first time she'd met Matthew and she snuggled right into his arms. In the midst of such difficult circumstances, the hug a child receives makes everything else immaterial.


8 Nov

This poem was written by a gringo student living and experiencing recent events here in San Jose.

You might see an avalanche being a threat
But here we are more worried about the rain
Seven inches in one day, though we mustn’t fret
Only believe that God will becalm the downfall

The very audible assonant bass sound of the rain
And its beau the thunder and lightning
The badgering wind throwing the droplets onto you is a pain
When writing a ballad on the azure sky that lays above

With the rain comes the atrocious cold
We have to bundle up to escape it
So baleful that it awakens the household
So we bask by the fire athirst for warmth

Drinking authentic Costa Rican coffee
We sit on the front porch
Nibbling on bits of tasty toffee
Beaming with beatitude for our benison of having a shelter

Bemoaning for those lost in the many mud slides
Grateful for the benevolence by the people helping
While we stay in our comfortable home and hide
Wondering when the horrendous storm will halt

God-given times

7 Nov

Traveling as much as I do, I am constantly amazed at how God provides opportunities to be with family. I'm on a two and a half week trip away from home, yet unexpectedly I have over a week with Matthew in Haiti. We started out on Thursday to get here before Hurricane Tomas, but God had other plans and we arrived here yesterday after the storm had departed.

So father and son have a chance to do ministry together, share life together in Gressier Haiti and have the time to talk about whatever comes up. This is a blessing we never expected and recognize is a gift from God.

People sometimes ask Cathi and me how we can stand living so far away from our older kids. What we have found is that the distance keeps us from taking connections for granted. Between regular phone calls, Facebook, and those God-given face-to-face surprises, we find that the distance isn't great at all.

Soggy in Costa Rica

6 Nov

The last weeks in Costa Rica have been rainy, dreary, and unseasonably cool. For most North Americans, central heat and air conditioning are standard even in the most humble dwellings, but when outside temperatures are in the 50’s and 60’s and damp here in Latin America, things are pretty chilly inside as well !

Today is a national day of mourning, and flags are at half staff, for those killed and missing during landslides and other calamities brought on by the continued saturation of Costa Rica during this rainy season. Many are without clean water, phone coverage is spotty, and some are without electricity. Our family is grateful to have both water and electricity, and warm blankets to snuggle up in, while many have been displaced both here and in St. Lucia, Jamaica and Haiti.

Brian,our son Matthew and Kevin(Touchglobal staff) are safely in Haiti. Pray for open doors and open hearts as they seek to minister during this time, and for summit meetings that will take place beginning Monday.
Many Costa Rican neighbors have been shaken in recent days by increasing crime, economic variability and weather-related deaths and damage. Pray for sensitivity and opportunities to boldly share the love of Christ in word and deed.