“Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry” (1 Samuel 17:20).
David left early. He loaded up, set out, and did has he was told. When he got to camp, the army was ready for battle.
The annual camp conference is happening. Most Haitians had to leave early, some traveling by foot for hours to attend. They’ve loaded up, set out, and are prepared to do what God tells them. They’ll join the army ready to do spiritual battle for their country.
As part of that army, will you help them? Ask the Lord to ready their hearts, strengthen their minds, and protect their families. Let’s join them this year, even from far away, shouting the war cry.
The rain made the trail almost impossible. Ankles twisted, clothes muddied, Bibles forever wrinkled from the rain seeping into the backpacks. After the team arrived, dried off, and rested, the earth still made traveling to the outdoor restroom difficult. The bathroom was down the side of a steep slope, still muddy from the hours of rain.
So the Haitians built steps. Without a lumber store, or even scraps of wood, they chose to find large stones, carried them back, and made the steps so the foreigners used the restroom. They traveled with the team, and still found the energy to find the largest stones in the area.
It seems backwards. The mission team came from thousands of miles away to serve, and instead the locals served the team. Looking back on the uncomfortable feeling, it’s easier to understand Peter’s resistance of Jesus washing his feet. Peter didn’t want that uncomfortable feeling. Jesus washed his feet, because Jesus served. Peter needed to accept that. Just like the foreigners needed to accept the locals building the steps. Sometimes accepting Jesus’ service is uncomfortable.
If you don’t allow others to serve you, then both parties loose out on blessings.
Accept help, accept service, and accept grace, even if it’s uncomfortable.
“I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ So they began this good work” (Nehemiah 2:18).
Until April 7, a group from Colorado is at Bois Neuf. For anyone who wants to go to Haiti, it begins with someone telling about the goodness of God. God speaks through the person telling you about their trip. Then, the Holy Spirit moves and stirs within the people who hear. They link arms and start rebuilding, doing the good work.
Are you listening? What good work might be getting your heart excited? What would you like to rebuild? A good place to start is sponsoring a child through Hope for Haiti. Visit The Children tab to start rebuilding a child’s future.
Or maybe you are hearing about the Colorado team. Another response to hearing is to pray. Will you join us and pray for the team, their health, and the people they will come in contact with today? We look forward to hearing about the gracious hand of God on them. Let’s rebuild together.
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them'” (John 7:37-38)
Today is World Water Day (March 22).
Cholera, a disease that is caused by bacteria-filled water, is also cured by water. Haitians deal with trying to find clean water on a daily basis.
Jesus spoke to people in a way they could relate. After the festival, people returned to their homes. They needed clean water. The travel caused thirst, and Jesus wanted his parting words to be relevant. The dusty roads caused the Israelites to reach for their canteens, and the flowing water cured their dis-ease. One swallow brought the comments from Jesus to mind, those words ran over their hearts.
Haitians also understand the need for clean water. Let’s pray today they find the physical clean water, just as the Jews returning from the feast would be looking for clean water; but let’s also pray today they find Jesus as the pure water that provides life.
So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
All Their Hearts
The wall for the school in Bataille is half way done.
The Haitians prepared for a group to come and help, so they started hauling sand from the river to use for the concrete blocks. The first day the American group and the Haitians worked so hard, they used all the sand. So the following morning, at 2 a.m., the Bataille people starting going further down river to collect more sand by hand in buckets. The Bataille people “worked with all their hearts” because they know the value of education. Coming alongside Hope for Haiti provides more opportunities to build a school, and ultimately rebuild a country.
“When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!’” Acts 14:11
It’s important to understand the culture and the potential perspectives when exploring a new place. I learned children in some parts of Haiti will not look you in the eye if you are older and talking to them. Their culture
teaches them this action. It’s not because I was Caucasian like I thought. My misunderstanding of the culture prohibited me from communicating God’s love for his Haitian people appropriately.
Paul healed a lame man in Lystra. However, the crowd fell on their understanding and their experiences, and deemed Paul and Barnabas as gods. It’s what they were taught. They didn’t know Paul and Barnabas, as humans tapped into God’s power were not using their own power to heal.
What situations do you walk into without doing a little bit of research on the perspectives of whom you are going to see? What is one new thing you can learn today that will help bridge the gap in communication?
The girl in the picture is Izlande SainVil who lives in Bataille. She does not have a sponsor. If your heart is pounding faster because you want to make sure she goes to school and has food, please pray about becoming a sponsor.
“Jesus replied, ‘And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them’”
Have you carried a bucket on your head? Haitians carry buckets and pots on their head. Sometimes, they take a banana leaf and wrap it into a circle and put it between their bucket and their head. The load is stabilized. The girl in the blue shirt in the center of the picture has a banana leaf under her bucket.
Maybe you have not carried a bucket on your head before. Maybe it is too much to carry. However, as believers we can supply help to those who are carrying the buckets. Think of it like giving them a banana leaf. Rather than doing something that is awkward, like carrying a bucket by yourself, maybe God is asking for you to give a “banana leaf.”
What is your banana leaf? What kicks your passion into gear? Most likely, that’s your banana leaf. What would help lighten the load, rather than increase burdens?
So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.
Noah did what he was directed to do by God. He didn’t debate, or excuse, or ramble. He just did. How? One at a time. One board at a time, one nail at a time, and one step at a time.
This roof, built in 2010 was built one at a time. One bucket at a time. One person, handing off to another. One at a time. What has God put in your heart to do? Are you debating the issue? Are you overwhelmed at the enormous task? Be comforted in knowing that God will hand it to you, one at a time.
As we remember the earthquake anniversary, we pray for the people who never saw family members again. We pray for community to come around those who fled the city in the months afterwards. However, we also pray for God to again wake up the people to his power and care. This scene in downtown St. Marc is from when the believers gathered to pray for their country days after the quake. May God keep that spirit of unity as we remember.
“Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength’” (Nehemiah 8:10).
We celebrate at the New Year. We are joyful because of the good things the Lord did over the past year: preparing, building, strengthening. We met new friends, started new seasons, and have seen the Lord add to our number those that choose to follow him fully. Let’s continue to celebrate God’s holiness by enjoying food, but also sending “some to those who have nothing prepared.” God’s strength will provide in return if we are joyful.