Monday, July 26, 2010

Redeeming Haiti

In 15.5 hours (yes, that is 3AM), our little team will be meeting at the parking lot of church to head off to Haiti again! God has really pulled through (duh. I don't know why that always surprises me) with the logistics of this trip, and we are going to be able to help out with some amazing projects in Gonaives. The CityPlace campus brought in more than 1,500 new pairs of shoes and socks that we will be able to take down, and we are building bunk beds and a kitchen for the sweet orphanage that we visited last time.

All of this smooth planning for the trip has been awesome, but it also means that Haiti really hasn't been on my mind as much as it should have been lately. So, how perfect that the Compassion International blog would post this story this morning to point out the revolution that God is doing in Haiti, and to remind me that it's not about giving shoes (even really adorable baby Chuck Taylors) but giving the hope of Jesus.

I think the thing I love most about God’s character is His desire for redemption. He loves creating good out of bad. Bringing life out of death. Restoring hope to completely hopeless situations. In fact, it often seems that His favorite time to redeem is at the very point where redemption seems impossible.
Do you think anyone who knew Saul would have believed he’d be one of the most outspoken Christ-followers in history?
All this thinking about God and His love of redeeming things came from reading the recent cover story for Relevant magazine on the situation in Haiti. It’s long but extremely well written and informative.
No one in their right mind would call the earthquake that hit Haiti a good thing. It was utterly devastating. And yet still there is good.
Because of the earthquake’s destruction, Haiti is now having to start with what feels like a nearly clean slate. The [corrupt and inefficient] government was toppled. The [inadequate] school system was destroyed. Proof of [unjust] land ownership is now virtually impossible. The [enormous and unbridgeable] gap in economic status was decimated, putting government officials in tents next to poor slum-dwellers.
Do you see how, along with hundreds of thousands of lives, injustice and corruption also took a hit?
Not only that, but according to the article, here’s a quick list of the good that has come of the earthquake:
  • Immediately following the earthquake, people called on the name of Jesus. Not Voodoo. Not Catholic saints. Jesus Christ.
  • The country held a government-initiated national day of prayer.
  • More people are going to church. More people have accepted Christ in the past six months than in the previous two years.
  • The new school system that is being rebuilt is aiming to allow for free public education, something that Haiti has never had.
  • The government and leadership in Haiti have the opportunity to install leaders with integrity.
  • A devastated and poorly functioning capital city was demolished and can now be rebuilt and decentralized.
  • The Church in Haiti has the opportunity to prove itself.
It makes me supremely happy to think about how what Satan intended for destruction, God is using for good. When is the dumb devil going to get the fact that it’s over? It was over at the cross.
The devil lost.
Courtesy of Compassion International:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Sea You!

I know it's a Saturday night and I should pretend that I am doing something more exciting than sitting at my computer, but this is too good not to share.

After living in Florida for over a year (and turning off all our lights every evening for 9 months out of the year for "turtle season"), I finally saw a mama sea turtle lay her eggs on the beach! I feel like I am finally ready to move on and see the rest of the world now that I'm able to check the most important "to do" off my Florida list.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag

The past few weeks have been crazy, to say the least. My parents came to visit over the 4th of July (it rained every. single. day.) and we had a lot of fun visiting with them. They haven't been down since Christmas, so we got a few good beach days in, took them to all of our new favorite places, and enjoyed catching up with them.

In fact, apparently they had so much fun that they encouraged Adam and Paula to come visit too. So on Tuesday, he called to let me know that their flight would get in at 11AM on Wednesday. The weather has been great though, so we are getting to show them around and spend a lot of time at the beach and pool. We tried to go snorkeling yesterday but the water has been too choppy, so hopefully we'll be able to see some fish later this weekend.

Besides having all these visitors (and working out obsessively - thanks p90x), we have also been busy planning out the next few months. After a lot of talking, waffling, research and prayer, we think we have come up with the best possible plan. Ready?

We're leaving for Switzerland on Sept. 25. We'll spend 3 months there and 3 months in Africa (location TBD) and then come home in March, get all of our stuff together, and head off to the Peace Corps in June. That's right - 4 continents in 12 months. 

If you think we're crazy, join the club. But we are taking the year we have between now and our Peace Corps departure to attend a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission. The school we are attending is actually focused on "developing nations," which couldn't be a better fit for the adventure we're about to take with the Peace Corps. Basically, we will spend 3 months doing classroom training in Burtigny, Switzerland and then 3 months of outreach somewhere in Africa. 

So we have about 2.5 months to raise almost $20,000, get moved out of the condo, and ready to leave for basically 3 years (with a 3 month "break" from March - June 2011). No small feat, especially when you consider that we have furniture/wedding presents/junk in West Palm Beach, Orlando, Roanoke and Athens. We've already seen God do some pretty cool things in planning for this trip, so we're confident that it will all work out. But if you want to come visit, you'd better hurry up!