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Thursday, May 21, 2020

My advice to you, my little ones


I’ll pour into you the little bit of wisdom I have every second I get, but eventually, you’ll be on your own. All grown up taking on the world. So here is my advice for you:

Love entirely. Be so full of love that people yearn to know where it comes from, then show them Jesus. Love like He did. To the beggar, to the prostitute, to the outcast, to the poor.
"love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude." 1Peter 3:8

Give until it hurts. We aren’t taking anything with us my love so give it all away. Find that joy in watching others receive. Give when no one is watching. Give over and abundantly to the Lord and His people.
"it is more blessed to give than to receive." -Jesus

Be Bold against the world. Fight against the injustice. Fight for the poor to have a voice, speak up for the rejected, the unwanted, the oppressed, the orphan, the homeless, the addict. Be bold enough to want to change the ugly in our world and refuse to listen to the crowd who says it’s not possible.
"learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows." Isaiah 1:17

Be a Women. Dress modestly. Your worth will never be found in your looks. Your value will never be based on your body. Be a woman who stands tall and confident knowing all your beauty is found in your heart; a heart set on Jesus. Be a women that knows your standards and won’t ever settle for less than what is lovely in the eyes of our Lord.
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a women who fears the Lord will be greatly praised." Proverbs 31:30

Stand firm in your faith. Don’t let the world shake you. Don’t let the haters discourage you. Stand firm in the promises of God knowing they are true. Stand firm knowing you’re a daughter of the King. Stand firm in your beliefs and never stop praying. Never ever stop praying.
"Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil." Ephesians 6:11

and above all else, remember this: Jesus loves you, forever and always.




Friday, May 15, 2020

Lazarus

You've probably heard the story from Luke chapter 16. The one we might just skip because we don’t really want to hear it.

The rich man who lived in luxury each day and Lazarus, the poor beggar that lay at his gate.
Lazarus longed for scraps from the rich man’s table. He was hungry. He had nothing.

Perhaps Lazarus yearned for what the rich man had. It looked appetizing in the “now”. Perhaps the future destiny of this rich man with indifference to the poor wasn’t being taken into consideration by the poor beggar, but for now, the luxury set upon the rich man’s table looked good. To have a rich lifestyle looked exciting, having the fame and the fortune looked appealing. So many of us in the world our aiming for fame or fortune, right? We want the ease, the comfort, the luxury; its attractive. We yearn for more followers on social media. We buy the fancy clothes to make us appear prettier. We try and say all the right words to get the best job climbing the tallest ladder to success, fame, ease, and comfort.

Or maybe Lazarus saw straight through the rich man and detested what he had. Fine linen, food galore, rich enough to have a gate to guard off outsiders... but a cold heart and an indifference to some of God's image bearers. Maybe Lazarus saw how terrible the rich man’s life would become once death arrived because he kept all his treasures to himself and so maybe Lazarus didn’t want any more than just some scraps from the table to keep his belly fed.

I don’t know what Lazarus thought. But what I do know according to Luke is that the rich man went to hell and Lazarus went to heaven. Abraham said “during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted and you are in anguish.”

That stings just a bit. It's not the most attractive story in the Bible. It brings on a lot of questions as to what exactly did the rich man do, or didn't do.

Yes, God gives good gifts and this isn’t to condem anyone with nice things. I have a room full of treasures too. So don't take the story out of the context.

When the rich man realized his fate, it was too late. There was no chance of going back to warn his brothers. There was no chance for revival. He was stuck in torment wishing Lazarus would dip the tip of his finger in water to cool his tongue. Because he CHOSE to ignore the beggar and live in luxury for this very short time on earth, he now is tormented day and night.


I admit I am at fault. Although I don't have much attached to my name, I am still “rich” compared to my neighbors in Haiti. I hold a passport in my hands, I can spend $7.00 for breakfast at Chick-fil-A every now and then, I can go to the doctor when I’m sick. I can even buy the brand of peanut butter I prefer. And that is all a blessing from God and is meant to be accepted and appreciated as the good gifts He gives... but then sometimes I still ignore and pass by the beggar.

Sometimes I forget that it is eternity at stake here. Not a few seasons on earth where the comfort and ease and fancy lifestyle might look appealing. It’s about all the millions of years after this life that matters. And what we do on this short life, determines the life we live after death. Life is like a vapor. It ends quickly, but eternity is forever. Are we living for Christ? More than just church on Sunday mornings, are we truly giving Him our first fruits, our time, our hearts? It’s a question I have to ask myself after getting into the mundane of life. It's easy to want what the world has. It's easy to not want to help the beggar because of all the extra strain that comes with pouring into that relationship and being intentional in it. I'll admit, sometimes I cringe when I hear a knock on my door because I just don't want to put forth the energy to grow the relationship. Sometimes, selfishly I just want to turn a blind eye.

How often do we see what someone else has and want it? Or how often do we focus on heaven’s riches and not earth’s desires? How often do we pass by rather than taking the time to love our neighbor? How often do we harm our neighbor not my mistreating him but by ignoring him?

“the rich man did not abuse Lazarus, didn’t beat him or mistreat him; he simply ignored him, passing by him, day after day, with indifference. His sin was not one of commission but of omission.”
-Richard Stearns

We have many beggars outside our doors, across town, down the street, in other countries. They are our neighbors. Right next to our churches and houses are beggars on the streets, in shacks, in subways. People starving maybe for food, or maybe just for a friend. They just want a few scraps from our tables. Maybe scraps in the form of food or maybe they just want to feel accepted, loved, acknowledged. This is a season in our society where so many people are coming together. We actually have time on our hands and we are realizing that we can use that time to bless others. We can deliver food to hospitals, we can donate handmade face masks. We are realizing how this virus can affect everyone and we are seeing what it means to lack, to go without, to have to count the pennies and stretch them out. We now can walk a step or two in the shoes of the beggar.

You never know when tragedy might arrive and we’ll be the one begging, wishing we weren’t invisible to the big world out there. Wishing for the good-hearted people to share some scraps.

This is convicting for me. It’s not easy to swallow. When I was a child I read this story and just thought "the rich go to hell and the poor go to heaven" but that's not it at all. The sin here is not one of commission but of omission. It's not about who has money and who doesn't. It's about seeing and acknowledging and helping others. It's about not passing by and ignoring the pain of others while we continue to live our lives in luxury without a care in the world for anyone else.

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and deny them by their lifestyle.” – Brennan Manning


What do you have to offer? See the good gifts that God has given you then go find the one whom God says to share it with. Maybe your gift to share is words of encouragement with someone in agony, maybe it's a listening ear to someone who needs to vent, maybe it's money, maybe it's food.
We are the church. We are HIS hands and feet. And right now our church buildings might be closed but that doesn’t mean we stop being the church. It is the perfect time to get up and help. Be Jesus to a stranger, be Jesus to the poor. Notice the sick, the outcast, the lonely, the hungry and show them JESUS. We may still be rich compared to the poor, but we can still change the trajectory of the story in one simple and profound way: don't pass by with indifference. Stop and love, stop and pray, stop and give. "His sin was not one of commission but of omission." Remember them. See them, love them, serve them, accept them.


Love and be loved

-Ellen

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

An excerpt from our Spring Newsletter

Emmanuel - God With Us!


Do you ever wonder, “Where is God?” We are living in difficult times right now wondering what will be made of all this. How long will it last? Illness seems to be overtaking the world, the loss of jobs, the lack of medical equipment, our anxiety for the future, our hungry stomachs and hungry souls…all have us wondering, “Where is God?”

During the Easter Season, It Feels Like We Are on Day Two.

On day one, Jesus is crucified. He was to rise from the grave, but with such agony, it was hard for the people to remember and believe. On day three He is risen from the dead…but what about day two? Don’t you think the world wondered what would become of all this? Is it really over? So much pain and confusion, heartache and grief.


But Then Day Three Came!
It came then, and it will always come because God is still on the throne. He is still in charge and will always be with us. We are His body on earth and it is our job to tell the world that yes, day two is frightening, but day three is coming! Jehovah Jirah will provide because He is the Beginning and the Last and all things are held together by Him.
In this season of heaviness, we must remember day three, when Jesus rose from the dead because His Word said He would. Every verse in our Bible is true and holy and we must cling to that in trying times. We must cling to His promises knowing that HE IS STILL ON THE THRONE.
Death will not overtake us.
Grief will not overtake us.
Fear will not overtake us.
God will overtake us!
He will hold us, nurture us and love us on day one, day two, day three… and for the rest of eternity. Keep the faith. Believe in His miracles. Be thankful for day two. It is there where the great anticipation has led up to the beautiful reminder:
Our King has risen and is alive and well! We can rest in that.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
“The reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:6-7, 9



**This is a small excerpt from our latest newsletter!
If you would like to be added to receive the La Limyè Newsletter, email me at lalimye@gmail.com. We can email you or mail out to your home updates on ministry in Haiti, prayer requests, stories, and more!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Life in Haiti during a Pandemic

I feel guilty for writing a blog about my life when it seems the world is falling apart all around us. This is just for my supporters and prayer partners through the ministry who have asked for an update.

So here is where I've been the last few weeks:

"Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm." 

Isaiah 7:9


From the time of hearing the first case of Coronavirus had arrived in Haiti until 10 days later when the last flight would leave Haiti with no others authorized to come or go until the unknown future, I cried out to God for an answer. 
Literal tears in almost frustration towards God that I didn’t feel like I had a clear answer as to if I was to stay in Haiti, or go to America. Deep down I knew the answer. I knew what I had to do, but fear shook me to my core.

 Every few hours the embassy would send out an email: 

American citizens who wish to return to the United States should plan to do so immediately.  The U.S. Embassy is not aware of any flights from Haiti to the United States after March 30, or if any flights will be authorized in the future. U.S. citizens who do not return to the United States while commercial or commercially available charter flights are available may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite period.”

Many expats have left, many have stayed, all with legit and understandable reasonings... but I had such trouble deciding. I was contradicting everything- every pro and every con. They all weighed so heavily. And as human as I am, I was wanting the answer that led to safety and ease yet neither answer had that as an option because both countries were in trouble and my heart knew as a disciple of Christ I can't chase safety and ease. Haiti has been on lockdown so many times in the past 2 years and I never once struggled with wondering if I should leave. But this time, I have. 

Is it wise in the eyes of the Lord to leave for a season while so much is at stake for the ministries sake and the health of the world? To take a break, save myself so that I can continue on fighting for this ministry from the sidelines?
Or is it faith in the eyes of the Lord to stay with the knowledge that there is not much healthcare to lean on in times like these? Deep down knowing that America had adequate healthcare was my biggest comfort in all of this. 
I knew it was faith to rely on God and continue on with the ministry trusting in Him NOT healthcare, but sometimes He gives us wisdom to take a different route in different seasons and that is what I wanted to be made clear.

What is wise and what is faith and which decision is both...or neither? 



I opened my bible and read Isaiah. 

“Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”

Well there you have it, El. You can’t stand firm with your decision if your faith is constantly shaky, worrying, wondering, blurred. 
The devils fiery darts were the “what if’s” and it took many days of freaking out and letting my dark thoughts overtake my peace to realize yet again, I had let the devil in. 
I knew the Bible said "do not fear” over and over again and I know Gods promises ring true that He is our protector and provider and He hides us under the shadow of His wings...Yet I realized how shaky my faith really was when it came to actually having to count the cost. To actually accepting that I might be stuck in Haiti for some time with limited...everything...and not knowing when I’ll get to see my family again. 

I knew what verses spoke loudest to me and the convictions I personally had about only half way serving Him in the shallow end, or the risks of letting fear over faith rule my mind, and yet I was trying to navigate all the “what if’s” and if I was truly hearing the Lord correctly and not just hearing what I wanted to hear. 

If I leave I’d forever feel guilty for leaving the girls and the employees in such a potential mess. 
If I leave there’s no telling when I’d be allowed to come back. 
If I leave it would probably be out of fear not faith. And that’s where I landed. 
•Fear•
I was told there is around 130 ICU beds but maybe only 30 in good condition with the ability to ventilate 64. Sixty four! That’s it for the whole country. And I turn on the news and see warehouses and boats being turned into hospital rooms because America’s state of the art hospitals can’t accompany all that is pouring in day after day. I see the turmoil that this is causing America and felt so guilty that I was even stressing over what I should do when so many are already on the frontlines fighting for the sick while potentially getting themself sick as well. So many don't have a choice to run to safety or stay at home and quarantine.  I hear how more and more people are loosing their jobs and can't pay rent and struggling to eat. I hear how New York is like a war zone and how businesses have had to shut down and my heart is heavy for the country I was blessed to be born in.

Then I switch countries  like a tv station where both of your favorite shows are on at the same time and you can't decide which to pick..
Haiti. Where I've lived for the past almost 7 years. Where my house is and my job and my calling.
I hear on the radio 800,000 Haitian deaths wouldn’t be an exaggeration. 
I hear of an orphanage getting attacked because someone inside tested positive and some people react with harm towards fear. Foreigners had been yelled at saying it was our fault the virus landed in Haiti and all of this causes thoughts of how this virus could cause hate and anger to spread faster than the virus itself. We've already been on lockdown so much in the past 18 months. Now in BOTH countries? Both countries are having their own struggles and it hurts to watch.

6 million out of Haiti’s 11 million live on $2.41 a day according to the World Bank. So no, stocking up and staying in doesn’t work here just like it can't work for everyone in the States either. Social distancing doesn’t work because so many in my area make their money by selling at the market. An outdoor market with thousands of people buying and selling. They sell, then they eat. And as you can imagine $2.41 a day doesn’t exactly buy Tylenol to stock up, toilet paper, bags of rice, or even drinking water which rarely flows in houses where I am located. Many have to fetch the water at crowded wells. Most houses in my village are made up of only 1 or 2 rooms and that's it. Housing 4-6 people inside with a community toilet outside and an outdoor makeshift kitchen as well. There isn't space for spreading out. 
So yes my nerves were heightened as was my anxiety as I cried out to God to remind me of His peace, and His plan, and His voice. At this point neither country was attractive. Both would suffer deeply. So for me, it all was in Gods hands. "God, remind me the reason I came here in the first place. Remind me who’s in charge here and who is just the servant." 



It’s April 2nd 2020, I am in Haiti and God has given me an abundance of peace in this decision. There are no more flights out for the time being and so far there are only 16 (confirmed) cases in Haiti. 
Through the past week I’ve regained my peace, I’ve actually practiced trusting God and not just saying it, and I’ve been more aware of when the enemy is trying to attack. Because he will continue to try especially in times like these where the future is so unknown to us.

So I say all this to say, this is just my journey. This is not to downplay the intensity of the virus in advanced countries, or just to display the reality in developing countries. This is not to say all missionaries should stay in Haiti, this is just what the Lord had for me. This by NO MEANS makes me a saint or a warrior so please don't even say it. I'm just doing what the Lord has planned for me, reluctantly at times too. I am quarantined at my house like you are at yours. And whether someone is staying or going from life overseas, that is between God and that person. Neither is right or wrong as long as the Lord is the leading factor to the decision. 
This is just my story. Leading up to the decision my faith was tested, my commitment was tested but I’ve learned so much more on a deeper level on how God works, and for that it was worth it. So if you struggle in actually believing, if you struggle in hearing the Lord's voice, if you struggle with worry or fear, I'm right there with you. It's ok, we've all been there. I hope this blog shows you my struggles and that it's ok to not have it all together. It's ok to not be as strong as people think you are. We will get through this and we will come out stronger on the other side. Just keep the faith. Keep God at the front of your mind. Know when to turn off the news and open the Bible. 
Cry out to Jesus.
He hasn't left the throne.

But those who obey Gods word truly show how completely they love Him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. 
1John 2:5



To all those who have lost loved ones from this virus, to all the healthcare workers, factory workers, grocery store workers and everyone else who's job we are all dependent on to keep living, you are in my prayers. You are our hero's. We all have stories. Everyone is going through something and everyone is going through it differently. Your story is no less or more important. God sees you. He knows you. He is listening. Nothing is too petty for Him. He cares.




Saturday, March 7, 2020

Haiti - Level 4: Do Not Travel

 I read it, but couldn’t believe it.  Sadness and frustration flooded me. Again?  I mean seriously, again? This time around there aren’t any roadblocks, or looting businesses. This time around there aren’t any burning tires or falling asleep to the sound of gunshots. Gas stations are still well stocked with fuel, kids are still in school, normal life seemed to be coming back in after so many weeks of lockdown last fall. But this time around it’s on a whole different level. As we are all shocked that Haiti is now a level 4 again…right up there with Afghanistan and Iran, we know that the issues going on are so heavy and so traumatizing that even though there are no burning tires like we are used to, level 4 is where we are and I have to accept that. 

Day after day there are reports of kidnappings. There has been a huge rise of kidnappings in the last few months where ransom amounts are sky high.  Some days up to 15 victims. A few days ago it was stated 6 in one hour. Young and old, locals and foreigners, kidnapped and held for ransom. 

That is what is believed to be the main reason for the travel advisory. Though we can still go on with our day to day activities, the knowledge of this actively going on still lurks around us. We’ve heard of so many instances over the past two months it has become all too normal to read about yet still nerve racking and devastating to hear. 



This is a blog I wrote some time ago during another period of unrest, but it still rings true today. 

“This is not the time to throw hands up in disgust and find a more “attractive” country to support. This is not the time to forget about our neighbors whom so many deserve the world yet only get the leftovers. 
This is the time to continue serving because food prices have risen so much when the market already sells cups of cornflakes because a whole box of cereal is too expensive. This is the time to still give because ministries are fighting right in the middle of this mess to keep feeding, loving, encouraging, and serving these people while being wide eyed and cautious every time we leave the house. This is the time to pray like crazy because some of us are scared of what is to come. Will we lose support due to all of the corruption that seems to flare up every other season? Will teams stop coming in? Will donors give up on this island that seems to feel like it's always drowning? Will restaurants and hotels and stores collapse over time from all the turmoil and injustice and crime that never seems to take a break? What will be made of all this? Will it get worse? 

Or will the donors and prayer partners remember the little girl in the picture who has a heart of gold and a dream of becoming a teacher one day and help her to make that dream come true. Will they remember the majestic mountains and the turquoise ocean as a reminder not to give up on the pearl of the Antilles. Will they remember to love thy neighbor and love like Jesus even if it’s messy, or dangerous, or not attractive?

Somedays counting the cost becomes a lot harder. Worry pounds its way in and tries to overtake one’s mind. “Worry is meditating the thoughts of Satan” is how it was once explained to me. The devil wants us to be scared when we leave the house, the "what ifs" that are around every corner, but we must keep our minds focused on Jesus. Because Jesus would be here loving, supporting, caring for the burdened. The outcast. The hard pressed. He’d have dinner with the sinners and wash the feet of his enemies. 
He has big fans over here. He’s all so many of them have to cling to in a broken world and yet they prove to me day after day that HE IS ENOUGH.
Remember, He’s a king born in a stable, not a palace. May we never put ourselves in a higher position that He himself. 
So, let us not shame the shoes we’ve yet to walk in. 
 There are so many souls over here that give me beautiful reminders that we can’t group the whole of a country into one stereotype. We can’t judge the country based off of the actions of a few people that we see on the news or read about online.

So, let’s join together in prayer for this country. 

There IS love here. 
There IS hope here. 
 And please, Jesus let change come here too.” 


Churches were just starting to email me asking about bringing teams down. I was so encouraged to get these emails as 2019 was a tough year as so many teams weren’t able to come due to the unrest. I was and still am so hopeful for our teams to come see all that La Limyè has done and to be apart of it, but in the mean time we will accept the season we are in. So, join me in prayer. For all of the victims of crime, kidnappings, and unrest. Pray for all the families who are affected by these tragedies. Pray for all of the businesses that will have a loss in profit from teams and tourist money coming to a halt as many can't or won’t travel during a level 4.  Pray for change to come. Pray that people won’t give up on this nation. You can talk to any one of my employees and instantly you will see the love and compassion and joy this country possesses.
This is only a season. It won’t define us. It doesn’t shape this place. It’s only a season. 
God be with us.


Thursday, March 5, 2020

When loving feels like failing

Sometimes, I feel like a failure. Like I’ve failed God. Failed humankind. Failed my job. I’ve been a people pleaser my whole life and it has caused me much harm. But what I’ve learned is that you can’t focus on pleasing people. You can’t help everyone. You can’t hold that weight. You were never intended to. You must only focus on pleasing and serving God. 

Some days I want to throw in the towel…but don’t get me wrong, I love my job here. I love this ministry, and I love living in Haiti. I am nowhere near the “burnt out” stage, but some days I feel beaten, hard pressed, overwhelmed, mentally exhausted, and ready for a day off...or two. That is normal. No one said following a crucified Savior would be rainbows and flowers. 

When these days come I catch myself feeling like I should have just stuck with being a waitress. I was good at that. I could handle that. I could see the issue like an empty glass and go fill it with tea. No confusion, no contemplating whether I’m helping while hurting, no strain on the amount of empty glasses I’m trying to fill. It was like riding a bike. Easy. No curveballs. No cultural difference, no voodoo, no malnourishment, no injustice. (Until you get the crazy customer that you can’t seem to please…but that’s another story.)

If I stuck with my past life, I wouldn’t be on the front lines of poverty and depression. I wouldn’t have to see mamas walk away after me saying I don’t have any job openings and then feeling like all the pressure is on my shoulders of what will happen next. Give away her kids or her body to earn a little money? Sleep on the streets? I wouldn’t have to feel the “what ifs” in helping - is this hand out helping or hurting? Is it helping the right now but hurting the future? Is the way I’m going about this causing dependency or lifting others up to become leaders? Is it taking the time to ask what would Jesus do, or just going with the flow, with what everyone else is doing to keep the ease?

If I went back to my life before Haiti I wouldn’t see hungry or sick kids around every corner and I wouldn’t be overwhelmed and worried that if I do one little thing wrong, it might be considered rude in a culture not my own. Having lost a child before, the trauma comes back every time someone comes to me and asks for help. “I don’t know how to help” I want to say. I haven’t figured life out. I don't know the best way to help. I don’t know how to make my toddlers stop throwing temper tantrums. I don’t know how to trust a hospital to save a life and then carry that dead body home in my arms, feeling like it must have been my fault somehow even though the child was born with the disease. I must of failed this child somehow right? I tried and failed. I don’t know how to beat poverty at its core so that it can’t keep drowning my neighbors and I.

Sometimes, I am just tired of trying. Sometimes, I’m too scared to keep trying in fear that I’ll hurt, not help  in the process. Being tired of seeing death and pain and heartache and poverty every single day can really take a toll on one’s body.
 So, I took my thoughts to the Lord. I wanted to dig deep into why I feel like all the world’s pain and injustice weighs heavily on my shoulders and how to find peace in being enough, doing enough, trying enough. I wanted to get to the bottom of why I worry about how to help more than just getting out there and helping the best way I know how.

The word that came to my mind was *tactics*
 The devil has tactics that he uses to sneak up on his prey. He knows my weaknesses and he knows how to use them. He knows my fears and knows how to scare them. 
So on days that I feel overwhelmed, unqualified, or like a failure…I know its him. Trying to get in my head. Trying to make me feel like I’m not good enough to accomplish the job the Lord has given to me. Trying to make me feel like I fail at helping people and forget my mission is only to serve God. He wants me to question my calling and my strengths. He wants me to question my faith and he loves when I grow weary in serving God. He loves when I cringe at the knocks on the gate knowing I cringe at the thought of trying to help one more person when some days I can't even figure out how to help myself. He loves when I grow weary in helping the sick, the lonely, the hungry, the poor. He loves when I see others doing it differently and question if my ways are wrong. He loves when I want to run away over the rainbow to a land with no poverty...at least not in my path.

But when I look at the child attached to my hip and wonder why she loves me so much, why she puts so much confidence in me, why she runs to me when she’s scared, sick, or happy, I am reminded. I see her smile, I hear her laugh and I have to remind myself that it’ll all be okWhen I see 31 employees come to work and encourage me on how to help and how to serve in this developing country and how to love no matter the cost, I am reminded.  The world is grey. Nothing is black or white. There are so many different ways to see the pain in front of us. There are so many different ways to handle the problem in front of us. There are so many different ways to help the poor help themselves. There are so many different ways to do ministry. Missionaries are the first to tell each other how to do it or how not to do it. And though it seems like there is always tension between ministries on who is doing it the right way for the best longterm outcome, and who is not, I’m reminded that we can not let the devil and his tactics distract us from helping. Sometimes we might hurt in the process. Something we might help. We are all learning. We are doing the best we can with the mental capacity we have and the resources we’ve been given. We are not failures. We may not see everything through the same lens but we over here are doing the best we can with hearts open to be educated and learn more. We’re doing the best we can given the circumstances of life on this island.  Sometimes we give the hand out, sometimes we give the job before the handout, sometimes we have to just say no and walk away. Every circumstance is different. 
Life in a developing country is hard. It is tiring. But, if we let the devil in, we will forget while we are here. We will forget whom we are serving over here. We will let his tactics overcome our minds and hearts and cause us to want to throw in the towel. But we can’t because God has given us a mission to do and that’s to serve Him wherever He places us. 
I must remember that I am where He wants me and He will never leave my side. I must find joy in the trial and errors and be encouraged by the mountains this life makes me climb. That is all God wants- to know that we will serve Him no matter the cost. He wants to know we are willing to help and love His children even if it hurts, even if we don’t know the best way how.  He wants to know that we still trust Him to show us the way, the path to understanding Him more and more. He wants to know we are willing. So today, you and I, let’s serve our King to the best of our ability and not let the devil in. Let’s love how we know how. Let’s live how we know how. Let’s focus on Jesus and not the world. Let’s do the best we can in loving His people whether as a cashier, or a bank teller, a farmer or a manager a missionary or a teacher.  We can love God’s people. We can teach and be taught every day through each other. 
Let’s love. Even if it hurts.

“the longer she follows Jesus, the more her trembling steps have turned into a walk of confidence. She has no reason to fear, because she knows the One who goes before her.” – her true worth

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Jean Claudy

Jean Claudy
16 y/o
46LBS

Stunted in growth, incontinent, nonverbal, severely malnourished. 

The averge 6 year old boy weighs 46lbs
The average 16 year old boy weighs 136lbs

25,000 people die a day from hunger. It is the leading cause of death killing more than AIDS/HIV, malaria, and TB combined.

So ya, we can go on yelling at the waitress for the $10.99 burger having mustard instead of ketchup.
We can go on and keep up with the celebrities, chasing after world success, money, and fame. We can buy the designer clothes thinking a label brands us. We can continue turning the channel, turning the page, or scrolling down and ignoring the hurt and the hurting surrounding us in a dying world.

Or

We can lend a hand, show that we care with compassion, give of your time, finances, and heart. We can love the homeless, and feed the hungry, and pour out hope and love. We can make a difference and chase after the only thing in this world that is worth anything.  Jesus. Only what’s done for Him will last. 
Giving of your time, money, heart, until it hurts won’t even compare to what Jean Claudy feels like as he goes to bed hungry. Not hungry, starving.

-Spread love with open eyes and open hearts-