We've been back over a week now, and time is just continuing to fly! There have been several unexpected blessings the past days, and the Lord's really working on brining us to Himself moment by moment!
One huge blessing was having Fon-Fon, one of Matt's fourth year graduates, come to the house yesterday, having heard we were back. We saw him just 8 weeks ago, but were surprised to see his tall, muscular frame visibly gaunt. He had not one complaint, but the difficult times in Haiti were apparent in his jutted cheekbones and in the notches of his belt. Nonetheless, he spoke only of how much God has been doing in Haiti and in his life, and this was such an encouragement.
My dear friend and college roommate emailed from Sudan today, encouraging us to pray that war and injustice would not stop in Sudan until God's purpose was accomplished. "It is suffering," she said, "That is bringing many Muslims to Christ."
Fon-Fon shared the same thing with us. He leads a Bible study in his church, and shared with us yesterday how much the suffering of his brothers and sisters has brought them to a hunger for everything the Bible has to say. He also continued to tell us that he was able to make the study more in-depth than any Bible study this church had been able to offer because he had been working in the Hebrew text and been using his Hebrew lexicon. It was great to be affirmed that having access and the knowledge to the translation of the Bible IS vital here and is aiding in not just conversion, but discipleship.
We also had heavy and cool rains last night, giving us a GREAT mosquito and sweat-free nights sleep. How nice! Our inverter is at the radio station being worked on...hopefuly it will just be a few more days (if not, Charlie, we're calling!)
Yesterday, our cat, who as you can see, has to help with everything from filing to sleeping to maintenance projects, put a gaping hole in one of our screens. Matt took a break from Hebrew to work on it for a while, and we were blessed once again. Haitian friends came from, well, I don't know where, the moment they saw him working on it, and before long there were a troop of men working alongside of Matt, simply happy they could help.
This reminded me again of just another aspect of Christ that these beautiful people we live with are constantly revealing. Their eagerness and even JOY at dropping their tasks to help their brother was such a humbling reminder of Jesus...a reminder of who we must continue to seek to represent.
And then today, another reminder of His love through our brothers and sisters, a box of brand new beautiful maternity clothes arrived from Don and Brenda, (THANK YOU!!!) leaving me feeling fat and pretty, instead of just fat :)
These may all seem like rather small things, but there are no small encouragements here, no small works of God's hands. In Nehemiah 6, Nehemiah sought to do what he was called by God to do, rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. And yet, the "Enemy's Plot" continued to call him away, threaten him, encourage him to leave it, and to discourage him.
Nehemiah finally addresses it in this way (vs. 9) "You thought that by trying to bother and frighten us, we would become discouraged with the work and it would not be done. But now, O God, strengthen my hands."
We must not be discouraged with the work God has given us! Instead of praying that life would be easier here, that our inverter would work, that I would feel no sickness, that everything would be more peaceful, we want to pray first and foremost that God would just strengthen our hands...make us stronger, keep us firmly resolved.
We are blessed to know exactly what He has called us to here: training and discipling and living life alongside Haitian men and women called by God to take the Word throughout Haiti. So, "strengthen our hands!"
Pray, as we pray for you, that discouragements, problems, sicknesses, heat, distractions, disunity, and lies of the enemy would not keep us from what He's called us to, and doing it well and for His glory!