31 December 2009
28 December 2009
We've had just a fantastic few days with my family, continuing to find some much-needed rest and Godly encouragement in them. We've been some beautiful places: to the beach, and the pool in town, and spent a few days at home, enjoying each other and the joy of friends and family.
25 December 2009
Lily and her new bunny-chair from Grandmom and Pop-Pop.
The Hubele's gave Lily a babydoll and a stroller...she LOVES them and has been dragging all her new toys around in her stroller.
Matt got a new watch from his parents...
And I bought a Haitian chair for Lily and painted it...This was our "big value" gift at 85 CENTS plus paint :)
We LOVE the new grill Matt's brother and sister-in-law sent us....
and had just a LOVELY Christmas Day!
Cannot believe it's been almost a year since this little Candy Lover joined us. This candy cane was gone before 7 am...
Aunt Lisa brought Lily this AWESOME Christmas dress and bow, which she proceeded to play with throughout Christmas Eve. She wore it for our OMS Christmas Eve celebration, and had such a blast with the other kids playing ball and eating awesome snacks.
23 December 2009
21 December 2009
18 December 2009
I am admittedly terrible on computers. Photos are my problem, and with tens of thousands of them tucked away with tons of Lily and Seminary videos, Power Point presentations, brochures, documents, logos, music, and episodes of The Office...yeah, they generally can only keep up with my multi-tasking-on-steroids ways for 2-3 years before quitting on me.
Thankfully, my father is coming in on Sunday, and will be able to carry one in with him...saving in trying to ship (and pay for shipping and customs) a laptop to Haiti. Until then, I’m blogging from Matt’s very theological, media and art-free computer...no photos for a while.
Thursday Matt and John headed to Limonad because Matt had been invited to be the guest speaker at a conference on discipleship. They had just an AWESOME day, and were blessed to be a part of a conference involving 75 young people, mostly men, ages 18-30. This is an age-group often missing from church-life and often involved in nothing and all the problems that come from doing “nothing”.
He was able to work alongside of some really godly Haitian leadership, as well, and able to see some truly indigenous ministry happening and see God doing some new things with His people here. The audience was engaged and enthusiastic, and it was really encouraging for Matt to be able to be a part of Holy Spirit-inspired ministry efforts and not be at the core of it himself.
Based on Jesus’ model, he was able to teach on love and faithfulness being at the heart of Christian discipleship, and this approached sparked some great discussion and growth.
The longer we are here (not just in Haiti, but on Earth) the more we realize that this is ALL about relationships...This is an extra difficult concept for me, who gets much joy, order and stability from task accomplishment and efficiency and for Matt, who is energized by solitude and uninterrupted focus.
It is our relationship with Christ that enables us to be agents of joy and healing and healthiness in our relationships with people. It is our relationship with Him that enables us to get OUT of our own way and be in humble, sacrificial, honest and loving relationships with others...
It is because of Him that we can be turned OUTWARD, and build the relationships that make TRUE differences...transformations that no amount of task-accomplishments can create. It is HE that transforms, first us, and then our approach to others.
I get overwhelmed by praise for HIM. Praise the Lord for the Lord! Praise Him for this miracle of relationship, that turns the human heart away from itself and onto Him, and therefore pours Him out, The One Thing That Is Needed, on Haiti...on the World.
All in the form of a wrinkled baby, a skin-kneed child, a rough-palmed carpenter, a plain-faced teacher, a hush-hush healer, a painfully-honest preacher, a spit-covered King. OUR King. Forever Emmanuel.
Praise the Lord.
15 December 2009
Today marked the final day of class, AND the last day Emmaus Biblical Seminary held class at it’s previous campus!
Pretty crazy to think about, all the hours of class, hardships and joys that have taken place in these halls, these classrooms, these dorm, for the last 40 years…all the men and women that have come through, all the different men and women who have taught, who have led, who have come and gone…all the services that have been held in this chapel, all the meals eaten in this cafeteria, all the soccer matches on this yard! (I’ve warned you: I struggle with change!)
It is an exciting time to be a part of EBS and all that God is doing here, and as my students bombarded me with questions about the new campus this morning (they’ve never seen it), I caught their excitement for something NEW, for hope for the future, for change.
Selfishly, Matt and I are also VERY excited that we won’t be commuting with Lily back and forth 1, 2 or sometimes 3 times a day anymore. In order to have internet access for a master’s class yesterday, Matt was gone from 7 am until 7:30 pm, and in order to share the truck, have Lily home for naps, have meals ready on time, be on time for class, etc., Matt frequently has to find creative ways home and I frequently have to make extra trips. Running Lily back and forth 6-10 times each M-F has been a lot, and we are more exhausted from this past 5 weeks than we ever thought we could be.
We also taught our last class in town this week for the year, led our last women's Bible study in the cafeteria for the year, and are starting to see things wrap up for the year! It will be nice to have a change of pace for a few weeks and some time to do those things we're always going to do...soon!
Thursday Matt is the main speaker on a conference on discipleship in an area church, and Sunday we head to the Dominican Republic to pick up my dad and sister, who will be coming to spend Christmas with us!
Lily took SIX steps on her own this morning, and will be running by the time they get here!
Enjoy the snow and all things Christmas for us today!
12 December 2009
This game is a BIG deal. After weeks of practice and “Pastoral trash talk”, the building of two goals out of pieces of wood and rice sacks, and choosing of captains, forwards, goalies, refs and DJs, the match began.
Neither team had enough shoes among them, and it was almost comical to watch players go in and out of the game, rapidly swapping out shoes of all types and sizes. (Notice Matt is in socks in half these pictures ☺ ) Every time anyone almost got a goal, the students would go WILD, and Lily, sure that something was wrong, burst into tears each time.
However, NO one ever scored, and a rather pitiful and debatable shoot-out ended in victory for the staff (for the first time…probably EVER.) Pitiful or not, you would have thought the staff won the World Cup, and proudly paraded a tiny golden trophy for all the young whippersnappers to see!
It was a FUN fun time, and a joyful time of relationship between staff and students. It was fun to be FRIENDS and not at all professors and students, missionaries and pastors.
The big game was followed by an annual Christmas program/party, in which the students and staff share devotionals, sing songs, pray together, do some skits and comedy routines, and clap. For everyone. A lot.
It was a lot of fun, though we had hoped to better understand Haitian humor by year three…and that was NOT the case. We rolled with laughter because the guys were rolling with laughter, but man, just like my students never think that sarcasm is humorous, we didn’t get why, well, ANYTHING was particularly funny tonight.
I LOVE that our God “gets” us each…That our joy is His, that He knows our intricate parts intimately, and that culture is N O T H I N G to Him…just us, His kids. We LOVE being His kids with these men and women! Thank you, Lord, for the gift of being YOURS here in Haiti!