I am always SO thankful and charged up whenever Lily and I return home from evangelizing in Sakenville. There is just about nothing I love more than sitting on my heels around wash buckets in the dirt with next-door women, watching our children play, talking about what God has done, is doing, and wants to do.
Some of them love the Lord. Most of them don't. But without fail, EVERY SINGLE home in Sakenville that I have approached has joyfully offered the house's best seat and given me the whole day, if I wanted it, to talk with them about anything and everything I want.
And yet I still find myself dragging my feet each day to do it, always thinking of a million things that need done...one more load of laundry, three more emails, after Lily's nap, really should start supper, I'm just so tired today, it might rain....
Finally, to discipline myself a little better, I designated at least two days a week for this, and Wednesday is one of them! After lunch, I finally got Lily's sun hat strapped on and we were off. Lily was sure that Shay wanted to join us, but the 90% of Sakenville that believes Shay has eaten several small children are thankful that Shay stayed home.
Then, I mused again over this freshly painted "Emmaus Biblical Seminary of Haiti" sign. Lucner and I met with the painter. I gave him an exact copy of what we wanted. Black paint, Didot font, perfect arch, 8" inch letters, large logo perfectly in the center...No problem. He said "No problem," I gave him the perfectly North American design straight from our printer, No problem.
The next day, Matt came and found me, and said, "Uh, you might want to come see what Jose is doing, because it, uh, it doesn't look like the paper."
The perfectionist in me cringed, but (thank you Lord) I just smiled and said, "It's a wall. Whatever."
Yesterday, he came and found me to show me the finished product. His version of an exact replica ("Only, pi bel...better") of my paper. I'm not quite sure what happened, but it is NOTHING like what I had asked for, and yet the community is glowing, ranting and raving about the beautiful new Emmaus Biblical Seminary sign and making sure to tell me that the opposite wall needs one EXACTLY like it.
The staff, the students, the community would have been SO disappointed with my dull, symmetrical, 3 color plan.
How often do I have the PERFECT thing in mind, the perfect thing created and charted out, precisely centered and flawlessly printed, and ended up with God's blue scroll-y, bright red, totally-not-what-I-wanted-but-I-think-it-might-actually-be-better plan?
I could have gotten out a projector, penciled it all on, painted it all out, and gotten 'perfect.' I had actually considered this from the get-go. Instead, I'm praising the Lord for the way HE works, which has been 100% of the time, bright red, scroll-y, and far better for everyone than I ever could have imagined.
As always, I heard a LOT of news in the community today.
Had I heard that everyone is sick right now because other countries are sending us poisoned air, trying to kill Haiti? (This sounded weird at first, then I realized that someone must have been recently informed of pollution....which, I guess is pretty much that exact thing minus the death wish :)
Had I heard every detail of the funeral Saturday, which was quite the social gathering? Had I seen so-and-so's hair? And did I see so-and-so's nails, and why don't I get mine done? Do foreigners think fancy nail art is bad? hmmm.
Did I know that Haiti was now the 54th State of the United States? The president of Haiti said he could not fix it, and said it was now the USA's. Do I know when the passport's will be distributed? Do you have to speak English to be a US citizen? Will the US start using Haiti for vacationing? I didn't know what to say to any of this, especially because everyone was so excited, so I just said, Welcome to America!
Had I heard that Mardi Gras, or Carnival, was cancelled this year? Did I know that for the first time ever in the history of Haiti that it was cancelled, and that instead of partying and celebrating Satan and practicing lots of dark and destructive things, the three days have been set apart as government deemed "prayer and fasting?"
I HAD heard about this...as that even CNN has reported that it was cancelled, noting what a tragedy the loss of this "joy" is. It was portrayed that through the cancellation of Mardi Gras, Haiti is losing a part of its culture. This IS true...Haiti is built upon a culture of Satan worship. This traditionally "last chance to get your sins out before Easter and holiness comes in" partying also demonstrates significant devotion and services to demons, Satan, and demonic activity.
Mardi Gras in Haiti is such a dark and evil time that the government (and most of the people), sure that Haiti's satanic activity contributed significantly to the January 12th earthquake, has forbidden MORE celebration of Satan. Instead, we have heard of many area weekly voodoo celebrations having been forbidden for at least a month, and Mardi Gras being replaced by prayer and fasting. Please consider joining us Friday, Saturday, Sunday...anytime!
little one born the day after the earthquake
Have you heard that they found another person alive? was the last rumor of the afternoon, and by far, THE BEST. This was SUCH a fun discussion at the first house that we talked about this everywhere I went. We talked about the man that was known to be dead that is alive, and this afternoon I joyfully witnessed everyone, everyone, EVERYONE rolling back on their heels, clapping their hands, laughing out loud, raising their arms and saying: "ONLY God could do that. He does what He wants. He can allow people to die, He can allow people to live, He can save people, and He can bring people water. Wow, THAT is a miracle. There is NO one like Him."
How fun to hear the lips of those who choose to serve other gods say, "There is NONE like God. Only HE can do that!" What an awesome platform we have, in such a time as this, when people that worship Satan are saying, 'We'd better not do that right now, because we can see that God is more powerful and we should worship Him instead."
I'm praying for Haiti....Please keep praying for Haiti, and I'm praying for my home country, too. I'm hoping and praying that some of the Jesus that the world is seeing in the Haitian people and in many miracles of hope and praise and joy might bring many to think...and that He might meet us there.
Here's a few more photos of the medical/evangelism clinic finishing up in Port. The groups and students are set to return on Friday. Please pray for them as they finish and for the MANY (over 450) new converts, that they might be firmly planted and watered by His Word, each other and His voice until a church can be planted there (Matt has a meeting about this tomorrow morning with the church-planting division of OMS Haiti).
the first group of EBS guys to go...