this speaks to the heart

From Center to Circumference:

“Lo, you seek revival.

You do well; only do not seek it in the energy of the flesh.  For the flesh is intent upon its own interests; yes it lusts after those things that perish with the using. I would have you seek Me in Spirit; then I will come down upon you in all My fullness and will hold back nothing of all that I desire to do for you.

For My ways are hidden from those who seek Me in the energy of the flesh. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of the waterspouts (Ps. 42:7), and I am in you, yes, for this very purpose above all other purposes, have I taken up My abode WITHIN you; that My spirit might be diffused through your spirit, and that we might be one even as I am one with the Father.

I in you, and you in Me, that we might be unified in thought and in action: in devotion and in purpose, that we might move continually not as two, but as ONE.

I ask you not to DO, but to BE. For whatsoever is of the flesh is flesh; but when you allow My spirit to have free course, when you cease to interfere with My moving within you, then those things that shall be accomplished both within and through you will be truly the LIFE of GOD. For My spirit is the Spirit of Life, and My spirit is the motivating power of Divine energy.  All else is DEATH. As it is written, ‘Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God’ (1 Cor 15:50). Neither can man through any endeavor of his own, however holy his purpose, produce this life, which does not exist apart from the direct activity of the spirit of God.

For I am with you and I am in you to make you neither barren nor unfruitful. I am in you to give you Life, and to give it to you abundantly, yes, life without limit! For all I am able to do for you is limited only by My omnipotence and My eternal, everlasting Life and Power, and to these there are no limits. Lo, I wait to bless you; I wait to give you My fullness. I delight to do for you because I love you beyond your power to begin to know. Only drop those things you grasp in your hand, and place your hands in Mine. Only pull your eyes from those things you hold precious, and I will fill them with My glory. Release your affections from all others. Place in My hands those you hold dear. Leave them in My keeping: for so shall your heart be set free to seek Me without distraction.  For when I am to you more precious than all else; when I have become more real to you than all else; and when you love Me more than you love any other, then shall you know complete satisfaction.  Your peace shall flow as a river, and your joy shall overflow as a fountain, and My glory shall be poured out as the fragrant anointing oil upon all your other relationships.

For I do NOT intend to strip you of earthly ties and joys, but I long to have you give Me the center of your life that My blessing may flow out to the circumference.  For My spirit moves not from the circumference to the center, but from the center to the circumference. So yield to Me your inmost consciousness. Offer Me not some random portion of your affections, but give Me that deepest portion of your heart, yes that which seems to be your very life itself. In truth it is so. For you yield Me your life only as you offer Me your love. For this reason I have said love is the fulfillment of the law. So give Me WHOLLY your heart’s affections, and I will meet your every need.

Seek FIRST the Kingdom of Heaven; set your desires wholly to obtain the riches of God, and all the other things shall be freely supplied as the needs arise.  ONly be very diligent in the quest, for the enemy always lies in wait that he may through evil device turn you aside. Be not overtaen by his wiles. Set your face like flint. Lay aside every weight and deliberately remove every hindrance.  Give yourself to prayer. You have My word, yes, you have My promise, that those who seek shall FIND. And My promises are sure, and My Word shall never pass away (Mt. 24:35).”

Advertisements

3 weeks

I have to admit that as I come to my 3 week mark (in two days), the days have gone really slow.  The first two weeks we had projects every once in a while but not enough to keep me busy to where I didnt think about how long the day was.  Im not crazy about sitting around all day in the heat, but it is one of those things that you just have to deal with when you leave your comfortable home.  Things haven’t been in any way close to what I expected.  The three other times I’ve served overseas (Ecuador 2007, Swaziland 2009, Mali 2010) I have gone with people I know (family or friends) or a team that I didnt know at all, but we were still all in the same boat.  That helped alot.  Im so thankful that Im here living with this family of people, but that one of them is an American (Sarah).  I dont know how well I would do or how long I could go without having someone of a same background to talk about things.  And even this is hard since coming here I didnt know Sarah nor had I ever met her but we had corresponded through email the whole time.  It was definitely a step of courage and bravery to just get on a plane and fly to another country I’ve never been to to live with people I’ve never met.  But honestly, I wasnt scared nor was I worried about anything going wrong.

Today we had our first day of summer school.  The kids that Sarah and Yves have taken into their family are behind in their education. Sarah wants to catch them up before school starts again in the Aug/Sept.  Education is something that not everybody can afford in Haiti.  And I heard a statistic that close to 90% of the country cannot read.  Wow, Im very shocked by the number and for some reason cannot grasp that reality.  So today we started around 8:30 and went to about 11.  I have the younger 4.

ASHLEY who is 3 hasnt been to school yet therefore she doesnt know how to sit still and listen.  She is sort of a distraction for the other kids and is a bit young for all this, but it is still good for her to sit in, listen and watch the kids on what they are doing.

REGINA is also 3 but a bit more advanced then Ashley.  She is a great singer (sings loud!), likes to push my buttons and my patience, but I am very greatful that she at least tries to write the letters we are learning to write.  Even though they arent exactly correct, she tries, and that is what counts.  She also hasnt been to school yet so sitting in a chair in a structured setting is hard for her.

LOVE is my only boy in the classroom. He is doing soo well with writing his letters! I will have to post a photo of our first class today on writing the letter “A”.  He sits somewhat quietly and repeats each letter down the entire row.  He HAS been to school and knows his numbers as well!

And DAJNA is probably the loudest singer that we have.  I love it.  Sometimes they sing too quietly during a song, but never Dajna.  She just sings it out like she is singing for the Lord.  Dajna, Love, and Regina are siblings.  Dajna is the oldest of the family and was very used to taking care of the younger two and telling them what to do in the family.  She has those leadership traits which are good sometimes and which can make things difficult at other times.  I see those traits during class and have to remind her to sit down and not tell the children what to do or MAKE them do it. Lol.  She knows her numbers (for the most part, 1-10) and she is doing well with her letter “A” so far!  We also wrote the number “1” today which is pretty simple but still needs to be explained in terms of the lines on the sheet of paper.

It is very challenging.  I was exhausted this morning from our beach day yesterday and I havent been used to getting up early cause we haven’t had much going on to be up early.  I was stressed because the children dont take me seriously, yet.  They only know me in the way of playing with them, and repeatedly saying “What” to their long Creole sentences I dont understand.  My patience wears thin when kids dont listen to me and  repeatedly tell them to stop what they are doing and listen to me.  I guess I need to put myself in their shoes.  I need the Lord’s strength in me because I’ve been doing this all on my own and its not working.  When passion isn’t there, obedience has to be.  The Lord doesn’t ask us to live by our feelings in that moment, but by the truth of His Word and that obedience according to it.  I never thought I would be challenged in this way.  After feeling like I dont have a purpose in life and dont know what to do anymore (with no direction) for months on end, this experience is pushing me to the edge and making me let go of all control and let God do it for me.  I guess He knows what I need even though sometimes I just want to give up and throw in the towel.  But I wont.

Im trusting things will get better, I will learn better how to teach in this class in the mornings, and pick up more Creole so they can understand me and not just me speaking one-word sentences and showing them what to do.  They do help me though.  For a small-motor skill, today I asked them to cut on the straight lines.  Immediately they spoke “cut” in Creole and so I knew that was right and therefore THEY were teaching me!! 🙂 Now if I can just remember that!

I’d ask that you would pray for me to just let go of my want and selfish desire to control everything and be on top of everything.  Because that’s impossible here and if I keep trying to then I will get severely burnt out and probably close up.  Let the Lord have His way with me.  I want to be remade into your likeness.  I want Him to show me how to love these children, even when they are very needy, whiney, annoying, or I just need a break away from them (which is impossible lol).  Loving beyond my ability to love is something only Christ can actually do for us and do in us.

water balloon race

This afternoon, after taking an hour to fill up balloons with water (wow it was a chore!) we played water balloon games!  First we played the game you see below, the goal was to push the balloon with your nose (only) across to the finish line. Wow it was alot harder then I thought because those balloons like to go around in circles instead of straight ahead in a line! I definitely lost!

The other games we played were hot potato where we stood in a circle and passed it around and if you dropped it and it broke, then you had to sit down! Some of those balloons were sooo touchy, that when I went to just pick it up, it popped!  Then the last game we did was to just throw ’em at each other.  Cannot leave that part out!

 

Here is Gerlanda competeing against Mirlandia.

And Mirlandia pushing it with her nose!

mmmmm popcorn

We bought popcorn yesterday at the grocery store, yes it was a grocery store with American products that cost 5x the normal cost in the States. But anyways, we made a HUGE bowl of it and the kids LOVED it.  Wow Im full.  Im actually trying to keep myself full all the time so that I dont drop weight from the heat, etc., like I did in Mali.  But, anyways I thought these photos were cute so I was going to post them! Also, tonight, Sarah found a recipe online on how to make corndogs from scratch so that is our project tonight! 🙂

where im at

For those of you who wonder where Im staying and what things look like, well this is the room Im staying in at the house.  Its painted blue, yes. And it has been used as the craft room before I was here.  I love having 4 windows for a great breeze at night since they dont keep the electricity running (only in the evenings).  Anyways, as you can see if the kids are playing outside and i open the door to get some air, they like to peek in all the time.

 

 

 

June 8th…Day #2

Yesterday, June 7th, I arrived in Port-au-Prince after a long day.  I was soo excited to be landing in a new country and experience a new culture again, but yet I was very nervous.  A lot of people have told me I am very brave for doing this alone and not going with a team. To me it didn’t seem like it was bravery, but now as I realize how much more independent I have to be here, yet dependent on Sarah for the language and other things, I know it will get harder.  I don’t exactly have someone in the same shoes as I am living with me.  So I am a bit alone on this.  Im starting clear at the beginning of learning Creole so therefore these first couple of days have been a bit awkward and weird as I couldn’t speak anything whatsoever.  So  I was super excited about having my first Creole lesson with Sarah today. Nene, (nay-nay), who also lives here and does just about anything, sat in so he could learn more English.  Its hard when you really want to talk to someone and not feel so uncomfortable, but when you don’t know one bit of the language coming in, it makes it very uncomfortable right away.  Even awkward.  But I keep telling myself that it wont always be this way.  After spending two days with the children already, I am SOO motivated to learn Creole so I can speak to them.  They are now starting to open up to me and they just laugh because I cant understand them or speak back to them.  Its actually a really humbling situation/experience.  When you enter a new culture you know nothing about, we start as children, re-learning everything.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  You start with language.  It is less intimidating to speak to a child and learn it through them then it is to right away speak to an adult.  Ha, obviously.  So I definitely have 8 GREAT kids to practice on.

Right now as I sit here, the generator is about to be shut off.  There is no electricity running during the day because it isn’t needed.  But during the evening they turn it on so we can cook and the kids can get ready for bed.  So soon it is going to be shut off, and that is when I rely on the wind/breeze outside to run through the windows and cool me off at night.  I have realized how comfortable I have gotten in the States all over again.  It has been about 2.5 years since I was in Mali.  So now that Im back in a third-world country, I’m having to remember that I have no rights.  And to understand that and recognize it will make things a lot easier.  For example, it is easier to accept warm drinking water.  The refrigerator doesn’t turn on till the evenings, so this is when I will stick my cup in the freezer so it can get at least a little cool.  Now in Mali, we always had cold drinks, a working refrigerator, and a shop across the street with cold sodas if we wanted them.  Now I shouldn’t ever expect to have the same luxury, but for some reason I do!  And it is easy to compare the lifestyle here with mine back at home where I can have cold water ANYTIME and ALL the time.  It is one of those things that seems so small and simple, yet when you don’t have it and it is very hot all the time, you start wanting your luxuries back and feel like you have the “right” to have cold water.  Other examples are: sharing a bathroom with 8 children and 2 adults, I cannot just hop in my car and go wherever I want, privacy is limited, Im living out of a suitcase (which I know will get old after a while), food choices are limited, and the list goes on.

Oh, and did I mention both dogs, Gracie and Phoebe like to sit right outside the 4 windows next to my bed and bark all night.  Wow

Today we also went up to the clinic with three of the children.  Mirlandia has an ear infection, Jimmy has a sore throat and swollen glands, and little Regina has been having a cough for over 3 days and the cough syrup hasn’t been working for her.  Total amount of medication for the 3 was $50, which honestly doesn’t sound like anything to us, because in America we could have one medication that costs over $100 and some people pay that like it is nothin’ at all.  So I really pray that the kids feel better soon and stay healthy!

Today I did my first craft with them.  I wanted them to be able to hang up a picture of themselves somewhere in the house, whether its in the dining room or in their own rooms, so they painted popsicle sticks and I glued them together tonight.  Tomorrow they will finish decorating them and we will get some photos printed so that they have something special they made!  I also got out the Frisbees I brought with me and of course they knew what to do with them right away (they all charged outside!)

 

Tex

Yesterday I had a great time photoshooting my friend’s horse, Tex.  Besides the nipping at my hand, Tex was a beautiful and sweet horse.  My friend has been taking lessons with Tex and wants to eventually buy Tex and be his owner.  Tex is actually a former race horse and had even qualified for the Kentucky Durby before he got hurt.  Apparently race horses are treated brutally and not loved on and so it was great he was rescued from such competition.  Here are some of the photos I took.

texas

Today it hit me REALLY hard that Im going to Haiti in 3 days! I cannot believe it.  I was like hit with the reality of it and my heart has completely expanded and grown with LOVE for these children Im about to meet!  I honestly have to say I’ve really enjoyed Houston.  My friend I have been staying with suggested I should move down here temporarily and just see what happens and it really gave me the idea and interest of thinking into it.  I could probably find a good nanny position to start with and Im sure my friends could lead me to a good place that is affordable to stay/rent out.  I’ve really had an interest of getting out of nebraska and starting my life somewhere else maybe even before I go overseas long-term.  I would just ask that y’all (lol) pray with me about what the Lord would have when I come back from Haiti (which is unknown at this point!)

My friends have been soo sweet to me, buying me lunch, and taking me different places! Im not used to being driven around (not having a car) or relying on other people for a place to stay and transportation so its definitely humbling.  Last night I headed out of Houston to a smaller town that was having their county fair.  I really wanted to go to a rodeo and rodeo season is in March I believe, but we found this one so my friend and I drove out there for the evening and it was awesome! I was soo pumped to see these real texan cowboys ride bulls and rope cattle!! hehe 🙂

Excited to see what the last few days hold!

im ready

Many thoughts are completely overtaking my mind as I wonder what is going to happen as I head to Haiti.  Okay, that sounds bad.  I mean, “wonder what is going to happen” as in what is the Lord going to do through me while Im there, how can I change one person’s life, how am I going to be changed?  I made the choice to serve in Haiti this summer for an indefinite amount of time because I can.  Nothing is holding me back- no boyfriend, no apartment lease, no professional job….nothing.  Now of course I’ll miss my friends and family all the time, and I will somewhat miss a bit of being comfortable here.  But it doesnt stop me, because being uncomfortable and pushing myself to overcome my weaknesses and being in a new culture and environment where something is always different and changing—well, I’m ready and completely head over heels for this. (Haha, and no that expression shouldn’t just be used for your love relationships).  I thrive on change.

I’ve found myself getting too comfortable back into my American culture.  In Mali, I really enjoyed living out of 2 suitcases.  I really enjoyed not needing much at all.  I really enjoyed (generally speaking) the hard and difficult and uncomfortable situations because it stretched me.  Isnt that what this is all about?  Being stretched.  God strengthening our weaknesses.  God calls the weak right?  Well, I am pretty weak and know that I cant do much on my own.  But the Lord has really found a way to impress a passion upon my heart to PUSH myself (my determined personality) no matter what it is.  Language has always been hard for me, and I have never really enjoyed it, but Im going to PUSH myself to do it.  Im so comfortable with kids in another culture, but with adults I feel a little bit more uneasy, but Im going to PUSH myself to get away from the shyness I still hold in specific situations.

I never thought I would come to this moment right now, again.  I had the freedom to change my life and the Lord has honored that choice that I have made because He has SHUT all the other doors and opened this one to Living Waters.  If anything, these children and these Haitians dont need me whatsoever….I find myself needing them instead.  I feel deprived spiritually.  I feel lost and at most a “lukewarm” Christian.  I hate that.  And yet why is it that God-fearing believers in such rough and unstable circumstances and situations have a passion and burning heart for the Lord.  What is wrong with me?  I sooo desire to LEARN from them and discover that passion again.  Where did it go? Am I so wrapped up in my own small problems, my own world and selfishness, that I cant even look past it to see what a true need is?

Lord, I need to be rebroken and rehealed and completely give everything up, again and again.

I think mostly about what I have to come back to when I choose to come back home from Haiti.  To me, there seems no reason or point, of course I cant see the bigger picture nor anything that far ahead of me (that’s probably good!) So…..?