Early this morning on this last day of 2014, I finished reading The Book. This Book of Life with all the stories of God that bring knowledge to the core of my being that God is present in history, in this very moment, in the soon future and in eternity. These stories bring truth upon truth for comprehending my own part in the story that is still unfolding.
From the trivial moments of discord in relationships to the wrenching tear-filled hours after another horror visits our lives, God is there. He is not far away but present bearing with us the pain we hold. He takes it all and transforms it, redeems it for a purpose greater than any of us. Eugene Peterson describes it well:
“Reality …is God-shaped and God-filled”
I hold this, cling to this, look carefully to have eyes to see it. We are for good or evil, living the story. I want mine to reflect His glory, to make Him visible. My one word for 2015 is Present. Both to be aware moment by moment and to reveal .
This time at home for Christmas is a glorious montage of pleasure and comfort: untold numbers of strings of lights on street after street, the aromas and sights of every food the heart might desire, the living room pine tree soaring to the ceiling with a multitude of the ornaments from so many holidays past, the fire is both heating and scenting the room, family has gathered bringing gifts with full hearts. With technology, even those a half world away have been able to join us to celebrate. I savor it all. I’m holding these moments and treasuring them. Tomorrow we will start our return to our other life. A life that has been an amazing gift of God, a much simpler life with great clarity of purpose. God knew that for me, leaving and serving in Haiti is what I NEED. Seeking the lost, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, teaching, caring for the least in the company of like- minded companions is a privilege. God knows well our “bent” and over and over I find the ways He prepared me over a lifetime for this task. There is one challenge for those of us raised to value independence and self-reliance: to lean back on God for the resources needed in this kingdom work. It is both a struggle and a blessing. It has its stresses and pressures but the gift that it yields is knowledge confirmed over and over that this is GOD’s work, not the fruit of my hands. Instead it is His Body, the Church, re-presenting Him to the world by their gifts and their actions that produce this harvest. Those who support this effort have paid a dear price and I take seriously the responsibility to use it well. It is this combination of all the various gifts we bring together that makes His work flourish. The stories of how this unfolds over and over with no effort on my part are strong reassurance of how life events come from the hand of God. I have some fresh new events of just December to share:
- Vitamin Angels accepted the grant application to provide daily vitamin supplements to pregnant and breastfeeding women and to children under five years old. It was shipped to Haiti on Dec 19. Sowing Hope Foundation chose to support this gift by raising the funds needed to ship the vitamins to Haiti. They learned of this project through a college friend of my daughters and contacted me to offer this help.
- OneEgg Haiti funding was extended another month through December through City Church/ Donna Tente’s support both financially and by bringing HHM to OneEgg’s attention.
- VelvetAshes chose to support our new initiative of tire gardening for 50 families PLUS a daily egg for 30 children for a full year as their annual December giving.
- The mamba closet was stocked for 2 full months (to assure supply during these times of political instability and disruption) because of the continuing generosity of Jean Behnke.
- Debbie Lehman with friends pulled together and packed the baby items that we use to reward women attending breastfeeding classes and bringing the new babies in to the clinic in first week of life.
- A ”chance” choice of a seat in the airport Dec. 18 next to Dee Mathes, Executive Director of United Deaf International Services, brought an offer to participate with a booth presentation in our Kid Health Fairs scheduled for May 18 and November 18, 2015, our first Special Needs Kids Health Fair in July 2015 AND to connect us to hearing screening professionals serving in Haiti.
- Yesterday, Team Canada Healing Hands responded to Dee’s email with an offer to visit us on Jan 11 to begin to organize hearing evaluations and referrals.
- Finally, two days ago I opened a card from my PNP colleagues from my years at Parkland to find a very generous check to fund a developmental toy lending library for the special needs children gravitating to our clinic. Allison Harker had just concluded a course called Perspectives and responded by asking me on Dec. 10 what could she do to help. An attached little yellow post it note on the check with each giver’s name brought faces and memories and tears too.
The blessing is getting to see it… the wonder of this God! The steps down this road over the past 5 years have been marked by experiences like this time and time again. At every turn, obedience has been followed by exactly what we need for the next step. We ALL can live as one sent: content, at peace, fearless, with great courage. Be strong: wherever He calls YOU. He is reliable for every resource you will need.