Monday, January 18, 2010

hope for the hurting

This weekend brought so much reflection and prayer for unfathomable tragedies. Of course, as is on so many people's minds, are the horrific scenes from Haiti. While we don't know many people personally from Haiti, we have 4 'sister' churches from our Dove church network there. Much more personally, however, is a member of church family and close friend, who just returned in December from 4 months in Haiti. She actually came back in love...both with the land as well as a godly man there, who runs a mission center. Obviously, when the earthquake hit she was a wreck and desperate, not only to hear of how everyone who had become so dear to her was, but also to get back and help in some way...any way. As it turns out, there was another missions team just about ready to go down when all this hit. One person backed out, and left a spot open for our friend. She is scrambling trying to gather money and supplies for the trip, and is leaving next Monday. Yesterday was a tearful time as she shared her heart and her sorrow, and as we prayed for healing and restoration of Haiti, as well as other areas of ministry God is laying our our hearts.

The weekend also brought another tragedy into our view. A boy from Kaitlyn's school (a relatively small Christian school) died in a sledding accident. He was on a boy scout trip with his father, and while sledding, hit a pole, and from all indications, died instantly. While Kate didn't really know him well personally, we are praying for his family and friends.

I cannot even fathom losing a child. I cannot fathom what those parents are experiencing right now. I cannot wrap my mind around the kind of devastation that the entire country of Haiti is suffering right now. And yet, some images stay with me. I've seen at least 3 shots of Haiti where amidst the rubble, people were standing worshipping with upraised hands. One of these shots was on the news show Nightline the other evening. While the newsman stood giving his report, you could see a small group of people standing behind singing. I was jarred in my often we can't shake off our own comforts to be able to worship in such a way, let alone breaking through a wall of complete despair to press in and find comfort in the Shadow of the Almighty. God was and is there, in the midst of the pain, to offer healing and hope to those with none.

And again, last night, I was gripped as Kaitlyn read this status post from one of her teacher's Facebook page:

considers it pure joy to have known Ian. I must share something we heard from Ian's parents. They found a note in his Ian's boot. Phil 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you maybe mature and complete, not lacking anything."
As I felt my stomach knot at the thought, once again, of the agony these parents must be in, I am also amazed at God's faithfulness. He is always right there, closer than our own breath.

My heart cry today is for God to be with all those suffering in our world. And that he would stir my awareness...of them, and of Him...and to become Jesus to hurting people in any way that I can.

P.S. - If anyone is looking for a reliable place to donate toward Haiti relief, please contact me. Dove Christian Fellowship International (our church network) has direct connections with our own 4 churches there, as well as 2 mission centers, and the YWAM base there. They are gathering funds through the DCFI main offices and distributing them to those ministries as they are just outside of Port Au Prince and able to be doing relief work from their centers, handing out water and supplies, as well as preparing to take in refugees as needed. I know many places such as the Red Cross and others are also doing work, but often times, as seen during Katrina, the smaller organizations such as churches and ministries are able to be effective in a much more immediate way. If you are interested in any more info, please let me know. Also, we will be gathering actual supplies over the next week or so to send down with the team leaving on Monday.

1 comment:

zoanna said...

Oh, I am so ,so, sorry for your friends' loss. I can't imagine a day of fun turning tragic just like that. Here one minute, gone the next. Please tell Kaitlin I'm praying for her as well as for the family. What a note to find in his boot, though! Wow.