Haiti Mission 2014 – Day 8 – Gentleness

Its day 8 of our Haiti Mission Trip, and we are on our journey home.  We arrived in Haiti on a Thursday, and are heading back to Port-au-Prince on a Thursday; one full week in country.  
We are tired, its been a quiet ride so far.  The week here was full of hard work; we are exhausted physically, emotionally spiritually.  After a week like this, any other group might be testy and crabby – but by the grace of God we all still seem to like one another.  Hallelujah!  
We returned to the Consolation Center this morning for a quick goodbye with the girls before we left.  As usual, this was one of the hardest moments of the trip.  The girls sang for us, then rushed out to give us hugs and say “orevwa.”  There were tears, of course, and not just with the ladies – these girls get into your heart and have a way of stealing it away.
Next we bid farewell to Les and Catherine, our gracious hosts at the Beachhouse and mission partners with Laborers with Christ.  They have worked us hard.  Zachary, their son, is a task master – and you better remember to use the square when welding for him, or he’ll let you have it.  All in all we made 6 bunk beds, cut out metal for six more, and cut out the material for 10 new desks for the school house – not a bad three days of work. We also repaired a plow, and Matt plowed 5 fileds, and ran over his backpack – includeing his iPhone.  Not to worry, all the phone is fine, and the backpack will wash.  There was a lot of painting, singing, coloring – we kept busy and worked the days away.
Now its time to go home.  I think we’re all missing some of the comforts of home – hot showeers, air conditioning – personally i cant wait for some ice cream.  And while we are eager to go home, ther is a part of us that will stay in Haiti.  Our hearts and Spirits have connected to with these beautiful people; we’ve seen a need and God has granted us with the means to meet that need – what a honor and privieldge to be used by God in such a way to bless His children.
Today our devotion is on Gentleness.  Gentleness is not weakness; it does not mean being a pushover, easily manipulated.  No, gentleness comes from a deep well of quiet strength.  When you are secure in your identity in Christ, when you know that your salvation, your hope, our future, is in his hands, that His stength which has overcome the world is the same strength that moves in you today – you have the strenth to be gentle with those around you. Someone who is gentle does not have to rush to defend himself, can bear with the wrongs of others, is humble, unassuming.  Gentleness is a firm yet forgiveing hand – firm and unwavering, strong and mighty to save, but tender and kind – bringin blessing and relief in its touch.  Gentleness is like carrying a baby in your arms.  Your arms are secure, safe, and tender and caring. 
Exercising gentleness with others is evidence that God’s Holy Spirit is working in you.  This trip to Haiti has called for great gentleness, a firm belief in God and His love for us in Jesus Christ, and a tender love and mercy for those in need. My hope, my prayer, is that we as a team, as the Church, can show this gentleness (quiet strength and tender mercy) as we continue to grow in God’s Spirit.

Sorry, not a lot of pictures tonight, WIFI issues at the Hotel. 1st world problems in a 3rd world country.

Haiti Mission 2014 – Day 7 – Faithfulness

Day 7 ends with our mission team packing up and getting ready to return home. Today was another day of hard work – welding, cutting, plowing, painting. Amy even got in some piano and voice lessons. We finished 6 new bunkbeds, prepped another 6, and cut out and started 10 new desks. We are all hot, tired, weary from the work, thoroughly exhausted – but so very blessed to have had the opportunity to serve and work alongside such wonderful people.
Tomorrow we say goodbye to all the beautiful girls at the consolation center. It will be hard, but we can’t leave without seeing them one more time. Then we’re on the road for Port-au-Prince and hopefully some sightseeing before we return stateside.
Today our mission team discussed Faithfulness as one of the characteristics of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Faithfulness is a rare but valuable virtue these days. People make promises they never intend to keep, contracts are broken with impunity, commitments mean little. It is hard to find a friend who will stay true, hard to find someone to trust who has integrity and will always stand at your side. It’s hard to be the friend who will stay true, hard to be the one with integrity.
It is not so with God. The Word of God over and over again declares that God does what He says He will do. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” And James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” God is faithful and true, utterly trustworthy. And such should be the character of those who name the name of Christ.
Obviously, none of us will ever be perfect in this area. We will fail people just as they will fail us. But we should be known as people who are trustworthy and dependable in an ever-increasing measure. These character traits serve as a powerful testimony in today’s world and bring glory to the God we emulate.
As I said at the beginning of the post, it’s been a long day. It’s been an exercise of faithfulness just to put together this blog today – I think I’ve dozed of once or twice. I’ve added some pictures for your perusal. Thank you for your faithfulness in reading, and in your faithfulness in prayers.