Monday, August 22, 2011

What Haiti is teaching Us...Faith

"Kelly fell, get him!!!!" screamed stew. It was Thursday evening. Our last evening in Haiti. We had just finished dinner and were off to bed. The big ache had been within me all day. Tomorrow I would say good-bye again and continue the waiting for our son to come home.
But suddenly the ache turned in to a cry out to Jesus and I went to rescue my son from his fall.
Stew picked him up and we went into our room. Blood was all over his face. I grabbed towels and applied pressure where his wound was. Kelly's little world had turn quickly from happy looking at lights into fear and cries. "Mama's here...Mama's here, kelly." Was all I could say over and over to him as I kept the towel over his wound with pressure. I will never forget that moment. It was fast and furious to help him, call the Orphanage and cradle him in our arms reminding him that Love was all around him and that he did not have to be afraid. I remember looking at him between his cries while stew ran to get a phone and said, "Jesus will heal you, kelly...Jezi loves you, Kelly." And as he calmed down, i found again my own story in my son's story...he and I are the same...wounded in need of Jesus to heal us.

Stew returned and held him, "Papa loves you...mama loves you...Jezi loves you." he would say over and over in English and then in creole. We prayed over him and waited for the Orphanage director to get there. We knew that he would have to return and we would have to say our good-byes that night.

Our last week in Haiti was different than the rest. The first trip was "magical" with everything new....the second was somewhat difficult, struggling with discontentment in waiting, frustration with the culture and language, insecure of self....but this last one, things have changed for all of us...We went to Haiti seeking God's wonders that are without number. We saw so much of what God has been doing in us and in Kelly. Haiti is teaching us.

Teaching us most that we can trust in our LORD. He is faithful. His love is never-ending. He is our God, even if we don't see Him as such. He is working, even if we are sitting discontent. He is helping all of us. This trip we experienced a since of "Home". Haiti, for now, is our 2nd home. Our time with Kelly was wonderful. He is learning English and mastering so many new skills. Stew and I are trusting the Lord to direct us in parenting and loving Kelly.

But at the end of the day all 3 of us are HIS alone. Our trust in ourselves is fading as we find the Lord's never-ending love.
Before I left, I was reminded of the story of Peter walking on the water.

Matthew 14:28-33
Peter said to Him, "Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water" And He said, "Come!" And peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him saying, "You are certainly God's Son!"

It was not peter's faith or lack of faith that caused him to sink or be saved. It was all god's doing. Surely Peter would have crashed straight down into the sea rather than sink slowly after seeing the wind. The Lord gave the wind, and held peter even as he sank. The Lord had peter all along...The Lord wanted peter to put all of his trust in Him, not in anything else.

We got out of the boat and pursued adoption as God had called us, but winds of processes and waiting have made us fearful at times. The Lord keeps his hand on us as we sink at times, but every step with Haiti has shown us our own story of adoption into God's family. We have cried out for God to save us over and over...and He has! Haiti is teaching us that God is certainly who He says He is. And that is changing us.

We walked Kelly to the car Thursday night. We prayed over him and against any lies that would creep in as we gave him back. He was calm at first. Then we looked at him and began to tell him as we have before, "We will return for you. Papa loves you, mama loves you, Jesus loves you. We will not leave you as orphan. We will come for you." Kelly began to wail. Tears flowed down all of our faces as the grace of God held us. We put him in the car and he was taken for bandages and to wait until we return. Stew and I stood in the dark crying together for what seemed like forever. But I could hear my savior's voice..."Trust in Me. I am working. Let your faith rise to be your sight. I will wipe away every tear one day...I am healing all of your wounds."

Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear. For I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you. For I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

And so we are learning Faith as we continue to wait. Not faith in ourselves, the governments, our agency, our resources. But faith in the one who is faithful. The one who is savior for all. Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Headed to Haiti looking for His wonders

JOB 5:8-11
"But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God;
Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number. "He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields,
So that He sets on high those who are lowly,
and those who mourn are lifted to safety.

It was July 19th, another hot day in Austin, TX. I was picking up in the house as the kids were asleep on their beds. I glanced outside as I always do when passing by the window. There are so many stories outside my window. I am always looking. God has done so much on our street. A year ago drug dealers ruled our street. The stories I could tell you would fill a book. Now they are gone..stories for another day. But I still look, b/c there is always wonder outside of my window. The Lord's wonder. And that day, July 19th, he would give me another one.

This time glancing out the window I looked up. I saw clouds coming overhead...just like they had before...always empty of rain. I walked outside and fumbled through my garden. Looking at the plants, pruning what was not lasting in the heat, I looked up again. And the Lord pressed upon me this question. "Who is Lord?" "You are, God" I thought. And then "Rain" came to my mind. So, i looked up and asked for rain. I began to pray to God and show him all the plants that needed water and realized at the same time how much I need him. How much the earth depends on Him. And let's be honest. I thought if it poured down rain it might stop a few drug deals from happening in our neighborhood. =)

The clouds began to move and I looked up again. "God is there rain in those clouds?" "Will you pour it down?" I felt a few drops. Looked up. The clouds passed by and nothing else came...for the moment. I walked back inside and continued cleaning and thinking. "Do I really trust that Jesus is Lord?" There is so much unseen in this life but too often I find myself blinded by the things I see.

I looked out my kitchen window at my dead back yard and garden. You have to pick and choose which plants get the water. Curb appeal in the front won this summer. =) Then I looked up again. And I asked the Lord for rain. As I looked out my window I was filled with His wonder. I can ask the Lord, b/c if rain is what is needed, it can only come from his hand. I ask b/c he is my Heavenly Father. He is a father that gives all good things. I ask b/c He can, not b/c he should.

I went back to the front of my house and asked again. "Father, there is no cloud and no rain now..but you made them. Won't you give us rain today?" I sat down to read and then...... RAIN!!! It burst from the bright sky with wonder beyond wonder! Karis woke up and came running out of her room, "Mommy, it is is raining!!" I will never forget looking out that window again and seeing the rain pour down. With tears running down my face I thought, "You are LORD, indeed!"

A friend shared the verse in Job with me shortly after. It has taken deep meaning for me and in my house. Our prayer as a family is that God would show us that He is LORD. He is Great and does unsearchable things...WONDERS without measure!! If they are endless, then surely if we ask to see them, there is enough that perhaps we could notice them everyday.

We leave for Haiti Monday the 15th of August. It is a wonder of God. Adoption is changing us inside and out. The kids started school this week. They are sad, but love Kelly. They are trusting. I have to leave the 3 once more to go to the one. Then I will have to leave the one to go to the 3. I am sad, but know we are called to this. I am looking for His wonders in the midst.

He is LORD. Please ask Him for us, not because he should, but because He can do all things.