Pages

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Okay maybe I should re-post to clarify. I’m not a bitter single that thinks all marriages are bondage and make it so people cannot serve God. It is just that I see many couples today that fall under the last post.
If marriage was supposed to hinder our service to our Lord then it would not be designed of God. But the problem is that age old thing called our flesh. Its ridiculous how many guys I talk to that are just concerned about whether they get a “hot” girl. If marriage was only about exercising our sexuality then fidelity would not be a necessary attribute, thus manifesting what we see in our world today.
The problem is we try to define marriage through what we feel, instead of through God Himself. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. Christ loves and protects His church so that it would in turn love and respect Him for who He is. The power and love of God combined with the physical presence of the Church on earth work together to bring worship to God the Father. This is a picture of marriage in humanity. Two hearts, dreams and visions combined to propel both lives further than they could have gone on their own.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Just some thoughts

Marriage is a funny thing. There are so many couples that that though they have a great love for each other, there is a disconnect of purpose. One hinders the other from fulfilling their hearts calling thus making both ineffective. Yes there is “love” in the mortal sense but not necessarily a unity of purpose, in a huge way they have not “made one flesh”. The husband lets go of his dreams to please his wife and the wife lets go of her desires in order to please her husband. Thus both meet at an equilibrium of contentment only to never see their potential dreams become a reality but to move on to a stage of monotony in life. Two hearts filled with dreams, two lives with callings from God unite in holy matrimony only to never unite callings and pursue them to the end. Maybe it’s because these callings are not made known before marriage or they simply had not yet formed. This is just an observation that strikes me, I have heard it many times “I would but I have a wife to look after” or “Maybe if I wasn’t married” I seem to see this a lot (or maybe I just notice it more than others) it’s not really regret but more of a restriction. Now I am speaking in light of cross cultural missions but it seems to show up in other things as well. Can there be two human lives completely united in purpose?
Please excuse my cynical way of thinking but it just strikes me funny. This is definitly not true for all couples. And its not like I know much on the subject but it just some things to reflect upon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pic-la-selle





After one other failed atempt Trent, myself and two friends from CAM hiked to Pic-La-Selle this past Saterday. Pic-la-Selle is the highest point in Haiti (8800 ft).










After a fifty mile 4wheller ride we camped out Fri. night in Gwo Cheval.

We got up at 4:00am got camp packed, hid and we were off by 6:00.









The trail was once marked with yellow paint but now most of the marker trees have been cut so It took a little bit to find our way as the mountains are full of trails from charcoal makers.



It took us four hours to summit and three in desent. Can't wait to do it again:)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

V.S. a religious obligation or an attitude of the heart?




Voluntary service workers; to some this label takes you back to the days of the draft, when all our young conservative men fulfilled their obligation to our government by choosing non combat service to assist our military. But today this term has put on a new set of clothes. V.S. worker; is an all encompassing phrase to describe single young people who commit to a set amount of humanitarian or missionary service.
This practice has been well established within our churches since the times of war. Making it almost natural for our youth; they grow up listing to the older youth tell stories of when they were in Guatemala or Nicaragua and there is an unspoken expectation for all at one point or another to serve a “term” somewhere.
Living in the third world and seeing this practice carried out, there comes a time when my heart bleeds. A “term” has a beginning and an end, it’s the first question I get asked. So when is your term up? But may I ask; does service to our almighty creator have an end?
A young person (or family) comes to a new place to start learning things as an infant again, to earn a voice, respect, position. When these things begin to unfold and a person starts to flourish there term comes to an end. I have seen it over; someone you see that seems to be effective yet they say “I am going home” you ask “why?” “My time is up” they say. No they are not deathly ill nor did God call them to a new and greater field, just their time is up. They have fulfilled their religious obligation only to leave and live their quaint Christian life in the land of their birth. Just another conservative to say “When I was in????”.
Let us realize that this starts with expectations. If all those who have “volunteered” when we arrived home were greeted by “Oh why back so soon?” “Did you have problems” or “When are you going back”. How do you think that would affect their thinking?
Whatever happened to those that left and never went back? The Jim Elliott’s and Hudson Taylors those that were so committed to the call of Christ that time and place had no hold. Some may think, well we need to get longer commitments out of our staff. But no it’s about a committed heart living each day to bring worship to the throne of our lord Jesus Christ. Oh father would you lay open our hearts so that we might see the selfishness of man and turn in disgust to plunge headlong into a life of service to you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hunger of the Children


Many of us hear people talk of the starving children of Africa or the hungry children of the slums of an inner city but we must understand there is a difference. To starve is to die or to become weak through the lack of nourishment. Hunger however is a strong desire for something well known to an individual. If it is not known to you; you in turn can not hunger for it.
Living in a impoverished country it is not uncommon for children to be in starvation, malnourished or however you want to explain it. Bloated stomachs, discolored hair and skin, weak and stunted children knowing no other life; their lethargic bodies taking whatever the elements bring upon them. One in this state is not one to be hungry. If one meal a day is all you know than your body is adapted to that state. It is unaware of it need for nourishment. Often malnourished children have little or no appetite the desire is just not there. You can not desire the unknown, your body has gone so long without food that it has ceased to desire it.
Hunger on the other hand is a desire for what is known. Most north Americans can not go more than 4-6 hours without the urge to eat. It is a feeling that your body has put in place to keep you healthy. The more regular your eating habits the easier you will feel hungry.
This is what our lord was saying in Mathew 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled" One that hungers after the things of God knows the things of God. When you long to read your bible is not when you have gone days without reading but when you read it several times a day and you neglect it one morning. You hunger after God's spirit when you know his daily presence and you grieve Him. You hunger for Him when you know Him so intimately that the moment you step away from Him you know that very instant.
Seeing such instant concern for the starving of this world I have to ask myself how many of God's children are starving? How many of us live outside His presence and neglect His word to the point were we no longer desire it, that we no longer feel the pain of our lack of nourishment?
How many of us are allowing our spiritual bodies to be carried by the ebb and flow of life? We are simply existing not thriving. And yet we are God's children, those called to live out His love to the nations. So how can we fulfill that calling if we ourselves have starved ourselves of His word of His presence of His love?







Saturday, September 17, 2011

Haiti's economy stimulater


Okay so maybe this could be photo shopped. But that does not threaten this statement's validity, only it's physical reality.
What has the multi million dollar budget of the UN's "security" contract in Haiti really accomplished?
No partnerships. No training of national departments. No passing of the torch.

Well okay lets give them some credit. They have imported a lot of vehicles. That's economic stimulation right? Oh and not to mention the enormous amounts of cigarettes and condoms they buy each year.I mean thats got to count for something right. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Personal Piety? Followers of Jesus?





Most of us when we think of piety we think of a priest or some other professional holy person. Perhaps strutting around performing some sort of ritual that no one else is qualified to carry out. Too many, it carries somewhat of a revolting hue, the one that thinks they are so much better than the average. When I think of this word I think of someone that, with the upmost pride and almost idolatrous precision adheres to a petty religious pattern that in the end is of no eternal value in itself. I realize that this is a twisted understanding of the true meaning but for some reason this week it’s been hard to shake this thought, Piety.

But may I be so bold as to say God abhors piety (this type, not the true definition). Isaiah spoke of this type of piety.

Is this such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the lord? Isaiah 58:5

Can’t you just hear the rotten distaste in God’s mouth, “Is this such a fast that I have chosen”. “Do you mean this is what you think I’ve asked you to do”? Before this he said:

Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinances of their God; they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Isaiah 58:2

Doesn’t seem too bad, they seek Him daily and delight to know His ways; right? But God just seems totally revolted in this surface piety religion we call Christianity. Did you catch the last part, “take delight in approaching to God” Not delighting in God but in approaching Him, in the method, forms and services. Taking delight in their: men’s prayer breakfast, Choir uniforms and everything on the church schedule. Not it’s not about the holy presence of an all knowing God. We are more concerned how our prayer sounded to those listening, than whether our creator received worship from it. We are more worried what people might think when we walk in church half an hour late than how God feels about the way we treat our family trying to get there on time. Ask yourself, does this thing called church really reflect the heart of God? Or are we just wallowing in our carnal piety as the Pharisees in the day of Jesus.

This is a paradigm that seems to weave the pattern of God’s will. Isaiah goes on to say:

is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Isaiah 58:6-7

Is this not what Jesus’s ministry consisted of? Did He not come to “bind up the broken hearted” and “set the captives free”? Here is Isaiah declaring the heart of God and then God sends His son to live out the example only for our thick heads to still not get it. To many of us (today’s Christian population) are more concerned about following our churches code of conduct than weather our neighbor is struggling to pay his rent. To preoccupied with the new church building plans rather than the thousands of people dying never to read the word of God in their own tongue.

Then shalt thou call and the Lord shall answer. Thou shalt cry and He shall say here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and the speaking of vanity.

And if thou draw out thy soul to feed the hungry and to satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity and thy darkness be as noon day. Isaiah 58:9-10

If we could only keep the lord’s fast (vs. 6-7), he says to put off our yoke, our working of our hands and our humanly intelligent babblings. That we might draw out our soul to feed the hungry. He did not say our wallet he said our soul, that we might pour out of our inner selves in order to touch the afflicted. This by far is more physically draining than any fast of man. To daily moment by moment pour of ourselves into those in need. It is humanly impossible to sustain such a fast without God’s strength. It is in this way that God has designed us to be connected to Him, our father our creator. And it is for this reason that Jesus came to earth that we might follow Him.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Boulanjri (Bakery)


I spent last eavning helping some friends from church in there bakery. They sell bread 24/7 so they start mixing dough around 8:00pm and finish baking around 1:00am.




After the dough is mixed in a large drum it is run through a moulen (press, grinder) until it becomes stiff with a plastic like sheen.



Me and Sonson passing dough.






Wisky feeding the dough.


When finished it is layed out to cut, roll and layed out to rise.




After rising it is baked in a gas oven, put in large baskets and coverd till sold.


This bakery is family run by a widow from our churches children. It was started by her oldest daughter Octalia and husband but six of the eight siblings come and work every night.







Saturday, June 25, 2011

The end of another week, a fresh one yet to begin.

Been on the road a lot lately, airport runs, groceries and materials for the last two houses in kwa de bouke. Feel a bit sick of being in the truck.

Wednesday on the road to PĂ©tionville, got a much needed hair cut. Man a good barber is hard to find. I don’t exactly have black person hair.

Yesterday Malaria set in, oh the dreaded Chloroquine. Note: if taken with Excedrin it’s not as bad.

Below pic out my bedroom window

The water is ever rising.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mountains beyond mountains.




Ever since I can remember mountains have captured my heart. There beauty, there strength, there sense of security. Yet that which has impressed upon me the most is the overwhelming wonder of when one has reached the top. To look back at all that has been endured to arrive and to gaze forward at all that which has yet to be overcome. Upon gaining one mountain top you are quickly made known of the many more to come. When climbing there is a struggle, the pain and fatigue of your body pleading you to stop to take a rest. And the desire to arrive, the goal; mingled with shear willpower pushing you on from within.
In times of depression and discouragement my hearts often turns to the mountains finding encouragement in this mighty wonder of our God. Yet what I often don’t consider is the parallel between God enchanting mountains of this earth and the grueling mountains of life. Each discouragement in life is just another mountain. Each problem that life drops in our path is just another one to be overcome. And that upon arriving you can look back through all that you have come and gaze on ahead to that which is yet to be overcome. And though our flesh wants to drag us down, through Christ we can push on, ever climbing pressing onward pushing every hindrance aside that we might receive the prize.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Planting Onions

Several weeks ago I spent a few days helping a friend plant his onion crop.

Here are a few pictures.



The onion seeds are planted in early January along the river bottoms and shaded ravines. And are watered morning and evening with watering cans.


In late March or early April the onion set are pulled up and planted in
the colder higher altitudes to grow
and produce.


Here is there final planting about a 4 hour hike from the river bottom. This location is a much cooler climate (about 5500ft above sea level) and the soil finds much more rain.