Monday, November 12, 2012

Light and love

What are the basics in life?

  food and water, sleep and rest, covering and protection

Timothy said it this way:  If we have food and covering, we these we shall be content.
I don't know about you but I sure can complicate it!   But truly on this island people are barely keeping it together in the 'food and covering department'.  It gets so desperate for them.  Many of them start each day at 0.  Can you imagine?!

This past summer the Mom of one of our artists told this story and I want to share it with you.  She is a single mom with 8 kids ranging from age 22 to a 2 year old.   She has been so diligent in looking for work but there just wasn't any jobs on the island this summer.   The ship in Coxen Hole stopped coming and went to the Mediterranean (weather there is more moderate then over 100 degrees with over 100% humidity!)  So times were really tough for her.   

So this is her story:   I had nothing.   No food for my kids, no milk for my babies.  They had been drinkin' sugar water for a couple of days.  So I thought I'd call my friend in Grand Cayman who was working.  I begged.   I did.    But he said he had nothing to give me.   But he told me to pray!   He told me to get on my knees and pray.   I said, O but you got to help me!! 
  And he said, No only the Lord can help you!  But you got to get on your knees and pray.  And by tomorrow you will have everything you need for you family.  Trust in the Lord!!!

So this is my story:  On the same day (without knowing about Miss E) my friend asked if she could bring over some of her missionary friends to buy from "Made in Roatan".  Of course we said, YES!  Guess who they bought from?  Come on play along!   That's right.   Without me knowing or saying anything the Lord led the ladies to buy almost exclusively from Miss Elizabeth's girls stuff.   So the next day, when the girls came over to our house to make jewelry we had money for them .  Yes we did!  Hallelujah!   And by the end of that day, that family had everything that they needed in the basics.

 A woman on her knees crying to God = food and covering.  

But here is the problem:   not all stories end up like Miss Elizabeth.  Many people this summer really struggled and it 'seemed' He didn't answer their prayers.  They waited.  They waited.   They cried and they prayed.  It was heart breaking!     It became overwhelming for me.  I felt the burden so great that at times I felt smothered and crushed under the weight of it.  Please understand these people are 'our people'.  We are in their lives, we know their stories, we see their babies.  I cry at night thinking about them being hungry or cold.

People hustle here to get what they need and I found myself slipping into "hustle mode'   Trying to rustle up some money and basics for the people here.  And guess what?   (no you don't have to guess...)   the coffer ran dry.   The Lord stopped the flow of provision through Made in Roatan to a small trickle.   And Debi, oh.. she was digging deep and trying and trying, and getting more and more frustrated and angry!!   At one point I thought of leaving the island because the burden of the impoverished was sooo heavy on my soul that I couldn't sleep, I couldn't think straight, and as more and more people crossed my path with needs, and more needs and more needs I felt like I was drowning.   I had nothing to give them (or so I thought...)   I lost sight of the true basics.   He was trying to teach me a hard lesson and I wasn't learning it.  Ever feel that way??   Oh yeah....

But, and thank God for the buts in life...I will be forever grateful to the Women of Purpose who came to Honduras and provided missionary women with a wonderful, refreshing, renewing retreat!!   I could write a whole blog about them and I may do that later but let me suffice to say that for those of us who were depleted, desperate, empty and dry the WOP ladies came with open hearts to bless us, support us and pray for us.

  One of our sessions was called "Heart in Ministy Assessment tool" The question that has so deeply impacted me and re-directed me was this: What was my original calling from God?

He simply said to bring  light and love to Roatan.
I write that with tears slowly sliding down my cheeks because it is so beautiful.   So biblical.  So like HIM to stick to the basics.
Light ~~  His Word
Love ~~  Himself

When we first went to Roatan that is exactly what we did day after day after day.   We'd get up in the morning, pray, and ask for His guidance and then we'd go out.   We'd sit on porches and listen and pray.   We would share His Word.  And light shone in a dark place.   And love burst into aching hearts.   

And then over the years, I began to complicate it.   I will be and am forever grateful for the Lord establishing our ministry with Made in Roatan.  It helps so many people on this island and the support from all of you is astounding.   BUT I realized this summer that I had left my original vision and replaced with "provide for the poor"   I am telling you that is a great need here but it can never ever be my primary vision from Him.  The burden of that responsibility is too great!  I can't handle it but He can!!

My true job is to bring Christ to these people.   Anything that happens practically (food and covering)  is a bonus.  He is the best gift, the true provision, the source of true hope.  He is what we all need!  I feel renewed to stay with the original vision and keep it simple.

light and love

Yesterday in church we sang "We are marching in the light of God"   I wish I had brought my camera to video it for you but I didn't. But I have linked to a video of some adorable children in Africa singing this song.

We are marching in the light of God
We are living in the love of God
We are moving in the power of God

So let's stick to the basics, shall we:  Light bearers and Love givers.

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