Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Two trips to Punta Gorda in one week!

One road.  Partially paved dotted with small wooden or mud homes on one side and the sea on the other.   A quiet little community of Garifuna.   I have traveled over this island through the towns, down back roads, up to the tops of the mountains where the poorest of the poor live but when I reach the shore of Punta Gorda my heart is happy.  

There is a peace that I feel there.  I can't explain it.  I just enjoy it.
We went to Punta Gorda with some volunteers of Clinica Esperanza.

Of course we visited Pedro and his family.   Pedro is one of the artists at the Made in Roatan shop.   He has stolen our heart.   You may be wondering why we all have 'our thumbs up' in this photo.  Well when Pedro's dad was alive he always did the thumbs up in every photo and Pedro has adopted that too.   So we joined up.   It is an attitude that is worth adopting:  thumbs up, life is good, all is well, we are blessed, God is good!
Thumbs UP!
One thing I love about this community is that they are used to us coming.   Sometimes we come with food or clothing but often we come empty handed but full hearted.   We don't bring anything other then His love and His word of encouragement.  I have been giving alot of thought to the whole idea of doing more harm then good by always 'handing out' something.   This time we went just for a visit.
When you see this photo what do you see?   A thatched roof?   The sea in the background?  A hand carved boat?   But it is what we DON'T see that I want to write about.   You don't see a small little house that was built by Pedro's father.  You don't see a noni tree either.   Pedro was so sad because someone tore down his father's little house.   I don't know if you have lost someone but I have and I hold onto certain momentos of theirs.   That little house was the last thing that Pedro had of his Daddy.   So sad.    Please pray for Pedro.  It isn't easy to be fatherless and I know he misses him something terrible.But we are grateful that we get to 'love on' Pedro and to constantly remind him of the Father's great and faithful love for him and his family.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are
 1 John 3:1a

A few days later we took a trip to Punta Gorda again this time with ER International providing over 300 families with food.   We went to the School and handed out food in the morning and again in the afternoon.   We were able to again remind them of the love of the Father.     You may say, yeah yeah yeah God loves me.  But truly it is remarkable.   He loves us, deeply profoundly, just as we are.  So many people go to church here, they dress the right way, they tithe what little they have but do they really understand His great love?  I don't think so.   A father's love is a rare thing on this island.  So many fatherless children are wandering around.  It has been a generational issue here for years.  I know many many people who don't even know who their father is.   They are raised, blessed their hearts, by Mom who are simply surviving, trying their best to keep kids fed and clothed and in school.   I know what that is like because I was raised the same way.  But did I really know I was loved?   No.   I remember when I began to explore the idea of a Father's Love.  It was overwhelming for me to think of someone who loved me, not based on what I did or didn't do but an extravagant love that was poured out for me on the cross while I was yet a sinner.   It began to burn in my heart and heal places in me that felt that I didn't measure up, that I needed to prove myself.

There is nothing to prove to the Father once you are His child.  Once a child always a child.  Once a son always a son.  Once a daughter always a daughter.

I believe this island needs a deeper revelation of the Father's love.   It has become my passion to remind as many who will listen.

I took this photo when I saw the boy walking alone.   There were groups of kids everywhere and he was walking alone. At times it looks like we are walking alone but it is not so.   There is an Invisible One who is so close that if we could we would feel His breath on our necks.  His love is pressing in all around like air. Oh God help us to see this!!!   Oh how He loves us.   He loves this island.   He loves you.  He loves me.

“A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing.”  (Psalm 68:5-6)

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