God works in the details. His 'fingerprints' are all over the things that happen in our lives. The question is: Do we see Him?
They built two buildings for me. There's a piece of metal they call the faceplate. They were cut to size on the first building, but for the second building we had to cut off a couple of the ends so that they wouldn't be too long. There was a test cut. Then a couple of real cuts. The leftovers were thrown on a pile.
A week later, I think about making the 'back door' a little more secure with a brace on the inside. I'd put it there at night when I lock up so that the back door is safe from a pound or a broken door knob attempt. SO, I go looking for a piece of metal that will be the width of a door plus a few inches on either side for connection to that frame. The first piece I think might work is too long. Then I find a second piece that I think will be too short, but I decide to try it. It fits into the place as if it were measured and cut to size! The builders made that cut with no intention of 'saving a piece', yet God was at the same time making the perfect piece for a door brace...though that idea had net yet entered my mind.
At the Lutheran Gathering in Denver the one pastor called them God sightings. It's a testimony...sharing what you've seen God do. Often it's in the tiny details...IF we're watching.
I've been enjoying running on the beach. The soccer field where I used to run (and play soccer) is ruined since the hurricanes came through. A run on the beach is much more enjoyable than running in circles looking at the same horse ten times...and jumping over the same horse...you get the picture.
I spent Thanksgiving traveling to Cayes and back. I had 'brunch' that morning at the local restaurant here in town before I left. Fish and rice. It wasn't my favorite meal in my life, but those are the ones you can be most easily thankful for, it seems to me. God blessed me, and I saw it. : )
One of the places I feel most able to help people here is the area of music in church. I've attended thousands of services while here in Haiti over the years. With my Music Ed. degree and personal experiences in worship, I think I can help church musicians to do worship and not just do music.
SO, I'm delighted to now have 3 different congregations where I am working in that area. A congregation of believers (Eglise de Dieu de la Prophetie) has invited me to work with their music people every Friday afternoon. Last week we had a great conversation about God and who He is...and how we can worship Him. Too often folks here (and everywhere) allow God to become small in their minds. It's like an anti-worship pill. When you taste the awesomeness of God, you're on the path to worship. I met with the pastor of a Baptist congregation as well, and we scheduled meetings on Saturdays for his group of musicians. Plus, I work regularly with the folks in the local congregation where I am a member. I'm thankful to God for these open doors to ministry.
In Revelation 20, John is presented a set of visions by an angel. His reaction is to bow and worship the angel who presented the visions to him. The angel (as always happens in situations like this in the Bible) tells John to get up. In one translation, or should I say paraphrase) of the Bible (THE MESSAGE), the angel ends with this simple sentence. "Worship God." It's a tiny phrase that is on my mind so much lately. Worship God. Am I worshiping? Is it God I'm worshiping? If I'm off track on either word, I'm in darkness and pride. God deserves my worship. GOD deserves my worship. God deserves my WORSHIP.
Last Fall I began to imagine a place where I could both live and teach right here in Passe-bois-d'ormes, the town where I've worked for 20 years. In twelve month's time, it has happened! Glory to God! In February we built (actually Jason built, I watched) a shed to launch construction. Then Cenord and his team built the cement room for my office and bedroom. In October and early November Jason set up the steel buildings...first the kitchen/living room/dining room. Then the ASAPH Teaching Center! Then I built a shower room out of leftover tin and cement. It all ended up looking very much like I had imagined it one year ago. CONSTRUCTION FINISHED!
I'm busy now preparing the room for teaching. I'm trying to utilize the space in the most effective ways. I have guitars, amps, keyboards arranged in a way that will allow both individual and group activities. I'm filling the walls with instructive posters and writings. And I'm trying to make sense of all of the teaching materials I've gathered here these 20 years.
I'm planning a dedication service or two for the new facility before I 'start' using it. And I have no chairs for seating yet, so activities will have to be for small groups at this point. BUT, we are in very good shape to minister to folks through education. In the past few days I have 'unofficially': jammed with a young bass player and guitar player, taught a young man some world geography as we cleaned a map, taught 2 kids to play Battleship, and heard a young man try to recite the first level of the ASAPH Bible Academy memorization program. That's ASAPH Teaching Ministry...all day, every day.
If you'd like to 'help someone in Haiti', think about sponsoring a full-time missionary. It'll do more for people that a box of crayons and soap.
Jason S. and his team have been spending long hours in the hot Haitian sun. On Saturday we were able to stand up the Teaching Center frame. On Monday they did the roof. On Tuesday the walls. Only details remain now. It looks awesome. We put insulation bubbles under the roof of both buildings. For the Teaching Center we also we able to put bubble insulation on the South wall. That's the wall that gets sun from 10 in the morning until late afternoon during the months of Spring, Winter and Fall. It makes a BIG difference with the insulation. :) Yea!
I haven't had too much time for anything except building and arranging. The youth group did restart. We've had several good meetings with the kids. They are a bright bunch...lively and thoughtful. I love being with the kids and corralling their energy and their ideas. God builds so many good things into people. It's a shame so much gets stomped out as we grow.
The church worship team has been doing a very nice job lately. Services are smooth, and the music is out of the way...Sunday mornings anyway. Evening services have been another story. We've got work to do there. :)
Give thanks to the Lord, He's good. His love endures forever!
Missionary in Haiti.