Standing On Level Ground

Last night I had the honor of leading a night of worship for a local ministry’s people and their friends and family up here in the Kenscoff mountains of Haiti. We had an awesome potluck (I love potlucks!!!) beforehand and then sat outside with the tiered garden covered mountains as a backdrop, singing our guts out to Jesus. We worshipped because of the Lord’s faithfulness, His unending love for us, His protective and gentle compassion that always beckons us back to sit at His feet.

As 40+ people worked off their hot dogs, hamburgers and awesome summer salads by exalting the only God who is worthy of every bit of our honor and praise; as we sat and stood and sang songs about the Lion of Judah and the Lamb who was slain for us — I couldn’t help but look at all of those people and their families and be completely in awe of every one of them. They’ve all given their lives to furthering the Good News of Christ. They’ve accepted the wild adventure that God has offered them of moving to a foreign country, learning a new culture and language, facing challenges that they never even had a category for before they said yes to the call. I was just so humbled and thankful to be in their company last night. It felt like home; the best kind of place to rest. I loved standing next to them.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I know we get tired and burnt out. I know that ministry can be exceptionally tough and that it seems the streak of drama that you had no idea could run so deep never seems to dissipate enough. Sometimes it seems like that’s all the more true with regard to the mission field. So I think that times where we come together for the primary purpose of worshiping the Lord is vital to our soul’s health and long-term mission sustainment. God’s people worshiping, led by the Spirit, breaks through all of the fog and mire. It always has been and always will be, the level ground for the people of God.

Here’s to the People of God; saints made so by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. Here’s to level ground; the People of God worshiping Jesus – the only One who is worthy.

My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the LORD. Psalm 26:12

Dance Moves at Just the Right Time

Our family recently celebrated Valentine’s Day with the GLA Toddler House kids. Ingrid had worked hard to make fun Valentines from the both of us to all of the kids as well as for every nannie, cook and teacher that works alongside us each day. Everyone was so excited to receive that little gift and a sweet treat but surprisingly, it wasn’t the highlight of the day.

We’d recently watched the movie, Trolls with all of the kids and they have been jammin’ to that soundtrack for over a week. Every time we play the main track, Can’t Stop the Feeling, by Justin Timberlake, the kids start pulling out the dance moves. I love watching it…and yes…I almost immediately start dancing too. Check out some of our sweet dance moves from that fun day here!

Lately, the music always seems to come at just the right time. When we’re frustrated, annoyed or disappointed, those beats start coming through our little portable speaker and the fun seems to make the downers of the day lose their grip.

All of that has pulled me back to the scripture verse, Romans 5:6 which says, You see, at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

First of all, if that’s not a reason to dance, I don’t know what is. But what I love the most is the implication given in the verse.

God timed his rescue of my heart perfectly. Had anyone else tried to carry out a plan of restoration and redemption for me, it would have failed miserably. But God knew exactly the right way and He used the perfect sacrifice, His Son, on my behalf; and He set it all in motion and carried out His battle against my sin, death and the devil at just the right time.

That reminder for me takes all of the pressure off. It reminds me again today that there is no amount of my own performance or posing that could fix my or anyone else’s brokenness. The Lord’s grace and love makes me want to dance – plain and simple! I’m reminded that first and foremost, I am called to love the Lord and to bring His love into every circumstance with every person. Whether people receive that or when they receive it, isn’t up to me – and that’s a dance-worthy thing too! Because I know that the Lord is working and that at just the right time, He’ll do what He needs to do to be recognized for who He is by every single person. And I hope that when they see them for who He really is, that they can’t help but break out some of those funky dance moves.

You moved to Haiti!?

To say this year has been a whirlwind of an adventure would be an understatement. For those that missed our move – we moved to Haiti full-time in July! We didn’t really have any plans to move here or anywhere for that matter. We loved our jobs and life in California but God presented an opportunity for us to live and work in Haiti and away we went! It wasn’t actually that simple as we had to sell our home, prepare to leave our jobs at St. Paul’s (and through God’s perfect provision, became church supported missionaries for our home church!), sell or get rid of most of our stuff, fundraise, pack up a vehicle, sell another vehicle, and prepare our sweet old dog, Kooper, to move to another country.

IMG_7841.JPGWe know that had we sat and planned out this move, it would have never gone this smoothly. We applied for jobs at God’s Littlest Angels a couple of weeks after Ingrid returned from there in March and thought it was a completed act of obedience. Little did we know, we’d be offered the job in the beginning of April and would move here at the start of July – phew, what a whirlwind.

We agreed that it was as if God had listened into all of our dreams and ideas and created jobs that fit all of it – so amazing! Life here isn’t without it’s challenges – it’s a developing country that lacks a stable government (and has been without a president for awhile now) and we miss our sweet friends in California a whole bunch! However, on the challenging days, we can’t help but look back at the way God made a clear and obvious way for us to get here. We know without a doubt, that this is where he wants us right now. We are humbled by the opportunity to serve here and look forward to sharing more about our life and adventures as expats.