Glimpses

Glimpses

24 Feb 2016

It’s like one of those stormy days when you know the sun is out there, but you just can’t see it.  And then the sun peeks through.  And is covered once more.  Everything in view is gloomy and overcast.  Your heart cries out for a breakthrough.

That imagery describes much of this journey we’ve had with Lovekin.  Right now that story is full of storms…

Yesterday we received lab results from one of the most advanced medical facilities in Haiti which confirmed her HIV+ status and provided a plan to deal with her infections, fever and malnutrition.  Lovekin had been experiencing diarrhea so it is difficult to know from her health condition if she was receiving the formula and medicine that we had provided, or if her grandmother had been giving it to others.  Her grandmother did not understand the severity of Lovekin’s challenges, but she does now.  She wept profusely when it was explained to her.  She worries for Lovekin’s older brother and sister who now must be tested also.

Lovekin’s family knew her father’s identity, though he had not been involved.  Our team located him yesterday after returning from the clinic and told him that Lovekin was HIV positive and that he needed to get tested as well.  He was outraged, demanded to be given his baby and yelled at the messengers.  He blamed Lovekin’s mother for the baby’s health.  Apparently he is in poor health also, and another woman to whom he was married had previously died from an unknown condition.  If you read between the lines, you begin to see the potential “tip of the iceberg” of how an epidemic spreads – but that story is for another day.

When does the sun break through in this storm?  Well, a partner of ours has connected us to an orphanage which cares for HIV+ children and after meeting with the director, the facility is open to taking Lovekin.  It’s not a done deal, but there is a glimpse of hope.  Now, we need the father and the grandmother to sign their rights away so that we can help her.  This might seem callous, but the sad reality is that either of them might presume that by keeping Lovekin they will benefit financially and materially from aid and donations.  But her best hope for survival is caregivers who have the training and support to give Lovekin medication on a regular schedule, meet her nutritional needs, can care for her safely and prevent illness and transmission of disease, and every other core need this child has.

There is a long road ahead, and we’re walking it together.  So thankful that we are walking it with you and know that above the gloomy skies is our God in heaven.

For those who wish to understand more about HIV and AIDS, here is a non technical overview of HIV in children and babies.  For those who want to help us provide for Lovekin’s immediate needs, we invite you to donate to the Lovekin Fund, which will remain dedicated to her care, and in the event that the funds exceed her needs or her lifespan, they will be used to support the neediest children in Haiti.

Switchback

Switchback

12 Feb 2016

Sometimes you feel like you’re taking a step backward.  Other times 2 steps forward and 1 step back.  Other times, just chasing your tail in circles.  Today is a switchback.


 

A switchback takes the long way to go a short distance.

But because the grade is steep, it’s too difficult or dangerous to tackle head on.


 

A switchback is a road where it’s hard to see around the bend.


 

Spiritually speaking, a switchback is a process for us to keep moving forward and put our trust in God.

He knows the reasons even when we don’t.

He sees the destination even when we can’t.

He puts value in the process despite our desire to avoid it.

He uses the switchback to help refine character, develop patience and perseverance, increase humility and dependence – all while keeping us safe in the palm of His hand.


Today is a switchback because Lovekin didn’t get to go see the specialists, we don’t have a treatment plan, we don’t know anything more than we did yesterday.  Another day of nothing.  My heart is restless, but I know He is present.  As present for her as He is for me.  God doesn’t ask me to like it.  It is.


 

Keep praying; stay faithful.  Keep your eyes on Him, all the way around the bend.


 

Photo credit: Chris Harnish
Small Steps

Small Steps

10 Feb 2016

We had Lovekin retested this week and got the results today – it was confirmed that she’s HIV positive.  So far, only our team in Haiti knows (and all of you around the world.)  Her village and her grandmother don’t know yet.  Until there is a plan in place, we believe it is likely that they will discard Lovekin if they find out she has HIV.  There is the sad possibility that as we keep helping this little one, her community will see value in her despite her condition.

Many people are praying for her.  Some are offering advice for next steps, recommending referrals, donating to her fundThank you all.  We’re following up as quickly as possible.

Lovekin is still ill and malnourished so we are trying to keep her on a daily care regimen to help restore her most basic health.  But her grandmother is very frail and limited.  We’ve raised enough money to take care of the immediate financial needs so we don’t have that obstacle right now.

This Friday, two of our Haitian team members are taking Lovekin to a special clinic at the Gheskio Center in Port au Prince.  I’m hoping that we can walk out with medication, a treatment plan and some tracks to run on, but sometimes that’s a lot to hope for in a single day in Haiti.

Keep those prayers coming…

Heartache

Heartache

10 Feb 2016

Lovekin was born in August 2015. Her mother died a few weeks afterward due to complications from childbirth, and most likely from AIDS.  Her father was not involved in her life and her grandmother is struggling to care for her and cannot afford to feed her.  When we met her she was malnourished and had a fever and a variety of minor medical ailments.  To avert her grandmother deserting her, the Chanje Movement engaged in her life and took care of her immediate needs, including baby formula and medication.

We were in the intake process for Lovekin at Chanje Lakay in hopes of saving her life when we discovered she is HIV positive.  Our shelter is not equipped to deal with the care for her, so we are actively trying to find her a home where she will have the best care.  She is a delicate bundle of joy despite the circumstances of her early life. She has a sweet, contemplative demeanor and loves to be held!

We have created a designated fund for Lovekin to provide for her needs in the weeks, months and (prayerfully) years to come.  In the event that the generosity of donors outlasts her life, the remaining funds will be used to care for other Haitian babies and children who are HIV positive.

We will be posting actively as her story unfolds…

The Beauty of “No”

The Beauty of “No”

3 Oct 2015

Three things happen when you say no to an opportunity, invitation or appointment.

First, you create margin in your life.  When we say yes to too many things – even good things – we fill our schedules and lives beyond our capacity.  You’ve probably heard the expression, “the good is the enemy of the best.”  One has to say no to appointments, invitations and other opportunities to leave margin in life.  For the person living within appropriate margins, when something excellent comes along, he or she can say YES.  For the person juggling all the balls in the air, adding another thing simply means something else must fall.  Wouldn’t you rather be ready for the best than under a pile with the rest?

Second, when you say no, you make room for God’s peace and leadership in your life.  Remember the scripture that begins God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble? Just a few verses later, the psalmist prescribes how to find your rest in His fortress: Be still and know that I am God.  The visual of the peaceful, empty park bench also communicates that quietness; He offers us communion with Him when we cease striving.  When we say yes too often, we don’t have time to pray, to connect with the Lord, to discern His path for our lives and relationships.

Third, saying no develops your character.  My friend Don recently shared a quote with me from a Sunday sermon he heard years ago: “The rejection of adversity is the mark of an immature soul.”  Think about it… aside from the unrealistic dream of vast lottery winnings, there really is no “something for nothing” of true value in this world.  Victory in virtually everything with high value is accomplished through adversity.  Even in salvation, we receive Christ by grace alone through faith alone, but remember the price Jesus paid on our behalf.  My character needs me to say no to easy but meaningless ventures and to say yes to challenges with depth and worth.  Too often we shy away.  When we say yes to the boring, the mundane and the mediocre, we reject healthy growth and maturity.

Reject the lie that being over-capacity honors God or is useful.  Good stewardship of my life isn’t visible in a hectic and frenetic schedule.  My decision to say no clears away the detritus and pollution of my life, and frees me up to be the person God wants me to be.

No can actually be very beautiful.  When free to choose, take your margin, peace of mind and maturity into consideration, and ask the Lord for guidance.  He always leads faithfully.

I Met Messiah

I Met Messiah

16 Aug 2015

Our big news of the month is the release of our founder’s testimony, filmed by One For Israel and Chosen People Ministries.  This is one of 50 life stories of Jewish people coming to know Jesus that are being watched and shared by millions of people around the world.

Spread the Word - Share the Video

  • This video is being released TODAY and we need your help.  We need you to watch it, and to go on social media and share it.  The best way to do this is to go to facebook.com/oneforisrael, find his video near the top and click on the Share button.  Just write a quick note to accompany it that explains why you’re sharing it.  If you have trouble finding it (for instance, you’re reading this a while after it was written) you can always visit I Met Messiah.
  • Please do this right now and help accelerate the story so that it catches fire!  This has already happened with one story with over 5 million views.  It’s not about fame – we simply want to get the Gospel to as many people as possible!  Video testimonies of Jewish believers are very powerful to both Jew and Gentile.
  • You will see how effective these tools are, as we help the worldwide Jewish community see how Jewish the Gospel truly is.  Jesus is Jewish, his original disciples were Jewish, the Scriptures are Jewish….  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wants to use all of us to reach all the world!
  • Without the Gospel, there is no hope.  We are grateful for your agreement and faithful prayer and financial partnership.  Together, we are joining Jesus in seeking and saving the lost!
Chanje Lakay Bellanton Response

Chanje Lakay Bellanton Response

16 Dec 2014

chanje_lakay_bellanton_trans

We are re-printing the update we posted on Facebook last night on behalf of the Chanje Movement, our humanitarian outreach in Haiti.  You may know the backstory on Chanje, but may not have heard the recent and troubling news:

Some of our key partners were robbed this week (December 12, 2014) by a group of men who invaded Chanje Lakay Bellanton with force.  No one was physically harmed, though our partners were threatened.  This pastor and his wife (who rescued and now care for more than 20 children) lost everything of value, including the funds to buy daily food for the staff and kids.  They had also been planning to buy a parcel of land for church planting, and now that money is gone as well.

Our partners need our support. They need encouragement, they need prayer, and they need funds for simple things like food, replacing their mobile phones, and to put some security in place for themselves, their staff and the children who call our shelter home.

If you would like to be part of that support, here are some simple ways you can do that:

  • Encouragement: email 1response@chanje.org with a note and we will send your message to our partners via email and include your name. If you know them personally, please include their names. If you don’t, that’s okay too. They’ll be encouraged by the love and compassion of the brothers and sisters who they’ve never met. Send your Christmas and New Years greetings as well.
  • Prayer: however you wish, but here are three specific requests:
    • Ask God to keep the staff and children safe (for example, pray according to Psalm 59, particularly verses 1-4, 16-17.)
    • Pray for our partners’ spiritual and emotional comfort and for them to know God’s peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:4-9.)
    • Pray for their provision and God’s favor upon them (see Luke 2:52; Proverbs 3:34; 9:10; Genesis 6:8; Exodus 33:17)
  • Finances: we developed a list of needs that people can contribute toward. The goals cover immediate needs and coming needs for the 1st quarter of next year, and the budget for 2015. We welcome your involvement however you are led. Visit bit.ly/1response to donate.
  • Share this with others (for instance, on Facebook, don’t just “like” it, choose share on your timeline)

Thank you for all the ways your love is helping bring change!

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The Chanje Movement is the humanitarian outreach of The Global Mission, a registered 501c3 nonprofit.  Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Contact us if you wish to donate stock, mutual funds, bonds or other securities.  Contributions can be mailed to PO Box 80222 Rancho Santa Margarita CA 92688.

Hold Your Ground

Hold Your Ground

26 Nov 2014

Don’t give in to the Grinch this holiday season.  He’s all over social media telling you how bad things are, then topping the last story with a new video or meme.  Tis the season to pile on, right?  I’m not suggesting this world is good; it’s not.  It’s corrupted by sin, death and disease.  But in God, we have a Father who gives His children good gifts.  We have a Savior who redeems us and brings reconciliation between men and God.  We have the Spirit who fills and empowers us to live righteously for His purposes.  Hold your ground: choose faith, hope and love!

Identify the blessings in your life and celebrate them.  If you can’t find enough, celebrate with a brother or sister who will share them with you.

Here’s my own Thanksgiving offering for you – the video overview from our recent Men’s Mission to Haiti.  Stay till the end – it’s worth every (free) penny.

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.  Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. (James 1:2-5)

Grinch = bad.  God = good!

Through New Eyes

Through New Eyes

9 Sep 2014
1 Comment

LaurenThis guest post is from Lauren Anderson, a young mother of two who participated in the August 2014 Haiti Mission Team with our humanitarian outreach, the Chanje Movement.  We are thrilled to be able to share her observations and experience:

There is so much I’ve learned this last year with my involvement in Chanje. One of the greatest lessons I learned is that sometimes when God calls you, it starts as a whisper. The whisper calling me to go to Haiti was gentle at first, so much so that I even ignored it. But overtime it began to grow to a point where it was so loud and so clear that if I were to have said no it would have felt like direct disobedience to God’s plan for me. When I finally agreed, I didn’t even know where Haiti was on a map! I thought it was in Africa!

Before long I found myself with 28 other people who answered “Yes!” to the call and we were on our way together to a small island that’s a two hour plane ride away from Miami airport. After just the first day in Haiti, a different level of understanding swept over me like a heaviness. To be honest, I was rather surprised by it’s weight. I thought over the past several years that I knew all about what was to come. I had seen the pictures that our missionaries shared in church, I had watched the footage on the news, I had listened to the stories, I had even been moved to tears… But nothing can prepare you for what it is to physically step in and experience this other world that exists outside of your daily reality. For me, it was all about the connection. It was about making a connection to the people. A connection to their suffering. A connection to their struggles. A connection to their pain. A connection to their endurance. And most importantly – a connection to their hope.

In seven days, there were times that I felt overwhelmed. There were moments where the ability to keep a brave face breaks down and the tears stream out of even the biggest, burliest, toughest males of the group. There were times I would turn to the veterans for assurance that we were making a difference, and with a brutal explanation of what [Haiti had been like] before, I would be calmed by their confidence in God’s work being done. Nonetheless, my heart was broken in places that had never been touched. A sense of panic started to form within me throughout the trip… “There’s so much to be done!” “We’ll never be able to help everyone!” “We can’t go home yet – we need to do more!” Every thought of concern felt like a needle in my heart stitching me to this country, it’s people, the children, their suffering. My panic grew to a search for answers to questions I couldn’t quell.

Thankfully, a very patient leader who was experienced in these thoughts and fears simplified a connection to the bigger picture. Dave Brodsky made it so beautifully clear to me and to all of us: we are not here to simply help provide food, water, clothes and shelter… for if that were all we brought with us – how hopeless would we feel once we left? It is not our main goal to build up lives here on earth; it is our great mission to build up lives in eternity. If we were simply focused on making everyone’s lives on earth more comfortable, we would certainly lose hope. But our hope is in the Lord and His promises. In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 it says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (NKJV) 

Keeping the focus on this main mission purpose gave me instant relief and a great peace came over me.  Yes, we are going to do our best to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, love the suffering – but it is all in the name of Jesus Christ, being the hands and feet of the Savior of the world, showing the love of our Heavenly Father through acts of service. These beautiful people of Haiti will better understand God’s love by the love He is showing though His missionaries that answer that call and step into their world to make connections that last for eternity.

We can listen and find so many different opportunities to be a faithful servant whether it’s a loud call or a gentle whisper. For some of us it may be a path of action, for some of us it may be by means of financial ability, for some of us it may be by using the gifts God blessed us with to bring glory to His kingdom. Perhaps it can be all of the above and even more… Giving our contributions to those who need it the most. Today I am changed by the connection I have to the people I got to know in Haiti. Today when I pray, I don’t just pray for faces without names – I pray for my friends, I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray for them like I pray for my family. I can’t wait to return to Haiti, but I also find great peace in knowing that even if I don’t get the chance to see each and every Haitian friend once more, we are forever connected in the love of Christ. I will surely see them again in eternity where we will be servants together forever side by side.

To learn more about the Chanje Movement, the humanitarian outreach of The Global Mission, and how you can be involved, please visit www.chanje.org.

 

New Life, New Hope

New Life, New Hope

25 Aug 2014

With the return of the most recent Chanje Movement team, we are thrilled to share these images of the new life and new hope so many found this week through Jesus Christ.  So thankful for our Haitian partners who led the way, opened the doors to new territory, and who stand alongside us in trusting God for the future of Haiti!

To be a part of this exciting movement, please visit www.chanje.org and consider sponsoring a child, investing in micro-credit, or purchasing an item for one of our projects.