Tag

opportunity

Through New Eyes

By | Blog, Envision, Involve

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.

 

Haiti Scouting Visual

By | Envision, Involve

Just back from Haiti, here is a brief overview of our trip connecting with current and future partners…  Thank you for all you do to help bring the Gospel to those who’ve never heard!

 

Looking Ahead

By | Envision, Headfirst

What does God have in store for you this year?  And for His Kingdom?  Are you anticipating it?

The Scriptures are filled with the historical accounts of His supernatural intervention in history and thoroughly documented.  The Bible is complete, but God’s work is not.  What could be written about how He will work in and through you in the year to come?

  • In the year King Uzziah died…  (Isaiah 6:1)
  • In the 480th year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel…  (1 Kings 6:1)
  • And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus…  (Daniel 1:21)
  • In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar…  (Luke 3:1-2)

Will you look ahead in faith and anticipation?  Will you follow the King into battle?

How will you use your freedom?  How will you use your resources?

As you welcome the New Year, as you hear the trumpet blow, join us in running headfirst into God’s calling on our lives!

In the streets of Port-au-Prince

By | Envision
Collapse of the Haitian Presidential Palace

Before and after the earthquake

The sun was still overhead, but the sensation of spiritual oppression was all around us.  We walked from the presidential palace, whole floors collapsed, past the piles of rubble which had been the Haitian treasury building.  A caravan of military vehicles made its way through the recently plowed streets. More than three weeks after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, very little had changed.  Broken cinder blocks and twisted rebar still covered city blocks, and a look upward revealed rooflines at every angle to the sky – but none of them as they should be.  These buildings, businesses and homes were now unintended mausoleums, housing the bodies of thousands of children and adults.  The living were still wandering in the streets, Read More

17 Minutes with Hugo

By | Envision

He was wearing a black shirt with a drawing of a cross.  It said “Killed in the line of duty” and had a quote from Philippians.  Hugo had been wandering the streets of Port-au-Prince, but when he saw us he motioned for us to come to him.  My teammate Ted was taking video and stills in front of the collapsed Treasury and Hugo saw something he thought we’d want on film.  More than 3 weeks after the earthquake, a young man’s body lay covered with dust, trapped beneath shards of concrete.  I could see his face, his ear, his arm.  It was heart-piercing and unforgettable.

Hugo’s home was crushed and his family was dead.  He asked if we could pass word to his cousin in the U.S. that he was still alive.  He didn’t seem to know where he was going.  I asked him about his shirt – was he a Christian; did he have a church?  While we spoke, Haitians continued to wander up and down the streets.  A young woman balanced a hardshell suitcase on her head and just watched us from the corner.  Military convoys passed by, the Red Cross, the UN.  Two CAT earth movers were parked next to the twisted rebar, unmanned.  Ted spoke softly with Hugo as we tried to offer him compassion and aid.  Then we had to leave.

The media reports the numbers: how many dead, how many orphans, how many homeless.  There is tremendous darkness, tragedy and pain.

Only Christ can bring hope.  No amount of darkness can consume light.  For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness” made His light shine in our hearts…

We can build the Kingdom together.  Offer the Gospel to the lost.  Build new communities.  Bring healing and hope.  Get ready to join in – you can find your role as the Church comes together for Haiti.  More very soon…

An Invitation

By | Headfirst, Involve

This is an invitation to be a part of the Body of Christ at work in Haiti.  We are collaborating to work as one – hopefully networking as many churches and ministries in the U.S. and the world as we can to support indigenous ministries in Haiti, and building on a long-term plan that incorporates the physical, spiritual, economic and social needs of the people.

Right now a core group from Southern California churches and ministries are working together and making as many connections here and in-country as possible.  Leaders in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are coordinating an effort that will establish lasting engagement from followers of Christ.  I will be joining a team on the ground in-country next week.  This is not a “service team” per se, though we will deliver aid & supplies.  Service and outreach teams will be needed in the near future, but right now we are only sending crisis response teams, such as medical teams, and a handful of ministry leaders.

Please recognize that by the time you read this, many things will have changed.  We are working in a highly fluid period of crisis and transition with a goal of moving from urgent relief towards long-term recovery.

I will highlight one current opportunity before us  – one of many… Read More