Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Explosion of Thought

After hearing the heartbreaking news yesterday morning of the loss of a wonderful, beautiful and hilarious friend, I've spent much of yesterday and this morning lost in thought.

There are so many reasons why in my human mind I can feel like screaming at the Lord... and to be honest, I spent some time in just that state. And I am thankful that we live for a God who loves us in-spite of ourselves, that He gives us time to grieve in our own way, that I can be confused, heartbroken and weak and He's still there for me. What a Father!

But after I committed to pray a prayer of thanksgiving over her life and the impact she made while she was here, every time those thoughts came.. my heart began to change.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways My ways,”
            declares the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
  so are My ways higher than
          your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

This is the verse my mind wandered to.

My thoughts make sense to me.. (confusion, anger, questions) but am I greater than God? The one who hung the moon, holds the stars in the sky and is the creator of ALL things under the sun... HE is the one who tells me that His way is perfect, He makes no mistakes, His back never turns from us, He is faithful. To doubt Him is to put His knowledge beneath our own.. to put Him "below us" so to speak. To say, "The Creator of the Universe doesn't know! He's wrong about this! I know better!"

How arrogant am I? Do I consider myself so great? So wise? To put down the LORD of the NATIONS?

 So today I trust in that fact. That the Lord's love and mercy and justice and peace is greater than mine. That its greater than what I think is right, makes sense and seems best. That He knows the whole story, while I can only see a glimpse of it. He is the author and we are just words on a page...

Thank you Lord for the life of Bethany Roebuck Etheridge. Thank you for allowing our town to be blessed by the Roebuck family and their example of love, laughter and Godly ways. Her short time here on earth was not wasted and we thank you for that. She was a woman who I know you are excited to have home. Her life impacted so many people and I thank you for the opportunity to have known her.

Please watch over all of us still in the grieving process, heal our hearts, mend our faith. Specifically lift up and bring peace to her families, her husband and little Luke. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Diamond in the Rough

About a week ago, we were driving to HCO and we came across this painting on the side of a restaurant.

Do you notice it? Can you see it? This is the before picture.. what you see driving down the road. It is of four children writing a phrase and a mother sewing the Hatian flag. When my friend Almando translated the Creole to English tears came to my eyes.

"Haiti will not perish."
And that is so true. 

After the earthquake in 2010, lives were indeed lost, and homes destroyed...but this little message of hope sits peeking through an otherwise chaotic scene... Constantly, solidly, quietly (but powerfully) illustrating the hope for the future and the will-power of the Haitian people.

After some touch ups and cropping, this is the final picture. Can you see the beauty now?


I haven't been able to shake the impact it made on me. So many thoughts ran through my mind all day about how perfect of an example it is for Haiti and its otherwise "hidden" beauty and the solidity of the Haitian people. I wonder, if an event such as the earthquake were to rock the entire United States, would we respond so beautifully? I hope so.

It also makes me think of Christ and the way he views us. In our fleshly state, we are the "before" picture.. He is forever just a part of the background.. another (beautiful) addition to our picture. Although we strive to make Him the focus of our lives, other things constantly vie for our attention.  But in Christ's eyes, the "after" picture, we are all He sees. Nothing else competes for the spotlight. His total focus is on us. He exposes our true beauty.

Father how I desire my focus to be as clear as Yours! Make You and Your glory be the center of my life, my whole picture.

Praising the Lord for this artist and the time they took to create such a beautiful piece of art. I hope they somehow can know the impact it made on my life.

In His love,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Life IS Hope`

As we visited Life is Hope Orphanage today, I was in awe of the children and their excitement for us to be there! There's nothing quite like stepping out of a vehicle and 100 Haitian orphaned children singing their "Welcome" song to you! I don't think I've ever been more excited and happy to have sweaty little kids climbing all over me.(Who knew long hair was so fun to braid?) ;)

Smarck is my little friend, who is eleven years old. He loves to play soccer, listen to Justin Bieber and pretend like he is Kobe Bryant. He is good with English, much better than I am with Creole anyway... and it was so sweet to watch him work SO hard to interpret for me. We played the whole time I was there. Even while I had two little ones asleep on my lap, he still wanted me to play with him and his paper airplane. As we left, we just kept our eyes locked on one another. It was if the Lord was there, assuring me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Thank you Father for Your assurance!


I kept thinking of Smarck's little paper airplane. He would throw it... watch it fly and then tweak it to make it perfect. He was so bent on getting it perfectly so it would fly straight. It reminded of Christ and His continual watch over our lives. My prayer is that You Lord, mold me! Tweak me to fly in the exact way You would have me! Smoothly, on the course that You have in mind!

I pray that you this week may share my heart. Listen to God's voice, be aware of His hand in your life.

Please keep the kids at Life is Hope in your prayers and of course the boys at HCO as well.

Thank you all for your love and encouragement!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the earthquake that so drastically and forever changed Haiti. We woke up this morning to a quiet, quiet city. It was so strange to wake up in the quiet.. normally it is so loud and there are distinct sounds every morning.. pate yo (patties) hitting the frying oil from the vendor beneath my window, horns honking, music playing, the woman down the street singing and of course, our trusty little rooster who begins crowing at around 4. I think I'll name him soon.

But this morning was different, because today is different. We went to Cote Plage for church from 7-12:30 and sang, prayed, rejoiced and praised our Lord. There was almost 5,000 people in attendance, the church was packed and there were so many people waiting outside! It was incredible.

It was absolutely amazing to hear 4-5,000 people singing "I'm crazy for You, Lord" "You are the strength of my life" "I live to know You" and constantly hearing shouts of "Thank You, Lord!"
Even in the midst of a day that brings back frightening and terrible memories for everyone, they rejoiced in the goodness of the Lord! This is how we should all be, every day of our lives! Even when the tough times come, the Lord is good and HE is faithful!

At one point, the Pastor called everyone in and we packed the church as best we could. He spoke of how we should "knit-together" with one another being unified. The entire church joined hands and lifted up our prayers out loud to the Lord. If you've ever heard 4-5,000 people praying to the Lord at the same time, you know what that feels like.. if not, you are missing out. It was so beautiful to hear the prayers being mixed together, not being able to decipher one from another. But how great and powerful is our Lord that He heard every prayer individually! So awesome.

I thank you for being a part of my experience here in Haiti. For your support, prayers and finances alike. I wouldn't be here without each and every one of you.

The Lord is the LORD of the NATIONS, the WORLD!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bonswa from Haiti!

It is now the second day of my precious time here in Haiti and wow! I can't even begin to write down everything I am feeling, seeing and experiencing!

I met Marlo at the Miami airport and we flew in together.. it was so great to have her with me since she's been through Haiti's customs dept. But it was the easiest and friendliest customs experience ever!
We ran the gauntlet of bag carriers and walked down the long corridor to find the two most beautiful faces waiting on us, Cassie and Almando!

They took us to Cote Plage, the church in Port where we will be staying for a while and then treated us to a nice dinner out. We then tried to get some sleep even though there was a major party going on in the street.

Today we were up at 5 headed to church at Cote Plage. We got ready and joined with the Haitians to worship the Lord! Talk about some beautiful singing! It was a thrill to get to be there. Church was over around 9 and so then we headed to north and spent the rest of the day at the beach and Club Indigo.

I am so excited to finally be here, taking this first week to settle in and get to know the culture, ministry sites and people we will be working with. Keep me and the team in yours prayers this week!

And as my wise husband left me with this, I will leave you with it as well..

In all things, remember that the Lord is our COMFORT and GUIDE. What a powerful thing to hold fast to!

In His love,