Thursday, January 30, 2014
Day 2 in Haiti - or day 1 depending on how ya look at it. How about we just say our first full day in Haiti at YWAM! :) Well, sleep was interesting for the first night back in Haiti. In case you didn’t know, we do not have air conditioning throughout the houses here and most of the time you don’t have electricity either. The great thing about the base is we actually have power most of the day due to the generators they have. It does go off at 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends. The city power kicks on more frequently here than it did in Carrefour. Thank the Lord! It actually comes on at about midnight and stays till about 6am. Then the generators come on at 8am and stay till mid aftn most days and kick back on at 5pm and stay till 10 or 11pm depending on the day of the week.
Anyway, all that to say we have fans in our rooms and that is another blessing! We are able to run them up until the generators cut off and then they come back on about midnight. I am so so so so so so thankful for that! The other great thing is there are roosters here that do crow early in the morning - and right now as I am writing this at 11:45 in the morning lol- they get a little confused - anyway, they crow, but they are not right outside my room and they are drown out by the sounds of the fans going. YAY! The other fun thing is that we actually get up SUPER early here. Our schedules start at 6am during the week- earlier if it is your day to help prep food for breakfast - you must be at the kitchen at 5am in that case.
So, yeah, those that know me know I like my sleep and this is a whole new world for me! LOL Everyone settled in nicely except for Bryan and I. The bed we have is so hard! It hurts every bone, joint, fiber of our being! We hardly slept and then it was time to get up. I was almost in tears over the pain and the exhaustion. We all woke up hungry and eager for food. Unfortunately, we arrived on the day that the breakfast is actually brunch on Saturday and thus it isn’t till 10am and then you don’t eat again until dinner at 5pm I think. Anyway, we were all very hungry by the time breakfast rolled around as we had been up for 4 or 5 hours already. Breakfast was a smorgasbord of food including corn porridge, cereal, fruit, and hot dogs. Yeah, we were loving it! LOL
We spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday just familiarizing ourselves with the base and resting. We were actually quite bored! We were sure that this feeling wouldn’t last long and we would actually come to love our lazy weekends; however, at the time, we were rearing to go! Fast forward to Sunday aftn when we had official orientation class and we started orientation week. This consisted of a general overview of what life would look like in the coming months including an outline of weeks to come class wise and assigning of work duties. We attend class each morning and then do work duties in the afternoons. We did a tour of the base and got the history of the base and each building as well as did a small tour of St. Marc. We had mini classes each day taught by one of our DTS staff that was about worship, our belief tree (system), personal devotions, journaling, work duties, hot/cold climate culture, kingdom culture, and intercession.
We have been told that orientation week has typically not been an intense week or deep in any real sense of the word; but that our class has dove deep since day one! I, for one, am loving that! We came here to “Know God and to Make Him Known” so why wait past day 1 right?? I will share with you some of the things the Lord spoke to my heart during orientation week in hopes that my transparency and honesty about my journey with the Lord will somehow bless you and encourage you to seek the Lord with all your heart as well. Not that that requires you to go to a DTS, although it is a great thing to do and highly recommended, but that you in the privacy of your own home, your own room, that you SEEK him and you FIND him! The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for me with all of your heart.” I pray this for you. I pray this for me.
We started out on an intro to the “Belief Tree” We were encouraged to look at each day saying “God has something greater for me tomorrow” We are called to be like Christ regardless of our background or our upbringing. This is how the belief tree is formed. We have our roots which are our beliefs, they form our trunk which is our values, which then branch out and produce fruit which is our actions. So, if you have a root of insecurity or rejection or comparison like I do that influences your values of how you see people and how you respond to situations. We talked about how God isn’t concerned with what you need but with what you have. Take this in context as you read the story about the feeding of the 5,000 in John 6. Jesus seeing there is a large crowd that is hungry asks Philip - where are we going to buy bread so they can eat? He knew full well what he was going to do but was testing Philip by asking him. Philip responds like most of us would - that is a lot of money.. months of wages it would take to feed them all.. I don’t have it (my paraphrasing here). The disciples then tell Jesus there is a kid here that has 5 loaves and 2 fish and that’s all we’ve got. Jesus told them to have the people sit down, took all that the boy had, thanked God for it and then gave it out to everyone that was there and there were 12 baskets of left overs!!! WOAH! I mean, does that just blow your mind or what?? He fed them ALL and there was EXCESS. Now, the neat thing about this story is that I never realized before the significance of the Lord taking ALL of what the boy had. He didn’t ask for one loaf and one fish. He took it all. He wants our ALL. He then took all of it and multiplied it to what was needed and more! He could have just used one fish and one loaf. It wouldn’t have been any less of a miracle but the point he is making is that he wants us to show up, give it all up and trust that he will provide. Mind blown.
The next teaching was on personal devotions. I have longed to go deeper in my personal devotions with the Lord and have been craving it for some time now. I was blessed immensely by a dear sister at our church that gave me her brand new inductive study Bible that I had been eyeing for weeks at the stores and online. The Sunday we had our send off service at Bridgeway she came by our table and was visiting with us and I saw her Bible. I got so excited as I had been telling Bryan all about it and was figuring out a way for me to get one before coming to DTS. I asked to see it to show him all the cool things about it, the helpful study guides, the beautiful maps, the marking instructions, and of course, the gorgeous cover. I realized I was taking a lot of time and quickly handed the Bible back apologizing for drooling over it and Kim said, actually, I want to take my things out of it. It is yours. Ahhh!! Melt my heart into a big fat puddle of water on the floor. I couldn’t believe it. I will be forever grateful for this gift! I have thoroughly enjoyed having it and have zealously dug into it daily to know my Father better. It’s so colorful and I love it! :) Thanks a million Kim! Ok, so back to personal devotions, mine have gotten better, can you tell?? ha We were encouraged and reminded that the word is alive and active as it says in Hebrews 4:12 “ For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The Word of the Lord WILL change us. One tip given was also to pray first and ask the Lord to speak to you through his word, remembering that this is time with you and God. God wants us to know him and he wants us to be known by him. This happens through the reading of his word and spending time with him. John 10:14 says “I am the good shepherd, and I known my own and my own know me.” God LONGS to spend time with us. God LONGS to spend time with YOU.
We then moved into journaling. The journaling we are doing here is more than just writing out a dear diary page daily. It is actually creative journaling, which is so very similar to smash booking, and I am in love! :) I have recently started smash booking and it has been such a special time to spend making memories and storing memories and telling stories that will be read and savored for generations to come. It is much less stressful for me than scrapbooking in the traditional sense as it is all about creative freedom and there is no order to it or rules of going in order or anything. You have pockets, and pages full of color and you add to it with your journaling or pictures or both and embellishments.. ahh… I enjoy it well! It was so a God thing for me to get started doing that at home and then to be able to do it here and about my journey through DTS so that it is a keepsake and a momento of our time here and a marker of what the Lord is doing in our lives. Anyway, we do this weekly, it is 5 pages due each week of just what the Lord is doing in your life, what he is teaching you this week, struggles, thoughts, prayers, whatever is on your heart. I am enjoying it. It is teaching me to be even more open and to journal more often and write out how God is working in my life. I encourage you to start journaling and or smash booking and see what the Lord does with you through it.
Work Duties. Yup, that’s a part of our life as much as it is anywhere else. We all have a job to do to help keep things in working order and care for our base and one another. They talked about how we are to glorify God in all that we do and in what he has given us by taking care of it. Work duties help to shape our character and challenges our attitude as well.
We then moved on to our book that we were assigned at the beginning of the week called Foreign to Familiar; which is a study of hot climate cultures vs. cold climate cultures. I have to tell y’all that God is already at work in us both. Bryan will tell you that he loathed reading. If it wasn’t about sports then he wasn’t reading it. We were assigned a book at the beginning of the week and given until Friday to read it and work with a creative group (2 other DTS students and yourself) to then do a presentation on the book in class Friday morning. Bryan blazed through this book y’all! I am so proud of him and thanking God for this change already! So, this book basically talks about how people from a hot climate are typically more relationship oriented and less about the task at hand whereas people from a cold climate are typically more task oriented and relationship is not really considered. The point in us reading this book was to better understand how God created people differently and how where we come from really has a bearing on how we behave and interact with others. We are called to go into the world - we are not called to offend them. So, by understanding the cultural differences we can better know how to approach situations with people with compassion, respect, and dignity rather than expecting everyone to be just like us and deal in the same ways.
Moving on from how our human culture is we learned about living a Kingdom Culture above all. People look at us to know who God is. They should see Jesus in us and in our relationships. We are to also then see others for who they really are, who they are in Jesus, we are to encourage them and push them forward in who they can be with Christ rather than seeing and focusing on their negative behavior, speech, and their downfalls. We honor who God CREATED them to be. When we live with a culture of honor it allows others to walk without any fear of shame. We are to call the best out in people. We love when it isn’t convenient. We don’t take offense when we are wounded. Offense is a choice. We can choose to overlook it. We can have unoffendable hearts! The Bible tells us that as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. My take away was that we are to conform to the Holy Spirit’s way and that I don’t want to grieve him by the way I act to respond by spitting venom back.
Worship was our next class and we talked about how worship isn’t just music. It is about giving your all. It is about God. We are all about him and at the same time he is all about us. That is how we feel blessed when we worship. We come to bless and magnify him and he in turn blesses us as we come. Just come with what you’ve got. Bring your loaves and fishes.
Intercession. This is a new one for me. While I have interceded for others before in many ways, I have learned a new way that is much more inductive and thorough and powerful here. First off, we start by praising the Lord and asking him what is on his heart for whatever the situation is. We ask him how he wants us to pray. When we do this and listen for his response when he speaks he has given us the missiles that are locked and loaded and will hit the target every time instead of me just shooting out arrows hoping I might hit the target with one of my prayers. When we intercede we are partnering with God in the spiritual realm in prayer. We conquer the battle through prayer first and then we will conquer it physically. They talked about how in a battle - even in Bible times that the army with the archers - the ones with a bird’s eye (God’s eye) view were the ones who typically won the battle. They could see more and prepare the way for the foot soldiers coming in behind. The key is that if you don’t know how to pray, all is lost. Prayer must be first. Prayer is key. The Word says our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of darkness - that’s spiritual y’all. Don’t miss this. This is huge. You can’t win a spiritual battle fighting flesh against flesh. You can win it fighting with the sword of the spirit and fighting where the problem truly lies which is far beneath the flesh of the situation.
We have had many things spoken into our lives over the last few days and it has been phenomenal. Words cannot even do justice to the magnificent things the Lord is doing here in Haiti in our hearts. One of the words spoken over me is that there would be a filling, filling, filling and then fulfillment. That God has made many promises to me that he is beginning to fulfill in this time. I couldn’t be more excited about this. The Lord gave me a verse confirming this on January 16 that is Luke 1:45 and it says “ Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord!”
I leave you with that, my friends. Trust in the Lord. Remember his promises he has made you and seek him with all your heart and watch as he works miraculously in your life and in mine!
Horners in Haiti