Sunday, February 9, 2014

Recap by Donna Bennett

Where do I start?  Six nights in and my outlook on God’s grace, mercy, love, compassion and HEART are completely transformed.  I am transformed. 

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

This week I was certainly tested: physically, emotionally and spiritually.  The will of God is certainly LOVE …  How open are you to love?  Loving others  Loving God … and Loving yourself for who He has created you to be?  Really, just take a moment and consider that question.

As I sit hear and write this, I am listening to “Quiet Wyatt’s” group coming alive with their own rendition of “Open Arms”.  Yep, a bunch of 30-40 something’s rocking out to Journey’s classic song.  If you are reading this, I will bet you know this song.  Come on … sing the chorus, “ I come to you with open arms…nothing to hide, believe what I say.  So here I am with open arms … hoping you’ll see …  what your love means to me … open arms”!  Jesus has open arms for you too!  1 Corinthians 16:23 says, “our master Jesus has His arms wide open for you”.

Even though that is a classic  “Journey” tune many of us grew up with,  I have to admit, this would be one of the songs the Haitians, along with our team, sang to each other each day.  Everywhere we went there were “open arms”.  When I look back on this week’s journey (no pun intended).  I remember our arrival at the Port Au Prince airport, visiting the dying, visiting the orphanages, delivering water, visiting the elderly,  and visiting the hospital.  In every meeting, we were greeted with “Open Arms” and so were they.

What’s interesting to me is that we were asked at the beginning of the week to “open our eyes”.  The Haitians love that song and if you have read my posts, you know how God has truly opened our eyes to who He is and what He is asking each of us to do to serve the “least of these”.  Keep in mind, that we too are the “least of these”.  In Matthew 19:24 Jesus says, “I’ll say it again.  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God.”  Wealth can provide spiritual depravation and poverty can provide physical depravity.  If opposites truly attract, I am sure Haitians and Americans are a match made in Heaven.

This has been a journey that will change each of us forever.  This week, we too were the “least of these”, as God really opened our eyes and our hearts to see Him.  One of the songs we sang tonight was “Hosanna” by Hillsong.  The bridge reads:

Heal my heart and make it clean,
Open up my eyes to the things unseen,
Show me how to love like you have loved me,
Break my heart for what breaks yours,
Everything I am for your Kingdoms cause,
As I walk from Earth into Eternity…

From Earth into Eternity… Think of that!  We will all pass from this earth one day.   How is god shaping your heart?  What will you do for His Kingdoms cause?

I would like to close with one last verse and two pictures.

We met so many people this week.  All live in poverty, all love Jesus and all opened our eyes and greeted us with open arms.

The final verse I would like to close with is this (it’s long, but worth the read),

Philippians 2:2-11:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his Love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!  Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Did you read that?  EVERY TONGUE will confess that JESUS is LORD!

One of the toughest moments for me this week was standing in a room for three hours yesterday and watching three AUTISTIC children tied to a crib because they were abandoned.  My daughter is autistic and the thought of her never realizing her full potential because no one would look into her eyes and see God’s light was truly heartbreaking.

The second heartbreak in that room was standing next to a 14 year old boy, whose name is Schneider.  He is the same age as my son, and knowing he would most likely not live another week because he has disease that is CURABLE in our country was also heartbreaking.  His body was simply skin on bone … I stroked each rib with lotion and prayed for him.  I asked him if he “knows Jesus”.  He answered, “oui”.  “Yes”, in French.   I asked him if he has “hope”.  He answered, “oui”. 

At this point, the band had just come in to the room.  They began to sing “Glory to God” in French.  Although his voice was faint, Schneider sang.  I pressed my ear down to his lips and just listened.  His heart is pure and all of His HOPE is found in Jesus.  He truly, in that moment, helped me see the beauty in his journey with Christ.

As the verse reads above, “EVERY Knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Chirst is Lord….  To the Glory of God the Father!”

Because we share the same Hope in Christ, one day, I will see Schneider and those precious autistic kids again in Heaven and look forward to giving GLORY TO GOD FOREVER!

This week, the old has passed away and each of us has been made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).  God has not only called us to open our arms, but to also open our eyes.  We praise HIM who created all things for doing a mighty work in Haiti and in all of us at and on our Eagle Brook worship team this week.  Together we will forever sing,

Glwa Pou Bondye! 

Haitian Creole for
 Glory to God!

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart!  Jeremiah 29:13

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