{rice, beans & love}

"The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet" – Frederick Buechner

falling in love

Tonbe damou pou Jezi,

Tonbe damou pou Jezi,

Tonbe damou pou Jezi,

Pi gran desizyon m te pran.

I sang these lyrics repeatedly in church yesterday morning, as hundreds of followers gathered for worship. As I held a sweet 2-year-old in my arms with sweat dripping down my back, yearning for even the slightest breeze, I meditated on the lyrics I sang, which translate to,

Falling in love with Jesus,

Falling in love with Jesus,

Falling in love with Jesus,

Was the best thing I’ve ever done.

And ya know, it just really is.

Although I grew up in a Christian home, with memories of Christmas pageants, youth groups and church camps, Christ was never real to me. He became more and more real to me as he revealed himself to me through His Word. My last 2 years in college, behind closed doors and very privately, I began to explore and study the Bible for the first time. And the deeper I got into His Word, the things I valued most in my life became less important to me. Relationships and “other treasures” grew farther away as I fell deeper in love with Jesus. It wasn’t something that happened quickly or suddenly, but it was more or less a transformation that happened over a period of time.

And ya know, that changes people. It changed me.

It says in Matthew 6:21, “For wherever you treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Falling in love with Jesus requires complete transformation of your heart. Falling in love with Him will also require a change of plans. For me, He asked me to change my plans of becoming a successful graphic designer to a missionary with no plan at all. I like to think I have it all under control here, with intricate plans all worked out in my head, but lets be honest, I’m winging this one day at a time.

I sang these lyrics wondering if falling in love with Jesus really, just really, was the best thing that I have ever done?

If I hadn’t, I know I wouldn’t be where I am. I wouldn’t be living the life that I do.

If I hadn’t, I never would have had enough strength to make the leap of faith or the strength to listen and tell the stories of the oppressed, poor and hurting.

If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had enough courage to take on the job at ViBella, to be a mother of two, or to become a part of an entirely different community and culture.

If I hadn’t, my heart would still be hard, angry and only storing up things “…where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19)

If I hadn’t, my life wouldn’t have led me to writing this blog or to me singing in another language or to me making new friends.

And for all those reasons, it truly was the best thing that I have ever done.

As fellow believers, I hope that you would agree with me. I hope you would agree that falling in love with Jesus and accepting Him as your Savior is the best thing you will ever do. It’s an act that can lead life into the unexpected. But, the good unexpected, full of love, mercy and grace.

For the unbelievers, I hope someday you’ll find yourself falling madly in love with Jesus. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

 

sweet Magdalie and I this past Saturday

sweet Magdalie and I this past Saturday

On Easter, I wrote about a girl who I had found with a severe burn. Over the past 5 weeks she has become one of my new friends. She is so sweet, each time I see her she truly brightens my day. I thank Jesus for crossing our paths and for allowing me to be the “hands and feet” that help heal her little body. We give thanks for the healing that has happened on her small body; only a quarter-sized area remains raw, the rest of the area being nearly healed.

I hope someday I can be as brave as her.

So, ya know, stories like Magdalie’s make me realize that falling in love with Jesus was the best thing that I have ever done.

Without that, there wouldn’t be stories for me to tell at all.

Love from Haiti.

Operation Chicken Coop

 

 Over spring break in March, a chicken coop was built in the mountaintop by the school. I had been envisioning this dream for a long time and I am excited things are finally in full swing!

DSCN4308

My brother, his friend, a cousin and uncle of mine all made this vision of mine come true. They raised the funds and built the coop while visiting in March and this past Friday we were finally able to buy the chickens! (We bought them full-grown so they have already started laying eggs and this morning, in fact, we enjoyed our own eggs for the first time!)

Teams of two were put together (14 teenage boys total), each team having a designated day to care for the chickens and gather the eggs. We have also hired a man who will oversee the project and make sure everything is taken care of properly. Out of this project, I hope to teach the boys responsibility and provide a small salary with the eggs that we sell. Also, each boy will be able to gather 6 eggs for his family on the day that he works to provide for his family. We are starting small, but I hope and see this being a project that can grow and effect a lot of the young boys in our school.

group meeting with all the boys

group meeting with all the boys

a happy Chrisanto with a new chicken

a happy Chrisanto with a new chicken

To become involved with Operation Chicken Coop, donate $10 to allow us to buy more chickens and provide feed. (Each full-grown chicken costing $10).

Touch of Hope Haiti

205 Old Mill Lane

Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246

I’m thinking I may have to change my blog to Chickens, Eggs and Love now 😉

 

Love from Haiti.