TO CONNECT BY STOPPING

We collapsed into our beach chairs.

After a long week of serving in the hot Dominican sun, we were thankful for the break.

Anna and I turned down the offer to go snorkeling with one of the mission teams who had come in just so we could rest for the morning.

We started chit-chatting about all sorts of things. But less than five minutes into the conversation, I looked over and saw a familiar face standing on the shore, looking out over the crystal clear water.

“I think I’ve seen him on the streets, Anna.”

But we weren’t exactly sure. And we were sure we couldn’t speak his language.

But Anna called him over anyways. Continue reading “TO CONNECT BY STOPPING”

TO CONNECT BY COMING

[If you want, first read my previous post here about connection.]

With sweat dripping down my forehead and back, I walked over mounds of trash. I felt dirty, even with pants and rubber boots on. But this was my purpose for the day, so it didn’t matter; peanut butter sandwich in hand, I walked toward him anyways.

Breathing in the hot, smelly air as I walked, I thought about the life he is living. He is a refugee living in a garbage dump in the Dominican Republic. He either lives under a tree or in an extremely impoverished community within walking distance from the dump. His days are spent under the hot Dominican sun, rummaging through the garbage with bare hands looking for something he can eat, wear or sell. Even at that moment, he was too busy working and claiming his trash to come and take the food and water we had for him.

As I walked closer, I took in the scene. Garbage everywhere. But in the distance, the natural beauty of the Dominican Republic surrounded the pain that is woven in. And the man, starving to death, sick, and longing for a better life.

And suddenly, looking at the man, I saw myself.

Continue reading “TO CONNECT BY COMING”

TO CONNECT

She ran over, pressing herself into us. It was obvious who we were. We were the American missionaries who walk through the streets at night to pray over people.

And it was obvious that she didn’t belong with us.

Her friends pulled at her arms, telling her to not stay and pray with us. They told her she needed to keep working; she pushed them away and stood in the middle of our group of four or five people.

We talked and soon learned that her name is Melissa.

And when asked what she wanted us to pray for, she responded in Spanish, desperately: “I want to get out of here. I want off the streets. I want to be free from this.”

Continue reading “TO CONNECT”

ONLY A SLAVE

 

Only a person who is a slave would enslave another.

Only a person who has lost the battle to guilt would take away the weapons of a guilt-fighter.

Only a person who hides from shame would profit on the shame of another.

Only a person who dwells in regret would build houses of regret for someone else.

Only a person who has been used would use others.

Only a person who is stained with impurity would stain someone else.

Only a person who lives in loneliness would force a lonely life on someone else.

Only a person who believes they are worthless would tell others that they are worthless too.

Only a person who listens to the lies of the devil would encourage those same lies in someone else.

Only a person who has lost their hope would destroy someone else’s.

Only a person who is subject to many sleepless nights would wake others from their rest.

Only a person who is bound by darkness would put out the light for someone else.

Only a person who is tied up in disrespect would disrespect others.

Only a person who is broken would break others more.

Only a person who is dead inside would murder someone else.

Only a person who is a slave would enslave another.

So maybe there’s a little bit of an enslaver in all of us?

There is an enslaver in me-it’s my sinful mindset.

And there’s a little bit of a slave too,

Continue reading “ONLY A SLAVE”

MURKY WATERS

[DOMINICAN REPUBLIC      thoughts from 12/4/16]

[I wrote this last year right after I came back, but I never shared it.

The ocean water was murky and muddy again the day that we left. It had rained the night before-poured, actually.

When it rains, the waters are stirred up and the runoffs carry dirt and mud back into the clear, blue ocean water.

It felt a lot like my heart.

I went into the trip excited, adventure-ready. I was excited to see what God was doing through the ministry we would be serving there and I was excited for Him to use me. But by the end of the trip, I just felt helpless.

There are so many hurting people literally doing anything to stay alive. So many hungry bellies and hungry hearts. So many girls being told they are only worth what others do to them. So many fatherless. So many Fatherless.

And now that the trip is over, I feel like I’m standing before an ocean of unknown, murky waters.

I’m unsure of what to do from here.

Continue reading “MURKY WATERS”

PRINCE OF PEACE

Listen to the song, “Prince of Peace,” by Hillsong Worship as you read. Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc0DKzPdv44 to watch!

THREE THOUGHTS:

“your love surrounds me when my thoughts wage war.” 

Our minds should be like battlefields. We attempt to “take every thought captive” to “fight the schemes of the devil,” but it is not easy.

Fighting daily for Christ to rule in our hearts is hard.

But we are never fighting alone. The Lord is fighting for us, before us.

Continue reading “PRINCE OF PEACE”

SHINE YOUR LIGHT

Darkness is the absence of light.

Absolute darkness is the lack of all light. Pitch-black darkness.

Light, on the other hand, gets brighter and brighter and brighter.

On earth, we know light on many different levels: a dim room at night with only a lamp on, an office bright with artificial light, a bright kitchen full of morning and artificial light or a big field on a sunny day at noon. The brightest light that the human mind can comprehend is the sun, and that still won’t compare to the light in heaven.

Continue reading “SHINE YOUR LIGHT”