Sunday, May 28, 2006

Weekend Photos

We hope you had a terrific and restful weekend. We were blessed to host a Bible Study group today of other missionaries from the North, most of whom we did not know too well. It was fun to hear about their experiences here and get connected with a bunch more people.

Sometimes, if you take your eyes off of God, you forget things. You forget God sees, you forget He cares. You forget to thank Him in the midst of your circumstance. You forget that He can use any situation to teach you and to grow you.

We have been a little sad about baby Sophia and had hoped she might be able to be placed for adoption but have since learned that she will likely be staying with her Haitian grandmother and family. She is so tiny and malnourished we had just hoped they would see the possibility for her if she could be adopted and have a mom and a dad. God knows His plan, we don't. What God does, even if it makes us sad, is what God knows is best for His reasons. His ways are always higher than ours.

Keep praying for Sophia. Ricardo/Moses is doing way better. Angel has had two surgeries and seems to be hanging in there, much more recovery to be done for her.

Enjoy the photos and the devotional below. Have a great week!

On a walk in the village ...

On a visit to the market...

At home...

Pieces & Masterpieces

Ron Hutchcraft - A word with you May 9th

They just don't make garbage like they used to. Do you remember the good old days when you could throw away everything when you were done with it? Actually, those were not the good old days, because we were also trashing our environment. I don't know how it is in your neighborhood, but we lived in a neighborhood where we had the privilege of sorting and putting out what used to be just garbage: bottles, newspapers, cans and glass. They're now called recyclables. It's amazing how they can take that garbage, and then recycle it into something useful again.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Pieces and Masterpieces."

Our word today from the Word of God comes from Genesis 50:20. Joseph is speaking to his brothers who left him in a pit, and they thought that was the end of him. Now he's the Pharaoh of Egypt, saving their lives with the food program he's developed. And he says, "You intended to harm me. But God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Joseph had a lot of garbage in his life. There were broken family relationships, he was falsely accused, and he spent time in prison for something he didn't do, and then he went through the disappointment of false hope. Eventually, the great plan of God led him to become Assistant Pharaoh, which gave him authority over Egypt, even though he was a Jew. Then he was able to save thousands of lives, including the lives of his own family, who were the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel ultimately. Up close, this looked like tragedy. When you look at the big picture, it was the wonderful tapestry of God.

See, God is the original and the ultimate recycler. He can take the trash of your life and recycle it into treasure. You have to bring Jesus what is broken, and then He makes those pieces into masterpieces. How does He do that? He'll do it with His power, if you will do your part in the recycling process.

First, you have to ask the right question. "Why is this happening" will probably not get an answer. Why don't you work on asking this question: "How could God use this?" Secondly, tell it all to Jesus. Bring Him all the pieces, bring Him all of the darkest feelings you have about what's broken right now. And then thirdly, cancel all your pity parties. Self-pity will become a prison for you, and the Devil already won one victory. If he traps you in pity, you have just let him win two. Fourthly, look for other people who are hurting. Through the hurts of your life, God gives you a brand new sensitivity to the hurts of others. He uses the broken pieces of our life to show us how to touch the lives of other people who are going through the same thing.

Think about the garbage in your life right now. What's broken? A broken family? A broken budget? A broken marriage? Maybe a broken child? A broken body? There might be a broken dream or even a broken heart. Bring Jesus the broken pieces.

The ultimate breaker of our hearts, the ultimate breaker of lives is an awful force inside us and all around us that the Bible calls sin. Jesus said, "The Lord has sent me to bind up the broken hearted." He's come to put what's broken together again. You know what it took? If you've ever had communion of the Lord's Supper or the Eucharist, you know these words, "This is my body which is broken for you."

Jesus literally was broken to pay for every sin you and I have ever done, so that He could begin to put together what only a Savior who took care of our sin could put together. The Bible actually says, "By His stripes" - by His wounds - "we are healed."