Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's a Jungle Out There

  • Troy told me such great stories from his most recent trip back home. It feels cheap to write his stories, instead I'll keep nagging him to write them ... they're good. (Photo of Troy with a good friend from our days living the rural-village life. And yes, in Haiti Troy is a tall guy.)
  • Noah has happily agreed to attend a pre-school three days a week for six weeks. This is the same kid that clutched my legs and begged to "nevah evah" leave us just one month ago. The pre-school even bears his name, we've convinced him they've been waiting on his arrival for years.
  • I watched a YouTube with Haiti footage today. The boys walked in and stopped to watch with me. I was shocked to learn they have no idea of the scope of what happened in Haiti. They seemed to think just two or three building fell and just a handful of people were hurt. Live in a protected bubble much? Whoa. We talked a long time and after a somber, serious discussion Noah worried and wondered if maybe some of the roosters next door to us died in a crushed building. Nope. No-such-luck.
  • We have Minnesotans living in our house. I am a strange combination of happy and resentful. Glad to have a place to offer them for a while. Mad to have a place to offer them for a while. It is good for Jeronne to have company. And Peanut. And I should probably get over it and be happy for them. Hi Al and Deb!!!!
  • I shopped for tickets home. No, I don't know for sure yet what date we can go - but I perused the fares and choices. Anyone with a lot of American Airline miles they cannot or won't use? We'd love to talk to you.
  • Our landlord in Haiti stopped by to inform Troy of the rent increase starting in August. We knew it was coming. When giant NGO's with no limit to their budget show up and pay two times the going rate for rent - guess what? Everyone else gets to pay more too. The landlord even had his example ready to cite when Troy tried to negotiate down. A house that we once looked at for $1000 a month was rented for twice that. Argh!! I know it is nothing more than supply and demand and simple economics ... and there is no getting around it ... but it stinks for those of us that operate on a little less $ than the Red Cross budget.
  • The Red Cross has a full time person to scour places on the internet where their name has been used and to combat any negative comments. S0 - HI! Hi Red Cross! No negative comment today. You can be on your way now.
  • For the sake of clarification: Paige's House for House run CHIP IN meter -- it feeds directly to the Heartline Ministries account. We (as in Paige and her parents) never touch your money. It goes directly to Heartline, a 501c3 that will produce a donation receipt for you. Heartline will then write a check to Maxima S.A. to buy houses and Maxima will give us one for every one we buy. Paige is on the up-and-up ... you're not funding her movie night or her college education. The purchase of houses will begin in late June and will continue until all houses are built. The process will be slower than we would like it to be but we will use the funds exactly as we've indicated.
  • Lydia, our 7th child, the one who reduces us to tears and forced us to buy our first parents-that-need-help-book - has had two peaceful, anger and scream-free days. I won't yet declare a corner has been turned - but we're hopeful.

It’s a Jungle Out There
by Max Lucado

The story is told of a man on an African safari deep in the jungle. The guide before him had a machete and was whacking away the tall weeds and thick underbrush. The traveler, wearied and hot, asked in frustration, “Where are we? Do you know where you are taking me? Where is the path?!” The seasoned guide stopped and looked back at the man and replied, “I am the path.”

We ask the same questions, don’t we? We ask God, “Where are you taking me? Where is the path?” And he, like the guide, doesn’t tell us. Oh, he may give us a hint or two, but that’s all. If he did, would we understand? Would we comprehend our location? No, like the traveler, we are unacquainted with this jungle. So rather than give us an answer, Jesus gives us a far greater gift. He gives us himself.

Does he remove the jungle? No, the vegetation is still thick.

Does he purge the predators? No, danger still lurks.

Jesus doesn’t give hope by changing the jungle; he restores our hope by giving us himself. And he has promised to stay until the very end. “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20 NIV).

We need that reminder. We all need that reminder. For all of us need hope.

Some of you don’t need it right now. Your jungle has become a meadow and your journey a delight. If such is the case, congratulations. But remember???We do not know what tomorrow holds. We do not know where this road will lead. You may be one turn from a cemetery, from a hospital bed, from an empty house. You may be a bend in the road from a jungle.

And though you don’t need your hope restored today, you may tomorrow. And you need to know to whom to turn.

Or perhaps you do need hope today. You know you were not made for this place. You know you are not equipped. You want someone to lead you out.

If so, call out for your Shepherd. He knows your voice. And he’s just waiting for your request.

From Traveling Light
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2001) Max Lucado