Monday, March 20, 2017

Take Nothing for Granted

While on the road to Cap Haitien the other day, riding in a taptap boasting the words "Ede'm Senye" (Help me Lord) on the windshield, another taptap windshield touted the scripture reference 1 Pierre (Peter) 4:7. Conveniently using a phone bible app right then and there, the words in verses 7-11 were instantly penetrating....

"Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless - cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything - encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!"   1 Peter 4:7-11 The Message

It is direct. It is clear. It is a command. It is instruction with which we are to take action, now. The words also indicate what the results will be when the action is carried out.  God will be glorified!

There have been many reminders to "Take nothing for granted". God has been glorified as Many Hands for Haiti has been hosting mission teams and going out into the countryside loving families in various ways.

This couple told us "N'ap lite chak jou", they struggle each day.  He is blind. They are both very crippled and are unable to provide for themselves.  They rely on family and neighbors.

This family has no source of income. Their food comes from the generosity of their neighbors. 
The inside of the house reveals very minimal possessions.

    Living alone and unable to work, 
   this man also relies on the kindness of his neighbors for survival.
      He looks on from the background with appreciation in the picture below.

  We came with a gift of rice, beans, oil, spaghetti, and boullion 
 but we received a bigger gift of inspiration and encouragement from this incredible man.  

The belongings in the house were a rickety chair, a wash tub, and a bed made of wooden slats 
with a few rags piled on which to sleep. 
The man knows Jesus as his Savior. 
 As we asked about his life and he said, "I have no problems." 

We talked more about the hardships he is facing. 
 Again he said, "I have no problems."

This is real estate with a view. 
 Grandma lives here with 2 grandchildren. 
The parents are living in the Dominican Republic so they can find work 
to be able to have money to send back to help the family.

As we visited and asked a bit about the family's story, "Gran", Grandma, said with a sweet smile 
and a laugh that they were miserable. 

We noticed so many beautiful Aloe plants, "Lalwa", in the yard.  
We wondered if she would consider sharing some cuttings of the plants with us.  
Grandma willingly offered as many as we wanted to take.  
She confidently cut some of the "lalwa" with her machete and gave them with joy.

In another community we visited this 26 year old woman.  
On December 31, 2016 she suffered a spinal cord injury from being thrown from a truck
 that had collided with another truck.

She had been hospitalized for 41 days. Now having been home for 19 days, the family indicated that they had spent money on healthcare but were sent home with no test results or information other than the instruction to lie flat on a plank on the floor. 

They are following 'the doctors orders' because she is afraid to move.

Just down the road lives Anglen, the woman who had been presumed dead for the past 2 years.  
She had reappeared and continues to live with her family. 
Anglen and her family struggle to cope and manage
 the mental challenges that are part of every day. 

Read again 1 Peter 4:7-11, "take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer." 
The stories shared here are just scratching the surface of the plight of many individuals and families that Many Hands has encountered.  Each of these, plus more, are opportunities to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Even though we feel overcome at times, we know...
                                                            God is GOD.  God is GOOD.
                                                            HE IS and we can count on it.
                                                 Take nothing for granted...God is GOOD!!

... love each other as if your life depended on it. 
Be generous with the different things God gave you.
...he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything.