30 April 2011

Target Marks the Spot

See this, friends? When my passport and my sunglasses are hanging out together, it means good things are about to happen. 

It all started with a late afternoon flight out of Port-au-Prince. Everything was all scheduled--the airport shuttle reserved, the hotel booked, tickets printed. I'd only forgotten one thing (my hairbrush). We stood in the long check-in line next to Hugh, who was going back to Tennessee. He'd only arrived just yesterday, but his town had suffered nine losses in the tornadoes, and he was going home to help pick up the pieces. I prayed for him. 

After the waits and the pat-downs and the numerous x-ray scans of our baggage, we bought cheap cheeseburgers while waited to board that fabulous flight to the Land of Hot Showers and Fast Internet. But customs in Florida was, to be kind, quite slow, and our shuttle left without us. Hmm. So we called them on Skype (the Land of Fast Internet, remember? And it's everywhere!). They came back, and we made it to the  hotel by 9:00 PM. 

But friends, our sojourn was not over yet. Because as all good missionaries know, whatever you can stuff into your suitcase is customs free, and you get two free suitcases on international flights. So we still had one stop:

Isn't it beautiful? I thought so. I skipped dinner to go here, and I was not disappointed. 

And just to show that He loves me, God put lots of stuff I needed on sale. It was almost like they knew I was coming. Awesome. 

At 10:30, we staggered home, happy, well-supplied and poorer. Tomorrow, the true vacation begins. Thanks for praying for us--we're hoping for a restful, rejuvenating time.

28 April 2011

Golly gee! New features!

In an attempt to make reading our blog easier, I've added two new boxes in the sidebar on the right. You can now sign up to get our posts by e-mail, or add them to a reader like Google Reader. That's what I use, and I do find it handy in a busy life to help keep track of friends around the world.


Thankful Thursday

This Thursday, I am thankful for...
  • friends who *like* airport pick-ups (when most of your friends are pilots, these can be hard to find)
  • my washing machine (which finished its load on the first try!)
  • USPS.com, where I can order postage online (that's nifty)
  • belated Easter candy (Cadbury mini-eggs...mmm...)
  • kind travel agents with interesting names (Vixen?)
We are going on our first *real* vacation since we got here last March, and I. am. so. excited. Please pray for safe travels and lots of rest and quality time together.

20 April 2011

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

This is from a Domino's box, the only American fast-food chain we have here. If the driver is kidnapped (by aliens?), your pizza will not make it in 30 minutes. Sorry. 

19 April 2011

Radical, Part 2

No, no, stay--I promise this Radical excerpt won't be as preachy as the last one. Cross my heart. You'll like it.

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:36-38 NIV 

Why do you think Jesus would look at the crowds around him, with all their deep needs, and then turn to his disciples and tell them to pray for themselves? The answer is humbling. When Jesus looked at the harassed and helpless multitudes, apparently his concern was not that the lost would not come to the Father. Instead, his concern was that his followers would not go to the lost (Platt 187).

Platt goes on to conclude that the billion people left in the world who've never heard of Jesus are a result of our lack of prayer. But what I see is how your prayers for God to send us have been answered. And your prayers sustain us still! Thank you for supporting us through prayer!

17 April 2011

White Kites

Thursday was a rough day.

I was in a hurry, getting ready to go down to the hangar with the carpool. In the midst of my gathering and checking and finding, David calls to me, "Gracie seems awfully excited about something this morning." That should have been a red flag. But it wasn't. I charged out into the gallery to let her out, only to find a large, dead rat at my feet. After some gagging and a few words like "yuck" and "blech" and "nasty," I commenced with clean-up and praised Grace. The praise was two-fold: 1) Thank you for not eating the rat. 2) Thank you for not letting the rat come into our house through the rather large gap under the front door. Good dog. With that behind us, I hurried out to meet the carpool.

But it got rougher.

I had a hard enough time shaking the image of the rat's glassy eyes, in their permanent stare. It was hard enough to forget its dead weight at the end of my cardboard shovel and see the bite marks of my dog on its head. But while cruising down Delmas, we saw something that stopped us in our tracks.

There was a woman lying in the road.

She was facing away from me, lying in the middle of this busy street, her hands bound behind her back. I'll just say what you're thinking: I was sure she was dead. I didn't want to look, but everyone else was staring. People were stopped on the edge of the road, arms crossed, staring. Just watching to see what would happen.

It was unbearable.

And then, as traffic began to move again, I saw her open her eyes. "She's not dead!" I gasped. "She's alive!" She had kicked off her shoes and was just lying there, her neatly-braided hair still pressed against the asphalt, trying to get her bearings. We stopped to notify a police officer who was directing traffic a few blocks down. "Someone probably just wanted to rob her," said G. But that wasn't the first thing that came to my mind. Actually, a lot of worse things came to my mind. Because a lot of those "worse things" happen to women every day here. Her image was hard to shake. Impossible, actually. I spent the rest of the day distracted by my prayers for her.

And it begged the question: "How do we balance joy and grief, especially when grief threatens to overwhelm us?"

It's kite season here in Port-au-Prince. In the last few weeks, small Haitian boys everywhere have suddenly come up with these long-stringed kites which they fly anywhere. As the warm afternoon air currents rise, they are a perfect foil to cheap plastic diversions such as these. And from my window, I can often see five at a time, just swooping and riding the breeze over the concrete rooftops.

There's a lot to love here, but there's a lot to grieve, too, and we need to have the wisdom to do both. May we not turn our eyes away from people in need. May we not ignore white kites in an afternoon sky.
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12 April 2011

God knows


I'm guest blogging over on MAF's new blog! They've got some cool stories on there from our other programs around the world.

Here's a link to my post: http://www.mafblog.com/spiritual/god-knows

We had a great time with our team from Calvary Chapel Vancouver--more on that to come...

01 April 2011

Mango Dog!

This is my dog. She is a weird, weird dog. Don't believe me? See for yourself! I caught Gracie today, too, but she quit before I could get my camera.

There's a conspiracy against me eating my own mangoes! I'm fighting them on every side! More evidence can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UOVxpFgvBI