Words cannot express our gratitude for each of you. Thank you for your prayers, donations, meals, and encouragement. This trip was very important to our sons, very important for Joshua, and of course, for us as well. Josh absolutely amazed us with his love and heart for his brothers and all the children at the orphanage. Of course the trip is bittersweet as we had to leave them again, but we feel great peace that God is working in this process. The boys felt closer to us and seemed more comfortable with us than in the first trip. We were able to communicate pretty well using Haitian Creole dictionaries and Google translate. They understand we are getting close to bringing them home. The oldest, Robenson, gave us the photo albums we have been sending telling us, “ale Michigan”, to Michigan. So, he understands that we are on the last leg of this marathon.( On our countdown calendar we are 6 months away.) We only had one delay each leg of the journey and travel went well. While Ron and Josh both lost one entire day due to sickness, I saw how the Lord used it as an opportunity for me to spend more time with our sons, as they are naturally more drawn to Ron and Josh. Some special moments were shared and some grieving work was begun. Their poor little souls have had much pain. Would you join me in prayer for the healing of that pain, and for restoration, for the Lord to bless and grant us wisdom in this healing process when they come home?
But I cannot end this blog with just that. We have been profoundly affected by the situation in Haiti. Seeing with our own eyes, hearing with our own ears and being present with the poor, the orphans, the broken and the needy is a gift. It is a gift to see that they are Jesus in disguise. We are covering a series at our church on the Stranger and hospitality. The stranger is not defined as someone you don’t know who you can then become acquainted with, but the stranger is someone whose way of life is so different than your own. They may be familiar to you and you might know their name, but their world may be very different from yours. Their poverty is strange to your wealth. Their imprisonment due to crime is strange to your freedom. Their brokenness is strange to your wholeness in Christ. Their persecution is strange to your acceptance by society. Their addiction is strange to my lack of addiction. Who are these strangers in our midst? Quoting Bob Lynn, “Hospitality with strangers removed, is not Biblical. “ It is easy to love those who are our family, who look like us, who live like us, who understand us, unbelievers do this. The working definition of hospitality that this series is using is “extending to strangers a quality of kindness reserved for friends and family.” Who are the strangers in your midst?
I am personally trying to work through a sort of mourning and grieving for the pain that exists in this world. We as Americans in some ways are fairly sheltered from the realities that exist but an island away.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise.”