Tag Archives: prayer

My friends head off to Haiti

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Haiti. Earthquake. Despair. Homelessness. Hopelessness. Destruction. Death.

Since the January earthquake that devastated a nation, the global eye has turned to several other disasters (oil spill, anyone?). However, destruction and devastation in Haiti is so tragic there are several people and organizations still dedicated to rebuilding the nation. While immediate emergency relief has stabilized, organizations like the Red Cross and International Youth Initiative are now focusing on building long term programs that will stabilize Haiti. Permanent housing, water sanitation, vocational skills and jobs are just some of the areas being focused on. Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.

According to this article, the Red Cross plans to be in Haiti for 12 months. Typically, there stay is 3-6 months. But  the internal infrastructure of Haiti was so completely destroyed, the Red Cross feels they need to stay longer to build programs that will help Haiti sustain itself. The Red Cross website has some informative videos talking about their strategy and goals to creating “thriving sustainable” programs that will survive once the Red Cross leaves.

The International Youth Initiative is another fantastic organization dedicated to long term help in Haiti.  IYI focuses on many material relief programs such as rebuilding houses and communities and distributing food, water and medical supplies. Their main focus, however, is on raising up a new generation of Haitians who will be able to take Haiti into this new chapter of rebirth and rebuilding. One thing they have done to build up new leaders is “adopt” 9 children who were orphaned by the earthquake.  They live in IYI’s Center of Hope in the Haitian city of Croix de Bouquet. These youth are being cared for and mentored. To learn more about these youth check out IYI’s website.

A group of young adults from my church in Laguna Hills, Crossline Church, took advantage of an amazing opportunity to go on a week long mission’s trip to Haiti with International Youth Initiative. They left on Friday with 12 members and 12 50lbs suitcases full of supplies.  Today they are helping to reconstruct a house where a widow and her 5 children live. They have led outreach programs, visited churches, shared their testimonies and played soccer with the neighborhood kids. My husband and I are in a small group with four of the team members and talked with them a lot while they were preparing for the trip. It was amazing to see how God put things together. Two of our friends, Jamie and Zach, weren’t able to get the time off work and so were not going to be able to go. But the team talked about it and decided to go a different week so Jamie and Zach got to go! Funding was another issue but at the last minute God brought in all the money needed. They were a little nervous because they weren’t exactly sure what to expect in Haiti nor were they sure what they were going to be doing. But from reading their blog it appears that in the three days they have been there they have already been given multiple ministry opportunities. What’s awesome is that they are all sorts of different types of opportunities. Construction, playing with kids, praying for people, sharing testimonies, singing…it’s clear that God is using everyone’s talents to His glory on this trip. I encourage you to check out the teams blog to see pictures, daily updates and prayer requests and praises. And of course to continue to pray for the nation of Haiti that the country would be able to rebuild its infrastructure and sustain sanitation, economic growth, housing, leadership training, food supplies and jobs long after the volunteers leave.

World Watch Wednesday

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Uzbekistan, Laos, Mauritania, Yemen, Afghanistan, Maldives, Somalia, Saudi  Arabia, Iran and North Korea. Out of all the countries in the world, these are the countries were faith costs the most. These are the countries where churches must meet in secret, where Bibles are difficult to obtain, where believers lose their families, jobs and homes because of their faith. In Uzbekistan, T.V. media regularly airs negative propaganda about Christians, spreading the idea that they are ignorant. In Laos, the government puts strict surveillance on Christians and often arrests them and pressures them to renounce their faith. In North Korea, the worst violator of human and religious rights in the world, Christians are often forced to watch as the government kills their family members.

 Every year, Open Doors releases it’s World Watch List, a list of 50 countries where “faith costs the most.” The top ten worst violators were named in the paragraph above. The list focuses on countries where persecution for Christian faith, in any denomination, is the worst. The list does not focus on persecution for political, social, economic or ethnic reasons, although often persecution for those reasons exists as well.

To determine whether or not a country makes it on the list, and what ranking it receives, Open Doors asks a serious of 50 questions. These questions look at the legal versus the real status of Christians, the role the church plays in society, factors that obstruct religious freedom. To see specific questions, look at the full World Watch List at www.odusa.org.

Despite the length of the list, it still does not cover all of the countries where Christians are discriminated against and religious freedom is hindered. Persecution and religious restrictions are a real and widespread problem. I encourage you to “be on watch.” Learn about these countries, pray for the Christians living there, and help bring awareness to a problem that grows more severe every day. Go to www.odusa.org or www.facebook.com/worldwatchlist

God is a friend of Haiti

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So day two of my weekly fast was much easier than the first day. I was able to wait until 5:30 to eat and i just felt hungry all day, not light headed and sick like last week. I think next week I will only eat fruits and veggies for dinner…and maybe the week after that I can go a whole day.

During my prayer time,God revealed very little about my job search. Go figure. That King of Kings is not into revealing plans right away. But, He did speak to me about Haiti. I was listening to my Ipod when one of my favorite songs ever came on, “I am a Friend of God.” (there are lots of different versions of the song, but my favorite is by Israel Houghton). Here’s a video of Israel singing the song

God is a friend of Haiti. God hears the people of Haiti when they call. God is mindful of Haiti and loves the people. I just kept singing the song over and over and speaking these words and was praying that some how, my prayers were reaching the Haitians and they would know that God is thier friend who loves them and is hearing thier cries. A few hours later I got an answer to my prayer. A friend of mine posted that she was listening to the radio and a guy who was in Haiti called in and said that the people on the streets were singing and praising God! How awesome is that? I hope that as more Christians reach out to help, the Haitians will continually feel Christ’s love and feel hope instead of abandonment.

Good Steward

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I’m very serious about finding a new job before summer hits. One thing that God has been telling me repeatedly, usually through sunday sermons, is that I must seek His will first. My goal cannot simply be to find a new job, it must be to find the job that He wants me to have. So I should be praying just as much, actually even more, than I am filling out resumes and applications. I decided that I was going to dedicate one day a week to fasting and praying specifically for a new job. My first day was last week and, I’ll be honest, I didn’t make it all day. I made it to 4:30pm. But for someone who has never fasted before, and who is very much in love with food, I thought that was a pretty good start. I’ll get to a full day eventually. Anyways my prayer time that day was very interesting. Not gonna lie, I was secretly hoping God would reveal my dream job to me on day one. But He didn’t. Instead, he told me that I need to be a better steward of the job I already have.

This struck me as odd at first. I thought I was being a great steward of that job. I show up on time, I do what my bosses tell me, I rarely call in sick. I consider myself a pretty darn good employee. But further prayer and introspection showed me that I’m not doing anything to build relationships there. I’m not mean to people, but I’m not really friendly either. I just go in, do my job,and leave. At my company, culture and community mean alot and I’m starting to realize that alot of people think I don’t like them because I don’t talk to them. That’s not the case at all. There are lots of reasons why I don’t talk alot at work, which I won’t get into right now, but its never because I don’t like people. It has become very clear to me that I need to make a bigger effort to get to know people. Even just little things like saying hi to individuals at the beginning of a shift, asking someone how his weekend was or complimenting a girl on her new hair cut. It’s not like I need to change my personality over night and become this super out going yappity yap girl. I just need to make an effort.

I always thought I was working at In N Out again just to make a paycheck. But maybe God actually has a purpose for putting me there. Maybe there is someone He wants me to reach out too, to love, to help. I’ll never know if I don’t lift my head up every once in a while and say “hello.” So while I am definately still going to look for a new job, I’m going to try to have a better attitude about the one I have and maybe make a bit of a difference in someone’s life before I leave.