Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wow! What can we do???

Yes, it only takes a few seconds and things can drastically change!!! A friend of mine was talking to me about her brother a few weeks ago. And this week while driving with friends, he was killed. It all happened in just a few moments...

For thousands living in Haiti...life was going like normal...and then suddenly in a few seconds, it all changed! Distanced by the comforts of North America and a few hundred miles, I find it hard to grasp the pain and turmoil Haiti must be going through. Yet comfort, distance or lack of comprehension is no excuse for not being involved.

A friend of mine on Facebook recently posted this entry on his wall:

"Is there anyone ready to go to Port au Prince next week? I am looking to arrive there by Tuesday to join up with ADRA!"

This was the responses he got:

Gregory P Smith
January 14 at 11:41am
Chris Grant
I can't go but wish you godspeed!
January 14 at 11:48am
Gerald Paul New
Yes (not me unfortunately) International Hope and Rescue is sending a 6 man SAR team via the Dominican Republic, probably tomorrow.
January 14 at 11:54am

Tara Vang
I would love to go but I'm not sure how that would work.
January 14 at 11:56am
Bill Wells
My prayers and heart are with you and the people of Haiti. I will be in Honduras in a few weeks for another mission trip, meaning I can't go. I would love to be there however.
January 14 at 11:58am
Nicole Benade
Uhm...I'm in school, so you geuss the answer....
January 14 at 12:14pm
Buhle Mfeka
I'd love to go but im in South Africa. If I had the means I definitely would..
January 14 at 12:16pm
Chris Lou
Carl W
here r u leaving from.?
January 14 at 12:27pm
Andrea Putman
Where can I sign up ?
January 14 at 12:34pm

Johanelly Estrella
I'd love to go and help! How do we sign up to go??
January 14 at 12:37pm
Nancy Rodrigues
Me too
January 14 at 1:02pm
Caitlin Nichole
I would love to, but can't. God bless you! Stay safe! I'm sure you'll be a great blessing.
January 14 at 1:48pm
Simon Gäbel
I'd love to join you, but I can't leave school.
January 14 at 1:51pm
Ryan Smith
I would love to go with you, but can't!!
January 14 at 3:42pm
Lena Saliba Williams
May God bless your efforts there Alden.
January 14 at 5:32pm
Roddy Samantha Shoemaker Tojino
Will be praying for your safe travel and return.
January 14 at 7:44pm

Terry Loss
if I could get outta my obligations i sure would like to go with you...
January 14 at 8:42pm

* All Facebook entry names changed for this blog post to protect privacy

Isn't it interesting how we ALL have our excuses about why we'd LOVE to go help, but we just can't make it! And yet if the situation were reversed....and it was OUR CITY and OUR COUNTRY that was in devastation, wouldn't we be pleading with God to send people to our rescue??? Yes, of course, there were a couple people that sounded willing enough...but did they follow through and really do something? They aren't my personal friends on Facebook, so only God knows. And of course, the point of this post is not to point fingers at anyone but ourselves. We are all guilty before God at being too concerned with our own comfort and too little concerned with the comfort and welfare of others! Yes, even I too have obligations and financial limitations that make it kinda difficult to just take off and go....yet, does that mean I have a right not to get involved?? There's lots we can do, even from the comfort of our own homes here in North America (or wherever around the world we are!)

Let me share a couple organizations that I am really EXCITED about and am seeking to support! Maybe you would be interested in helping them too...

In His Rescue - A friend of mine is heading up one of these rescue teams in Haiti right now! Let's support their efforts as much as we can financially!

Danita's Children - Homes for Haiti Orphans - This is another amazing ministry that's already in Haiti, that survived the earthquake and are seeking to take in 100+ more Orphans. She is good friends of my friends Eric and Leslie and Annie! Let's help Danita financially in this endeavor.

Whether it's physically helping with my time, sacrificially giving of my finances (and when they are limited anything given is sacrificial), whether it's with my heartfelt earnest prayers - or however God leads, I don't want to miss the blessing He has for me at His banquet table of "unselfish love." It is there just waiting for us to receive, yet I believe most of the world is missing it!

As I was reading my friends Facebook post, looking for volunteers, it kinda stunned me at 90% of the responses he got. And it made me think of the story in Luke where Jesus told the story of a great banquet that was prepared...and no one could come. Let's read about it together:

"And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he [Jesus] unto him: A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things.

Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."

And then Jesus ends with this solemn challenge...not just to those in attendance that day, but to us in all the world today as well!

"And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:15-27

Wow - what a sobering challenge... UNLESS we love God MORE than those closest to us (even our own family ties) and unless we take up our cross...no matter the sacrifice...we cannot be HIS disciples!

This world is not a parade ground and the TIME we have been given to live (as I have recently learned at the Week of Prayer our church just hosted) is not just a mere opportunity to have some enjoyment for ourselves and get comfortable. Our lives are a period of time, a period of probation in which we've been given the opportunity to choose our eternal destiny! Are we going to choose to live for God (ultimately eternal life), or are we gonna choose to live for ourselves (ultimately eternal death). And as we get closer and closer to Jesus coming, it's not going to get any easier.

Matthew 24 paints a stark picture of not only what it was going to be like when Jerusalem was captured, but what it will be like at the end of the world just before Jesus comes back.

“And there shall be … earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7, 8

I'm sooooo sad about what has happened to Haiti! As I've been looking through the pictures and images and videos, my heart breaks for this country devastated and in despair. I don't have much, but as much as I can, I want to help. But more than that, I want to help the many people that are STILL living around the world make a choice for eternal life, while they still have the opportunity! As one of my favorite missionaries says, "The times we are living in aren't normal times anymore! We can't carry on life as normal. We are, as it were, on the Titanic. And it's sinking fast! Our focus and effort should not be to make our own lives more comfortable, but to throw out life-rafts...to rescue the perishing! It doesn't matter what they are made of, if they are gold-plated or plastic...the point is...we need to get them out and NOW! All we have should go to this cause!!!! For even as we speak, souls are perishing!"

"The condition of God's people: They are stupefied by the spirit of the world. They are denying their faith by their works. I [am] pointed back to ancient Israel. They had great light and exalted privileges; yet they did not live up to the light nor appreciate their advantages, and their light became darkness. They walked in the light of their own eyes instead of following the leadings of God. The history of the children of Israel was written for the benefit of those who live in the last days, that they may avoid following their example of unbelief...Were the thousand channels of selfishness cut off that now exist, and the means directed in the right channel, there would be a large revenue flowing into the Lord's treasury. No one can practice real benevolence without practicing genuine self-denial. Self-denial and the cross lie directly in the path of every Christian who is truly following Christ. Jesus says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Will every soul consider the fact that Christian discipleship includes self-denial, self-sacrifice, even to the laying down of life itself, if need be, for the sake of him who has given his life for the life of the world?" (4T pg 43 & SW, October 1, 1907 par. 4)

"By all that has given us advantage over another, be it education, and retirement, nobility of character, Christian training, religious experience etc...we are in debt to those less favored. And so far as lies in our power, we are to minister to them. If we are strong, we are to stay up the hands of the weak." (Ministry of Healing 29)

I want to close this blog post with a YouTube from Danita's Orphanage in Haiti!

It's an Emergency - "For in as much as you've done it unto the least of these, you've done it unto me!"

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