Waypoints Defined

The meaningful points along life's way.


Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Psalm 119:35

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hurricane Sandy in Haiti

 
God gave David this verse on October 30th which he posted on facebook with the following note:
Proverbs 24:11 "Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter" Help us deliver those in Uganda who daily walk to the dirty water hole to drink disease and death because they have no choice.
 
Little did he know that it was for more than the people of Uganda. Steve Stewart  had heard from Pastor Reginald in Haiti about the new cholera outbreak since Hurricane Sandy.
During Superstorm Sandy, 51 people died in Haiti. Steve called David on Wednesday and it struck a chord in David's heart. He made plans to take emergency water relief to Haiti. Not wanting to travel alone, but knowing time was critical, he wasn't sure who would be available to join him. He called James Harrington, who has had a lot of water experience in Uganda installing large water collection tanks where water is in short supply. James was willing, and not just willing, but able to go at the moments notice.
 
David and James are in Haiti for a week. Here's a note from David:
"Made it safe and sound.  Went to church and was blessed by anointed Haitian worship. Reg's wife translated the worship songs for me and another man translated the teaching. What a special couple who have surrounded themselves with lots of special people
After the earthquake they slept on the street and Reg had to go get some $ in the Dominican so they could help more people. So many people were giving their lives to The Lord that she started a church and a few days later he came back and became the pastor. That was a little over 2 years ago and now they have about 150 committed people. They are all excited about the water filters."
 
"We had a good day. Picked up James.  We spent a lot of time at the store shopping for supplies and sitting in traffic jams.
We are going to install 10--300 gallon tanks. 5 in Bouvier 2 in Jacmel (about 2 hrs away) and 2 at his church here and 1 at his house. Tomorrow we are going to get some more supplies, put together most of the filters, and distribute some. Sunday early we are leaving at 5am to go work in Jacmel installing gutters, and 2 300 gallon tanks, come back to Carrefour to church in the evening and distribute the filters. Monday we walk to Bouvier through rivers and over a high mountain. We will get really wet. So glad I brought my old sneakers!"
 
If you would like to contribute to this project please visit ithirstinternational.org. Your prayers and support make a difference for the people of Haiti.
 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Practicing Generosity

September 1st was a beautiful Saturday and the homeschooling community put on a Chicken BBQ Benefit for one of our members. The Czarnecki's lost their house completely in a fire while they were on vacation in July. My mind cannot comprehend the loss. Their story is told here.

The Benefit included a raffle of various items that had been donated. A couple of them were highly sought after:
1. a scenic airplane ride for two
2. a beautiful orchid in a handcrafted clay pot


The one I was after was the orchid. I bought my tickets and eagerly placed them in the bag. But then I noticed that other people had their eye on the same orchid. One lady in particular named Pat. We started bantering back and forth and after she added her tickets, I purchased more and on the game went. It was all in good fun. Pat and I talked about the care needed for an orchid since she was much more knowledgeable than I. When the names were drawn, guess who got the orchid???

It went to Pat! She had earned it. When we counted up the 99 tickets in the bag, her name appeared so often we just had to laugh. I was honestly happy for her, but I knew what I wanted for my upcoming birthday. I was going to ask for an orchid. :)

But then Pat unexpectedly came up to me and said she wanted ME to have the gift. When I refused, she insisted saying she wanted to practice generosity. What could I say to that? We ended up splitting it. Pat kept the pot and gave me the orchid. Talk about feelings: humble, teary, happy, blessed... all jumbled up inside. But the idea of practicing generosity has stayed with me.



I heard that the airplane ride was won and yet also given away. To the Czarnecki's since Carolyn had never flown before.

And then there was the matter of the snowflake rolls that we served with the BBQ dinner. I had inquired about and received a discount but the morning I arrived to pick up the order, the owner said she wanted to help even more and gave me a bigger break than I had anticipated.

Practicing generosity. The Benefit itself was an act of generosity. Families were there in force volunteering their time and energy. Generosity has a way of bouncing back to you. It's actually a Biblical principle, whether you think about it or not when you are practicing generosity.

There are 5 days left on this link if you would like an opportunity to practice generosity towards the house-raising for the Czarnecki's.

 Besides, I am sure you can think of your own example of generosity coming full circle. If you would care to comment, I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pearson Campout

Even as the summer had barely begun, my nephew began asking if we were going to have our campout. It's an annual event and, as an aunt, I would not want to disappoint.

But, where did the summer go??

We squeezed it in at the last minute. It was definitely not an afterthought, but finding the time in the midst of different family vacations and activities was a challenge.

My nieces and nephews are very special people, along with some great friends that make our campout memorable. You'll have to ask them if they enjoyed the campout this year, but I can assure you that I had an excellent time.



My favorite activity was reffing "Capture the Flag" from the hunting tower while the kids played in the field below. They strategized and worked as a team and displayed great sportsmanship whether they won or lost.

Instead of tenting this year, most of us slept in a new little cabin.


But some preferred the comfort of the great outdoors.

To top it off, we went on a Hobo Hike. I felt like a hobo after only 19 hours in the woods.
Thankfully, the weather was beautiful and we finished up before the raindrops of former Hurricane Isaac came through.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Africa

uganda pic2
Courtesy of Doug Penner, Impact Nations

David is in Africa.

It seems strange to say that. It's a continent we have never visited before. We have always wanted to go because of the huge need for clean water. The door opened and God said, "Go".

David is there now with Impact Nations and Steve Stewart. When we discovered the Sawyer water filters while we were in Honduras, David had to let Steve know. Steve was excited and encouraged David and I to come to Uganda and Kenya on a Journey of Compassion. Because of just returning from Honduras, we decided that it would be better for me to stay home while David went this time. The Lord has encouraged  me with what  David says in 1 Samuel 30:24. " The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike." I can share in what David is doing in Africa even though I am on the other side of the world.

Here are a couple excerpts from David's emails and texts since he left on May 4th.

From JFK in New York:
"We are still waiting to take off. Just saw the space shuttle."

From Amsterdam:
"Saw some beautiful countryside. Also discovered that ladies use the men's room here."

From Rwanda:
"I'm in Rwanda.  On our way to Entebbe. Should be there in about an hour and a half. My face is getting quite scruffy."

From Entebbe, Uganda:
"We're here. Google lasagna gardening."

From Mityana, Uganda:
"Hi everyone. We had a 2 plus hour drive through Kampala and then on to Mityana. The president and his convoy passed us on the road.  I got a picture of his car. Cars drive on the other side here--hard to get used to. I'm under my mosquito net writing this. Orientation in a few minutes. It is 5:30pm here"

It does get more interesting, Stick with me!

From Mityana:
"We had a wonderful time of worship. Steve led on his guitar. There is a lot of spiritual strength and love on this team. Words of knowledge, vision, care, intercession. We divided into care groups."

"I am learning so much about the gospel of the kingdom and it's implications for our lives. I feel I'm in a transitional phase of going from passive Christianity to active Christianity as was lived out in the book of Acts. It is imperative that we get beyond the walls of our church to rescue lives with the love and power of God. Read Steve's book to get a better understanding of what I'm talking about."

" Tomorrow starts the very high intensity days of putting into practice what we have learned unlike anything I have done or seen before. They likened it to jumping off a diving board into a pool with no water and trusting the pool to fill up. :) Or we are like jumper cables that need to be connected to a power source to conduct electricity(Jesus)"

"We had quite a good day today. I was crowd control guy today as we saw approximately 150 out of maybe 400 waiting. We saw a number of healings. The first boy I prayed for was healed and many others saw many healings. A deaf and partially mute girl was healed. Another neat thing happened. Towards the end of the day there was a small crowd at the door and the clinic was packed so there was no way to get anyone else in and someone pointed out a nursing woman laying in the grass very sick, so I went and got two of the impact ladies to pray for her and Jesus wonderfully healed her. It's hard to write this without getting emotional. This entire village of 8000 people drink out of a mud hole. I got it on video---- people and cows drinking out of the same hole with a broken hand pump sitting near by. Impact nations and I Thirst are partnering to bring 335 Sawyer filters to bring clean water to everyone in town. Our partner on the ground who will see implementation is a super high integrity pastor named Robert (about 2000 other pastors look to him for guidance.) -  a very humble guy. We also will partner with a Mennonite church in Ottawa, Canada to bring clean water to village they are adopting. Impact Nations is like a hammer breaking open and the seeds fall out everywhere. I can't believe the favor they have with God."


"Today was amazing as we set up 2 water filters outside of the medical clinic (school). When people saw the crystal clean water coming from brown filthy putrid water the reaction was priceless. After the crowd had dwindled once countless glasses of water had been poured, a woman came up and was standing looking at the filter, so I asked her what she thought of the filter. She just said "I want water" and pulled out an empty plastic bottle from under her shawl. I filled it to the brim."

Uganda Journey of Compassion
Courtesy of Doug Penner, Impact Nations






























Monday, April 2, 2012

Goodbye Honduras

I have never liked goodbyes. Who does? But my excuse is the seven times I moved as a child leaving behind friends and family. If I could focus on the positives it would help. As in everytime I moved  it was another opportunity to make new friends or revisit family and old friends. In other words, the journey continues. We get to say goodbyes that are really only temporary in light of eternity with our brothers and sisters in Christ and move along on the path of our walk with God. Who knows what new people we will meet!

Rewinding a little bit... here are some pictures to recap the past few days.

Carolina's Saturday class where I got to help a little.




Paintball Time in Valle de Angeles with Mike's boys.



Here is what the new bridge at the Fuerzas Armadas School looks like:
It turned out great!

Today we said our goodbyes to Bruce, our faithful set of wheels. Tomorrow we fly home to family and friends. The path continues.

Who knows what door God will open next.
Take courage, my friend! You are not alone. God is our guide and we walk with many others from every nation, kindred and tribe. Where is God leading you, Pilgrim friend?

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Wonder of God




I have been wondering recently if God really hears my prayers. Does He care? I wonder how Moses and Samuel had such good ears to hear His voice so clearly. How can He love me when I feel like dust? I wonder how I can feel so weak when He is so strong.

I once heard Beth Moore explain how our hearts are like a pitcher. There is a lot in our pitchers and not many people want to have it all poured out on them because, quite honestly, people cannot handle it all. They are not even meant to. But God can handle it. He can handle every thought, feeling and question.

David said in Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Then again in Psalm 42:

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul...

So, I  poured my pitcher out to God.

 

Then my wondering turned to wonder.

Amazement.

Even if I don’t feel loved - I am.

He is extremely patient with me; much more patient than I deserve. But wait, who ever said I deserved salvation? I can’t earn it, but I can accept it. I can open up my heart in full surrender to whatever His will is for my life and suddenly I am part of a Heavenly Kingdom. Wonderful!

I am filled with wonder at His Peace. It comes into our troubled hearts and takes away the doubts and fear.

God takes me at my weakest and in His amazing way helps me to see that it’s not about me. It’s about Him at work in me and around me.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3: 20 and 21


Come unto Jesus.
 Give Him your heart today.
Come unto Jesus.
Let Him have His way.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Safety is in God's Hands

We had an interesting experience the other day when we went out to buy, of all interesting things, a crochet needle so I could work on this rag rug technique I am learning. David and I ran into our "fix it guy" for the house. He is our landlady's maid's son. He is a neat guy that can speak english and is very courteous and kind. He was with a young lady and we asked if she was his girlfriend. But no - he was helping her and wanted us to hear her story.

Katherine is from Denmark and had just been taken for a taxi ride, a long taxi ride to different banks to withdraw money. They stole other belongings and after the 45 minute ride they dropped her off in our neighborhood where our "fix-it guy" (I should know his name - sorry!) found her wandering the street, wondering where she was. He helped her cancel her card and took her to the shopping plaza where we ran into them,  to meet a friend to take her home.

In light of this experience, my sister, Janice, sent us this blog post and I have asked and gotten permission to repost it on my blog. It will give you a better picture of Tegucigalpa. This is their blog site to check our their ministry here in the city. Thank you, Trina, for letting me repost.

This Crazy City

by Chad Baron on March 26, 2012 · 6 comments
2
Honduras has got a lot of bad press recently – and rightfully so. In an article on the Huffington Post it says -
Honduras has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries and is likely to have the highest murder rate in the world — 86 per 100,000
and this:
Honduras stands to break world records with its murder rate — estimated at 86 per 100,000 inhabitants — putting it ahead of war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, a study said October 13, 2010.
In the article where it lists Tegucigalpa, the city we live in, as the 5th most violent city in the world they use this picture – taken 3 blocks from my house.

The other day Quendi, one of the girls who used to live in our girl’s home, came over to our house. She came over so that Trina could take her shopping for school supplies. She got on a bus about 7 miles from where we live. Shortly after she got on two other guys got on and pulled out guns and knives and proceeded to rob everyone on the bus. They took everyone’s cell phones, money, jewelry, and anything else they had that was of any value. This went on for 15 terrifying minutes. This bus was headed to the market in the center of the city. These people were probably going to buy their food for the day. Quendi said that when the bus stopped everyone got off. There was no reason to go to the market now – no one had any money left. Those who were going for food were probably going hungry.
There is a ministry in Denmark that sends a lot of volunteers to Honduras. We have two volunteers from Denmark working with our ministry right now for the next 6 months. A few times a year all the Danish volunteers in Honduras come and spend a weekend with us in our ministry. It is usually about 20 people we host for the weekend. I have been working with the coordinator to schedule one of these weekends and I was supposed to call her last Wednesday but I forgot. I sent her an apology email and this was her reply:
I got robbed in a taxi today on the way home from work – nothing happened to me, but they stole my money, camera, visa-card and pincode and drove me around for 45 minutes until they dropped me off… I’m okay, but yeah, I haven’t really had the time to wonder why you haven’t called.
A couple weeks ago we were in Walmart (yes we have a walmart here) and needed some cash so Trina used her debit card in the cash machine in Walmart. We only use our debit cards for withdrawing cash, we never use them for purchases so it was pretty easy to tell where we used it last. That was on a Saturday and on Monday I logged in to our bank account online to see how much money we had. I was surprised to see four cash withdrawals from our account done in Lima, Peru. Peru is a long way from here and we have never been there. Apparently there must have been cameras and a skimmer on the cash machine so that when Trina used it they were able to steal our card number and PIN and then use that to create a new card and steal money from our account.
Right away I called the bank. There were four other withdrawals that were pending. In total, they stole over $1,000 from our account. Thankfully our bank covered it all and returned all the money to our account. The worst part is that now we don’t have our debit card and no way to get any cash until my family comes next week. This is the second time in a year that we have had our card stolen without ever losing our physical card. The first time, our credit card number was stolen by our waiter at a restaurant. The lack of security here is very frustrating. It isn’t safe to carry cash. If you hand someone your credit card they might steal the number. And if you use your debit card in a cash machine you might be watched and they might steal it too.
When I was talking to the bank the nice lady asked me if I had filled out a police report – she said it was one of their requirements. I said, “Maam, I could do that, but the police here are often times more corrupt than the criminals.”
Are we scared? No. Should you be worried about us? Absolutely not. Should you be afraid to visit? Of course not. You and I are no safer at home in our beds than we are on the streets of Tegucigalpa. I just saw on Facebook that a friend of mine from our safe little town chased someone out of his house, out of his bedroom, in the middle of the night. This stuff happens anywhere and the truth is, our security doesn’t come from the conventions of man but from God above. And honestly, I never feel like I am in danger even when I know I am in dangerous situations. I know I will probably be robbed at gun point some day. I know that will be terrifying and traumatic. But I know that God hears my prayers for protection and He hears your prayers for protection too. So why do I tell you these things. I hope it gives you a better glimpse of what we live with and encourages you to cover us in prayer and not only us but all those like us, who are working in dangerous places around the world. Pray that God gives us protection, courage, and boldness!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Mission Field

Our house is quiet. Too quiet. The four of us instead of Team 15 and the extra 9 people in our house is a change that makes me sad at first. Getting to know new people and sharing each day for 10 days creates great memories and knits our hearts through experiences and the love of Jesus.

Our oldest boys are home this weekend from Bible School. We got to skype them. See their faces and hear their voices. It was great, but not as great as being there in person.

We are headed home in just ten short days. Our experiences here in a foreign land are very short term. I have no reason to complain about missing family and saying goodbyes when we will be with our friends and family in short order. But it has given me a glimpse into the lives of long term missionaries.

Like my brother in law and his family. Luke and Annie have been in the Philippines for  over 11 years. They haven't had a furlough in 5 years. Five years.  I know it hasn't been easy. As a matter of fact, I know there have been some really challenging days. Especially since Annie's mom, our dear Joy (and Pastor's wife) went home to be with Jesus last July. But I haven't heard complaining. I have heard how God has been faithful to get them through the tough places. The grace that is sufficient for each day - not grace for tomorrow or the next day, but grace for the now, the immediate moment.

David, Jonathan, Joshua, Olivia and Gloria

Following in Daddy's footsteps

The Philippine Pearson Family


Their five children have all been born in the Philippines. Five jungle monkeys growing into beautiful young ladies and handsome young gentlemen. We haven't met the youngest - 2 year old Joshua yet. And we can't wait to see them. They are coming home April 3rd. It's Annie birthday. I heard that there is a birthday dinner planned for the Birthday Queen. :)

So I am thankful for this experience in Honduras that has made me a little more aware of missionary life. I think the biggest sacrifice missionaries make is being separated from family. But be careful not to put missionaries up on a pedestal. They are human beings with ups and downs just like anyone. Please pray for the missionaries you know. They can't make it without your support and prayers. Your prayers are what gets them through the tough days and even nights when doubts and fears assail.

"Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive in this time - houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions - and in the age to come, eternal life." Mark 10: 29 and 30

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

EFA, Lunch with the Staff and Cafe Maya

Today we wrapped things up at the Fuerzas Armadas School. We cleaned and did some touch up painting. This is what the finished kitchen looks like.


Marilyn wanted to leave the kitchen spotless!

Dan watering the freshly poured concrete. Can you see it growing? :)
The completed kitchen. The fridge and stove will be delivered soon.

 The tentative time for hot meals to begin is May.

The bridge. It is lacking the hand rails.
The forms will be taken off on Monday.



We enjoyed a faubulous lunch with the teachers. The menu was mexican tacos with a tres leches cake for dessert. Delicioso.

Dad sharing some palabras - words of thankfulness and encouragement.

Our mexican tacos served buffet style.

Go Blue Devils! Wait, we're in Honduras, not Elmira.
This is Escuela Fuerzas Armadas.
To wrap up our day, we went shopping at Pricemart for the famous coffee and Honduras ketchup. But they did not have Dad's brand of coffee - they had Cafe Oro and Cafe Indio, but not Cafe Maya. Mike made a special stop at Paiz for the special Cafe Maya - 20 pounds of it! Then it was back to the house to pack and get ready for the travel day tomorrow.

We just ended devotions where Dad shared about seeds from 2nd Corinthians 9. I'll close with that verse.

"Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of righteousness, you will be made rich in everyway so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God." 2nd Corinthians 10 & 11

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Feliz Dia del Padre

Happy Father's Day from Honduras!

Monday, March 19th was Father's Day here in Honduras. We celebrated in style! As a sidenote: I heard yesterday that here in Honduras they have "days" for many things: mothers, fathers, children, women, and even Lempira (their currency). The Fuerzas Armadas School had a special program planned. Dads, Grandfathers, Uncles and even brothers were the guests of honor.

Joe  being honored as a father.

We began the program by singing the national anthem.

The attentive audience


Children representing the different professions

This was after the spanish version of Phillips, Craig and Dean's song for fathers: "Quiero Ser Como Tu."

"Busco a Ti" song done by the first graders

The school has four blind children who can read and write in braille and are somehow mainstreamed here in the classroom. Other children are very attentive to these four and help them get to and from school and watch out for them while they are in class.
The boy on the left closed out the program with a special song and was accompanied by his friend and companion on the right for support.





Don Alejandro was one of the founders of this school 24 years ago and is Doña Rosa's brother.




Now to review a little and to catch you up on pictures. After attending Impacto Church on Sunday we went to the village of Valle de Angeles to do some tourist shopping. Instead of showing you how much we bought and give away some of the gifts that some of you family members of Team 15 are looking forward to, I'll stick to the safe stuff and show you the food. Food is something we are not lacking here since Mike and Glenda are such good cooks. When we go to Valle we get to taste some typical Honduran food.



Cow corn as Mike calls it. When it is creamed and made into corncakes it tastes great.



Back to work. The past couple of days have been spent finishing up the sheetrock on the kitchen ceiling and doing touch up painting along with the big project of building the bridge.

 Each morning before beginning the work day we pray as a group with the team and workers. This particular morning showed the fun we have. Granted,  it was one of those "you had to be there" moments, but as someone took off their hat to pray it was tossed into the center of the circle and then others started tossing their things and quite a little pile was created including (but not limited to) money, camera, shoes, measuring tapes, etc... It was a light hearted moment followed by a neat time of prayer.
Dad's favorite job - okay, maybe not.

Joe putting on the final coat of compound.

The bridge forms being constructed






Forming up the steps. About 6 yards of concrete were hand mixed and poured in one long afternoon.

Joanne Miller taught a sewing class to the ladies at the Venezuela School.  Sixteen ladies participated in sewing an apron.


The ladies blessed us with cake and soda at the end of our time together!

Beautiful ladies modeling beautiful aprons


 One humbling thing about these ladies is their appreciation for Border Buddies and all the projects that the different teams have taught. They wanted to be sure and express their gratitude and remembrance of everyone who has given sacrificially to help them better their own lives. Doña Margarita taught me today a project that she learned last year from a previous team. She was a patient teacher of how to turn old t-shirts into crocheted rugs. These ladies have not only made rugs, but also cushions, seat covers, purses, hot pads and even a hammock!


Rachelle playing with the girls that came during the sewing class.

"Mike worked us to death." - Harold Lefever

Here's a verse to think on:
"I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him." John 13: 16