Psalm 100 will be in Central Illinois on Mother’s Day weekend and we’d love to see you therefor a great evening with your family! Along with music and an evening of worship, you’ll also hear about how you can help “Finish the Vision” of the Cancer Redemption Project.
The first time you fly into Port-au-Prince, it leaves an impression. Gorgeous Caribbean waters fade into rusted rooflines of dilapidated shanties. And the closer you get, the greater the paradox. Bodies cram in around you as you hit the heat wave, trying to help with your bags for a fee. Drums and melodies you can’t understand welcoming you to this struggling little nation where the only thing you’re certain of in that moment is that life will never quite look the same after this experience. It’s intoxicating.
“Our parents create an environment in which we can grow. We call it the home. The home is the most powerful place on earth. It is the cradle of the soul. Our minds and personalities, our loves and our hates, our fears and our dreams are all molded in the home. The home is the workshop of God, where the process of character-making is silently, lovingly, imperceptibly carried on. We search throughout our lives for love and identity, and if we are fortunate, we may find it.” – An Arrow Pointing to Heaven, James Bryan Smith
Our Home of Hope families in Haiti are giving extremely vulnerable children a loving family again where death, exploitation and desperate poverty had taken away that nurturing environment. Today, it’s an incredible privilege to watch these families grow and interact in that powerful place.
I met Grace* five years ago, not long after she’d come into her Home of Hope family. She was a beautiful little girl but was somewhat tentative. She’d been through a lot already in life. But I remember she was bright and caught on quickly to things, like her spirit was just waiting for the chance to bloom. And over the last five years, I’ve watched Grace grow up.
This video started making its way into my news feeds this week, and I am struck by a simple reality… we forget to walk in someone else’s shoes too often. We see responses of anger, and we want to make it stop. We see reactions of fear and we want to make it all better right now. But I invite you to walk in this little girl’s shoes for a while – shoes that represent so many broken stories of children around the world.
“People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: they hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters.
They get excited over one smile. They are walking to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities, and nations, and yes, the world.” – Beth Clark
Life is a funny thing. You don’t control where you were born or who you were born to. In fact, there’s very little you do control in the early years of your life (or probably in adult life for that matter.) Which is why I can say with great confidence, that there is a BIG GOD who loves us as individuals deeply.
I know that because I don’t believe Stephanie Fast’s story would be possible without that reality.