Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Bread of Heaven

Nowadays a lot of emphasis is placed on eating healthy foods. Every day there are new articles about processed foods, GMO’s, and too much sugar and the dangers of an unbalanced diet and over eating. To be honest, I find myself second-guessing more and more what I feed my children. Maybe I shouldn’t give them cereal or waffles for breakfast. Who knows? 

It’s not wrong to take good care of our bodies and make healthy choices, but still, could it be, that we’re overly focused on the temporal? Our bodies are slowly aging and ultimately will die, or be transformed in a moment when Jesus returns. (1 Corinthians 15:52) Our souls, however, will either live forever or be eternally damned. 

Jesus says in the famous Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:31-33 

The good news about God’s Word is that there is nothing unhealthy or bad about it. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16 

You also can’t overeat and will only get fat in a good way :). 
Psalm 1:1-3 says: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper

And in Jeremiah 17:5-8 it says: Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit

So now we know it’s important to eat spiritual food, the more the better, and God promises spiritual health and fruitfulness to those who trust in Him and meditate on His Word, but lets back up a little. In order to be spiritually fed we need to believe who God is and what He says. 

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 

And there is only one way to come to God. 


Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. John 14:6 

If you are not a believer in Jesus you are abiding in the wrath of God. It’s a very scary place to be in. If you are not looking to Jesus as a substitute to pay the price for your sin you will have to pay for it yourself. 

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, 1 Peter 3:18a 

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36  

There is nothing that will satisfy God’s wrath against sin except the perfect blood of Jesus. 

Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Romans 5:9 

That’s why there is something called everlasting punishment. Outside of Christ, God’s wrath can never be satisfied and therefore there is everlasting destruction for all those who refuse to obey the gospel. 

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 2 Thesalonions 1:8-9 

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 

For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 
Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 
And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. John 6:33-35

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spiritual Malnourishment

Have you ever felt hungry? What do you do when you’re hungry? You eat right? It’s pretty simple. 

What about spiritual hunger? Have you ever experienced that? I have. It’s this ache inside that won’t go away. You may try to appease this hunger with food or material goods but it doesn’t help. It often makes you feel even worse. 

Most of us eat everyday. But do we have a regular diet of spiritual food? Jesus says in Mathew 4:4b Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God

 In January 2016 I was struggling. We had been back in Canada, the land flowing with milk and honey, for six months, but spiritually I was drying up. While in Haiti I had a regular devotional time with God, but in Canada, very quickly distractions began to infiltrate my life and my time alone with God began to slip. I spent less and less time in His Word and was unknowingly becoming more and more malnourished. 

Then one day, God directed me to a book that challenged me to once again renew my daily devotional time with Him. Although very sleep derived due to a colicky baby, I obeyed and very quickly my life began to change. The daily sitting at God’s feet and eating of His Word, and listening to His directions revived me. As days went by, instead of sighing as my phone alarm buzzed at 6:00 a.m. I was excited to get up and spend more time alone in God’s presence. 

The more time I spent with God, the more He revealed Himself to me and the more I loved Him. Day after day I carefully read through the book of Psalms and then felt God directing me to some less well-known books like Joel, Amos, Obadiah, and Hosea. After I finished those I went on to study Ephesians, Acts and 1 & 2 Thessalonians. I then felt God directing me to Isaiah. To be honest I kind of looked up against it, as Isaiah is a long book and I thought it would be obscure and hard to understand. Was I ever wrong! The book of Isaiah is an absolutely incredible, beautiful book revealing a lot about who God is, and what He says, and how He deals with His people. It also has incredible revelation of Jesus, which makes it really hard for me to understand how the Jews could read that book today and still deny that Jesus is the Messiah. 

Some of the verses I wrote down in my notebook this morning were these: 

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 54:10 

O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. Isaiah 54:11-12 

And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 

That’s just a few of the verses I was reading and mediating on today. Sometimes I feel like I should just copy the whole book into my notebook since there are so many beautiful, powerful passages! I’ve been study/reading/meditating on the book of Isaiah for three months now and I’m still not done. 

So I urge you dear friends, maybe you are struggling, sick, hungry, not knowing that you are suffering from spiritual malnutrition. Drink the milk of God’s Word, then as you grow stronger, eat the solid food, let God teach you and grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 

 “Thy testimonies evermore shall be 
The perfect source of all my inspiration.” 
Psalter 428:7

Thursday, March 30, 2017

You Shall Know The Truth

“Mom, you know what we are learning about in Bible class at school?” I turn to look at the animated face of my oldest son and smile. “No. What are you learning about?”

“We are learning about how the Israelites sinned and were bitten by snakes and then how God commanded Moses to make a brazen serpent and all the people had to do was look at the serpent and they were healed. And you know what? Even if the people doubted and just kind of peeked over their shoulder, even then they were healed! All they had to do was look! I’m going to listen to the story again!” I watch as he runs off, finds the iPad, turns on the audio Bible app and soon is raptly listening to every detail of the story.

Listening to him brings back memories of the first time I really read an account of that exact same story in the New Testament.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:14-17

I remember reading it over again and thinking to myself, is this really true? Can it be that simple? Just look to Jesus and be saved?

Spurgeon asked the same question and says this of his conversion experience:

"I know that I, too, once belied Him; when I felt my sins to be a great burden I said within myself, ‘I will go to Jesus, but perhaps He will reject me.’ I thought I had much to feel and to do to make myself ready for Him, and I therefore did this and that, but the more I did the worse I became. I was like the woman who spent her money on physicians and did not get better, but rather grew worse. I fully understood that there was life in a look at Christ, that all I needed was to simply trust, to come as I was and put my case into His dear pierced hands, and leave it there, yet I still did not think it could be so; it seemed so simple—how could it be true? I thought when I came to Him He would say to me, ‘Sinner, you have rejected Me so long, you have mocked Me by saying prayers which you did not feel; you have been a hypocrite and joined with God’s people in singing My praises when you did not praise Me in your heart.’ I thought He would chide me and bring ten thousand sins to my remembrance. Instead of that, it took only a word, and it was all done. I looked to Him, the burden was gone." (C.H. Spurgeon)

“The method is simply a word from Him and a look from you, and all is done. You have only to trust in Jesus and you are saved; made a new creature in an instant; set on your feet again to start a new life with a new power within you, which shall conquer sin.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

Maybe you too think it can't be that simple. Yet every day brings us one day closer to eternity. Don’t you want to know the truth for yourself before you die? Then be like the Bereans and study scripture for yourself!  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11

"The turning point in my life was when I decided I wanted to know the truth, even if it was inconvenient.” R. Warren

“Truth can be discovered, but first we have to have an attitude of openness that says, “I want the truth more than anything else.” Once you choose that attitude, you can discover the truth." R. Warren

God’s Word is the truth.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My Word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-2

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22

And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16

For How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; Hebrews 2:3

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What Does The Gospel Mean To You?

One of the ladies Bible studies I attend recently started a new book to study, and one of the questions the leader wanted us to answer was: ‘What does the gospel mean to you?’ 

To dig deeper, I often turn to commentaries and was about to go online to dig deeper into some of the key gospel verses when I stopped. The questions wasn’t 'What does the gospel mean to others?' The question was 'What does the gospel mean to me?' and as I thought about it, I felt God challenging me to come up with an answer on my own.

The gospel is really the best news ever!

As a child, I remember feeling frustrated and even upset with Adam and Eve. Why did they have to go eat that fruit and mess it all up for the rest of us? But the more I thought about it the more I became frustrated and upset with myself too. Why did I often, even deliberately, choose to sin. If only I had maintained sinless perfection since birth, maybe then I wouldn’t have to eternally die.

But I was missing a big part of the story.

Even as a young child I knew the bad news, but I didn’t know the good news.

It was true that because of Adam’s sin death entered into the world and it was also true that I had sinned. Romans 5:12 says: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
But that wasn’t the end of the story. It could have been. God would have been perfectly just to condemn us all, but instead, amazingly enough, He provided a way that we could be saved.

Romans 5:18 says:
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

What great news!

Romans 6:23 says:  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

According to God’s Word there are only two responses to God’s unspeakable Gift. Either you receive Him or you reject Him. There is no neutral; no middle ground.

John 1:12
He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:

John 12:48
He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (Jesus)

Matthew 10:40
He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent me. (Jesus)

Mark 6:11
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Jesus)

So the question that comes to each of us is how will we respond to this unspeakable Gift? Will we receive Him or reject Him? The answer really is the difference between eternal life and eternal death.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12

So what does the gospel mean to me?
Mere human words fail to express the wonder and amazement that wells up inside me as I consider the mercy and grace and love of God to save us from the eternal death we all deserve and instead, by giving us His Son, washes away all our sins and gives us everlasting life, forever with Him!

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15

Friday, March 24, 2017

Casting all Our Care Upon Him

March 23, 2017
8:00 p.m.
“Mom, what do we do? Do we keep thinking about them or do we try to forget?”
I look over at my oldest son and take a moment to gather my thoughts before responding.

I had arrived home in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 18, but although I had been travelling for 24 hours already, with only a few winks of sleep on the airplane, I couldn’t go straight to sleep. Instead, in the quiet stillness of our empty house I wandered around aimlessly. I had just come home from my first-ever short-term mission trip and suddenly I felt lost and confused.

What had particularly shaken me was when we had stopped to visit Anoud and Denise and their kids. In the seven years they had lived on our property in Haiti, they had become like family to us. Prior to us leaving Haiti, I had spent a lot of time worrying and praying about what would happen to them when we left and during that time I kept feeling like God was wanting me to give it over to Him, yet I struggled. Finally, it was time to leave and I had no other choice but to let them go.

When Jason returned to Haiti a few months later, I had the opportunity to video call with Denise and I was so thankful to see how well they were doing. Anoud had kept his job working at the house we lived in, and Denise had found new work and everyone was happy and healthy. Jason actually visited their new home and it was fun to see our old pictures hanging on their walls, and their kids playing with toys our boys had given them. Nicholas, their ten-year old son, proudly showed off a pair of roller skates he had gotten and was even whizzing around their house in them.

Now, almost 2 years later, things were a little different. Anoud, through circumstances beyond his control, had lost his job, and Denise was only working a few days a month. When Jason and I stopped in for a visit, we found them both home, including their youngest daughter, who was laying limply on a bed because she didn’t have the strength to go to school because she hadn’t eaten. 

Everything they once had, other than a few bare necessities had been sold for food, and the only food left in the whole house was a limp bunch of green onion. The paintings and pictures on the walls were gone, the toys were gone, the fans they used to own, even the blankets and pillows on their bed had all been sold. It was heartbreaking to see.

We had come with a huge food basket and ended up giving them money too, but it felt like only a temporary solution, as what they really wanted was work so they could provide for their family.

I honestly didn’t know how to respond and the one overwhelming feeling that kept boiling up inside was dismay.

Suddenly I felt shaken.

The word ‘shaken’ made me think of a song I sometimes listened to where one of the lyrics was We won’t be shaken.

I always had felt a little hesitant singing that song because it made me think of the words of Peter in Mark 14:29. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.  And we know how that turned out for him. Before the night was over he had denied Jesus three times.

But then, where did those words come from? I wondered. I found my answer in the book of Psalms.

I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8

He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defense; I shall not be moved. Psalm 62:6

Reading those verses helped my understanding to grow. If we take our eyes off of God and instead focus on the circumstances around us we can quickly become dismayed and feel shaken. Peter was literally walking on water, but the moment he took his eyes off Jesus he became afraid and began to sink.  Matthew 14:22-33 So to keep from being shaken we need to set the Lord always before us.

So we know we need to look to God and trust Him, but the Bible also tells us we need to love and care for our neighbor. Mark 12:31b says: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, and Phil 2:4 says: Look not every man on his own things (interests), but every man also on the things of others.

My struggle however, was not my unwillingness to love or help, but rather with knowing how to help in the best way. I am so quick to come up with solutions and try desperately to control the outcome that I soon find myself stepping into God’s place. God warns about this in Isaiah 45:5a I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:

I might stand alone on this, but I think often we make things so difficult for ourselves. Did you know that God has already before ordained the good works we are to do?

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

And how are we to know what they are?

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct Thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7  

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7

For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. Psalm 50:10  

After much prayer and giving over my burden of worry about Anoud and Denise and their family over to God, I felt Him directing me to message a friend regarding employment for them.

Silly me, was still surprised when she responded in the affirmative.

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? (Jesus) Matthew 8:26

And now, after a week of struggling and praying and learning and turning to God for direction I have the answers to my son’s questions. 

“We don’t need to try to forget them, or have that burden pressing down on our hearts. Jesus tells us to come to Him and give Him our burdens.”

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

“And then as we pray and give our burdens to Him, He will teach us, and direct us, and show us, how to love our neighbours as ourselves and how to not only look out for our own interests but also the interests of others."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

An Understanding Heart

March 15, 2017
9:18 a.m.

The caravan’s wheels lift off the ground and just like that we’re air bound. 

Looking out the window I enjoy my familiar bird’s eye view of the changing landscape beneath me.

As I settle in for the 35 minute flight from Grand Diable, located on Haiti’s North West tip, to Port au Prince, the country’s capital, I think about what the staff at Lemuel told us about their experiences after Hurricane Matthew.

When they went out to survey the damage the hurricane had caused they found houses damaged, sheep and goats killed, and many gardens and canals washed out or covered in layers of mud and rock.

Instead of immediately getting to work addressing what they thought were the people’s greatest needs they had a community meeting and asked the people themselves what they felt the most pressing needs were.

Instead of the expected response of “Our homes are damaged and in need of repair and our livestock has died and needs replenishing,” they almost unanimously asked that their gardens be unearthed and the canals bringing water from the mountains be dug out. “We can fix our homes and slowly replenish our life stock,” they said. “But our gardens are our source of food and income, and without them we have nothing!” 

So that’s what Lemuel focused on. They set up food for work, and cash for work, programs and then got the community involved in unearthing gardens and digging out canals.

As I mulled over this lesson they had shared with us, it again struck me how important it is to really listen.

Back at home I wondered what the Bible had to say about listening and understanding and these are some of the verses I found:

The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them. (Proverbs 20:12)

When God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said to him, “Ask what I shall give thee. (1 Kings 3:5b) Solomon’s response was: Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart. (1 Kings 3:9a) In the next verse it says: And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. (1 Kings 3:10)

James, inspired by God, writes: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5) And further on: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak(James 1:19a)

And the wise King Solomon, inspired by God, wrote in the book of Proverbs:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Let us take these inspired words to heart.

Whatever situation we find ourselves in, let us take the time to listen and see and understand and ask God for wisdom and direction before moving forward.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Our Creator, God

Tuesday, March 14
5:48 p.m.
The pickup truck bounces and jolts as it makes its way over Haiti’s rough terrain.  

Inside the cab, I turn to one of the local Lemuel staff and question him in Creole about our last home visit.

Earlier that afternoon we had divided into three groups to visit the sick, elderly and those with special needs in the community. I was the translator for my group and although naturally reserved, I was loving my role!

It suddenly brought back memories of when I was a teenager, working in a hot greenhouse, my arms scratched and often bleeding from the sharp thorns on the rosebushes, daydreaming about what I would do when I grew up. I had finally decided that one of the coolest jobs, was to travel and work as a translator in a foreign country. Common sense soon led me to a much more practical field of study, namely, Business Administration, but now, more than fifteen years later, bumping along a deserted road in Haiti, it struck me how I was suddenly doing it! I was traveling and translating in a foreign country! What was even better than I had ever imagined was that the words I translated and shared were those of hope and encouragement as we visited and shared food provisions from God with those in need.

Mulling this over in my mind, I was reminded of the words of Psalm 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

That night as I continued to think and contemplate, I was once again struck by the beauty of the stars sparkling overhead. What an incredible God we served!

In the days following as I continued to process everything I had seen and heard, both the good and really hard things, I read these words in Isaiah:

Isaiah 41:17-20
When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:
That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Monday in the Village

March 13, 2017
 6:15 a.m.
I open my small backpack to make sure I have everything I need, only to have a cricket jump out at me and latch momentarily onto my face. I let out a small cry, then watch as it dive bombs back to earth. Not having the heart to kill it, I shoo it away and it quickly scurries under a cabinet.

“It’s time to wake up Jay!” I look back at the still sleeping form of my husband and wait for a response, before pushing open the wooden screen door. We’ve decided to eat breakfast later so we can head to the market before the sun gets too hot. Not only are we going to get a real cultural experience by exploring the market we are also riding donkeys to get there!

6:30 a.m.
The donkeys and their owners are waiting and we soon embark. 

The locals have a lot of fun laughing at us and after getting over our initial embarrassment we all enjoy the ride.

As we make our way the sun slowly rises, bathing the world in a golden glow.

7:15 a.m.
Although it’s still early the market is already in full swing.

We are quickly surrounded by funky odors, and a cacophony of sounds. 

Vendors vie for attention, trying to sell their wares, as livestock bellow in fear over their impending slaughter. Not wanting to be merely spectators we make purchases too. I enjoy the bartering, as there is very little opportunity for it in the first world.

Once we’re finished, one of Lemuel’s local staff shows us the devastation Hurricane Matthew caused in the area. 

It’s incredible to see how over a meter deep of earth has been washed away, and the little that is left of the numerous houses and buildings, where the waters rushed through.

8:30 a.m.
Lemuel’s one and only school bus picks us up to bring us back to the compound but we soon came to the conclusion that the donkeys are a much more reliable mode of transportation.

The first time the bus breaks down the clutch falls off, it runs out of fuel and there is no more water left in the radiator all at once. At least the road we break down on borders a deserted beach, so we take a little time to explore the area and collect shells.

It surprisingly does not take more than 15 minutes to have the bus running again, so off we go again.

We all let out a groan when not even 15 minutes later it once again rolls to a stop. 

We disembark and this time explore an area badly eroded by Hurricane Matthew. 8 minutes later we are on our way again.

After a quick breakfast the team gets to work putting up the new chain link fence. I take this time to write as many thoughts and impressions are swirling through my mind and I don’t want to forget them!

Lunch consists of a delicious meal of chicken, rice and beans and a turnip/potato salad.

After lunch the team heads over to the school to teach computer classes to the Grade 6 class. This is the first time for most of the students to ever touch a computer.

At 2:00 p.m., when school is out, we head to the school bus to catch a ride to the beach with the local teachers from the school. The bus also gives rides to some of the smaller kids who live further away so we all need to share seats as best as we can. Since Jason and I are some of the last ones to get on the bus there is only a partially empty back seat for us to share with a small boy about of about 5, the age of my middle son.

He looks tired and thin and has a small wound on his knee and bumps around his mouth. He is too shy to talk to us and keeps edging further and further away from us until his one leg is almost trapped between the seat and the side of the bus. As I discreetly study him I wonder what life is like for him. When he gets home, will his mother be waiting for him with a hug and snack, the way I wait for my son to come home from school? Will there be somewhere comfortable where he can relax for a while and play? Knowing a little of the harsh realities of the lives of many of the people here, my heart aches for him.

When the last child is dropped off we bump along until we reach a neglected beach. 

It is now a time to socialize and get to know the teachers better. We play games with them and splash in the ocean.

When the sun begins to set over the rocky cliffs dotted with cruel, yet exotic cacti, the wonder and beauty of the harsh climate strikes me.

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young, even thine altars,
O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:
they will be still praising thee.
Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee;
in whose heart are the ways of them.
Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well;
the rain also filleth the pools. 
Psalm 84:1-6