Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the faces of Oasis

Your fingerprints can be seen on a million faces. . .

I'd like to tell you that even in the darkness, there is still light.

That even in your weakness, there is still strength.

That even in your hopelessness, there is still hope.

God has opened my eyes; He is creating me, into His new creation. There's a verse that says we are new creations, I think often times we look for that to be a process that has a beginning and an end. But what I have seen, is that God is still working on me. He is still creating me into something new, something messy into something built for a reason, something weak and fragile into something built with His strength, residing in me.

I'll be honest this part of my journey has been one full of testing, challenges, stress and desperation. Nothing has come easy for me. It's been a battle to live fully here, with all that I am. But rather, than look up to my Maker, my eyes fell downcast, my spirit began to rest in hopelessness. In a sense, I began to run from my Answer. My eyes lost the ability to withhold emotion, I was nothing but a shell. . . a pile of dry bones.

Although, God woke me a couple days ago and gently nudged me to pursue Him, to turn my empty, downcast eyes upward in search of Him, in all of this. I took a couple of steps forward, my shaky hands and weak spirit reached out for my Bible. . . .

In a cry of desperation, He heard me. He came to save me. . . and what made me think that He wouldn't, this time?

But you know, I think we all have our moments when we wonder what is in us- that is worth saving? We've ran and ran even farther, found home in our hopelessness. Yet, if we just hold out our shaky hands, turn our downcast eyes upward to Jesus. . . He will always come to save us. He'll reach out to our dry bones, take them up in His gentle calloused hands, put everything back together in its' right place. He will sing over us, that we are worthy to be healed, to be released, to be unbound. . . and to be saved.

All this to say, that these past few days- I have lifted my eyes. I have found rest in His words, written so long ago, but even now speaking life into such perfect timing. I have sought Him out. I have reckoned with my wounds and my confusion, deciding that to God, be the glory.

New life has been breathed into me, to see these remaining days through. I have been reminded that despite all expectations, I live for One, God, alone. With that comes the ability to know that there will be people who don't understand me, and those with too great of expectations.

But in the midst of those, there will be some that see at times, I get lost into confusion. There will be some that know, I am seeking His plan for me. And His plan might mean something completely different than, even myself, would have ever expected. I can't not listen to Him. I can't not follow His plan for me.

Out all of this comes, something beautiful. There is a time and a season for everything.

He created me for this short season, to see something new begin-and to have a part in that beginning. Oasis began yesterday, after many tears and cries of desperation. Out of two heavily burdened hearts, He gave life to a vision. A vision that began beautifully, with twenty-two children marching into the abandoned doors, laughter and life filling the once lifeless, empty halls.

Teen girls relishing time to decorate something of their very own. Children dedicated to carry out their studies, underneath a couple of hearts that care. Worship with abandon, causing hope to finally rise within.

After careful and delicate plans, a vision was put into action. These children have a safe place, a home, two afternoons a week-to be encouraged, taught, listened to, loved, seen, understood and known.

Because there is a beauty of being known and understood, that lacks in many precious hearts. . .

And yes, You make beautiful things, out of this and out of us.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

the truth, "it is what it is"

I have been residing here for over a month now.

A lot of things have attempted to sway me, tempted me to pack my bags and find the next flight home.

You know?

This isn't the rose colored glasses, picture-perfect view for you, but I never promised that. Instead I want to be true to you and true to Him. I want you to know the day to day happenings, those that end with the biggest heart felt laughter, to the days that end with a deepened weary sigh.

What's beautiful is that God is the same in all of this, if He wasn't- I don't know how this heart of mine would be faring. All this to say is that it's been difficult. Money isn't easily transferred, our apartment is far from being done, everything takes so much longer here if you want to meet any success.

We're bearing the burdens of meeting the contractor's needs, attempting to make every receipt meet its' place with the hope that it be paid in full, and did I mention, starting up a program with two, yes just two of us?

I was updating someone very dear to me a couple of hours ago, and she was sure we must be sinking into the pit of misery, because nothing, nothing is coming easy. Although I was able to smile and respond thanks be to God, that I am not alone in this; and I mean, if I was, I would be falling apart.

But that's the blessing and beauty in this, God made sure to bring someone here with me. I thought for years that I could do this on my own and I know without a doubt that it could not have been done that way.

There have been discouraging and purely frustrating moments, because some things just aren't working as they should. But these are the moments when we just allow ourselves to laugh and realize everything will be okay, in time. There's so much more to this. If all we can accomplish is love on these dear, precious souls then so be it, and to God be the glory.

In the not so picture perfect moments, let your heart take a breath and somehow find the joy in it, I promise that even in the most difficult times, it's there. It's in there. It's an amazing feeling being able to tell you that, and truly believe it. Of course, I and everything else, are still works in progress.

These eyes still do wonders for my heart,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

this, these and those.


She stands, with a country calling her name.

Ignoring those, that expect her to take a claim.

Made for this, these and those.

Made so that everyone will come to know-

The love, the grace, the mercies that You oh so long, to bestow.

Hope in the desolate desert dust, that cakes the bare calloused feet that walk these roads.

An abundant life offered to all the sons and daughters, carrying their own loads.

Life to be spoken over these precious souls,

Love waiting, to take it’s toll.

So she lives for this, these and those.

She lives so that everyone will know.

Dusty feet run up to meet her,

Giggles overflow from the tiny hearts,

And it’s a wonder-

How she lived without them.

Because it is with this these and those, where her passion stems.

The eyes that twinkle with glee,

The voices that rise and fall, and sing.

Reason beckons her to run out to meet them, with arms open wide.

Reason keeps her here, even when the worries and the doubts tempt to collide.

She’s bound to be different,

Live with back bent, and heart spent.

Cause you made her to bear the burden of a country,

Home to those missing and unable to see,

The beauty of You and all that YOU are.

You, standing arms outstretched, love waiting, with the door ajar.

And so she was made for this, these and those,

And so she will live, so that everyone will know.

El Espíritu del Señor omnipotente está sobre mí, por cuanto me ha ungido para anunciar buenas nuevas a los pobres. Me ha enviado a sanar los corazones heridos, a proclamar liberación a los cautivos y libertad a los prisioneros, a pregonar el año del favor del Señor y el día de la venganza de nuestro Dios, a consolar a todos los que están de duelo, y a confortar a los dolientes de *Sión. Me ha enviado a darles una corona en vez de cenizas, aceite de alegría en vez de luto, traje de fiesta en vez de espíritu de desaliento. Serán llamados robles de justicia, plantío del Señor, para mostrar su gloria. Isaias 61:1-3

Monday, August 8, 2011

sometimes. . .

Sometimes I think you just have to see it, for everything to finally sink in.

Sometimes I think you have to feel it, for everything to be fully, believed.

You have to take a walk in the man's shoes, with the calloused hands declaring praise to His Maker, in his beautiful resilient song of adoration.

You have to feel the pain of almost losing a child, to now bear the weight of seven children upon your heart and soul.

You have to learn the life of the children that only know begging, because they just, have never had.

And only then, will you really understand what it is, to have more than enough.

Sure, not all are meant for this life on the field. Not every heart is built to bear the burden of another nation, another language, an unfamiliar life.

But all can make a difference, all can pause and reflect on what it means to have more than enough.
For those that are graced with much, much is required.

We were given this life to be spent for love's cause, the empty-handed, the wearied, the worried, the misunderstood, the voiceless. Whether you see it or not, they are your neighbors--that bear invisible tears, that lack hope, that are too tired to keep fighting.

So what stops us from loving to the tips of our fingers, what keeps us from believing that we are more than capable of making a difference? What quiets us, before we even begin to try and come up the words to reach out to those about us?

What would happen if we all were to see that He always provides and reach deeper into our pockets for more than just a handful of coins?

What would happen if we all were to see that there will always be enough time, to go and see for ourselves-those that are hurting, those that are fighting for some semblance of hope?

What would happen if we all were to see that this life was given, fleeting as it is, only to be spent?

I think we would begin to see that with Him, and only with Him- we have the capacity to love the whole world . . .

It's been quite a journey and we aren't even halfway yet. There's been resistance and questions, and there always is, when choosing to leave what we know and love. There's been resilience and beauty withstanding it all. There's been hope for the hopeless, and rest for the weary. There's been needs met, moments after being seen. All this to say, is that God's in this. . . and He brought us here to love the unloved, reach the unreached, and be spent all for love's cause. And you, can do the same.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

stepping away.

Do you ever have those moments when you just feel like you need to step backwards, and regroup?

Do you ever have those moments, when you came into something compelled and called, only to get to the desired point and questions can still be seen in your eyes?

Do you ever have those moments, when you wonder what is enough?

Those moments that stretch you to the limits.
Those moments that make you question.
Those moments that don’t meet expectations.
Those moments that you just have to fight for.
Those moments that cause you to reconnect to your purpose.

I’m in this kind of moment. I’m that weary traveler, that vagabond that has been forced to take a rest. Pursuing this dream for miles, years upon end, yes, this is home. Living out of a suitcase, moving to here and there, to make something happen-this is home.

But it’s not about me. . .

I t n e v e r w a s .

This is for the children, those that happily scream my name--in hopes of winning my attention. This is for the mothers, those that spend every ounce of themselves tarrying to their children’s needs, when they themselves, would give anything for a rest. This is for the people, those that ask and those that do not. This is for them.

All of these children, are mine to love.
Each and everyone of them, in reality, brought me here.

Sure, I will tell you, I am looking around and I am overwhelmed. Because I am here, and I know that I cannot meet every need. I cannot fill every hungry child’s stomach, I cannot place money into every pocket that lacks.

Although I do have a God who knows, each of these children by name, He calls each of them His own. I have a God, who knows the bare shelves, the empty hands. I have a God, who brought me to this country, with the twinkling eyes that today, stood by my gate. I have a God, who is certainly in the moments when all is well, and when all I can do is pause, be still, regroup.

Little by little, He’s been placing strangers into our path, who listen to the needs we know of and immediately set out to do, what they can to fulfill it. A bed built to hold two precious girls, shelves being built to house an endless amount of supplies at the church. His sons that take it upon themselves to pray over this ministry still beginning, to tell us, it’s okay to let ourselves be still, for awhile. His daughters being quick to mother us and make sure we have a home cooked meal, or a safe place to call home. It is by these people of His, His sons and His daughters, that these moments seem more bearable, the light seems a little brighter, where the hope still stands.

And so after all is said and done for the day,
I take a moment to myself and remember that:
it’s not about me, it never was.
It’s about these children, that He has given me to love.