"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. We worked day and night in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you." 1 Thessalonians 2:8-9

This blog is much more than our family and our crazy antics. After being overseas in Haiti for 4 years we prayed about coming back to the States and just still felt like God was going to use our family overseas...so here we go again. The big move to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and now the school growing and moving to Barbados. We just can't seem to rest until our family can love as many as we can to relationships with Christ. We always feel so blessed to meet the many people we get to serve with overseas, and of course love that you are reading with us as we serve in a new culture!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Begging for Help

      Knocks on my door asking for bread to eat.  Strangers following me in the grocery store asking us to buy them something.  Moms in the community asking for milk for their babies.  Friends here asking us to help with their rent fees.  Parents of our preschoolers asking us to help with school fees.  The needs and wants can be endless questions to us.  

      The knowing of how to help, when to help, and what to help with can be agony for me.  I want to help.  But sometimes I get so weary of it.  Seeing so much need.  Figuring out how to give without enabling. Thinking through what we can do.  Feeling guilty when we can't.  Wishing sometimes it was more we could have done than what we did.  

      My husband walks a preschooler home that a parent once again forgot to pick up.  On the mile uphill walk home, she falls asleep in his arms.  No one is home when they arrive.  The sun is blazing brightly.  The walk back down seems longer, even though it is downhill.  The classes to prepare for and meetings to be in at and lead are looming in his mind.  Irritation is setting in.  

     "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me" whispers in his head.

     Aggravation and frustration melt away.  A sweet child in his arms.  Agendas can wait or be pushed back a bit.  

     That pull of doing what is right can be a fine line.  Or is there even a line?  As a family we want to be compassionate and yet teach responsibility.   We have been given the ultimate gift of love by Jesus, and so we want to share that love.  For us, we know there is no way we can feed every single person here. We also live off the giving of others and know everything we have is not ours. But we felt a responsibility with money given to be wise with it too.  We see God has given us:

                  - finances through others giving to help sponsor children at the preschool.
                      Our preschoolers all get breakfast if needed, snack, and a
                       good educational and Biblical start.

                 -energy and a passion for 30 consistent kids in our community to know
                      His word and gather each week to study through the Bible.  This week
                       a local mom even treated all the kids to a birthday party, since she loves
                      how the kids are growing in the group.

               - an extra bedroom and arms to love an orphaned (now family!) boy in our 
                     home for 6 months.

               - 16 full-time Bible College students eager to learn, grow, and go out with
                     a beautiful campus to minister to them in.

        These are just a few ways when we feel pressed and beaten down we can look at and see how we can help and continue to.  For us, we have no hard fast rule that everytime someone asks- we give.  We are trying to look at how we can help the problem. One such time occurred when we were looking for a preschool helper, we prayed for a person we could trust and would love the kids.  I had just passed on some of our daughter's clothes that were too small to a girl in our Kids Club who needed clothes.  In the bag I had also added an extra tool set for the family to use.  About an hour later the mom came back with the girl, holding the bag and said, "Thank you for the clothes, but inside you had also accidentally put a tool kit or else my daughter took it.  We walked the mile here right away to give it back."  We knew that this mom would be the perfect person we'd prayed for when she was so honest:
       -she was trustworthy
 -she was truthful
- she loves kids
                                         - she really needed a job to help her family
                                                  - and now she prays with us everyday and hears 
                        about God's love everyday

     With each need or situation that comes up, God's leading us.  To the person who needs a job.  To the child who needs extra love and lunch that day.  But there are many times, we have to say no too when we know it is only enabling.  Those are harder times, and we hope they can still see our love.  Do we still feel like we are not doing enough.  Every time.  In each situation, we pray our time, strength, love, and gifts are all to His glory. And despite all the times we mess up, say no, or miss seeing a way to help- He still wants to use us!  It amazes us that we get to be here serving Him and learning each day.  

"Above all, let us love others deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Let us use whatever gift we have received to serve others, faithfully administering Your grace in its various forms.  Let us serve with the strength You provide so that in all things you, O Lord, will get the credit and the glory."
1 Peter 4: 8-11

“I have learned that I will not change the world, Jesus will do that. I can however, change the world for one person. And if one persons sees the love of Christ in me, it is worth every minute. In fact, it is worth spending my life for.” 

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