Intentional

”…a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away…” (Ecclesiastes 3:6).

Intentional. I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but at the beginning of 2013, I had a resolution. I wanted to live one word fully all year, and I chose the word “intentional.” This means many things, but mostly, for me the definition was to be present in the moment. Now, as 2013 closes, I can say I did live this year with the word reflecting in my actions.

I was intentional about making friends. I listened without thinking of a retort. I withheld from giving unsolicited advice. I laughed. I prayed. I loved.

I was intentional about my volunteering. I said no to good things, to say yes to better things. I grew in wisdom of when to give, and to withhold because giving became enabling. I learned how to let go.

I was intentional at work. I chose to work as hard as possible, giving my talents, when I was at the job. And then, at home, I was at home; Intentionally not at work, not thinking about work. I learned how to use my strengths, and how my strengths are my greatest weaknesses.

I was intentional about building margin. As a driving achiever, it’s hard to slow down and to keep a schedule open for “whatever.” I gave up the feeling of obligation, and chose to do things I wanted to do. Even at the cost of inconvenience.

Did I live well? Yes, but I didn’t always get it right. I didn’t have intentionality for every moment in 2013. However, I recognize that living this was has blossomed some seeds that had been in hiding for a long time. The season was right.

Along with living with intentionality, I ended up having to give up some other things. One of those was writing. For a season, my time and efforts were focused elsewhere. You might have noticed!

So for the time being, this blog is on hold. I’m still writing, but with the intention of focusing my writing for Hope for Haiti. Feel free to check out my latest writing adventures at www.emevi.blogspot.com. Or, find a broader repertoire at www.hopeforhaiti.ws.

Thanks for reading, and traveling with me. There’s still hope one day I’ll get a book published, just not in this season. I can’t be intentional about it.

There’s a season for everything, and the season of intentionality is closing. For 2014, I think I’ll choose a new word. Got a word for you? Got a suggestion for me? I’ll be reading comments if you’re willing to share.

Whichelande

Thank you to Hope for Haiti to continuing to sponsor children, and my writing.
“‘And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me’” (Matthew 18:5).
Wichelande's Drawings

Wichelande’s Drawings

Wichelande lives in Colmini. It’s a church and school located in the desert. When you ask her to draw what makes her happy, she’ll draw her house, chickens, and cactus flowers. Wichelande doesn’t smile for the camera, but as soon as you turn around, she’s running and playing with her friends in the hot sun. It’s a different world than in America. If you ask a child to draw what makes them happy, most likely you’ll see pictures of family, clothes, and some video games.

Wichelande is one of many children in Colmini, and in Haiti, and in the world. Her immediate world is simple, trying to learn in a loud one-room school that houses three classrooms at one time. Since she has three brothers and five sisters, large feasts for dinner are rare.
Two disciples argued about who would be the greatest and asked Jesus for the final answer. In response, Jesus pulled a child close to him, and asked that we humble ourselves like a child. We should welcome children, he says.
God didn’t distinguish Wichelande from any other child in the world, or in your neighborhood. God knows Wichelande, and likes her. At this time, Wichelande is not sponsored. We trust God to find a person to welcome Wichelande. Will you join us in praying for Wichelande’s future sponsor?
Wichelande

Wichelande

Waiting

Thank you to EMEVI and Hope for Haiti for supporting these quick devos. Enjoy!

Waiting

Waiting in Haiti

Waiting in Haiti

“Gideon replied, ‘If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.’ And the LORD said, ‘I will wait until you return’” (Judges 6:17-18).
Haitians live by Haitian Time. When you say that church starts at 9 a.m., Haitians will show up any time within the 9 o’clock hour. They can be there at 9:50 a.m., and say, “I am here at 9. It is not 10 o’clock yet.” Few options for electricity exist in Haiti, so the lack of clocks and alarm clocks also accentuates their timing.
An American learns patience, rest, and how to wait while in Haiti. As our example, God waits too.
Gideon just learned God chose him to lead his people against the Midianites who have mistreated Israel. He’s given his excuses, and God remains firm that Gideon is a mighty warrior. Gideon’s reaction is in line with his culture. He hopes to prepare a sacrifice in acceptance of the charge given to him.
And God waits for his return.
Even though God is outside of time, he waits for us to return to him. He allows Haitian time to exist. What in your life do you think God needs to put a deadline on? What feels like it has to fit within your schedule? Is it worth living out God’s example of Haitian time and waiting for it to be ready? Commit to give God an offering. He’ll wait for you.
By Mollie

Strength

Thank you to Hope for Haiti and the EMEVI blog for posting these quick devotions.

“The LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’” Judges 6:14

DSCN0400Haitians take what is available, and use it, even when it seems not useable. A truck had an accident, and broken watermelon littered the highway. What does an American do? Call for a tow truck, call the boss, and start to calculate the lost product. What does a Haitian do? Pick up the watermelon and start eating.
A house starts to fall. There’s nothing but sticks around the barren land. A Haitian gathers the longest sticks they can find, and puts them around the house to hold up the roof. Just one stick wouldn’t do, but putting many sticks around the house seems to do the trick.
Gideon didn’t have much when the angel of the LORD appeared to him. He’s hiding in a hole, just trying to get some substance for the day by thrashing wheat. When Gideon reports his lacking skills to the angel, the response is to “go in the strength you have.”
The body of Christ can be powerful if we use what we are given today. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, God will use it combined with others. Maybe you feel like a stick, a forgotten piece in the land of plenty. God says to “go in the strength you have,” and contribute.
–Lè sa a, Senyè a bay Jedeyon lòd sa a, li di l:
— Ale non. Avèk fòs koura you genyen an, w’a deliver pèp Izrayèl la anba men moun peyi Madyan yo. Se mwen menm menm ki voye ou!
Jij 6:14
By Mollie

Mighty Warriors Have Fear Too

As seen at the EMEVI blog.

“The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.’” (Judges 6:11-12)
I sat at the table and saw a flash a fear cross her eyes. Over lunch I asked if a friend wanted to come to Haiti with me, and her response was,  “My initial reaction was I can’t afford it, even though I would want to go with you. Finances are just too tight.”
July August 2012 Group

July August 2012 Group

I thought of Gideon. When he first appears in the Bible, he’s working, but he’s doing it in secret. The Israelites were taken over by the Midianites for seven years, and they ransacked anything the Israelites might grow, produce, or create. So Gideon, full of fear, threshes the wheat in a giant hole where he can’t be seen. An angel stops by and calls him a mighty warrior. The guy hiding in a hole, a mighty warrior.
Sometimes our fear of those that can take our livelihoods keep us from being the mighty warriors God intended. The Haitians say, “Si se Bondye ki voye. Li peya fre ou.” It means, “If it is God who sends you, he’ll pay your expenses.” Going to Haiti will change lives, both yours and those you’ll meet.
Having confidence in God means accepting the task at hand. Gideon doesn’t loose his fear (you can read all about him in Judges 6-7). He does let God pay for his way, though, and in the end is known as a mighty warrior. Will my friend come? I’m not sure, but I hope she resolves to be a mighty warrior. Let that be true of all of us.

Generations

This is my last post for The Christian Pulse. My sincere thanks to Suzy and her team for letting me be part of this site for the last year. They are always looking for fresh writers and volunteers (technical and otherwise if you aren’t a writer!), so if you are interested, let me know and I would love to get you in touch with them.

Generations

Posted: 11 Jul 2013 02:00 AM PDT

By Mollie Bond –

I listened to a radio program’s promotion touting the latest report on the “Emerging Adults” Generation. The promo added that the beliefs held in this upcoming generation were unbiblical, and expressed concern that the church had no future.

My insides crinkled. I smoothed out my emotions before continuing to work while listening to the radio. Yet again, I stewed, it seemed the elder generation was trying to “fix” the younger generation, implying there was something terribly wrong with them. What gripped me the most was that the show did not have any “Emerging Adults”: no one younger than 50 to give an opinion, good or bad. No one to have a conversation with, to grapple through what was unbiblical. “Emerging Adults” were a study to be done, not people who needed grace and love.

How many times had I judged the older generation before me? Am I condemned to judge the generations after me as less respectful than my own? Will I have conversations to learn why generations swing one way or another, and then use the opportunity to be grace-filled?

God doesn’t bias Himself against one generation or another. God is about people, not studies. He shows his love to a thousand generations. As his daughter, I should learn to do the same.

After listening to the radio ad, I engaged in a conversation through e-mail that lasted for months with another from the Baby Boomer generation. I learned some valuable insights. I allowed the opening of my mind as I took time to listen, with the radio off.

PRAYER: Lord, so much of the time I find myself judging someone for various reasons, but especially their age. I pray I find those moments as opportunities to distribute Your love, and to reflect a desire to keep Your commandments.

“but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6 NIV).

Rocks

From the EMEVI blog:

Rocks in Haiti

Rocks in Haiti

Rocks 

 “They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:3-4

Currently, the church in Bataille is built from rocks held together with mud. Each hard rain forces the people to rebuild the church because the mud washes away. The community in the mountains are close to finishing their first cement building, which happens to be the church and school built by EMEVI.
Rocks signify many things for Haitians. As means of income, smash rocks with a hammer to create gravel. Or mix crushed gravel with cement to build bricks. Rocks inhibit farmland, change the flow of water, and litter footpaths. Rocks show up in Haitian proverbs too: Woch nan dlo pa konnen doule woch nan soley. (“The rock in the water does not know the pain of the rock in the sun.”)
Rocks signify many things in Biblical history as well. Moses struck a rock to get water for the people (see Exodus 17:6). Jesus called Peter “the Rock” because Jesus chose him as the rock to build the church. (see Matthew 16:18). Rocks build foundations, and God is our foundation (Psalm 19:14).
A church built of rock and mud.

A church built of rock and mud.

Join us. Whether you are physically capable to build a church in Haiti, or spiritually capable to pray for the church in Haiti, be a rock.

Submitted by Mollie Bond