Update: To be clear, if your interested in making a donation, you not only go HERE, but you also need to specify "custom" or "missions-specific" in the giving line:) Thanx! I always mess up these kinds of things. And in case my link doesn't work, not like that has EVER happened, but just in case... you would go to www.northwake.com, then Community, then giving online...
To all involved,
I have a picture in my head and I want you to imagine it with me. It is from a video that Noah brought back with him from Haiti last April. In it, a four year old boy, recently orphaned and found alone, plays the drums for the rest of the kids. His drum is an old bucket turned on its end. He wears no pants. He does not smile. But the children dance and burst into song around him. One boy grabs his face from behind and plants a kiss on his cheek in delight, the same way my boys smooch on their baby brother with pure affection. As the excitement builds around him, the singing gets louder, and the claps erupt in rhythm, his drumming intensifies, and his eyes seem to come alive with a sort of wonder. This boy was taken to the orphanage just days earlier. Perhaps the feeling of being alone in the world was new for him and perhaps it was only a new type of alone. But there, in that dark windowless room without electricity, with a flashlight shining in his face, something happened for that boy. I think the light that I saw in his eyes was that, at least for the moment, while they all sang, he did not feel alone. He was not just a forgotten boy, wandering the dirty streets of Haiti.
It is for this reason that Noah and I will go to a Haitian orphanage from August 20-27th. We will go because they are not forgotten. God has not forgotten them, so may we never. There is a Father who sees them when they are alone on the floor at night, wondering if anyone knows or cares. Someone does. And he won’t let His people forget. So we go.
Noah and I will join a crew of folks who will be doing building projects and providing more shelter for the rainy season coming up. We may also replace the windows and doors, which had to be sold to provide food. Pastor Willio (who runs the orphanage) and his wife are expecting their first baby boy in the next few months, so I will also look to help her prepare for his arrival, including bringing lots of baby boy clothes. We have plenty of thoseJ
I addressed this letter to “all involved” because we are all involved with the poor and hurting in our world. Either we will love them in their time of need or leave them in their time of need. Please join us in loving them. Please pray. Pray with us that our presence will make it clear to them that their maker truly does not forget them. If you feel led to, you can also pray about getting God’s heart, his hands, and his feet to Haiti by helping Noah and I to get there. If you choose to do this, You may donate through our church's website HERE.
We're also going to try to collect some supplies that are needed at the orphanage. Noah and will bring the things we accrued at Aslans' brithday party, but there are many other things they currently need. If you live locally, and want to contribute, you may buy some of these things and drop them off at my house or contact me so that we can connect. Most of these things you may have extras of already and all are easily purchased. Noah and I chose to take a different airline there than back because this specific airline allows as many bags as you want with no extra charge...so bring it on...please!
Some items needed:
-10 large paint brushes
-toothbrush and toothpaste, plus any other toiletries (the travel sizes would also be good)
-soap and shampoo
*****50 creole bibles******* If you find a place to purchase these that you can get in the next two weeks, go for it...or specify in your donation that you want to help with purchasing these. To me, this is the most exciting thing to give...living water.
Thank you for contributing in any way that you can. I look forward to sharing with you on the blog when we return. Thank you for being a place to share our hearts.
Please also pray as we prepare to leave the littlest Joyners at home with the grandparents for a week. Luckily, they equate time with their grandparents with something like, oh say... a theme park. So they aren't worried, just extremely excited for us and for the kids in Haiti. It's very sweet to see how personally our children connect with the children in Haiti. Even before Noah went, but right after the earthquake, we as a family felt responsible to pray for and care for the Haitians in any way we could. We talked a lot about what the Haitians were experiencing at night as we tucked kids in or snuggled up together on the couch as a family. We asked God to blind evil men's eyes to the defenseless and alone. We explained to the boys that there are those in the world who wan to harm children without parents, and so we prayed, asking him to guard them in ways we could not. I still remember us watching a World Vision video of the devastation in Haiti with the boys. I saw a look of expectancy change to confusion, then fear, and hurt when Aslan saw a boy his age standing alone in the rubble with a bandage on his head. To be quite honest, though I know suffering is a tough pill to swallow, that was a proud moment for me as a mama. This world carries much pain and much devastation. If we can raise our boys into men who not only know about the needy but truly care, then by God's grace, we will raise men who will act. And the truth behind the action is the hope that Jesus brings. My boys don't only know that people in the world are hurting. They also know that there is someone big enough to handle it when we have no answers. THAT is the most important part.
And so it is part of daily and weekly life to simply be driving down the road and here my boys in the back of the suburban laying out plans for when they grow up and go to Haiti to make homes for the children without parents and to bring Jesus to make it beautiful there.
It's a start. A love fueled one.
Thanks for praying with us. Thank you for sharing so much everyday life with us, the place where God so often resides, playing out His story of redemption.