Saturday, April 26, 2014

When Other's See a Shepherd Boy, God Sees a King!!! (Special Needs)


God looked into a field and saw the shepherd boy, David.  Those around him said he's just a shepherd boy, but God saw a king.  Today I have been reflecting on those around me with special needs.  As I was looking through all the Facebook posts of the Cleveland, TN Special Olympic events and friends of mind that have been trusted to care for these blessings from God, I reflected on the children here in Haiti with special needs.  Currently we have two 3 year old boys in the clinic that have special needs and are both burned.

Mikey came to us burned from his face to his waist and a little on his legs.  When he first came to us, he would scream, cry, kick, fight, whatever he could to try and get out of the clinic.  It was a daily battle but we realized he didn't communicate with us like many of the other children and then his mom explained that he screams and fights her a lot at home.  Love is what Mickey needs.  One day, after about a month of treating him, I walked out into the lobby, picked him up out of the water and sat him in my lap.  Almost, instantaneously he stopped crying but whimpering off and on.  I walked him outside watching the cattle go by and I began making a cow sound.  He smiled, but a small one as if he didn't want me to know he thought it was funny.  Then a moto went past and honked at us so I made the sound of a moto and he cackled.  You see, Mikey has probably never been shown affection.  In this society, the parents aren't educated on how to deal with disabilities.  There are no awareness activities, no education for these children, no Special Olympics, they are still seen like a leper in Biblical times.  A large majority of the children aren't even diagnosed.  Who speaks for them, who educates others, who shows them love?  That day, and every day since, God has given me the responsibility.  He has trusted me.  Mikey will sit in my lap, and we pour the water over both of us.  Sure treating him is still difficult and when we have to hold him down, he is terrified, but I can look in his eyes and know he trusts me.

Today, Nielson came in.  Another beautiful child, but doesn't know how to communicate. Nielson doesn't have that trust with me that Mikey has learned.  He lets me know he is in pain by biting.  It took one time for me to realize he was going to try every chance he had.  He is burnt on his foot.  His cousin brought him in.  The love of God shines in her.  She knows he has special needs but she loves him anyways.  She talks to him and tries to calm him.  It's difficult for her to watch him being treated because she hurts for him.  However, I know that God can use me over the next few days or weeks to help ease his fears and suffering, if they continue to bring him.

They are both kings in God's eyes!!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thank God for the 3rd Day!!!!

Today, I was able to get all the kids living on the compound together and do a Good Friday/Easter Sunday lesson.  Many of you may have seen it surfacing on social media over the last couple weeks.  We folded crescent rolls (linens of Jesus), around a marshmallow (representing Jesus (don't judge)) dipped in butter (oils of embalming) and rolled in cinnamon and sugar (representing the spices), and baked them in the oven (representing the tomb).  When you remove the linens (crescent rolls) from the tomb (oven), all that remains are the linens because the marshmallow has melted away.  The lesson, therefore, is that Jesus no longer resides in the tomb because HE HAS RISEN!!!!!

 Don't be alarmed, we dripped dye on them so that we could tell them apart.  :)

It was great having all the kids together and sharing in fellowship with one another.  The dessert was great (so they say).  Even more exciting was watching 8 kids, all with their Bibles (different versions, languages, and sizes), reading in Scripture together and reflecting on what Christ did for them.  

As myself and different kids read part of the scripture, I reflected on how real this story could be in this culture.  The embalming process is much different here than in the US and so is burial.  They bury people in concrete, tomb like structures above ground.  I thought, what would it be like for the whole ground to shake right before Jesus was resurrected.  This is a land that knows what it feels like to have the ground shake violently and the fear that brings.  

Take time to reflect on the story of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection throughout the weekend.  Read Matthew 27 & 28.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Moms are a Blessing

Well, Mom has come and gone.  What a blessing it was to have her here.  It's amazing that I spent 10 years living 5 hours from her and never felt that far away.  I guess mentally, I knew I could get in a car and drive to see her.  It's much different now.  I'm 4 hours by flight away, but I know the reality of getting there quickly and independently, is not an option.  It was probably the best 11 days I've ever had with her.

We didn't have the distractions that keep us so busy in The States.  Sure, we were busy with the sponsorship program and the details of it, but being together and getting time to spend just the two of us was so refreshing.  She hasn't been gone 3 weeks yet and it feels like a year.  I anxiously await her next visit.   She has been so supportive through this journey and helped so much along the way.  She was able to bring me a few blessings from home and things friends and family had given her to bring me.  Dad and T, sweet cousins, and friends from home sent here things to bring.  From twizzlers, to movies. gadgets, gummy worms/bears, cookies and cream chex mix, ECT, it was great having comforts of home.  Thanks everyone and thanks Mom for coming and loving on me.  :)