Embracing the Unexpected

Peace

Unexpected

*Surgery and a month-long recovery

* Cold turned-sinus infection

Expected

*Expectations

*Responsibilities

Promised

*Grace

*Second chances

Jesus Calling, November 4th

by Sarah Young

Walk peacefully with Me through this day. You are wondering how you will cope with all that is expected of you. You must traverse this day like any other: one step at a time. Instead of mentally rehearsing how you will do this or that, keep your mind on my presence and on taking the next step. The more demanding your day, the more help you can expect from Me. This is a training opportunity, since I designed you for dependence on your Shepherd-King. Challenging times wake you up and amplify your awareness of needing my help.

When you don’t know what to do, wait while I open the way before you. Trust that I know what I’m doing, and be ready to follow My lead. I will give strength to you, and I will bless you with peace.

Exodus 33:14; Deuteronomy 33:25; Hebrews 13:20-21; Psalm 29:11.

Embrace the unexpected journeys. Keep in mind the spectacular view from the mountaintop. Your journey is not the same as others. Cross out the words “always” “everybody” “perfect” and “failure” from your vocabulary lists. Remind yourself that if you continue to make attempts at living up to another’s expectation for what should be God’s plan for your life, you will never be happy. Worrying displays a lack of faith in God. He desires to do whatever it takes to  “wake you up.” You are only human. Nobody is perfect the first time around. Or the second time. And even the third time. Rejoice in new mercies each morning.

-Kayla-

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Constant In the Trials

I can’t sleep tonight. My heart is aching. Breaking. Tonight my heart is with my brothers and sisters in the Philippines and those I know who have served there. Last night their world literally crumbled beneath their feet when a 7.2 earthquake hit Bohol and Cebu.
When I hear of news like this, I feel helpless. Simply because I cannot be there in physical form. But God sent His son, SO THAT we could intervene. He wants us  to come to Jesus with our prayers and concerns. For we cannot handle these trials on our own. My lack of faith astounding. For God tells me if it were just as large as a mustard seed I could move mountains!
God is changing me. Humbling me. Reminding me how blessed I am to have a roof over my head and four walls enclosing me. Everyday when I cone home from being educated at school I am welcomed with parents and brothers and sisters who love me. I have never known starvation or poverty. I’ve seen these things with my own eyes, but it is hard for someone so blessed with material items to follow the narrow path. I have so much to lose by following Jesus. But if I really give Jesus my all, I make an eternal investment. I previously did not take this passage in the Bible very seriously. Then I started thinking. Just because I’ve given him my life doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve given him my all.
I have a powerful God who loves and protects me. Always. Even when I stumble and sin against him. I am reminded and grateful for all these things as all around the world many are struggling. Significantly.

But God is constant. He is the anchor to which I cling to and the one I must trust.

For we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.
Hebrews 6:19-20

Lord, heal those who are broken, strengthen the weak, and call those of us who are able to you. Thank-you for loving us always. Thank-you  for being the only One we can always count on; through every storm, up every mountain and down every valley.

Did You Feed Me?

From Left to right: Me, Kay, and Brianna.

Meet Kay. Kay turned 86 in May. For over twenty years, Kay has been serving the homeless men and women of Downtown Seattle. Mission: serve the soul, not just the stomach.

Kay’s ministry is titled The Lord’s Table. The location is at 6th and Columbia, directly underneath the freeway. On the second Thursday of every month, my church: Northshore Baptist Church in Kirkland serves with Kay. Our branch of the ministry is called Isaiah 58.  Sixth and Columbia is home to many big hearts of the people who flock from the Union Gospel Mission, Pioneer Square, and all (literal) corners of Seattle for a warm meal of hearty Spanish rice.

Kay's 86th Birthday

In sixth grade, my friend and I were both looking for a ministry to become involved in. We stumbled upon Isaiah 58 after asking our youth pastor’s where we could serve locally. We’ve missed a few months here and there, but we both agree that it seems just yesterday, Kay was 80. I suppose it’s because her stamina and passion hasn’t wavered from year to year.

Kay thrives off of this verse:

Isaiah 58: 6-7

Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

A cup of coffee is capable of going a long way. Or tea. Or water. Or Kool Aid. Jesus constantly reminds us that the issue isn’t a matter of liquids. It’s a matter of the heart. The Lord of the universe can dwell in your heart if you allow Him to. He is the only free gift on earth that you don’t need to work towards. There is no checklist to acceptance.

Seattle wants Jesus. They crave Him.  They flock to 6th and Columbia because Jesus is evident in Kay. She treats them like her equal. She doesn’t turn anyone away.  She knows many patrons by name. More importantly, she bleeds the gospel.

Over the years I’ve encountered many fun characters. Seattle is a colorful place. I remember the man who could pop both eyes out of his sockets, the woman who asked me if I could give her pet mouse, Phoebe, a chocolate cookie. The regular  who walked through our line and always asked for “Bill’s Famous Tea.” I remember gazing up through a space in the freeway where the two lanes came apart and feeling as if I were in the movie The Dark Night. I remember when in junior high, Brianna and I collected donations from the youth group to buy Christmas gifts. I remember the British security guard with an Australian accent. Did I mention he dressed in a way that made him look as if he were the captain of a fine vessel? We’ve seen some interesting characters walk through those food lines.

I tease Brianna endlessly for passing out too many desserts. To say Kay is frugal would be an understatement. “Just ONE cookie Brianna” and  “Oh those  will  last until Monday,” is common phraseology around her. Her influence (among others) has made me think twice about waste. I’ve poured perfectly filtered drinking water down the drain with my only pretense being that it had been sitting out too long.  Thrown away food because I’m too full. Ditched socks because of one hole in one toe. Once monthly, for almost seven years I’ve served with Brianna. Last month I served with her ONELASTTIME. (Indefinitely).

New volunteers have made their  appearances! Over the years as the youth has been a part of this great opportunity and we’ve begun spreading the word through social media,  a large variety of people show up each month. It’s always exciting to see volunteers come and go. But to see those who stay? Ahhhh, now that is quite a joy to see.

While Kay may never be replaced, the organization is looking for a new leader to take over all responsibility. The vocation has become an immense responsibility for just one person. We trust in God’s provision. Always.

This one is for you Kay!

Kayla

A One Way Ticket.

Alex and I went on our first trip to Haiti together last summer in 2012. Deep down somehow I knew that first trip wouldn’t be her last. Your time, talent, and treasures will send give Alex and her multiple teams they need to make this world a better place, and what’s more, shine Jesus’s light in one of the world’s darkest places.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. by faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Hebrews 11: 8-10

From Home to Haiti

Dear family and friends,

A few years ago I was having a conversation with a friend when she asked me, “What kind of person do you want to be when you’re older?” and I surprised myself by answering with, “I just want to be someone in love with Jesus.” It’s a simple concept really, for me to be someone in love with the man who bled and died for me specifically, the man who in constantly seeking to spend time with me and loves me no matter how many times I fail Him. The tough part is trusting, trusting that He knows His plans for me and that I need not worry what tomorrow holds or where I will be in 10 years (or one to be completely honest here). We as a fallen people try so hard to hold on tightly to the control and direction of our lives…

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This is My Story

I’ve written a lot. I adore writing.  I’ve written about practically anything and everything. However, I dislike I talking about myself.  It is the one topic I avoid  at all costs. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve filled journal on top of journal filled with life. But wait, sharing this knowledge? That’s a totally different story. God has been convicting me of something lately (as He always is); God turns our messy lives into messages.  I can make Him famous by sharing my story. We all have stories. They started the day we took our very first breath.  Our lives are a book written by God. Each day is a page. Every decade a chapter.  We were created to be read. We were written to put God on the Bestseller list!

 God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive–a living soul!

Genesis 2: 7

If that’s not crazy, astonishing and thrilling, I don’t know what is.

Apparently, I am really good at putting on a poker face.  I don’t try to look like I have it all together. In fact, oftentimes I feel like screaming “I’m not strong, but He is! Every waking minute Jesus is holding me!” It is because of His strength that I am capable of being strong in my weaknesses.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the LIFE of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-10

Before I begin sharing my story, I want to exhort you to share yours. Your story may not sound exciting to you, but you never know whose life you can touch without sharing it! If it means anything, your story matters to me.  If God, the one who created us to be full of purpose, shouldn’t we have faith that He is using it for something epic?

I’m going to share with you mine . I would start with day one, but I’m 6,791 days old.

Eleven years ago, at the age of seven. I had my first epileptic seizure. I conked out on the floor of the Olive Garden Restaurant on 196th St. in Lynnwood, WA. Here’s the catch: I was perfectly healthy, and nobody knew it was a seizure. We didn’t even call an ambulance.  I took a sip of water and finished eating dinner with my family. I felt fine after gracefully smashing my head on their then-brick floor. (OK, I make that sound much more exciting than it actually was). Nothing showed up on my post-fall MRI. Not even a minor concussion! Clearly, angels do exist.

My mom scheduled an emergency appointment of course. She figured the whole thing was just a fluke. It wasn’t. You may be thinking “wow, that is unfortunate.” Well, you are wrong. That day changed my life forever. OK, now you’re thinking “well duh.” It was a good life changing experience. I’m still not sure exactly how it has changed my life for the better, but everything takes some figuring out. Can I get an amen?

In the beginning I saw three different doctors. These three doctors proposed three different diagnoses:

– Most likely Vasodepressor Syncope

-Colloid on 3rd ventricle

-Small chance the episode was a seizure

I went through so many tests it’s CRAZY. EEG’s, MRI’s, blood tests, the tilt-table test, cat scans. The whole bit. I even wore a heart monitor for about one month. God was there. Holding my hand. He was upside down with me when I was strapped on that table.

My mom, being the awesome woman that as she is, finally pull out her handy dandy Taber’s Medical Dictionary from the bookshelf, performed her own research and she basically said, “Let’s take the focus off the heart and look at what is going on in her brain.”

Since my diagnosis of absence seizures has been confirmed, life has been a whirlwind. I’ve been tossed hither and thither. Since that time I’ve tried two alternative treatments to medication: 1) The Modified Atkins Diet and 2) a Vegas Nerve Stimulator. Concerning the MAD, let me just say this. After six months of eating fifteen and 10 carbohydrates per day, I obtained a whole new appreciation for bread and an extreme dislike for milk and peanuts which I practically thrived off of.

The Vegas Nerve Stimulator brings me to where I am today! Contrary to popular belief, the Vegas Nerve Stimulator is NOT brain surgery. Think of it more as a pacemaker for the brain. Well, I remember the day of my implant. I was supposed to have a history exam that day and all I could remember was that April 9th. The date of my surgery was ironically a date in history I needed to memorize. What a strange coincidence! Fast forward to today, 9/13/ 2013. Today I am recovering from the surgery  I underwent yesterday  to have the device removed. Why, you ask? I was given two choices: 1) replace the battery or 2) remove the battery. As of today I am fifty-one days seizure free! It’s these little victories we must embrace.

IMG00011-20090409-0939
VNS Implant. April 9th, 2009. This is my non-poker-face.  Seattle Children’s Hospital.

A few days ago I received my OUTPATIENT NOTE in the mail. One sentence written by my physician stuck out to me: “She has been approximately 40 days seizure free. It is not clear to us the reason for the increased efficacy…”  To doctors, these instances are just medical mysteries. I read this and thought to myself, Clearly, Jesus is at work in my life right now. I realize that while he is always at work in my life, I tend to only recognize this truth when I am having either a really bad day or an extraordinarily good day. Something about that needs to change. Whether or not I’m having a particular high or low day, I need to  start off each day saying these words:

This is the day which the Lord has made;Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118: 24 (NASB)

God is consistent. That being said, I shouldn’t “shelve” God. I ALWAYS need Him. I should never take Him down when I think I need Him and marginalize Him when I am under the impression that I can do things myself. So how is your storybook going to look? On the cover of my current journal, I wrote “The story of how Jesus wrecked my life and put me back together again.” He knows exactly what is wrong in our lives and puts us back together the way he sees fit! So why do we worry? We’re still human. God recognizes that. We are extremely blessed because He looks at us the way He looks at His Son. Incredible!

Your story matters.  How will you use it to change the world?

Kayla

Let’s Make Jesus Famous

God turns our messy lives into messages. We all have a story. Our story began on the day we took our very first breath.  Our lives are a book written by God. Each day is a page. Every decade a chapter.  We were created to be read. We were written to put God on the Bestseller list!

Child of the One True King, saved by His incredible grace

Stay tuned for more on making Him famous…….

Ayiti Ap Dekole: Final Days

Day 8 Saturday, July 28

Today we had the privilege of visiting Haiti’s most elite trauma hospital, Medishare. Medishare is considered the Harbor view of Haiti. Most of Jeff and Terry’s first connections in Haiti worked here. Thankfully, we took Pierre’s–EMPACT Haiti worker–advice and visited on the day we did. I’ll a little bit more about EMPACT as I discuss the next couple of days.

Medishare is so unlike any hospital I’ve ever visited in the States. Based on information I’ve received previously, improvements seem to have been made to the complex. The hospital is very large and we were able to view a lot.

We interacted with patients suffering from all sorts of impairments. In the Spinal Injury Unit, we visited paraplegics and quadriplegics. The smiles on their faces by our simply being there were so rewarding. The director or PIC of the clinic said they hardly ever receive visitors because many feel intimidated. The place is intimidating. It arouses a sort of helplessness.

Scott, the PIC who showed us around the Spinal Injuries rooms is super neat. He does more than just his job. He helps patients learn basic life skills and encourages those who will eventually be able to go back into their communities. It’s hard enough finding a job in Haiti-especially with an unemployment rate of %80. When you add a handicap to that, it makes SURVIVAL even more difficult to achieve. The Spinal Unit began a sewing program so that once patients recovered they would have some means of supporting themselves. Jeff arranged for Jehovah Nissi School uniforms to be made by the unit!

Spinal Unit
@Kayla Nicole “Spinal Unit”

From the Spinal Unit, we went on to see the place where prosthetic limbs are mad are made. The place is super cool. The hospital is really blessed to have this at their immediate disposal. The captain of a soccer team for disabled guys helps oversee things! Team Zaryen is funded by Knights of Columbus and Medishare. The rules for this soccer league is very interesting. For example, one of the requirements for goalie position is that both of your arms must be missing! None of the players are allowed to play with a prosthetic and all must use crutches. Touching the ball with either crutch equals a hand-ball. I cannot even fathom how hard that sort of play must be.

My favorite part of our tour would have to be visiting the pediatric triage (ICU). One child, whom I was unable to see, had actually been hit by the president’s car. When I heard this, I was horrified. Seeing the preemie babies was a very precious and also heartbreaking.  They were so, so, so tiny, yet perfectly formed (at least by external appearance). The youngest baby there had been born five months early. He had so many IV’s, masks, and tubes all over him that his body was hardly visible. I think there were five preemies total. All but one baby were in incubators. Pierre, another guide of ours, said that some are orphans. I pray that God heals them fully and restores them to their families. Nothing is more comforting that they all have a Heavenly Father who is constantly watching over them.

Last but certainly not least, we scoped out the room reserved exclusively for patients recovering from surgery and/or having a known disease. To say this place is somber would be quite an understatement.

After visiting the Medishare project, we went out to lunch. Mr. Clark (Jeff) discussed different locations, he finally decided on the Pizza Garden. Mr. Clark had previously taken a group of EMT’s there. One man cried over the cost of water. I want you to think about that for a moment. How often does our gratitude bring us to tears? This is a question I must ask myself constantly. Because I know, that while these trips provide me with a deeper perspective into my life, nothing is more easy than falling back into my normal routine after arriving home.

This place is no Pizza Hut. The restaurant is pretty ritzy. Most of the seating is outdoors and in the cool shade. Mr. Clark went in ahead of time–not because we were expecting a long wait–but because filling an order actually takes awhile. Our team is a good size too. While eating AMAZING food, we quickly debriefed our day thus far and discussed plans to drive to Rodney’s orphanage directly after lunch. Rodney said his place is “only fifteen minutes,” away from Port-Au-Prince. Hahaha, just a s midge farther my friend. I miss my Haiti team already, and we haven’t even headed back to the  States yet! Rodney’s orphanage is in the mountains. A place considered “cold” by Port-Au-Prince residents. The cooler air was indeed a relief, but I didn’t go so far as to put on a sweatshirt just as Windy decided to do!

Rodney’s kids  were all ready for us and dressed in their Sunday best. They are adorable. At first, when I first saw them I thought “wow!! They all look so healthy!” And some of them were, no doubt, but then I looked more closely. Many of the kids’ bellies were protruding. And not because they’d been eating well.

Rodney’s kids definitely inherited his gentleness and warm smiles. He is very organized. He has a lady working as a “director” who I guess manages everything and some friends who help to pitch in. Rodney has about the same amount of help as Pastor Silar, only Rodney only has 21 kids. Both are eager to welcome more into their care.

While visiting, I held a little baby girl named Kristy. Kristy had a twin sister, but she passed away. I am a little worried about her. She has pink scars all over her head and little hair. Rodney didn’t say what condition he found her in. Terry said the scars looked as if they could be from rat bites. Just thinking about it sends shivers through my body.

At long last, we finally drove home. BUT, before we left, we handed out Ayiti Ap Dekole shirts and all the kids sang for us–in their best English– our national anthem while holding the American flag. Culture shock causes me to think excessively. Both during a trip and long afterwards. Does America really live up to everything we say we are? Land of the free, home of the brave? No doubt. The real question I think is this: what are we doing to help others achieve the American dream? Personally, I think we’re a little lacking there.

Our team chilled back at the guest house before eating, debriefing, making our nightly stargazing trip, and sleeping.

Twas a great end to a great day!

Day 9 Sunday, July 29

Today, our team decided to attend Port-Au-Prince Fellowship’s church service. I felt somewhat disappointed that we did not attend Windy’s church, but it is in Cite Soleil so that option was out of the question. Port-Au-Prince Fellowship is a church serving missionaries and English-speaking Haitians. So we encountered quite a mix of people.

I felt poorly physically today. I think many people did. I’ll spare you the details. Thank God for two team leaders who work in the medical field! Given my condition, Terry told me to just start chugging water. I think everyone’s water intake has slowly declined as our trip has progressed. It hit me today how disgusting the water at Heartline is. While I am thankful it is safe to drink–most of the time–the water is so chlorinated it fills you up, causing you to desire a smaller amount.

Terry was concerned because she thought something might be wrong with my kidneys. I shamefully admitted that I most likely hadn’t been drinking enough and wasn’t needing to use the restroom often. She talked to Jeff and told  him we needed to go to the Deli Mart on the way to church and buy more fluids. So, we stopped at a grocery and I stepped out of the car. For some stupid reason I chose to buy a ‘Naked.’ The last thing I needed to ingest was more sugar. I ate some Cheez-It party mix which helped some. Terry said the salt would help me retain more of the water I drank.

I drank a Limonade and some water. By the time we finally arrived at the church, my bladder was near exploding. I basically shoved all my water bottles at Gomez [Samuel] and booked it to the restroom.

The message spoken at the church was very edifying. It would have been more enjoyable of course if I hadn’t been so exhausted. Nonetheless, I needed a spiritual uplift.

God’s Grace (Sermon Notes)

  • Because of his grace we are loved and accepted.
  • We try to get people to behave instead of letting them belong.
  • The grace of God cost him his son.
  • Jesus did not deserve to die, but he did, and we do not deserve to live but we do.<—I love this!
  • God loves us just the way we are, but he loves us too much to let us stay that way.
  • We need to be patient for God to change others.

I continued chugging water and made a second trip to the bathroom. I started feeling shaky and faint.  I finally asked for something to eat–my blood sugar tends to swing like a pendulum.  It always seems to be high or low. Jeff gave me a granola bar and a bag of dried apple slices. I scarfed everything down quickly.

After church, our team went to go visit T-Papi’s neighborhood. Also home to EMPACT. EMPACT is the team that Pierre from Medishare trains. It was started by some EMT’s from Tacoma, Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Clark met practically everyone they know now–and more– through this growing group of people.

Apparently, the house is under reconstruction. So far everything looks really beautiful. After a really quick tour we sat outside and listened to Pierre’s life story. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for testimonies, life stories, and what-not, but today, all i really wanted to do was take a nap.

After listening to Pierre we all changed out of our church clothes. T-Papi, Pierre, and Esther took us on a hike. This was a hike to a place that your average tourist to Haiti is unable to see. The hike was pretty strenuous. We hiked up two sides of a large stream/creek. The incline was steep, wet, and rocky. The water was very dirty and there were people bathing out in the open and washing their clothes. Esther, being the sweet girl that she is, held my hand and guided me all the way and showed me the best places to step. I probably wouldn’t have made it without her. I had been very lethargic since church that morning. The humidity today felt incredibly high.  We saw one of three waterfalls when we reached our destination.  The view? Outstanding.

Not only were we able to visit EMPACT, but we were also in T-Papi and Esther’s neighborhood. T-Papi coaches a soccer team and we handed out soccer balls. While the boys played the girls held babies and painted nails. Girls don’t play soccer. Humph. No comprehendo!

Everyone was tired and hungry coming “home.” More tired though than anything else though I think. We followed our usual end-of-the-day schedule. Rest, eat, debrief, rooftop, and freshen up.

Day 10 Monday, July 30

Today, we dedicated to Windy. We talked to and visited Windy’s mother, brother, sister, and nephew. Windy’s mother is a very quiet woman. However, we were able to receive a little glimpse of what life in Jamel was like when she was a little girl. She said “life was a lot better then than it is now.” Something many elderly people say–only because it is quite true.

We met briefly Windy’s other brother. Not Wendell, the Jehovah Nissi school director. His name has escaped my memory. We also met Wendell’s son, Windy’s nephew. He’s such a cutie!

I have not ceased to be amazed at the protection and shade one fruit tree can provide. We walked up the road from Windy’s mother’s house to his sister’s house. As far as I can understand she is letting him stay for a few more months before he must leave. Anyways, the fruit tree! We gathered around under its outstretched branches where the air is much cooler and a strong breeze rushes through.

Windy proceeded to tell us about his book. It is very interesting, but somewhat scary as well. His book is only two chapters long. If I can understand correctly, his first chapter is about creation with a focus on the three different types of angels. The second chapter is all about the voodoo in Haiti. It is very creepy.

I helped Windy’s nephew ride his bike in the gravel. Claire and I ventured to the toilet in the backyard. That thing is pretty creepy too 😉

@Kayla Nicole

Our team discussed various places to eat out. We had a meeting scheduled with Medical Teams International. Jeff and Terry wanted to eat at a restaurant that is part of the U.S. Embassy, outside of Port-Au-Prince. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out. The political festival happening in Port-Au-Prince shut down a multitude of restaurants in the area. We ended up going to Deli Mart and buying everything needed to make PB&J.  Our meeting place ended up being Heartline. Jeff and Terry were finally able to pass on to the MTI agent, Windy’s precious medical records. The last doctor Windy saw diagnosed him with Lymphoma and told him “go away Windy, and don’t come back.” Today Jeff and Terry were given the task of telling Windy that Lymphoma is indeed a type of cancer. Sadly, no one had ever taken the time to explain this cancer connection to him. With this new information, the reality of his possible fate became very real.

In some strange way, Windy is a lot like myself. I felt at least, that he is someone I could relate easily with. Although his health issues are more extreme than mine, we both kinda stick out. The doctors don’t know why I have [epilepsy] and I know what how it feels to wait on a prognosis. People call me strong. Windy is more than just strong. He is a fighter. I took away many things from Windy, but the most important thing I learned is to value life. To value every second of every day. I was convicted strongly when I thought of all the HOURS I’ve spent worrying instead of doing. Even during this time of sickness he [Windy] refused to be anxious. He is writing a book and learning his fourth language–Portuguese. I know this sounds cliche, but his life really is the definition of YOLO…with a twist. Windy will only live once…on earth. However, Windy is a believer so he knows he’ll be reunited with Christ whenever God so chooses to take him.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Philippians 4:6

Windy’s favorite Bible verse is Exodus 14:14. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to ask him what this was. The verse reads “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 

After eating a simple lunch of of PB&J we faced our helplessness. We no longer maintain any control over Windy’s situation. In fact, we never did.  Jeff, Terry, and Mr. Wilson, from MTI, didn’t really need any of our skills. Jeff talked with Geoff #2 and the two of them decided that we would go back once more to Pastor Silar’s orphanage to hand out the promised T-Shirts. Jeff told us not to be at the orphanage for more than fifteen minutes or so. The longer we linger, the more difficult goodbye become.

On our way back to Heartline, Rodney told Jonas to stop the Tap Tap. He stepped out of the car and asked us if we could by a stalk of sugar cane. We said “sure why not?” The local immediately took up his machete and cut the “skin” off and then divided it up into pieces about five inches long. Rodney educated us in the art of tastefully eating sugar cane. It’s meant to be a simple process, but I tend to complicate many small endeavors. One must take a bite and suck all the sugar out and then spit out whatever is left. It’s really sticky, but pretty tasty;one should expect sugar in its purest for to be so. The Haitians enjoy it because the price is right and easily satisfies hunger pains. In a sore attempt to spit a mouthful of cane off the back of the Tap Tap, I completely failed and ended up spewing my mouthful all over Geoff.

Tonight’s evening debrief was more painful and emotional compared to all of the rest combined. The one thing on everyone’s mind was Windy. The last thing we felt called to discuss was leaving. By the end of our talk, half of us were in tears.  Everyone except for myself went on the roof. I took a shower and then went on Facebook to ask for my friends’ prayers. Typically, I am very against the use of social networking during a trip–I feel as if distracts me easily from my purpose I am striving to achieve. I joined the team later on the roof and listened to Emily’s sweet words and guitar music fill the air all around us. Precious air. How often do we take advantage of breathing you in?

On our final night here, God blessed us incredibly with yet  another amazing lightning storm. Almost as if he knew we needed a reminder of his incredible healing powers.

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