Sunday, January 17, 2010

The True Value of Compassion

There is so much good will and heart in this land as we struggle perceive and respond to the depth of the devastation in Haiti. But, there are places also where the sad, shallowness of our propensity for myopic self-involvement are only too visible. Perhaps it is because I struggle so against my own "myopic self-involvement" that I am frustrated and must say:

There is a misperception among many, especially those of good fortune and comfortable means, that opportunities for the tangible expression of compassion are for the balm and betterment of the lives of those whose lives are marked by suffering and want. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Jesus, please help me today, and all days, to know the true value off all that you place before me. Amen.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Deepening Prayers for Haiti

From Nutella's mother, in Haiti

Nutella is the pseudonym of a longtime non-blogging participant at RevGalBlogPals, and I learned today that her parents are in Haiti. She writes:

Hello Songbird,

I'll email you the email we received from my parents just yesterday. IT's quite remarkable and might be useful. Feel free to post to any preachers who can use it. I'd ask you mention they are in Leogane (pronounced LAY oh Gone) not Port-au-Prince, only because they are actually closer to the epicenter and no aid has arrived in their town. We're trying to get the word out that aid hasn't left Port-au-Prince. Hundreds are injured and no medical supplies at all. doctors working without gloves, antibiotics or anaesthesia. Parents are fine but sleeping outside like everyone else, without anything at all, and trying to stay until aid arrives to help direct it. Please pray for them and all who have not received word of their loved ones well-being. The situation is rapidly getting desperate over there as people are running out of food and water and others are dying of infection. That said, my mom's email paints a wonderful picture of God at work in the midst of tragedy. I'll forward it to you.

Please let the RevGals know how dear they are to me and how thankful I have been for their preaching support and their prayers now. I'm so busy I'm not sure I'll get to the site, but I hold you all dearly in my heart as you prepare for worship tomorrow. And thank you thank you thank you for your prayers and support! It means so much to me.

Very sincerely,


Many thanks to Nutella and her family, who will surely be in my prayers. And now here is her mother's first-person account:

Using som,eone’s computer without using a bright screen, so
I cannot tell aoba
Ut my mistakes. I

will send one msg to all, so some information will not mean anything to you.
Hopital Ste. Croix is standing. John and I are fine. The administration collapsed under the
guesthouse, and our apartment collapsed under the story above. We have nothing we brought with us to Haiti, but
since we have done a lot of cleaning in the gusthouse and hospital, we can find
what we really need. Someone who was
here gave me some shoes, and I foiund another pair or reading glasses that will
work, so I have what I need. John was
caught under the wreckage for about 4 hours, but shortlthe roof above was
supported y the lintel of the slinding glass door, which held up te second
floor, so he was uninjured except for a small cut on the top of his head.

Everyone connected with the hospital is alive except that we
have not heard from Mario.. Several people lost members of extended
family. Alber’s daught was injured but
is fe, will recover fully. He saddest
news is tat Marie Yves has died. In the earthquake. Motr and Chrislet are fine. The Ste. Croix church is cracked, I don’t
know how badly. Eye clinic looks fine. Pere Kerouin’s house looks OK, Pere FanFan’s
house looks OK with some damage, Pere Pierre’s house is damaged, but stll
standing. Doctor’s quarter’s and
penthouse are fine. If we can get it
open, John and I may try to move in there for a while. At

At night we sleep in the yard behind the hospital where the
bandstand was. It has fallen, as has theEpiscopal
school. Thee are 2-300 people who sleep
in that field at night. Thy sing ymns
until almost midnight, andn we wake up to a church service, with hymns, a
morning prayer, and the apostle’s creed.

The evening sky is glorious. In
the field there is a real sense of community.

Of course, we are the only blancs there.

A group from FondWa arrived in Leogane today and will sleep there
tonight. Janine the head cook brought John
and me spaghetti from her home in Darbonne 8 miles away. We shared with the group from FondWa. They have some money so they went out and
bought rice, etc, and we will eat tonight.

People have shared with us and we are getting a chance to feel how the

Haitians really live.

The injuries we have seen at the hospital are enormouse,
skulls exposed, one woman died in the yard. Another women’s leg was cut vertically to the
bone, with muscles showing. Doctors
worked and saw over 300 people with cuts, fractures, etc. Today they are not, but worked hard every
day since the quake.

Of course, we have seen looting. The end wall of the guesthouse by the shared
drugs fell and it was open to the outside. My friends can imagine how I shouted down
about 20 looters in the guesthouse. Righteous
indignation works wonders, as does a tiny bit of pushing people to get out.

John and I do not know our plans. We need to talk with the board, but have no
phone. We have Joey’s phone, with
battery that needs charging. Our idea is
to stay as long as we can b helpful, then get out of the way.

I have never understgood joy in the midst of suffering, but
now I do. The caring I have seen, the
help we have received from the Haitians, the evening songs and prayers. Are wonderful.

The people will survive, though
many will die. Please pray for us. And pray that we and the hospital can be of
help to the people here.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti: Please Pray

Good friend and active ELCA voice (and heart and hands-on in ministy) for missions in Haiti for many years, Joe Scholpp, received these photos from misssionary friends on the island today. Please pray.

Psalm 46

1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

5God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.

6The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

7The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

8Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

10“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

11The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Amen.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pray for Enduring Wisdom in the New Year

Though an army besiege me,
My heart will not fear;

Though war break out against me,

even then I will be confident.

Psalm 27:3

"Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it."

Lou Holtz

Coach Holtz will be 73 this week.
He is the only coach in the NCAA to lead 6 different football programs to bowl games.

The most ancient and enduring wisdom finds its way into every life that is called in adversity. Come in faith to prayer this week. Bring your battling, bring your fear, and bring whatever war is raging within you. Pray with a confident heart to the One whose safe dwelling has kept your life thus far. Pray confident of finding shelter there in that holy place within. Pray confident that from that Place, you will know how once again how to face your adversity and respond. Amen