Haiti Benefit Concert

The Haiti Benefit Concert was a smashing success!!! I am awed, amazed and beyond blessed by the outpouring of love, prayer and money by my community. You guys are awesome! We raised about $1400 for J/P HRO (not counting online donations- which you can make by following that link!).

The night honestly could not have been better! We had an awesome turnout- Parchments was packed! The bands were amazing (no surprise!)… it was a great night and fun was had by all.

How He Loves

Derek and Rachel led this song on Haiti weekend at church when I shared about my experience there. It just about knocked me over. I had heard it once before, but not like that.

Derek and Rachel led this song again this weekend. I stood in the crowd with tears streaming down my face- wishing I had a hanky and hoping no one would see me. I love the emotion in this song. I love the way the way the words are put together and how they make pictures in my mind… but mostly, really, this song speaks to my heart. It resonates.

Life is sloppy. It’s messy. I don’t understand it… and just when things seem really bad… just when you think your heart can’t break any more, when the breaks go out and the car won’t stop, when life spins out of control- that’s when God steps in. Like a hurricane. Like the ocean. Like Niagara Falls. And He meets you on a rock in Jenny Lake (pictured). He stops the car and sends help. He comes at just the right moment. And He does it because He loves me.

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath
The weight of his wind and mercy
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these
Afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize how beautiful you are
And how great your afflictions for me

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us so

We are his portion
And he is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes
If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart burns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way
He loves us

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us so

John Mark McMillan

 

Haiti: When the Brakes Went Out

I started driving here on Sunday. It’s not so much worse than Downtown LA- lots of cars, lots of pedestrians and crazy driving. The roads here, if you can even call them that, are really bad so by necessity everyone drives slow.

Yesterday I drove up the mountain for the first time. It’s about a 45 minute drive and it’s where Joel’s office is. On our way down the mountain my brakes went kind of soft and I hit someone. It was a pickup truck and it didn’t damage his car and no one was hurt. The Pastor, whom I was with, thought maybe he didn’t stop fast because he saw that a white person was driving.

I was feeling discouraged even before that happened and then I just felt awful. Walking around in a country feeling like a walking dollar sign is rough. People always tell us they’re hungry, they need clothes, they need Bibles. It’s so hard to say no, and it’s also so hard being objectified as a handout.

When we got to the camp I dropped Pastor off at Sean Penn’s tent and drive the quarter mile down to the church tent alone. I thought for a second, “Hmm, I probably shouldn’t be alone…” but there are a couple of security checkpoints, UN soldiers and people that know me on that short drive. I got to the church, honked at everyone to come out and started down the hill to where the road is wide enough to turn the car around.

The hill is fairly steep and there are always people everywhere on the camp roads. I hit the brake and nothing happened. Panic. I hit the brakes and nothing happened. I started screaming, “Help me! Help me!!” But I don’t know how to say it in French or Creole. I saw faces going by and I hit a lady’s bucket of water. I pulled the emergency brake, all the while screaming and the back end started turning into some ladies. I kept screaming and finally yelled at Jesus to stop the car and finally it stopped. It all happened in a few seconds, but it felt like forever. It was horrible. Terrifying.

When the car came to a stop some people ran over with rocks and put them under the tires. A group formed around the car and I tried to get them to go up the hill and get the “blan” for me, but then one of our translators came down. Praise the Lord for him- he held my hand and told me no one was hurt. I was ok.

Everything ended up being ok. I was super shaken up- it took several minutes for me to regain my composure. In the meantime I learned how to understand “The white person is crying” in Creole. I heard it about a million times.

So now I have to recognize that if my brakes had to go out in the camp there couldn’t have been a better place. The road is wide there and I didn’t hit anyone or any tents. It could have been a million times worse but God has His hands on me.

Things to Pray for:

  • That we can find a safe, reliable vehicle to drive.
  • Please pray for me. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be and I am daily fighting off discouragement… and not always winning. My birthday is next week and I am dreading it. I miss my friends and family!
  • We are starting a new converts class next week. Pray that goes well and that we would continue to make progress on our small groups.
  • For team unity, grace, peace and love.