Well, this is the man who spoke about Haiti at the Compassion conference I went to a couple of years ago. Now, in June 2013, he’s speaking to the Scottish parliament! God hasn’t finished with us yet!
You know some blog-posts have such an impact on you and nearly bring you to tears? Well, this one did. It’s about a lady’s trip to Haiti, the connections she made and the contrasts between her life and theirs. She mentioned the boy who couldn’t read, whose sponsor sent a picture of them as a couple, smiling and hugging in Central Park. He stands in the doorway of a darkened, windowless shack, holding a picture of a happy couple in Central Park?
It made me think of my Jennylyn in the Philippines, and how I’m just the same. How can I relate to her? “Pray for my parents,” she writes, “that they’ll be healthy and happy.” I think of my parents and sister on the bank-holiday weekend – how we enjoyed lunch together and the warmth of the garden. We’ve had our struggles, but we’ve come out the other side. I wish I could tell Jennylyn her life will be like that too – that 20 years from now, she’ll be sitting in the sunshine with her parents and brother, grateful for one another’s company, but how do I know her life will change for the better? My parents’ marriage was never under the strain of poverty. One never left the family-home just to find work to put food on the table. What comfort can I give her? What promise can I make to her that won’t disappoint?
Any promise that doesn’t disappoint has to be one based on truth. In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I’ve found it comforting in the past to know that even though I don’t understand how, if I love God, He’ll bring good out of whatever situation I’m in. The LORD delights in the wellbeing of His servant (Psalm 35:27). Even though Jennylyn’s circumstances might not be ideal, God delights in her wellbeing.
Are you a sponsor? If you are, tell your child some of the struggles your family’s endured if you want to; it’s lovely to share your lives together, but accept they might still be a million miles away from the problems your child’s facing, and sometimes the only sure answers you’ll be able to give are the ones from God’s Word.
“Brothers and sisters, we don’t want you to be ignorant about the suffering we experienced in the province of Asia. It was so extreme that it was beyond our ability to endure. We even wondered if we could go on living. In fact, we still feel as if we’re under a death sentence. But we suffered so that we would stop trusting ourselves and learn to trust God, who brings the dead back to life. He has rescued us from a terrible death, and He will rescue us in the future … Then many people will thank God for the favor He will show us because many people prayed for us” – 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (God’s Word Translation)
I just read these verses, and then I stopped. “Then many people will thank God for the favor He will show us”. Have you thanked God for the favour He showed Paul? That got me thinking of the legacy Paul left for us, and I realised something. “He has rescued us from a terrible death” – God knew this letter to the Corinthians needed to be written, so although the threat of death was very real, He made sure Paul didn’t die.
Be encouraged. If God has promised you something, no matter the obstacles, He’ll make sure it comes to pass.