Haitian Scrapbook--pages 3 and 4

By Chris Baxter

Yesterday, I submitted pages 1 and 2 of my Haitian Scrapbook; today, here are pages 3 and 4, entitled Creature Comforts and The Creator Comforts.

page 3--Creature Comforts

Today as I sit with my warm cup of sweet creamy coffee in my over-stuffed chair, I reflect on last week's trip to Haiti. Like I said in my last post, there were 9 women on our team; 7 of these ladies are age 22 or under, and then there is my dear friend Brenda Jeffries and me. Our ages DOUBLED the years of these pretty young things.

Neither Brenda nor I ever considered ourselves in the "high maintenance" category of women; however, spending a week in Haiti gave me a new perspective on this term. Brace yourself, I am about to complain.

1. There are big hairy spiders in Haiti. Oh my!
2. It was HOT. A kind of HOT I've never experienced. I knew I had sweat  pores, but wow, my sweat has never poured so much--7 days/nights non-stop.
3. Electricity is not over-rated. The lights and anything plugged in (like a fan) turned off about 2 am until 8 am. Getting dressed in the early morning was quite an adventure for all. (I lost my right eye-contact on the bathroom floor--thought it was best to not look for it.)
4. Unfamiliar food to the taste is also unfamiliar to the GI tract. Over half our team found ourselves running (literally) to the nearest potty the second half of the trip.
5. Haiti driving can be compared to going the wrong direction during an intense Nascar race. However, instead of race cars, you're dealing with oncoming trucks and donkeys and motorcycles and pedestrians with baskets on their heads. I actually thoughtour sardined-packed van just might drive on through the pearly gates a few times as we whipped around mountain curves in the passing lane.

Okay, am I spoiled rotten or what?! When stripped away of all these creature comforts that seem so basic, I saw the real me... and it wasn't all that pretty...

page 4--The Creator Comforts

I want the real me to know Jesus... the spoiled rotten me. I want Him to come in and speak to me there. Then I want Him to take over and clean me out and fill me up, so that I can pour Him out to others, not my complaints. God is faithful and ever-present and gives us what we need exactly when we need it. But sometimes He has to take something away first to show us just how needy we are. Then, He graciously meets us in this place. He is able to come closer than ever before...
The heavenly presence of God did show up in the earthly absence of things while in Haiti. As I, and the rest of the team, received comfort from the Lord throughout the week, He replaced our neediness with immense love for the Haitians, joyful laughter in the van rides, and beautiful bonding time
as we shared together at night. Where we were weak, He became strong.

Whom  have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26
Yes, may I always desire my Creator who comforts more than the creature comforts of this world.

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Speaking...without words

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.  Psalm 19:1-4

Dear Lord,

Your creation speaks...without words! The sun shouts, "Marvelous Maker;" the moon proclaims, "Faithful Sustainer," the stars sing, "Light of the World!" Cause each of us to gaze at your beauty, recognize you as the Author and Artist, and then worship you with reverence, all day and all night. Amen.