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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Sent out

While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.  Acts 13:2-3

Dear Lord,

You have an appointed task for each one of us. Help us to encourage one another and pray for each other as we individually answer your call. Send us where you want us and be glorified as we use our unique gifts. Invade us with your Spirit and involve us with your ways. Amen.