Wow, I can't believe I have not posted anything for almost 3 weeks! Sorry everyone. I am sure though with all of the Christmas bustle and end of the year wrapping up (excuse the pun), you have all been busy too, writing your own Christmas letters, sending cards and busy shopping. I hope in it all we don't overlook the real reason we are celebrating this season.
In Haiti, we had an amazing Christmas celebration party with our staff the Friday before we headed out to come back to snowy Canada. After Geanne, Marilyn, Wade and I busted our tails to get all of our year end reports done in the office, we closed up everything Friday so we could enjoy our last day with the staff. It was well worth it, relaxing the beautiful Caribbean Sea in the morning and then having a wonderful party in the evening at the campus. Our staff all had a really great time. We also had our last "goat and Coke" with Wade and Marilyn, our missionary couple who were with us for the two months here, serving as our team hosts. They were awesome and we hope to have them back again soon. The time went by so fast, it was like it had just started and it was already done. So much was accomplished these last two months, I am still amazed at all of God's wondrous works.
This whole concept of time always gets me thinking, especially when the year is coming to a close again. It is a time to reflect and recognize all that God has done in the year. It's also a reminder of just how fast time goes by and challenges me to constantly seek God to know if we are really using each moment as He would have us. Any day could be our last. Any year could be an end. I want to be sure that we run our race well. I am also reminded that time is really of no essence to God. The way He sees time is completely contrary to our concept of it. He created and owns it, and is ultimately in control. If He wanted to, He could make the sun stand still, which we know that such an event was actually recorded (and scientifically proven) in the Bible. And since He owns each day and plans in such a way that His will will come to pass no matter what, it can actually bring us some peace, if we choose to rest in it and surrender to the leading of His will. I think this has been a major lesson for me this fall.
For so many of us, since we are bound by time, it seems to become the measure of what we are able to attain and accomplish. At times it proves to be a cruel taskmaster, especially since the enemy of our souls knows our weaknesses and tries to convince us that we are bound by its guilt when we fail to finish tasks that we set for ourselves in the frame we expect to have them done. This enemy does not want us to experience God's rest in His will. But when we do remember that God is ultimately in control and surrender our strivings, we are swept up by God's humbling grace and faithfulness. He will accomplish all He sets out to do, and in His perfect timing. Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." I can definitely see this as I look back over the year 2011. I stand in awe of God's faithful deeds and humbled that we would be allowed to be used by Him... us, just ordinary people. We are no scholars, no mathematician or doctor, nor are we amazing builders or spectacular leaders. But HE sure is and we have the privilege of being His servants!
Through the numerous trials and battles we have faced this year, some major tests of faith, God has proven victorious. He has taught us to let go and allow Him to move. And in the process, to love and forgive, to give to those who have shown hate, jealousy and spite. This was the example He set for us, at the whole reason to pause this season to remember. Jesus came, as a babe, lowly, meek and mild. He did not come in as a glorious king, with sword in hand. He rather came to serve, to love and to seek and save those who were lost. Let's all remember this Christmas, this is our example and our calling too.
We are back in Canada for now to enjoy the holiday season and rest with our family. The kids are having a blast, glad to not have to go to school for a few weeks. We had a great Christmas Celebration party with lots of Haiti ARISE friends last Thursday. It is a nice change of scenery to be in the snow and be surrounded with lights and Christmas hymns. It is a time when the testimony of Christ is made known. Bless you all!
- P.S.- stay tuned to our video center. There will be an update video posted shortly so you can have a look at what God has done!