Diapers and Artificial Turf–They Made it!

One of the last big projects, actually the last one that I finished up before my time at GLA was eliminated was loading the container worth of diapers and artificial turf that was donated to GLA.    The turf came from Northview High School and Grand Rapids Christian High School.    The diapers were donated by people literally all over the world – from Okotoks Alberta to New York to Grand Haven Michigan and points in between.

Yesterday the container came out of customs and made the trip up the mountain to Ft. Jacques.    Enjoy these pictures and thank you so much for helping this project be a success!

Tom

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Hmmmm……..

So, today, I was reading the story of the 10 plagues in Egypt for my personal devotions.    A thought hit me, not quite like a ton of bricks, but close……

God didn’t grant Moses’ request right away because He had people He wanted to influence and impact He wanted to make.

What sort of influence or impact, either on you or men or someone else, is God looking to make by not answering our prayers right away?   Or more accurately, by answering them with a “Not Yet.”

May we all be more open to what God is doing with the “Not Yet” answers in our lives.

Tom

A Little Bit of Moses

I’m not talking about the leadership part of Moses.

I’m not talking about the part where he killed someone.

I’m not talking the baby in the basket part.

I’m talking about the guy standing by the burning bush.

He’s out in the desert tending sheep and God comes to him and says, “Moses I want you to lead My people.”

Moses basically says to God,   “Are you nuts?   I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know how to talk straight, I can’t go stand up in front of Pharaoh and essentially spit in his face!”

Don’t we all have a bit of Moses in us?    Aren’t we often sensing that there is something we should do but we don’t want to?

Isn’t there things that God wants us to do that we don’t want to?

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all stopped being the Moses in the desert and started being more like the Moses in front of Pharaoh?

Stop doubting yourself, stop doubting God and follow what He is telling you.

And then, as Ann Voskamp said,  “Be prepared to be astonished.”

Tom

I sit here

So, I sit here staring at my computer screen trying to figure out how to say it all.

How do I tell you about the ache that comes from knowing that there are thousands of illegal immigrant children at the border in the United States?   No matter what the U.S. government decides to do, these children have already been through more than any child ever should.   They deserve the chance at healing, the chance to live a life free of fear.   

How do I tell you about the frustration that comes from knowing that the U.S. foster care system is, as one adoptive parent called what their son went through in foster care, “nothing short of a horrific nightmare.”   And now we’ve got another 50,000 kids to add to that system?

How do I tell you about the anger that comes from people who are picketing an organization in Michigan that wants to help and take in some of these kids?   Seriously?

How do I tell you everything that I’ve read in Gary Haugen’s book, “The Locust Effect” which reaffirmed to me that the stories we’re hearing from these kids are true, if not sugar coated?

How do I tell you that my neighbor just had a play house delivered for his grand daughter.    This play house is 3 stories tall and would be considered better housing than most people in the 3rd world live in?

How do I tell you about the pain and questions most adopted children eventually feel and go through as they wrestle with the “why” and the “how” and the “was it me?” issues?

How do I tell you about “the church.”   After many decades of pretending that everything is perfect and everyone is fine, the church is starting to wake up and realize all is not well.    And it’s scary and it hurts and its hard.

How do I tell you about the betrayal that a community feels when a “Christian celebrity” goes to jail for extremely awful  crimes.   And the grief and loss that so many feel and the black eye that the church gets.

How do I tell you about the growing chorus of writers and leaders and speakers who are saying, “It doesn’t have to be this way!  We can do better!”?

How do I tell you about the kids in the first world who are having their world exploded by seeing even a small amount of what God is up to and what others have to deal with?

How do I tell you about the leaders of today’s church who HAVE TO find a way to engage the youth and the younger generation and make church and faith relevant and important to them.     And how hard it is to wrestle with that issue and know what is at stake?

How do I tell you that in spite of all of this, we’ve got nothing to worry about?

How do I tell you that there are more people wrestling with these issues now than there were four years ago – and that’s a good thing?

How do I tell you that we are in the period between D-Day and the end of the War – we know the final outcome.   We know the devil won’t win.   But we know he’s going to fight hard and dirty until the bitter end.

How do I tell you that I can’t solve it all?   How do I tell you that you can’t solve it all?    How do I tell you that none of us can – but we can do what God wants and calls us to do.

And God’s got this.   He’s got the pain, He’s got the children, He’s got the parents, He’s got the wounded, the sick, the disillusioned, the emotionally damaged.   He’s got all of us.

How do I tell you that in spite of all of it, I still sleep well most nights?

Because I know who I believe and I know that He is able.

How do I tell you that?

I guess I just did…….

Tom