Saturday, April 29, 2006

Pic(s) of the Day - When I Look at the World

Sorry I've let the "Pic of the Day" slide. This weekend has been a bit crazy. By the time Sunday morning rolls around I will have worked 41 hours between 11PM Thursday night and 8 AM Sunday morning.

SO, instead of the usual pic of the day, here is a video I made. It's a bit personal because it is a compliation of all the mission projects I've been on and put to a song that pretty much sums up my feelings about it all. I didn't intend to share it as it was for my own rememberances but it seems to have come in handy. You will see Haiti, Romania, Pine Ridge, and Hurricane Katrina. I think it takes about 3 - 4 minutes. If you click on the "YouTube" icon at the bottome of the player, it will take you to where you can see it on the full screen and get a much better feel for it.

When I Look at the World by U2

When you look at the world
What is it that you see
People find all kinds of things
That bring them to their knees

I see an expression
So clear and so true
That changes the atmosphere
When you walk to the room

So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it’s no use
I can’t see what you see
When I look at the world

When the night is someone else’s
And you’re trying to get some sleep
When your thoughts are too expensive
To ever want to keep

When there’s all kinds of chaos
And everyone is walking lame
You don’t even blink now do you
Don’t even look away

So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it’s no use
I can’t see what you see
When I look at the world

I can’t wait any longer
I can’t wait ’til I’m stronger
Can’t wait any longer
To see what you see
When I look at the world

I’m in the waiting room
I can’t see for the smoke
I think of you and your holy book
When the rest of us choke

Tell me tell me
What do you see
Tell me tell me
What’s wrong with me

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

May Your Heart Be Broken

Like most sane people, I do everything possible to avoid feeling pain. I don’t like pain. I know of few people who do. But I’ve come to realize that sometimes a broken heart can be the greatest blessing.

Let me explain. Sometimes people tell me that they could not handle going to the mission field where poverty is extreme. “It would break my heart”, they say. I understand. For a long time I too avoided coming face to face with the intense pain and suffering of other people. Especially if the pain and suffering were partly due to poverty. If poverty were to blame for their pain, it might mean that I have the power to do something, however small, about it. I might be able, and thereby responsible, to change my own way of living in order to help someone else. I might have to sacrifice. And I’m not wild about sacrifice.

In the early 90’s I traveled to Romania with four men from our congregation. We were there to help refurbish a building that was going to be used to house street children. Romania had an abundance of street children as a result of the communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu’s attempt to raise up an army.

As we worked pouring cement and doing general labor, the street kids played among us. Some of the children were as young as six years of age and were already living on the streets, completely on their own. We also visited an orphanage while in Romania. I will never forget that experience. I had heard about the Romanian orphanages. Before communism fell the program 20/20 had done an episode expsoing the horrors of those orphanages. A year after communism, things were better, but still it took a toll on my white, middle-class American mother's heart. When we left I sobbed uncontrollably. I didn’t know sounds like that could come out of me. My heart had been completely broken by what I saw.

In 2004 I traveled to Haiti with a group from our church. Again, I was overwhelmed with the indescrible poverty. We were surrounded by every sort of human suffering imaginable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for two weeks. We went to sleep to the sound of the voodoo drums beating and animals screaming because they were being sacrificed and then we awoke to the sights, smells, and sounds of the kind of misery only poverty brings about. Never before had I seen people so desperate for food that they would run behind the truck for miles in hopes of getting a small bag of beans and rice. The look in their eyes told us that if they did not get a bag of food, they would not be eating that day. Who knows how long it would be before another truck would come to give them relief.

Upon returning home from Haiti, I traveled to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and there again, saw the depth of poverty right here in our own country. The Pine Ridge reservation encompasses the two poorest counties in the United States of America.

I remember, as some others do, the sadness of seeing some of the children taking scraps from the other children’s plates so they could take them home to eat later. These were scraps they were taking—not just "extra” food for a snack later. Quite possibly, the meal we served was the only meal some of those kids would get that day.

I encourage you, if you've never experienced a mission trip, do it. You will see poverty. You will see hunger. You will see the lifestyle that complete hopelessness creates. But you will also see a child's eyes light up when she sees that you've kept your promise to come back for a return visit. You will see the sheer delight of a child’s laughter as you swing them on the swing set. You may have a teenager trust you with a secret pain. For a momnet, you will see the hope that love gives. And then you will realize that you do have the ability to make a difference in the life of at least one child. In short, you will become a little more human and a little more Christ-like.

Yes, your heart will break …. But that’s a good thing.

by U2

Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit

Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean

Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I’m waiting for the dawn

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don’t make a fist
Take this mouth
So quick to criticize
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city
If it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006

A New Video - Our Trip

Pam's Court Video - Improved Version

Please click on the video to watch our mission team build "Pam's Court".

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Warrior's Ride - Please check this out

Please take a moment to watch this short video. It can also be purchased at redheartonline. All proceeds go to help Lakota Youth at the Pine Ridge reservation.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Just for Fun

A short video that has a bit of fun at Jack Sparrow's expense. If you need a laugh, check it out.

Pic of the Day

Pic of the Day

Friday, April 14, 2006

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Monday, April 10, 2006

Yikes! Jesus Come See About Us!

Three weeks from today is the final deadline for having all of our money in. Just 3 weeks! And I'm concerned. At this time we are about $1000.00 behind. Not good.

And another concern is that we have hit every Kroger, Target, Wal-Mart, Meijer, and other stores in the area as well as contacting all of the major oil companies asking them for donations. So far, nothing. The oil companies did write back to tell us they do not have enough money to support every worthy cause.

Normally we have a lot of donations but this year, for whatever reason, they are simply not coming in. This can pose a big problem for our trip. Basically, if we don't come up with the money - we don't go. I don't really believe that will happen, but it is a possibility.

While I am concerned, I'm not too worried because I know that if God wants this trip to happen He will supply all we need. Someone has said, "If it's God's will, it's God's bill", and that is true. And I truly believe that God wants this trip to happen. There are just too many reasons I believe that. One being that it is very likely that someone will come to Christ because of this particular trip. That is more of a possibility this year than in previous years.

So of course, our enemy is going to fight. What we need to do is PRAY. That is how spiritual battles are won. Then we need to put legs on our prayers and do whatever we can do on our end.

If there is someone who would like to help us out, here are some folks who really need some help coming up with their money:

The Jacksons

Contact me at my email address or see me at church if you feel led to help one of these. We need to make our budget by May 1st so that we can begin purchasing supplies.

One alternative we could do to cut costs is to not feed lunch to the kids. I really don't want to do that. For some of those kids, the lunch we feed them is the only meal they get. I well remember last year seeing kids taking the scraps from the other kid's plates and putting them in their purse or pocket so they could have something to take home for their evening meal or to share with family. I really think we have to feed them so I'm trusting God to come through. He always does. But for some reason He seems to wait until the last minute.

Pic of the Day

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Song From Our Hymnal

I got excited and had a bit of a picture posting frenzy this monning. I hope you enjoy ... click on any of the pictures to make them bigger.

Back when we were putting together the first trip to the reservation I came across this song in our hynmal at church and felt that it "just fit" with what we attempt to do there. I know it expresses my prayer.

O May Thy Church Build Bridges Lord

O may thy church build bridges Lord,
Across the wastes where men have warred
With stone on stone as fighting cease
And war-fare yields to lasting peace

Forgiveness, justice, in each span
As man is reconciled to man
And enmity and hate and fear
Give way to love and hope and cheer

Lord let these bridges ever be
For rich and poor
From sea to sea
Across which man may still progress
And not destroy the world but bless

O teach us thus to build for peace
And may our efforts never cease
Till nations press with one accord
Into the kingdom of our Lord!

Pic of the Day - Getting Their Backpacks w/School Supplies

Pic of the Day - A Give Away

Pic of the Day

Pic of the Day - Working on "Pam's Court"

Pic of the Day - Installing New Windows

Pic of the Day - Working on "Pam's Court"

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Cool Resource!

Hey guys, check this out Patch The Pirate.

And by the way, if you're having trouble seeing the pics I've posted, please let me know. Or if you CAN see them, let me know that too. You can click on the "Post a Comment" link and leave a comment. You can do this anonymously so that you will not have to give any personal information and you do not need an account with Blogger. I'd really love to hear from you either way!

"Today is a gift - Have Fun!" - Dustin, age 11
(Dustin was a Children's Hospice patient who passed away at age 11)

Pic of the Day

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

Pic of the Day - Cody & friends

102 Days and Counting

As of today we are 102 days out from our trip. Things will really start to roll now and it'll be time to strap on the bandanna and hat and head to the Rez. For those of you who don't know, bandannas are the only way to deal with unruly hair on long busy days in the heat. Just no time to fool with hair when we're out there. :)

We are not having a meeting in April becuase we're still yet not sure who all is going and who isn't. With that situation it's just impractical to begin planning. I hope everyone goes but this year has been strange with people dropping in and out fast enough to make my head spin. And we still are having MAJOR money problems. SO .... until those things get sorted out, I really can't make team assignments so there is little use in having a meeting.

We will have meetings in May, June, and July. As of May 1st all of our money should be in... at least that's the plan and I really, really, hope that it is. In June we'll begin shopping and packing and in July we leave!

Ericka and her friend (the village in the background)

Until then, I'll be trying to post a Pic of the Day each day. If you check in at the blog you should find a new pic of our past trips to Pine Ridge. Let those inspire some excitement and serve as a reminder to PRAY for the kids, the crew, and the trip!

If your payments are not in through April 1st, then now is the time to really make that a priority. Do whatever you have to do to get those in ASAP.