Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
3 He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
4 My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
6 They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
7 My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
8 Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
We don't hear a lot about Haiti these days. What happened, what about the jobs. The able-bodied, work oriented people of Haiti escape illegally into the Dominican Republic (Cotui, DR photoed above) and sent most of the money they make back to Haiti.
So, we would assume the Dominican Republic has wealth,jobs and hospitality to give the immigrants of Haiti. That would depend upon if we view $300 a month as abundance, a typical income. Cotuí,a city in the Dominican Republic, is one of the oldest cities of the New World.
And when a woman, Milagro, looked at her adopted city of Cotui, she saw nothing but a bar where people stood around - and we are saying they stood outside of small place - all day waiting for a crop to come in every three of four months to add money to their family necessities.
Milagro wanted her city of a thousand to have "something." Religion is seen as being in touch with God and God forbid we should have to be 'perfect' to be Religious. The Community rode bikes and stood outside a bar all day. It's difficult to be 'perfect' in a community where they truly know one another very well.
CHANGE. Change is an interesting subject. One of the first missionaries we know is St. Patrick. He had no blueprints to follow when he finally returned to England from slavery in Ireland; St. Patrick wanted to take the people away from hostage to evil god worship and hatred. And War. He had no blueprints, just the desire to make effective God relationships to change hearts.
Milagro wanted change. 19% of the Dominican Republic graduates from High School. Most people have children following along in a cycle of poverty. Sometimes moving to the larger cities where slums are swept, kept clean, and nothing changes. She started having conversations with missionary organizations like Vision Trust and was denied. Turned down. She isn't a pastor, minister, and she was a flight risk.
Milagro wanted change. She kept asking. Soon there was a Learning Center that Vision Trust now fosters in that community. A school. Still there is the drop out rate due to many troubles in harsh life. She tried for ten years to have a school house. And it grows each year. Surprising them all, she'd been turned down a lot. And there is no manual in front of her, just a desire to bring Hope, Faith and Love to a community without very much.
David Livingstone (1813-1873) brought the Light of Jesus Christ to Africa. He was very famous and very much a man who told the natives a good thundering Sinner. And he certainly did NOT provide them with Volleyball. He instead gave healthy doses of measles and cholera and as they lay dying he made sure they swallowed salvation. Nasty, horrible, Marching Saint of God. Horrid. Repugnant.
Now. that is effective Missionary work.
**** Except that's totally untrue. Instead David Livingstone did this -
Livingstone on the other hand, traveled lightly. Livingstone was a proponent of trade and Christian missions to be established in central Africa. His motto was "Christianity, Commerce and Civilization."
Most of his journeys were with a few people, bartering for supplies along the way, with a couple of guns for protection. He preached a Christian message but did not force it on unwilling ears; he understood the ways of local chiefs and successfully negotiated passage through their territory, and was often hospitably received and aided, even by Mwata Kazembe.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Effective change - Milagro -.... her name is 'miracle'. This just wasn't going to work out. For ten years or five she was denied.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
And a Volleyball Court - that is hardly "The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand"
Paul wrote to His Churches for Decades - hoping the Light would still shine in the Darkness.
Where is the fruit?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
More people are going to school than ever before. The volunteers used to meet under the trees, now they have a shelter. The people who help the Haitians on a daily basis have more food on their own tables. Gifts given are shared. The joy on the faces is unmistakable. More people have a High School Degree and go out to bring back more to their community.
Nelson Paulino is the Director of Vision Trust, out of Colorado. He is a High School graduate of the Dominican Republic. He is seeing the difference they make in the lives of nineteen hundred students a year. He is one of them. Hiring Mark Cornelison, from The Woodlands, who is leaving a Youth Ministry Job because he is in love with the changes the Holy Spirit is bringing to this area. The men willing to say to their communities "I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not perfect. But I follow a Risen Lord."
Change is an amazing thing to watch. When we follow Jesus Christ, there really are not written guidelines beyond what Jesus said.
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
Change comes from Loving HIM, before you love others as yourself. And love yourself as well.
Thank You Father God for... Milagro. Vision Trust.Org is always grateful for the ways people of God help them, help others.