Monday, August 26, 2013

Worship: A Heart Issue

Sunday, August 25 
9:50 a.m. 

I pause and listen. Around me hundreds of worshipers lift up their voices in praise to God. The vast difference between what I see now and where I worshiped exactly a week ago in my hometown, suddenly hits me. There is little comparison between the reformed church we attend in Chilliwack and the non-denominational, international church we attend here. 

"How do you transition back and forth between churches?" I've been asked more than once by people who've visited on teams, and I'm never really sure how to reply. 

When praise and worship time is over and it's time for the meet and greet of visitors, I sink back down in my seat and open my Bible. During our women's Bible study I remember reading something in Stephen's sermon in Acts about God not being bound to one temple or one place so I search for that now. Sure enough, I find the passage in Acts 7:48-50: Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? 

Feeling somewhat comforted by these words I greet a few people around me and then return to my seat for the sermon to begin. 

After a time of prayer we are told to turn to John 4, and as we read it together I find these words: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24 

As I ponder these words I am reminded of the words I had previously memorized in Samuel: For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1 Sam 16:7b and the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 15:8-9: This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 

Suddenly it becomes clear to me. Although outwardly my two places of worship may be very different, God is more concerned about my heart. Is my heart worshiping Him in spirit and in truth?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Where I Belong

Thursday August 1, 2013 
1:22 p.m. 
The hustle and bustle of travelers mingling with the sound of hundreds of voices swirls around me as I open my pink notebook and pick up my pen. From my vantage point at the Delta departure gate, I look up for a moment to study the people around me. There's a definite mix of cultures and it's interesting to watch people interact with one another. 

Once my curiosity is satisfied I turn back to my notebook to jot down my thoughts. I love traveling; I love the excitement and anticipation hanging in the air, the different cultures and people groups blending together, the power of the aircraft on takeoff, the bird's eye view from the window as I fly, and meeting new people and hearing their stories along the way.

My thoughts turn to our own flight and checking my watch I notice that it won't be long until boarding time. Our flight from Port au Prince to Atlanta is scheduled to leave in less than an hour now and I can feel a mix of emotions churning inside me. In 50 minutes I'll be leaving Port au Prince behind with her brightly colored buildings, tropical temperatures, waving palm trees, friendly people, crazy traffic, burning trash piles and blue skies and in less than 24 hours, God willing, I'll exchange all that for the warm embrace of family and friends, paved highways, fresh air, evergreen trees, open fields and most likely a drizzle. 

 After trying unsuccessfully to grapple mentally with the changes soon to occur, I give up. Over analyzing is one of my weaknesses and I know it, so I chose now to simply relax and enjoy this time. 

Friday, August 23, 2013 (three weeks later) 
1:22 p.m. We've been back in Haiti for five days already and I'm still mentally processing our two and a half week trip. To give you a little glimpse of some of the sights we saw, I uploaded some of our favorite pictures of our time there. 

 Leaving Port au Prince..

Sunset in Atlanta, Georgia.

Spending time with family.

Catching up with cousins.

Having fun on the baby swing. He was just a teeny bit upset when it was time to get off.

Big brother growing up fast.

Double trouble.

Down he goes.

A new skill learned.

Watching sunsets.

It never gets old.

Lightning strikes and forest fires.

The beautiful Fraser Valley.

Flowering fields against the backdrop of blue mountains.

Babbling brooks.

Beautiful hikes.

Breathtaking views.

Wild flowers.

Family photo.

A monkey in a backpack.

Boat ride courtesy of the almost brother-in-law.

A hike to the waterfalls.

"I can do it all by myself."

Looking up.

Down below; freezing glacier water!

Rafting trip.

Some of the views we saw along the way.

And then just like that we were back in Port au Prince again. Okay, not exactly just like that. We got stuck in traffic on the way to the airport, then it took an hour to pay the lap tax for Justin, we almost missed our flight from Miami to Port au Prince as we didn't realize we had to recheck in, and then were told our luggage wouldn't make it on the same flight. At that point I closed my eyes and prayed that by some miracle our luggage would get on that flight as it had meat in it and I didn't want to picture the sights or smells if it remained in our suitcases indefinitely in tropical temperatures. 

 God answered that prayer with a yes and we watched in amazement as every single one of our suitcases came off the conveyor belt in the Port au Prince airport. 

And about those crossing culture questions I've asked myself for years; I found the answer. I no longer need to ask myself where I belong, whether that be in Haiti, Canada or somewhere else. Phil 3:20 says "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,:" 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Pilot's Pictures

I know I've kind of taken over the 'Krul Family Blog' but  it's simply because I enjoy writing. Ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil I was jotting down my thoughts and ideas on paper and it wasn't long before I was filling diaries and journals with stories about my family, friends and pets. 

However, since this is not just my blog but our family blog, I thought it would be nice to include some snapshots of Jason's life too.  This morning I took the liberty to go through Jason's cellphone and upload some of his recent photos to give you an idea what he sees on a day to day basis. 

This first shot is of the MAF hanger. 

I felt I should include it, because a) that's where his morning starts each day, and b) it won't be there much longer. MAF is  in the processing of moving it because the Haitian Government is building a new terminal which, if I understand correctly, will be partially on top of the MAF hanger, so they better move it as soon as possible!

This next shot is of Port au Prince from above. The black smoke billowing skyward is most likely due to some protest where in most cases they set up burning tire barricades. 

Once outside the city, he sees a lot of this. Although it isn't true that Haiti has no trees left, there are a lot of bare mountains. 

As a pilot you have to keep your eyes open for air traffic. Here one of the other MAF pilots flies past in the Caravan. 

Sometimes there's too many passengers to fit in just one airplane so then multiple airplanes fly to one destination. That was the case recently when Jason flew to Ouanaminthe. 

Airplanes generally draw a crowd, as very few land there. 

View from above.

Parked at the edge of the dirt runway at Ouanaminthe. 

Co-pilot for the day. 

Caravan coming in for landing at the dirt airstrip in Mole St. Nicolas. 

Ocean view alongside the runway. 

Kids checking out the plane. 

This is cool! 

Salt flats along the coast.

River flowing into the sea. 

The island of La Gonave in sight. 

Capsized ship off the coast. 

Homemade guitar. 

Here is a picture of Jonas, the airstrip agent with an infected foot. Jason just happened to be flying in a team of Doctors that day, so he was able to send Jonas with them to the hospital to get his foot looked at.

Sunset in Jeremie.

View from the cockpit. 

Light shining from heaven.