Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Best Present: His Presence

On Saturday, December 27, I had the privilege of celebrating my 29thbirthday. (The day before, Esther and Garold had left and Jason's parents had arrived.) 

The day started early; we were up before 6:00 a.m. as Jason had planned a full schedule. After a quick breakfast of cereal and toast we were out the door and on our way to the airport.

Once there, Jason readied one of the MAF airplanes and shortly thereafter we were air bound to our first stop, Mole St. Nicholas, a village on the northwest tip of Haiti.

Once there we parked the plane and spent a few hours exploring the area and visiting North West Haiti Missions.

North West Haiti Missions had a school, church and orphanage. They also ministered to mothers in the community who “rented” out their young daughters for prostitution. As a mother myself it was hard to wrap my mind around how someone could do that to their own child. 
As my heart became angry, God gently reminded me that it wasn't for me to judge and everyone needs compassion, love that’s never failing, mercy, forgiveness and the kindness of our Saviour.

Our next stop was Anse Rouge.

There we spent some time with our friends at Lemuel Ministries. They treated us to a traditional Haitian lunch of rice and beans, plantains and goat stew.

Then they surprised me with birthday cake which made me feel very special! Thanks guys!

After lunch we toured the mission and saw the different projects in the works.

It was exciting to know that in a few short weeks visiting teams from our hometown would be helping work on the school, etc.

On our walk the boys accidentally stepped in this glue like mud. It was so sticky their crocks completely dissapeared and it took some time to locate them!

Then some of the local ladies got together and my mother in law explained the hygiene kits for girls and women that she had participated in making and brought with her. The women were very impressed with the reusable pads, washcloths, and bags.

Their excited faces made me think of the Paul words in Acts 20:35
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

As the sun began to sink lower in the sky we waved goodbye to our friends, buckled the kids into the plane and headed back to the capital. 

The sunset was once again beautiful that evening.

That night as we had dinner, the little restaurant we were eating at played multiple versions of ‘Happy Birthday’!

A little later, as we walked back to the vehicle to head home, we heard loud music and party noises streaming from a neighbouring home. Hearing the sounds made me think of the craving the human heart has for joy.

As humans, we long for joy but often look for it in all the wrong places. Listening to the party sounds made me feel sad for those who only ever experience the joy the world has to offer. It's like only drinking artificial Kool Aid when you’ve never tasted the rich flavour of pure fruit juice! And of course that comparison is weak! 

The joy the world has to offer is fleeting, fake, temporary and leaves you feeling empty inside.

Real, rich, flavourful, wholesome, eternal joy can only ever be found in the presence of God. Psalm 16:11b tells usIn thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. And it’s true; it really is! 

The best present is His presence. 

How can you experience His presence? James 4:8 says Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.


  1. Beautiful. Belated congratulations. Enjoy your visitors:).

  2. Beautiful post once again!

    Happy (much belated) Birthday wishes Will! Looks like you had a happy day.

    Love Jenny