Meet Pierre and Breeth

Pierre2013In eight days, I’ll be in Haiti as part of the Ridgecrest Baptist Church mission team which is partnered with Haiti Outreach Ministries. HOM focuses its work through four separate church/school campuses in the Port Au Prince area, under the supervision of Pastor Leon D’Orleans.  Our mission team will serve through construction, electrical upgrade, and painting projects.

I’m thrilled to go again, for lots of reasons, but there are two primary ones!

This is the second year Al and I have sponsored a primary child in one of the schools.  In Haiti the need is for sponsorship is great, because the country is too poor to provide public education. Through sponsorship, Pierre will be educated, fed one meal a day, and taught about Jesus.

Our child’s name is Pierre Mischael Lorisme. He is 5 years old and a K-1 student at Repatriote School. As you can see, he looks a bit dazed in his picture!

He’s quite the artist–the valentine he made shows he can color pretty well in the lines . . . .

And his end-of-the-year report card from June 2012 shows he’s an average student in most categories,  but especially strong in following directions. Keep on learning, Pierre!

I had so much fun picking out the items I will give to Pierre. His lime-green-and-black backpack contains all the usual stuff–underwear/socks/shoes, toiletries, school supplies, a few toys and candy. When we get to the Haitian grocery store, I’ll be sure to buy his family a bag of rice and a bag of dried beans to tuck inside.

My ladies’ Sunday School class, the Daughters of the King, also sponsors an HOM child. Her name is Breeth Chinaida Jhoolycka Damassee. That’s a big name for such a little thing! She’s only 4 years old and in the Pre-K class at Cite Soleil school.

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Her backpack contents are below. I had a blast packing her backpack as well!

One of my fellow DOTK’s is also part of the mission team — Marilyn Thayer. She and I can’t wait to see Breeth and Pierre in person, see their faces light up. You can be sure we’ll take plenty of pictures!

Would you also consider sponsoring a needy child to go to school? Haiti Outreach Ministries always has a backlog of children who need sponsors. . .  PRAY and see if the Lord would like you to be involved in this very worthwhile ministry. . . you can easily change a child’s life for as little as $360.00 a year!  (www.haitioutreachministries.org)

We covet your prayers while on our mission trip. Please pray for the 24-member team during our week’s stay, March 28th through April 4th. Pray for God’s presence to fill us as we serve the people of Haiti and for our team’s continued safety and health.

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said , Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. ” Luke 18:16

Lookin’ up,

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Tales From the 2012 Toy Drive

Ridgecrest Baptist Church, my home church, held its fifth annual Christmas Toy Drive last night. I was allowed the privilege to talk and pray with some of the women who came to “shop” for their children.

You may have preconceived notions about the people we serve at the Toy Drive. To be honest, I’ve been there too in the past. But each year I’m more humbled and moved by the stories of the folks God brings to us.

One lady, whom I’ll call Lettie, shared how 2012 was a hard year for her and her two children. She’d lost her job, subsequently lost their home, and now were reduced to living with her sister. She also told me there was the very good possibility that her sister would soon be evicted, if the landlord found out there were extra people under her roof. Lettie said she was depressed, and understandably so. She told me she’d spent many hours crying about what seemed to be a helpless situation. After questioning her and discerning Lettie not to be a believer, I gladly shared the Good News. I told her how she would not have to live helpless and hopeless anymore, if she were a believer of Christ and Child of God. She didn’t have to just have head knowledge about Jesus; she could experience “heart knowledge” of Jesus! Lettie listened intently to what I had to say, then prayed to receive Christ as her Savior. She received a Bible from our church, and I gave her a tract about the decision for Christ she’d made. I encouraged her to make sure she joined a local Bible-believing church near her home and get her children involved in church life also. I assured her that things would not change magically overnight, but now she had God’s assurance that He would keep His promises to her and HE would make a difference in her life.

I also prayed with another woman, Tabitha, who shared her difficulties. A believer, Tabitha told me her husband was also a believer of Jesus. Right now, this little family is barely making it, “squeaking by” as she put it, on his income. BUT they had a roof over their head, enough to eat, one precious child already, and another on the way. She told me things were not as they hoped, but she was so grateful for the blessings of God upon her life. After I prayed with her, Tabitha prayed aloud too. She cried, thanking the Lord for her life, for her marriage, for her children, and most of all for knowing Him! I cried and rejoiced along with her. Lastly, she thanked God for a church that would care enough to put together something like the Toy Drive because it helped families out who needed help. When we finished, Tabitha hugged and hugged on me. My goodness, I’m sure I got the much bigger blessing out of meeting! Since Tabitha lives not too far from the church and has a car, she insisted on getting literature about the church and inquired about service times. I really hope to see her and hug this precious lady again!

One more story about a lady with whom I prayed, Maureen. Maureen is a believer also. Her story was similar in some ways to Lettie’s and Tabitha, as she is no stranger to hard times. Maureen is a grandmother who is trying to raise two of her grandchildren and in the meantime is battling serious sickness.  Maureen said she just wanted to pray with someone last night because “There’s power in prayer.” She shared how she ended up with custodial control of her grandchildren and had battled over a year with a serious illness. Even though I had just met her, I could see evidence of this war raging in her body. But she assured me she knew God was her Savior and was in control, and that He would get the glory!  I prayed with Maureen and she and I cried together. Again, she was thankful for the Toy Drive and for the everyday blessings God had given to her.

I hope you received a blessing through their stories. May God receive all the glory!

Lookin’ up,

 

 

 

Am I My Sister’s Keeper?

You might answer a resounding “yes!” to that question, if either of the following are true:

  • Younger women, have you ever longed for the relationship of an older (and wiser) female to hold you accountable, to bounce spiritual ideas off of, to pray each other through life’s bumps?
  • Older women, have you ever felt the tug of the Holy Spirit leading you to a younger woman in order to encourage her, to listen to her, to equip her become more like Christ?

This kind of relationship, within the context of the church, is usually called mentoring. Successful mentoring can bridge the multi-generational gaps between women in the modern church.

Why mentoring? Because time has changed the way the church operates.  The early church met in believers’ homes in close proximity to each other. Women, who were primarily homemakers, had scads of opportunities to spend time together, with each’s godly contributions constantly rubbing off on each other. It was a VERY GOOD thing for those women to be in each other’s company.

The word mentor actually comes from Greek mythology. A wise man named Mentor was the guardian enlisted to care for Odysseus’ son while he was away during the Trojan War. Mentor was a friend, advisor and teacher to Telemachus, helping him grow into a noble-hearted, clear-thinking prince.

The word you will find in the Bible that is closest to “mentoring” is “merea.” This word is used a handful of times in Genesis, Judges, Samuel and Proverbs and is typically translated as “companion”(s). The actual word “merea” in Hebrew is a masculine noun that means “trusted friend and companion.”

Robyn Beaubien, contributing editor of http://www.womensministry.net, a site dedicated to the assistance of women’s ministries in the church, explains the role of a Merea versus Mentor this way:

Applied to a “mentoring” relationship, a Merea gives because she has. She does because she IS! A Merea does not feel obligated to serve so can check it off her list of good works for the day. A Merea is compelled by the love of Christ. A Merea is always actively loving and working for the benefit of others, while she herself lacks ‘no good thing’ and is satisfied (Psalm 84:11). A Mentor/Merea knows that before she sees changes in those around her, she must see changes in herself first. She is in the habit of abiding in God’s presence. In essence, we are to admonish one another to ‘be’ before we ‘do,’ and in so being (becoming), we shall be doing.

How about you? Where do you see yourself within this framework?

Personally, I find Christian mentoring a thrilling subject! I’ve been mentored in my Christian walk by godly women and have firsthand seen its benefits. I tend to reside on BOTH ENDS of the spectrum – -I would love to glean even more godly wisdom from my sisters who are further along in the faith than I am, YET  I would love to engage in this sort of relationship with a younger sister, if the Lord gives me the chance–

So, let’s begin a discussion. Write in the COMMENTS section below under this blog post, or respond on Facebook:

 

  •    Where do/would you personally fit in a mentoring ministry?
  •    Does your church presently have a mentoring ministry?
  •    How did your mentoring ministry start?
  •   What were some of the challenges of beginning this type of ministry, if your church has one?

 

Thanks ahead of time for your answers! We will visit this subject more in the future, I’m sure, as God leads and equips more of us to “be our sister’s keepers.”

***Would you pray with me? Father, thank You that You created women’s hearts to love and to care deeply for others. . . You made us nurturers and keepers of the hearth. . . We thank You for the Merea relationships/ministries You have already put together and pray Your continued blessings upon them. . . .Would you show those of us in the beginning stages the if, when, and how (if indeed that time ever comes) of implementing a successful mentoring/Merea ministry?. . . .  We realize that only by much prayer and the Holy Spirit’s leading will this come to pass. . . .and not through our wishes alone.  May it be a ministry supernaturally ordained by You, to accomplish that which You desire. We leave this request in Your hands. . . and will commit to praying eagerly that Your Will be done. May You receive all the glory!  In Jesus’ all-sufficient Name we come, Amen.***

Remember, LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS! We want to hear from everyone, Ladies!

Lookin’ up,