"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." (Eccl 3:11)
I'm kinda a sucker for beautiful things. Thankfully, I am living smack-dab in the middle of beauty right now. I have a mountain in my back yard and if I walk a little way I have a huge gorgeous valley in the front yard. I live among the most beautiful people I have ever met. I see the beauty around me and can't help but worship the Creator.
Not everything here is beautiful. There are very, very ugly things here. Satan and his hold on these people's hearts is ugly. Very Ugly.
The lack of, well, everything, food, shelter, and healthcare is ugly.
Or is it? Is it ugly? or is it Joy? Is He making it beautiful?
The lack of resources is not the main problem that this village has. It is the lack of Christ. The lack of freedom. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost (Lk 19:10). But if we look at His life, he did more than that. He helped the poor and crippled. He healed the sick, and fed the hungry. If we are to be the body of Christ we are called to do those things too. He is making all this hurt beautiful in HIS time.
His time can be so different from mine sometimes, and as Solomon says, we cannot find out or understand what God is doing from beginning to end. But sometimes.... Sometimes, before the word leaves our lips, before we are even aware of our need He has provided.
On Friday night I was talking to Gersan and Betty about Tchaly. He is our carpenter here on campus. Always laughing, always singing, always joyful, always a total joy to be around. He works so hard. (He is also the one with the baby, who's burn I have been taking care of.) Gersan was talking about how he wishes he could pay Tchaly more for his hard work. And he could probably get a better paying job somewhere else, but God has a track record of blessing those who work here, and the money they earn. Some of these other people came from better paying jobs to work here, and have been offered other, better paying jobs, but they choose to stay, because they love working here and because God is blessing them for that.
Gersan told me about Tchaly's house. He described it as only a tiny step up from Tancred's house that I wrote about earlier. Tchaly has been saving and saving, but will probably never be able to finish building his house. Gersan said, "I want to give him a house, but that would cost around $2000 USD and we just don't have that right now."
Immediately, my heart leaped! $2000!!!!
I had gotten a text message from my mom that afternoon that Redeemer Bible Church, my home church in Tomball wanted to give $2000 to us to use however we like. I hadn't told Gersan and Betty this yet, but felt this was a good time.
God is so good. Without them even knowing it, He put that amount on the hearts of the Redeemer leaders, on the day that Gersan mentioned wanting to use that amount for a house!
God is making this beautiful! It has already been made beautiful, but He is letting us glimpse the beauty!
God is using Jacob's Well here in this village to change the mentality of people here. After giving Tancred a house, and taking care of Lèlène and her leg the village is starting to talk. They are starting to see the "pay it forward" mentality. Doing nice things for others just because. I call it the "pay it forward" mentality, but really, it is the "Body of Christ" model. Tala's house needs a new roof, and we are almost sure that if we help Tchaly with his house that he will gladly take care of her roof out of thankfulness, and ask nothing in compensation. We are praying hard that God will continue to change the hearts of the people here.
This is the second time this week that God has blessed our socks off.
I found out this week that for almost a year now, or maybe more, Gersan has wanted to start a chicken business. Immediately after Boss Varis, one of our head guys, started working here he was asking about when he could start the chicken business. His son knows how to take care of them and it would be a wonderful micro development project. Gersan had wanted that for a long time anyway too, but never mentioned it to anyone. Last week I got an email from my boss at Frontier Camp saying that he wanted to talk about chickens. (I'm thinking... "ok??? That's random.") There is a family that goes to Foundry United Methodist Church and they teach the confirmation class for the youth there. They want to start emphasizing missions more, and wanted to use Jacob's Well as their project. The teacher of the class raises chickens in his backyard as sort-of a hobby, but also for meat and eggs. They decided that they wanted to raise the money, as a class, to buy 100 chickens for us as well as all the materials needed to build a chicken coop, hire someone to take care of them, feed the chickens, and gather eggs and meat to sell, or use for the staff here at camp. (Remember Gersan has never mentioned that he wanted to do this to any Americans.) I wish I could have seen his reaction when he recieved that email!
God is so good. He is so creative. His timing is so perfect. He can use things like chickens to remind us of how good He is.
Sometimes when God's timing is the same as mine it makes me realize how cool He is. But God's timing is not always the same as mine, not at all. But It is times like these that I learn I can trust Him. His timing is better than mine. It may not feel like it as i sit and wait and wait and wait and pray and pray and pray, but it is beautiful. He will make all things good in HIS time.
For example, earlier I mentioned the ugly things here in my village. Satan and his hold on the people being one of them. While, for now, the big voodoo ceremony is over I know there will be others. It is not God's timing to totally remove all of the voodoo preists right now. But if you consider the whole picture you will see that less than 6 years ago there were 12 voodoo temples in this village. Today there are 3. THREE! And God is slowly turning the hearts of at least two of those three towards Him. I want them to know Jesus today. But, His timing is perfect.
He has made all things beautiful. He is a beautiful creator. Life is beautiful already. But sometimes He makes it more beautiful so that we will stop and recognize Him as the creator.
Notice something beautiful today.