1 Corinthians 3:7 – then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
An Increase of FAITH & FAVOR – 1. Baptisms 2. Youth leading worship 3. Youth leading bible studies 4. Nursery and FAAGRIC farm going strong.
John 3:30 so clearly and concisely states, “He must increase, but I [must] decrease”. What a contrast to what this world wants. But, no matter what the world believes, the truth stands. We must realize that we cannot do anything on our own.(John 5:30) Furthermore, the LORD has also chosen the body of Christ to work together.(1 Corinthians 12:15-26) One plants, one waters, but God gives the increase.(1 Corinthians 3:6) He is the vine, and we are the branches. If we abide in HIM, and HE in us, much fruit is brought forth. So without HIM ye can do nothing.(John 15:5)
It does not make sense in a world that desires to be mattered, to make a difference, to do great things and to receive the praises of men. I must confess that the praises of men/words of encouragement are more important to me then I thought. I once again needed to prostrate myself before the LORD and ask Him to show me in His own way if I was being used to make any difference. Was fruit being produced? Were the Bible studies sinking in at all and being understood? Would the teaching of finer skills bear fruit? Would His character be seen in my actions as I taught?
By God’s grace the LORD showed me in little ways:
- One was by in teaching crochet. I was passing the teaching onto the girls giving them responsibility to teach others. I saw them teaching each other in patience and kindness and carefully instructing. No words of encouragement were needed. It was the LORD’S way of showing me.
- Another was to hear Djoune encouraging and showing the Madams how to include Moringa in their food. With the coming and going of Madams, it was difficult to keep the importance of Moringa alive in the diet at CCH. She had helped me with the translation of the Moringa book into Creole and knew of its value. Again, no words of encouragement were needed. The LORD’S way of showing me was through the actions of others. I just needed eyes to see and ears to hear and recognize the LORD’S way of encouraging me.
I think many times we can expect praises and encouragements to materlize our way. If we are willing to receive from the LORD His way and open our eyes and ears to hear, we will see those encouragements. But they also will be for His glory and not our own.
We increase in favor with God as we do the will of God. Being faithful in the work he gives us is the goal along with a grateful heart, whatever it may be, and whatever our station in life. When our desires are in harmony with God’s will as it is revealed to us—keeping his work in our hearts—conquering selfish desires that would diminish our personal progress.
What sort of work is it that we are doing? It will be manifested and declared through the fire. (1 Corinthians 3:13)
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)
May this be our portion. May we continually increase in wisdom and in spiritual stature, pleasing God in all we do, and finding favor with both God and man. Amen.
1 Samuel 12:16 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.
It is a very humbling experience, to be able to witness the blessings of the LORD over the work that has been entrusted to you. Feelings of gratefulness, relief, and joy come flooding into your heart.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.(Luke 6:38)
Les & I knew our time in Haiti was coming to an end. We saw the writing on the wall. Signs of passing the baton on were becoming evident. We asked the LORD God for clear direction. Was He finished with us or did He have another assignment for us. He was faithful!
On September 18 we received a message from an acquaintence, a friend of my brother. After inquiring about this, we were invited to visit Israel to investigate helping with an agricultural project.
I was very excited for this new adventure the LORD God seemed to be putting before us. Quite honestly, staying focused on the task was difficult especially when my areas of involvement were becoming more difficult to achieve. Other agenda’s were vying for the times I had spent with the girls. Furthermore, during this time trouble increased in Haiti and seemed be becoming more unstable.
What would our exit from Haiti look like? How would they respond to our announcement? How many loose ends were needing attention in order to leave Haiti resulting in a smooth transition preparing for our departure.
The Haitians are generally not very expressive in showing how they truly feel, especially to foreigners. No matter how long missionaries are in a foreign land, they are still foreigners. Yes, relationships can be built and trust can be established, but a foreigner remains a foreigner.
With that being said…
I have no doubt that the LORD God was there with us through it all to help us stand with our Haitians friends, through the thick of it both physically (Hurricane Matthew) and spiritually (spiritual attacks). We experienced some dark difficult moments together. We went through a lot of challenging times with the Haitians. Trust had been built over the years and for the Haitians trust is not an easy thing.
- With His help, we stood on the promises of God and promoted Him, pointing to Him as their provider.
- With His help we trusted that He had everything in His control.
- With His help, we were able to establish a trust with the Haitians we had in our circle of influence.
We were not prepared for the measure of kind wishes, remarks, and emotions from every area: CCH, James 1:27, Joshua House, Center of Help, Village of Hope, and our own neighborhood, Bamboula, Torbeck.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Honest, Godly effort is still rewarded. We continue to grow mentally—to grow in wisdom—to grow in truth.
By God’s grace...
Les & I desire this! >> Les & I pray for this to be demonstrated in our lives! >> Les & I study to grow in wisdom and truth! >> Les & I will practice it!