Facing trials.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”  James 1:2-8

Trails of many kinds and perseverance are not new to us as we all face hurdles of varying degrees throughout the days of our lives; emotional, physical, financial, relationships and spiritual…just to name a few.  I took the attached photo in March of 2010; while it you may say that it isn’t a great photo; certainly nothing I would consider putting on a wall behind an expensive frame, but it means a lot to me.  On Easter Sunday in 2003, Pastor Eliona Bernard, his wife Lynda, another Lay Pastor and I drove back from Cap Haitian through Gonaives and into Port-au-Prince.  We left Cap around 11 AM and arrived back in PAP around 6:30 PM.  Our travel time had many delays as there were vodou processions marching on the gravel highway; edge to edge, probably a block long were lost people following the vodou priest and priestess who follow the supreme liar of this world.  We had to nudge our way through them.

This photo was taken in the same place where that took place years ago where we encounter such a procession, just outside of Johanisse.  My real intent on this photo was to tell you about the children who are walking home from school on a hot afternoon.  They came from a school in La Croix which is about 3 miles from here to the west and no, that is not where the bottled water comes from that is in your neighborhood store; this location is in the rice patties of the Artibonite district.  These four students walking back home are walking into a town with a strong vodou presence.  Their lives must face many trials of various kinds; unlike my North American trials.  Being in the Word, being given the Living Water and the Bread of Life is so very important to them to help them persevere when trials become seemingly unbearable.  This is just one photo of four children walking home in Haiti, but it could certainly have been taken in most of the 110 schools where there are found a Trinity/HOPE feeding program, and Jesus.  Thank you for helping over 24,000 children learn more about their triumphant Savior Jesus Christ and become physically strong to persevere through their trials of many kinds.

Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

May God be with you…Jay