“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23 (KJV)
Call me old fashioned, or just call me old, but I really enjoy reading some favorite scripture passages in the King James Version. The Creole word for ‘Good Shepherd’ is Bon Berger and you will see that name being used at several Lutheran schools in Haiti. The majority of the children attending Lutheran schools in Haiti know of an actual shepherd and perhaps many of them have fathers or relatives who are shepherds tending to goat herds.
Our Good Shepherd gave up His life for each of us when it was given on the cross of Calvary. There are many instances where men and women have given much, even the great sacrifice of their lives for their families and perhaps for strangers to save somebody else’s life. I heard a story recently of a young girl who had a serious illness and needed a blood transfusion or she would die. The doctors determined that the only person who could donate this life-giving blood to this young girl was her little brother. The parents and doctors asked the little boy if they could use his blood to save his sister and he gave it much thought; several hours to be exact. He finally told them that he was ready to give his blood to his sister so she would live and asked how long he would live after they had taken his blood. He didn’t understand that both she and he would live.
There are children attending Lutheran schools in Haiti who are being fed dirt cakes from their mothers as they cannot afford food. The woman in the attached photo is a vendor of dirt cakes. Some of these children are slowly passing away because of this ‘food’; their life lights are growing dim. They need Jesus for their Spiritual welfare and you to help to fulfill their daily food. Thank you for reaching out to these children, giving of your talents and treasures. I close today with the words from the hymn ‘The Lord my pasture shall prepare’ that was written by Joseph Addison in 1712.
“The Lord my pasture shall prepare and feed me with a shepherd's care; His presence shall my wants supply and guard me with a watchful eye; my noonday walks He shall attend and all my midnight hours defend. When in the sultry glebe I faint or on the thirsty mountain pant, to fertile vales and dewy meads my weary, wandering steps He leads, where peaceful rivers, soft and slow, amid the verdant landscape flow. Though in the paths of death I tread, with gloomy horrors overspread, my steadfast heart shall fear no ill, for Thou, O Lord, art with me still; Thy friendly crook shall give me aid and guide me through the dreadful shade. Though in a bare and rugged way, through devious lonely wilds, I stray, Thy bounty shall my pains beguile; the barren wilderness shall smile, with sudden greens and herbage crowned, and streams shall murmur all around.”
Dear 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