https://climbforhaiti.org/wp-admin/admin.php?page=stcr_manage_subscriptions One of the Accolade for Saving Lives program families is getting a two room home. They have been living in a one room structure with little to no roof and a dirt floor. They are ingenious in making things work, for example the door is hinged on with the soles from old, unusable shoes […]
Writing has not come easily in the past months. My heart and mind have been a swirl of thought, emotion and seeking. Clarity of purpose has remained and for that I am thankful. Recent encouragement came in the form of an old story. I just finished a book entitled “Gold Cord, The Story of A […]
Yesterday was a “bad” day. We all have them regardless of our aspirations to hold true to ourselves and our convictions. My “bad” day didn’t likely look like anyone else’s most recent regret and it didn’t hold any life altering diagnosis, death or tragedy. However, it was rotten and left a horrible taste in my […]
She was working so hard, hopping from branch to branch. Up, down, over, across. The flutter of her wings caught my eye from the sun room yesterday. It was my time to take several minutes of quiet. I was attempting to quiet my racing mind as the to-do list, my own mental “wish I could do” list, finally turned into “God, what do you have for me to do?”
There she was, the busy cat-bird, choosing just the right branch to build her nest. Watching a bird build her nest from start to finish has always been something I would love to experience. I only had a few minutes, but what a blessing to catch the beginning! I laughed out loud as I thought through the magnitude of her day’s task. She landed on the chosen branch with what looked like yarn in her beak. Oh, how I wished I could reach out and help her secure it to that branch. How is she doing that with only a beak?! Oh – she dropped it. My little bird friend didn’t appear to be the least frustrated when she hopped down to pick it up and start over again. . . three times. Was she wishing for a second beak, maybe a wing with grabbers, as she began to weave the yarn around the branches and – oh, my goodness, she is weaving it through itself, too!
I thought of the many times I’ve said, “If only I had another hand” instead of “God, thank you for the two hands you have given me”. I’m not sure if birds are capable of complaint, or even know the feeling of dissatisfaction. What I can tell you is that this cat-bird was determined. A nest was going to happen and it would be on THAT chosen branch.
Right next to the lilac tree is a bird house. This bird house was in place when we acquired this home 4 years ago and has had a family in it every spring. Today the babies are so insistent on feeding two of them are hanging partially out of the hole and screeching. Momma sparrow is patiently gathering food, returning to the nest over and over again. I see no impatient, ruffled feathers. She is not scolding them, but dutifully going back and forth, back and forth until their needs are met. A beautiful mom!
A search around www.allaboutbirds.org verified that it was not only our baby birds making so much noise in the backyard. Turns out our overachieving cat-bird is a perfect mimic. These two lovelies have been imitating the screeches of the tiny baby birds, only from their large breasted big bird bodies!! No wonder the cacophony was nearly deafening 😉
I had a little more motivation to get up early enough this morning to check on their progress. I didn’t find a complete nest, but my new feathered friend was still here. I didn’t disturb her to see if she was still building in that same crook of the lilac bush. She was singing her heart out today. The babies were still in the bird house and the neighbor cats were not in sight. I pray I am not home on their day of flight training. . . not sure my heart can watch if the kitties smell that out!
I am tired. It’s ‘a good tired, a fatigue from good, hard work. Could I possibly be as tired as a tiny creature hopping about as the cat-bird was? Maybe. However, I did not have the lilt in my step that she had this morning! When I need home furnishings I do not have to build them with a single beak. Am I grateful enough for that? What level of energy does it take to fly, to gather enough food for a nest full of hungry mouths, all almost as big as you now? I found myself empathizing with these two little bird moms 🙂
Thank you, God, for blessing me with just enough quiet time to appreciate the intricacies and wonders of your world. Thank you for challenging me to find gratitude in all things. Most of all today, thank you for showing me the benefit of living right in the moment and living the moment in its fullness to your glory.
HAPPY SECOND ANNIVERSARY ACCOLADE FOR SAVING LIVES!
Lord, I Lift Your Name On High. Lord, I Love To Sing Your Praises!
Praise God for Patchouko Antenor’s faith in response to God’s call! Praise God for instilling in him the boldness, courage and conviction it took to step out in faith. Praise God for his mother, who prepared this man to speak deeply and intimately into the lives not only of young men, but also the lives of their families. Through her responses to the challenges of single parenting in Haiti, Patchouko’s mother instilled pride with humility, love and compassion along with a measure of confidence. You are not your circumstances – you were created to be more!
Two years ago I had a conversation with Patchouko about his vision. “I see these boys in the street, Tricia” he said. “Most people here are afraid of them, or they don’t notice them at all. It is as if society has thrown them away, given up on them. I don’t see that. I see hope. I hear God asking me to do something, so I am doing what I can with what I have.” “We will be different,” he said. “Not a safe house, but a program that brings families back together, that shows the families how important they are.”
Today I give a shout out to Patchouko and all of the staff at Accolade for Saving Lives. We have been privilege to watch the relationships develop, to see growth in faith, love and support in pain and suffering, community support through Hurricane Matthew, pride in employment, home improvements, empowerment through business loans, education for the boys, parent meetings and worship with families on a monthly basis, and the list goes on and on.
Kudos to the families of the ASL staff and leadership that allow their loved one to serve. A life of service is not an easy one, but as this team is experiencing, God’s economy is one that we cannot understand. You simply cannot out give HIM. HE heaps rewards in many forms upon those who sacrifice for His children.
Luke 9:46 “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all – he is the greatest.”
From some assembly line in 2005 to Haiti in 2017. I wonder if the assemblers in the factory ever think about the adventures the vehicles they build may end up on. Vehicles develop a personality – some of us even name them! A few of them live brief but exciting lives, others live on long […]
As an organization, identifying why you exist and what you stand for is easy. Putting a name, an identification to describe your purpose is a very difficult task. Permit me to take you through the acronym “CLIMB” to expand a little on what it is we stand for and how our partner organizations fit into […]
Joy. As I sit to edit pictures taken so far this week in Haiti, I am moved to tears by the joy that I see. The emotional climate is different since Hurricane Matthew. It is fragile and painful. This group came from Minnesota, USA to see what Patchouko has been doing at ASL. They are blessing ASL with knowledge, music, games. They share the gospel message that God’s love is for THEM, for all of us, in good times and in bad. For this MN group, coming to “see” means digging in deep. It means giving of heart and soul. It looks like stepping into the culture without reservation, It is serving the boys and serving the servants here. To this I am the privileged observer. From behind my camera lens I am blessed to capture joy amidst the pain. The deep and wide love of God has moved me to tears. Take a peek and feel the joy!
The hurricane took every single panel from the roof of her one room rental, where she and her two teenage children live. Upon arriving to Les Cayes 9 days ago I stopped by her house. There was no cover over her belongings, it was raining. We discussed the goals of CLIMB and Accolade in the […]
I was returning home from Haiti looking forward to a nap on the plane. The likelihood is high that I was asleep before we even took off that day. I missed the beverage pass, the snack offer and was awakened by an overhead announcement from the pilot. “You may have noticed that we have circled […]