Tuesday, December 31, 2013

desperate for His absolute

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

This past weekend, one of the worship leaders, who also offers marriage counseling at our church, gave a short, hope-filled comment before the congregation that has stuck with me.  He said that he frequently sees in troubled marriages couples who fall into the trap of misusing absolute statements toward one another.  Specifically, negative statements built with key words such as "always" and "never".

Examples: "You never listen to what I'm saying." or "You always forget about me."

The problem with these statements is that it is inaccurate to make such definitive claims about another human being. For surely... sometimes, each of us is capable of hearing one another and/or accomplishing something.  Surely, at some point... she has listened to what he has said.  And obviously, if he married her, he has not always forgotten about her.  As such, it is a harmful exercise to point judgmental fingers at one another in order to focus on someone's failings (and our feelings about such faults) as absolute, unchangeable truths.  Many a marriage has horribly crumbled under such unrealistic pressures rather than work together to seek God first and love one another.

But the good news is this: There is One with whom true absolutes are justified and definitive... Jesus!  For Jesus' promises are always eternal.  Jesus' Word never fails.  Jesus is the same - yesterday, today, and forever!

Yes, God never changes.  He never forsakes. He never stops caring, or listening, or protecting us.
And... God will always be with us.  He will always do what is best for us.  He will always be holy and without sin.  He will always, always love us!  Hallelujah!

This realization got me thinking about how desperately we cling to some very false statements that drive our thoughts far away from the solid rock of the Savior.  How the enemy tries to redirect our hearts and minds from God's consistent, full authority and onto man's corrupt, incomplete, and broken logic.  Sure, its easy to assume that the opinions of those around us - perhaps even those more educated or experienced than us - are as good as gold.  But is it really "gold" if it contradicts God's absolute promises?  Satan would have us believe some very hopeless statements, if so.

Yesterday, Chuck received an email for a possible employment opportunity here in Houston.  In truth, as the holidays have started to wrap-up, he has had a few decent leads to follow through on for employment and will follow-up after the New Year concludes and hiring professionals return to their regular office hours.  (Thank you, Lord!)  However, this particular opportunity did not produce the kind of enthusiastic reaction I would have hoped to see in my husband.  In fact, his initial response was a frightening shudder.  But after thinking it over, Chuck said to me, "Well, it might not pay as much, and it might not be something I enjoy or even care about doing... but it would be an income."  Immediately, I felt as if we were settling.  Settling due to desperation.  Settling because we are honestly worried about next month's living expenses.  Settling because we have been hit hard financially, are emotionally beat up, and feel immensely taken advantage of by those we once thought were for us but later discovered were harmfully against us.

Humbly, I asked my husband, "Honey, are we considering this option merely because we are desperate or because we really think it is what God wants us to do?  And if we are solely considering it out of desperation, wouldn't it be better to give all our desperation to Jesus and trust that He will provide the right opportunity in His perfect timing.  For He has assured us that He will always take care of us.  Jesus knows and longs to give us our heart's desire according to His purpose.  Jesus knows every crevasse of this valley we are walking through...  Jesus knows and will never forsake or misguide us if we are actively seeking after His purpose!"

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31-33, NIV)

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (Psalm 9:10)

Satan loves to make each of us feel boxed in and hopeless.  He strives to bring us into worry and lowers us deep into his stress-filled pit.  He taunts us to believe his lies are the only viable option to cling to.  That we are always failures... always worthless... that we will never amount to anything... that we will never have peace or security.  But Satan is not absolute or eternal, is he?  Nor is he justified.  No, he will be destroyed by our Mighty King and Redeemer, Jesus.  For there is only One with whom true absolutes are definitive!  And His promises are always eternal.  His Word never, ever fails.  He is the same - yesterday, today, and forever!  (Did I mention TODAY?  This day!  So rejoice, Believers!  For our God is always faithful... especially TODAY!)

As I reflect on all this and share it with you, I am truly grateful for that small hope-filled comment offered between worship songs this past Sunday before our regular church service began. I praise the Lord for giving me exactly what was needed to help and encourage my beloved hubby so that we could prayerfully and obediently identify Whom we are placing our complete and total trust.  (Lord, help us to remain faithful to seek You first, no matter what our present circumstance!)

Yes, we are desperate.  But we are desperate for Jesus and nothing else.  For He alone will save us.  He alone will restore us.  He alone will protect and provide for us in His perfect, holy timing.

Jesus will never leave or forsake us!
Jesus will always, always love us!

Yes, Jesus is our absolute yesterday... TODAY... and graciously forever and ever and ever!

For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)


The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee.  (Deuteronomy 33:27)

I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. (Psalm 81:10)

Blessings this lovely Tuesday and the last day of 2013.  Live it seeking Jesus - always first!

XOXO!

~Victoria

Monday, December 30, 2013

a little Spurgeon in the afternoon...

"Then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark." (Genesis 8:9)

Wearied out with her wanderings, the dove returns at length to the ark as her only resting place.

How heavily she flies - she will drop - she will never reach the ark!
But she struggles on.

Noah has been looking out for his dove all day long, and is ready to receive her. She has just strength to reach the edge of the ark, she can hardly alight upon it, and is ready to drop, when Noah puts forth his hand and pulls her in unto him.

Mark that: "pulled her in unto him."
She did not fly right in herself, but was too fearful, or too weary to do so.
She flew as far as she could, and then he put forth his hand and pulled her in unto him.

This act of mercy was shown to the wandering dove, and she was not chidden for her wanderings.
Just as she was she was pulled into the ark. So you, seeking sinner, with all your sin, will be received.

"Only return" - those are God's two gracious words - "Only return."
What! nothing else?
No, "Only return."

She had no olive branch in her mouth this time, nothing at all but just herself and her wanderings; but it is "Only return," and she does return, and Noah pulls her in.

Fly, thou wanderer; fly thou fainting one, dove as thou art, though thou thinkest thyself to be black as the raven with the mire of sin, back, back to the Saviour.
Every moment thou waitest does but increase thy misery; thine attempts to plume thyself and make thyself fit for Jesus are all vanity.
Come thou to Him just as thou art.
"Return, thou backsliding Israel." 
He does not say, "Return, thou repenting Israel" (there is such an invitation doubtless), but "thou backsliding one," as a backslider with all thy backslidings about thee,

Return, return, return!

Jesus is waiting for thee!
He will stretch forth His hand and "pull thee in" - in to Himself, thy heart's true home.

(Spurgeon)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

so, here's what's going on... a note from Victoria

I thought I was close to Jesus.
I thought I was following Him.
I thought I was living open, true, transparent, ready to serve.
I thought a lot of things.
But nothing makes you re-evaluate your closeness to the Lord more than having the rug pulled out from under you less than ten days before Christmas.

On December 17, Chuck and I received unfortunate news that his successful sales job was no longer "his" job.  After two years of hard work, and without any reasonable warning or preparation, we were told that it didn't matter how large or prosperous Chuck had grown his territory.  It didn't matter that he had more than met every sales quota given him... by over 1.5 million!  Nope, instead... simply, we were out.  We were over.  We were done.

Understandably, we both went into shock. For not only had we paid for our own relocation to Texas to take this job (approximately $30k of our own savings to move), but we had done so prayerfully and with the honest belief that working in this new role would reap more income and flexibility than our comfortable officer positions had back home - with less travel and the stress of managing employees.  We even gave up a massive commission that Chuck had worked very hard on and finally landed in his old job - all in order to start sooner rather than later to please this new Texas employer.  But now, sadly... in the twinkling of an eye, it was all for nought.  It was all gone.

Yesterday, we received a letter informing us that we will be without health insurance by January 31st and are ineligible for extended coverage. (Mind you, I am handicapped and in need of much healthcare.)  Furthermore, we were informed that we will receive no future commission payments because Chuck's now-former employer has greedily decided to keep the full amount of commissions my husband had worked so hard to earn during his employment.  This amounts to another $30k down the drain.  Yes, you heard me right.  In two short years we are now over $60k in the hole and unexpectedly unemployed... just like that.

Again, all this news brought shock.  Shock, horror, anger, frustration, questions, fear, disbelief.

I share all this with you, not for sympathy, but to humbly paint a picture of my reality this very day.  We are not gazillionaires by any means. Instead we are unexpectedly and deeply in heavy, heart-breaking, and scary new debt.  We are not comfortable or safe.  We are living day to day.  Moment by moment.  Breath to breath.  We don't even know how we will pay for our living space after a month or two passes.

Yes, I truly thought I was close to Jesus.
But nothing makes you re-evaluate your closeness to the Lord more than having to run to his altar broken and alone ten days before Christmas.

"Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.  Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:6-9)

"For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile." (Jeremiah 29:10-14)

Choosing strength and courage in the hardest of trials is most difficult.  Believing that God will bring success and restore us from exile when you feel more like a vagabond or nomad is challenging.  But the reality of this ever important message in both Joshua and Jeremiah are this: We are to keep God's Word with us (in us... before us... around us) at all times - at every moment, AND, we are to obey His law without fear or disheartenment.  We are to rejoice always, for there is hope in our Father's promises.  There is a future in His plan.  There is life when we seek Him wholeheartedly... when we believe He will take care of us in every moment.

So, dear friends and readers, I know not if The Devoted Woman will be able to continue posting daily online in the coming year.  I know not if my family will even have a roof over their head in the next few months.  I know not what 2014 will bring.  But I do know that my family and I are resolved to walk through it with Jesus - strong, courageous, and hopeful!  As I submerse myself further in His Word, I will draw nearer to my King.  I will desperately follow His Way and prayerfully lay my life on His altar to do with as He pleases.  I will seek and share Him more - more openly, more truthfully, more transparently, and with a renewed readiness to serve wherever and however He wishes.  You see, I do believe that my God is able!  I do trust that my King is truthful! And I do depend upon my Savior to be reachable and willing to intercede on my behalf always.  So, I will forgive those who have hurt me and my family, and I will walk forward in the small lamp light my God provides each new, exciting and hope-filled day!  I will notice every blessing and hand over every sorrow.  And, I will give as He so generously and freely gives... for this whole earth belongs to Him!

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 27:31)

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them. (1 Samuel 2:8)

Yes, as 2014 approaches and 2013 concludes: Let every heart prepare Him room!  More room than before.  More Jesus.  MORE!  That's it.  That's ALL that matters.  For with Him, we are never out.  We are never over.  We are never done.

So, remain close to your King, friends.  Follow Him at all cost!  Live open, true, transparent, and ready to serve.  And, most important, be joyful and believe that He is with you always!  (Lord, help us to believe!)

Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 9: 23-24)

Blessed Assurance... Jesus is mine!
This is my story!
This is my song!!!

God bless you today and into the New Year!

XOXOX!

Victoria

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

this, this is JESUS!

This morning.
This time to love.
This choice to get up and share our open hearts with one another.
To spend time caring, giving, laughing together.
This moment to generate warmth, acceptance, hope.
This new day to rejoice - no matter the state of our government, our bank accounts, our immediate future.
This, this is JESUS!
This is home.
This is a taste of His kingdom... on earth, as it is in Heaven.
This is His good!
This is what He calls us to know and share each day in His Name...
To love, in honor of His eternal LOVE.
This is a taste of His LIFE to the fullest!
A portion of His most generous offering that we too can share and offer again and again to all whom we encounter.
This "good" is what he regularly calls us to treasure the very most.
Yes... this, this is JESUS!
The One who came into this world, our broken world, to bring healing peace, hope, love.
The One who brings with Him real joy.
The One who died so that we might live!
The One who adopts, renews, and rewards those who seek Him.
For He is here to be found.
He is ready to bless.
He is waiting...
So, if you love this morning, this day, this Christmas...
Won't you love this Christ?
For this, this is JESUS!

Merry Christmas!!!

~Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

merry christmas


To You, dear Audience:

May the love and truth of Jesus fill your hearts and home this Christmas and in the coming New Year!!!

God bless us, everyone!

~Victoria

Sunday, December 22, 2013

keep your heart soft

"Keep your heart soft. Keep your head wise. Keep your path straight. Keep Jesus in your eyes." (Victoria Anderson)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

strengthen your core

For a while now, I have been working one-on-one with a Pilates instructor in an effort to strengthen my core muscles. As some of you already know, for me this has been a very hard year physically as I've undergone two surgical procedures to relieve pain in my lower back. You see, I suffer from degenerative disc disease and am plagued with icky bone spurs in my spine and arthritis throughout my body.

I've been told by two doctors that my lower back issues stem from an old knee injury in which this last decade has required me to undergo several difficult surgeries (and possibly more to come). Unfortunately, my health predicaments have left me physically "older" than I really am. Climbing stairs and walking long distances prove especially challenging and must always be regulated as my knees can easily buckle and give out. Also, I can usually predict weather changes and barometric shifts because I literally "feel" them approaching with my throbbing joints. I have learned to walk with a subtle difference in the length of my unstable, arthritic legs, and, as such, have a tendency to favor the "bad" leg over the "good" (or as I like to tell my husband - the "Frankenstein" leg over the "Sexy Mamma" leg). Needless to say, after years of shifting my body weight to one side, sciatic pains have started to scream - finally drawing a line in the sand for me to change how this injury effects my overall posture.

Anyway... this year, after getting my pain under control, my doctors all recommended that I undergo more physical therapy to strengthen my lower back. From there, Pilates was recommended... and the rest is history. For those of you who are like me (who may know little to nothing about Pilates), let me tell you, it is quite simple in theory but extremely complex to execute correctly. After working under the tutelage of my instructor, I can confirm that it is an excellent method of strengthening your core muscles without causing strain or pain to your lower back. (Very important!) If done correctly, Pilates will actually change everything about you - how you breathe, stand, walk, sit, etc. For me, it has been a very positive discovery, and an important education both physically and spiritually.

What do I mean? Well, let me give you an example. The very first thing I learned in Pilates was that my posture and breathing has forever been incorrect. Can you believe that? Something so basic in life... something that I assumed was normal... for over 40+ years of my life has been executed incorrectly!

Once my instructor began showing me the small adjustments necessary to correct my posture and breathing, I could immediately feel relief in my lower spine as well as other areas of my body. I could actually breathe without holding tension. As crazy as it sounds, these simple corrections have completely rocked my world. For they truly do not seem natural to do. But now that I am aware of them... they are clearly correct and good for my health.

Now, I find myself frequently checking how I stand... how I breathe. I can easily slip back into the old way of doing things, so it is key to always remain aware and deliberate in my movement. (Which is not as easy as you'd think.) However, I've learned that the changes my Pilates instructor has taught me have completely changed the direction of my health. That's revolutionary!

I am grateful that I really researched and chose a wise instructor too. She is not one of those "cookie cutter" trainers who walk about with limited knowledge of Pilates and other forms of exercise leading many clients to perform the movements incorrectly. (Apparently that is more common than not in the Pilates world.) No, she has spent a lifetime learning the art and has studied under the very best and renowned. And she knows that simple, small corrections lead to big, life changing improvements. She does not overwhelm me with the full Pilates regime when I visit her. No, instead she gives me one or two small truths in dosages that promise huge differences to my betterment.

Jesus is the same, you know. He understands that we are corrupt. He knows that we have lived our whole life incorrectly and in detriment to our own health. Our natural human posture leans us toward what is wrong. Our breathing is suffocated by our own sinfulness. Yet, Jesus can change us. He is ready to teach us how to stand upright. He is able to make us new. But we must be willing to learn how. We must be aware and deliberate in our movement. We must frequently go to our Teacher and learn His truths. We must be ready to change everything we thought was normal and make His standard our new way. Only then can we know real relief and be blown away by His wisdom and changes. Only then can we become holy... healthy individuals.

Ladies, will you allow your core to be supported by Jesus' strength? Will you frequently, deliberately, relentlessly go to Him to relearn everything you know? I hope so. I pray so. He will exercise every part of you. He will teach you to move in ways that seem unnatural and strange. But He will also show you what is really correct and good for your health. His way is indeed revolutionary and life changing. Most importantly, His way comes from the greatest authority of all.

This is the day to learn something new from the Instructor/Teacher/Creator who is truly able to change us. Let's exercise ourselves to know Him better and change our posture for good, shall we? Let's intake His breath of life and enjoy the benefit of our mighty, impressive King!

"He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” (Isaiah 2:3)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

Blessings!
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Sunday, December 8, 2013

His new, better life

If you don't, you won't.
If you do, you might.
But through Christ you can do all things!
So why not then fight the good fight?

Do all things in Jesus' Name.
Do all things for His glory and might.
Yes, be strong to do everything God's holy Way.
And achieve eternal success through His new, better life!

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

Blessings!
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Friday, December 6, 2013

Haiti: praying for those God has put before me (part 5)


Beautiful Haiti countryside.
In 2011, I visited The Apparent Project in Haiti. While there, I was tasked to help out AP's efforts by taking photos of their newer Haitian artisans. My job was to take each person's picture and interview them through a local Creole interpreter - learning about their individual lives and then recording it in a few short sentences.  Can you imagine summarizing someone's life in a few short sentences?  It was difficult, but it was important.  For these sentences would later be put onto tags that would be attached to each artist's work, giving them credit for future sales.

Even while performing this duty, I knew that the Lord had put these specific people before me to pray for on a regular basis.  You see, many (if not all) whom I met had lost loved ones in the recent earthquake that occurred in Port au Prince. Many were living in tents (or worse) with no plumbing and no fresh water.
A cutie patootie playing at AP.

Anyway, as Christmas approaches, I felt it was important to share my Haitian photos so that you too may pray in tandem with me for Haiti's people.  Because of this, today and tomorrow, I decided to post the remaining pictures I took in Haiti so you can visually experience what I saw while visiting there.  The conditions were tragic, to say the least.  Poverty is abundant just about everywhere you go in Port au Prince.  Yet, God is still there and loves people!

Please take a moment to really review each photo and consider how you would handle living in such conditions.  Then, remember that Jesus commands us to help those in such need.  Let's always remember to love, pray for, and support every person God has put before us!

Thanks peeps.

Love love love in JESUS' name!!!

~Victoria

This is the Haitian equivalent to our White House.
It was the presidents palace, but the earthquake clearly made it inhabitable.
Here is the other side of the President's palace.
Workers are in the process of trying to restore this building, but I'm not sure it is structurally salvageable.
At one time, this was a grand church in downtown Port au Prince.
However, you can see how devastating the earthquake hit.
Markets on one side of street.
Note: The air smells like feces everywhere.
More rubble and garbage... it's just everywhere.
People don't have bathrooms, so many will just go in the streets. It's so sad.
Man on mule.  It might actually be faster than a car since the roads are so bad.
An apartment building that had collapsed in the quake.
More rubble.
Tap taps (taxis).
More of the church in ruins.
Beams hanging on by a thread.
We were all trying to speculate where the boulder must have fallen from during the quake.
This was just an ominous experience. 
Pieces of stained glass from the church windows.

Tent cities in downtown Pot au Prince.
Can you imagine living like this?
An average day in Haiti.  They struggle to sell anything just to feed their families.
Downtown Port au Prince.  One year - post earthquake.
Here is a "house" made of metal pieces. It must feel like an oven in there during the day. Ugh.
These roads are really a challenge to drive on.
Someone's home... doing laundry.
Want to help my friends in Haiti?  Visit: The Apparent Project.

XOXOXO!

~V

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Haiti: praying for those God has put before me (part 4)

Shelley and Corrigan Clay of The Apparent Project
(with me)
In 2011, I visited The Apparent Project in Haiti. While there, I was tasked to help out AP's efforts by taking photos of their newer Haitian artisans. My job was to take each person's picture and interview them through a local Creole interpreter - learning about their individual lives and then recording it in a few short sentences.  Can you imagine summarizing someone's life in a few short sentences?  It was difficult, but it was important.  For these sentences would later be put onto tags that would be attached to each artist's work, giving them credit for future sales.

Even while performing this duty, I knew that the Lord had put these specific people before me to pray for on a regular basis.  You see, many (if not all) whom I met had lost loved ones in the recent earthquake that occurred in Port au Prince. Many were living in tents (or worse) with no plumbing and no fresh water.

Shelley brought me some wonderful mango as I helped at AP.
Small blessings that are really BIG blessings!
Anyway, as Christmas approaches, I felt it was important to share my Haitian photos so that you too may pray in tandem with me for Haiti's people.  Because of this, today and tomorrow, I decided to post the remaining pictures I took in Haiti so you can visually experience what I saw while visiting there.  The conditions were tragic, to say the least.  Poverty is abundant just about everywhere you go in Port au Prince.  Yet, God is still there and loves people!

Please take a moment to really review each photo and consider how you would handle living in such conditions.  Then, remember that Jesus commands us to help those in such need.  Let's always remember to love, pray for, and support every person God has put before us!

Thanks peeps.

Love love love in JESUS' name!!!

~Victoria

One of the many tent cities within the Port au Prince community.
Typical garbage/rubble everywhere.
Just like any other day for these people.
This street actually had a real road to drive upon.  Blessing!!!
All vehicles are usually filled to capacity.
Metalworkers creating pieces of art from used oil drums.
The works of art created here are so beautiful.  Some are even sold in catalogs I receive at home in the United States.  (That said, I'm not sure if these Haitian artists actually see a fair profit as many of the buyers from well-known companies can take advantage of their desperate situation and short change the artists.)
Children playing outside the metal shop.  They live in the tents to the left.
Three DW's with HOPE for Haiti!
Shelley Clay, Founder of The Apparent Project.
Helping so many out of poverty in Jesus' Name! Love love love this gal!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Haiti: praying for those God has put before me (part 3)

In 2011, I visited The Apparent Project in Haiti. While there, I was tasked to help out AP's efforts by taking photos of their newer Haitian artisans. My job was to take each person's picture and interview them through a local Creole interpreter - learning about their individual lives and then recording it in a few short sentences.  Can you imagine summarizing someone's life in a few short sentences?  It was difficult, but it was important.  For these sentences would later be put onto tags that would be attached to each artist's work, giving them credit for future sales.



Even while performing this duty, I knew that the Lord had put these specific people before me to pray for on a regular basis.  You see, many (if not all) whom I met had lost loved ones in the recent earthquake that occurred in Port au Prince. Many were living in tents (or worse) with no plumbing and no fresh water.

Anyway, as Christmas approaches, I felt it was important to share my Haitian photos and the brief stories I documented with hopes that you too may pray in tandem with me for these individuals.  So, for the next few days, I will be posting my pictures and the few sentences I recorded about the lives of my Haitian friends.



I hope that you will look into the beautiful eyes of each of these hard working individuals and consider their hopes, their dreams, their future.  I hope that you will join me in prayer and ask the Creator of every soul to bless abundantly and meet every individual need today, and into the New Year.

Thanks peeps.

Love love love in JESUS' name!!!

~Victoria








Missole
This is Missole.  Missole is married with three children. She has a gentle spirit which she shares with everyone around her. She would love to save enough income to support her family and hopes to buy a house one day.

Mardonnette
This is Mardonnette.  Mardonnette is married with 4 children. Unfortunately, Mardonnette’s husband has no work, so she would love to make enough income to support her family.

Peterson
This is Peterson. He is orphaned due to the earthquake. He has no birth certificate, no death certificates for his parents, etc.... so he cannot easily be helped in the regular adoption system b/c those papers are required. He lives in the tent city with a woman who beats him and then spends his days mostly at The Apparent Project asking for food, love, hope.

Rodney (and me)
This is my friend Rodney. He is such a sweet, gentle, and respectful young man. He is working to support his sick mother and six brothers/sisters. He lives in a tent in the nearby tent city closest to The Apparent Project. He would like to become a doctor one day and work in Haiti.

Emmanuel
This was our tap tap (taxi) driver Emmanuel who kindly took us about Haiti when Shelly and Corrigan weren't able. I could not verbally communicate well with Emmanuel (since I don't speak Creole and he doesn't know much English)...however, I love him very much and made sure he knew it! He was very protective and cared for us all well.

Junior (and me)
This is Junior.  Junior is WONDERFUL! I love him. He was a terrific translator/bodyguard who always kept his cool while we traveled into some scary locations. When Junior says, "OK, it's time to go." I didn't hesitate. He kept good care of our group and is instrumental with the operations at The Apparent Project! Love Love LOVE HIM!

P.S. In the following days, I plan to post the rest of my Haiti pictures so you can experience visually what I saw while visiting there.  Let's always remember to love and pray for everyone God has put before us, peeps!  Love y'all!

~V


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