sunset fronds2Sean jumped in the car after school today, threw a paper in my direction, and said “Read this!”

I glanced over the newsletter and saw the announcement of a new school-wide project.  As he buckled in, he announced that we needed to go home and find shoes that we don’t need or that don’t fit anymore.  His school is participating in a program that will send shoes to countries like Haiti and will fund efforts to provide clean water in those communities.

“That’s awesome,” I said as we pulled out of the pick-up line and onto the road. “We can definitely do that.”

And then he proceeded to open up my eyes.

Here’s the thing: the country of Haiti being involved in this fundraiser caught Sean’s attention.  We have the privilege of building a relationship, through Compassion International, with a little girl named Barbara.  The kids write to her and are always happy when the mailman delivers the letters and pictures she sends to us.  We have used the awesome resources Compassion provides to learn about Haiti and the life that Barbara and so many other kids have there.  The kids think about her and pray for her every night.

Which is why Sean said ~ “See?  It’s because of our prayers for Barbara!  More people are helping Haiti and we can help them do it!”

I almost had to hit the brakes.

When he said Haiti, I was heart-happy that more hope and light was on the way to a country so in need of helping hands.  It did not occur to me that our prayers could have something to do with it… but why not?  Doesn’t James 5:16 declare that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”?  Doesn’t Jesus tell us in the gospel of John that if we ask in His name, we will receive so that the Father is glorified in the Son?

If we believe that God hears and honors our prayers, then yes ~ yes! ~ the faithful prayers of two boys and their little sister could most certainly be the catalyst for an elementary school in a small southern town sending shoes and clean water to the country they hold close to their hearts.

I wonder how much I miss because I am not watching for God’s answers outside of my expectations.  I wonder how much I miss because I don’t realize that He is providing opportunities for me to pitch in and help carry out His plan.

I am so grateful that He sometimes surprises us with a tangible reminder that He is listening.  I am so grateful that He has given me these little teachers in my life who sometimes stun me with their faith and with their knowledge that our God is active and present in our lives.

This week may we all have eyes like my child ~ ready to see the hand of God in the details of our lives.  May we remember that He hears us and He answers.  May we listen for His voice, from whatever direction He may speak… and may our words speak out of active faith in Him!  May we be ready to be a part of the answer to the needs we bring to our Father.

May our hearts be open to the delight and blessing of His presence… may we remember that we are lavishly loved and give of that never-running-out love to everyone around us.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Karen Lemke April 19, 2014 at 6:42 am

I recognize the well meaning behind the idea of collecting and shipping things to a country like Haiti. However, I work for a NGO and we are currently funding a recovery project in Haiti that includes vocational training ( mainly the building trades) but also includes support for people to start a business, at least one was making and selling shoes. When we ship goods like clothing and shoes we need to be aware that we may be taking away from someone’s livelihood. In our desire to help may we make sure it is assistance that builds up and does not simply give out.

I commend your sons school for the desire to assist but also encourage them to help in ways that will rebuild the livelihood and life of those in Haiti and other areas facing similar challenges.

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