Thursday, September 4, 2008
My morning run is my quiet time, alone with the Lord, a time I look forward to starting my days with here in Haiti . One morning recently ,as I felt pushed to run a bit further than normal, I felt the Lord clearly showed me, that many of us are in that extra mile.This is the place in our journey, that it takes that extra push of perseverance to endure to the end. I am reminded of our walk across the mountains of Haiti. This was an unknown journey to us, we had only heard of the path, commonly used by Merchants here in Haiti to carry their produce across to Port. Making the decision to walk, required a certain amount of faith in what we had been told by others, belief in ourselves, that we could actually endure it. And trust , that God would carry us through to the end. Just as many life circumstances find us, we came to a point in our journey, where our ability alone was not enough. We then would have the choice to trust in the Lord's ability through us, to bring us through.He promises to be with us in our journey, wherever that may take us. Just as God promised Joshua He would go with them, if they would move ahead as he directed, full of courage and strength and not turn aside. These were the conditions for success,the promise of the land would be theirs and God would be with them through it all, but the choice was still theirs to make, would they choose to go the extra mile? to endure to the end,even though it seemed impossible? Each of our extra miles may look a bit different.. For some of us, it is our jobs, our ministry,relationships, sickness, but His promise is the same for us all..EVERY place that the sole of your foot will tread upon, I HAVE GIVEN YOU...........NOW PROCEED!!! I will be with you to the end!!
Jefferson, is our neighborhood friend.
I believe he has the biggest smile in Haiti.
He is 13 and desperatly wanting to go to school.
Johnny is going to school........
Charmaine chose Johnny as her birthday gift of education.............
Johnny is 13 and very excited about his chance to go to school this year.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
With this blog, I want to share with you some things that God has shown me about Brokenness and how he has brought more brokenness into my live while being here in Haiti.
I am sure if I asked 10 people what brokenness means to them, it is safe to say we probably would have 10 different answers, depending where we are all at in our walk with Christ.I will try to share some what brokenness means to me and how God has used situations here in Haiti to bring me to a new level of brokenness. Before coming to Haiti this time I really had no Idea the work God was getting ready to do in my life. Just living and being here, we are exposed to things that only God knows why, like, watching a man drink from the gutter that you or I would not even stick our finger in,like talking with a group of boys that have lived in and out of orphanages all their lives and they shared with me stories of how they were beaten, abused, and treated like slaves, all just for someone else's gain. I could see the pain in their eyes as they told me these things and I knew there was much more that they were not sharing. But one of the hardest things to be exposed to and see is the small children that are suffering and seeing the conditions that they live in and most of all the Hopelessness in their eyes, when you look at them, I have no words that describe how it grabs at your heart. except Brokenness.
I will never forget my visit to the County Hospital here and seeing what I saw, it was like walking through some real bad horror movie that left those everlasting memories in your head that you could not get rid of. I saw diseases, death, and health care, at a level I did not even think existed.
I can not put into words the emotions that we go through in just one day of doing the things God has us do here. Many times I have had to fight back the tears seeing these things that I have shared with you, and some times I just go in my quiet place and let it all out. I tell you all this not so you will feel sorry and have great compassion for me and what God has us doing here, but to explain to you that by God allowing me to experience these things and go through some of the pain that I experience while being exposed to things, it has brought me to a place of brokenness that is unexplainable, Which only has drawn me closer to the Lord than I have ever been or known I could get.God has brought Psalms 51 alive to me and especially 51:17 I want to quote something out of a book that I recently have been reading and the author says this: Brokenness is the realization that life is too much for us, not just because there is to much pain but also because were too selfish. Brokenness is realizing He(God) is all we have. Hope is realizing, He is all we need . Joy is realizing He is all we want. This is where I believe God wants us, if we will allow ourselves to grab onto our brokenness, which will only drive us closer to God, which in turn will conform us more like Him. Then I can go to that group of boys I was talking about earlier and truly love on them as Christ would. Or maybe I would not be so quick to judge and gossip about my fellow brother in Christ, Or maybe I would learn to look past my fellow brothers faults and find the goodness God has put there. Or maybe I would learn how to put my relationship with Christ before and above all the other things that I think are so important, Just a few things to think about , I also believe that brokenness will enable us to have that rich and abiding communion with God that we all need and want.
What would our churches look like if they were full of broken people, who are hungry for God, who know what it means to sense the spirit moving within them as they speak with one another and co-labor with one another.?
I would like to close with this thought for you all to think on. It also is from a book that I have read recently, the thought is: maybe its time for us (the church) to dive into the unmanageable, messy world of relationships, to admit our failure, to identify our tensions, to explore our shortcomings. we need to become the answer to our lords prayer, that we become one the way He and the Father are one.
Its time to rise up church, and become a community of people who take refuge in God and encourage each other to never flee to another source of help, a community of folks who know the only way to live in this world is to focus on the spiritual life ( our life with God and others) . It won't be easy but it will be worth it Our impact on the world is at stake. I believe the first step to achieving this is being broken before God. I want to encourage you all, to seek God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and ask God to show you your brokenness.
Walking In His Blessings
Ted, Lisa, Charmaine, Caleb
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I want to take this time to thank everyone who has been praying for us, your prayers mean so much, please do not take praying lightly. I believe because of your prayers God answered them on Sunday night and protected Lisa and I and gave me the instinct to know what to do. Believe me I have had no training in how to get away from robbers or kidnappers especially in the rain at night. And it was God who gave me the courage to get away and find help, it was not that I am some really brave man, because the truth is I was as scared as I ever want to be.
I just want to take a minute and share some thoughts with you all. First I believe that all things that happen to us are father filtered, meaning anything good or bad, God has the say on allowing it to happen and when. The book of Job is a great example of this. So for reasons we do not know yet and some we already know, God allowed what happened to us Sunday to happen. One important thing that God has done through this already is, He is building my faith more and I hope He is doing the same for you. This situation also has helped me to know that I know God has lead me and my family here, even more than I already knew. I know that the enemy does not like what we are doing here and would love to bring in fear and doubt in, and I also know that if I let fear come in and take over my thoughts then I might as well pack up and go back to the states. So the way I see it is we have a choice to make either buy into the lie the enemy is putting out, or draw closer to the lord. So we are taking this opportunity and drawing closer to the Lord and getting more in His presence.The one thing I know as we draw and press into His presence, this where we will find direction and wisdom for our lives. As it is explained in a book that I have been reading the author calls it the upper room experience, so please join us in the upper room.
We are praying that God will show us the things, if any, that need to be done to make things safer for Our family, Rod and Brittney and all the children and the staff here at M.D.L. I hate that we even have to take this time out to evaluate our security and that now when I walk out the gate I see things a little different , it truly is a sad day, like our good friend John McHoul said to me one time. It is because of sin that we have to have razor wire , high walls, security guards, and all the other things we do to be safe here in Haiti and once again because of sin we have to take time out of what God has called us to do and do things like evaluate security, spend money to fix a truck ( which I am believing for 7 fold back on every penny it takes to repair the truck). So I would like all of you that have been praying to join with us and pray that we can quickly get back on track doing what God has called us to do here in Haiti, serving these children here at M.D.L. and the people of Haiti.
And please be encouraged that all your prayers count and are truly powerful, that on a rainy Sunday night God answered your prayers of protection for us and we the Hojara Family just want to thank-you one more time, but most of all we thank the Lord for answering those prayers and now join us and rejoice in what God has done and is continuing to do.
Always remembering the safest place we can be is in the center of God's will.
Walking in His blessings,
Ted, Lisa, and Charmaine and Caleb
Friday, February 29, 2008
This letter comes to you from Haiti. Where we have been living and serving for almost two months now.
We have so much to share with you, it's hard to know where to begin. Our lives here in Haiti stay very full, the days are not typical, as at home in America. The golden rule on the mission field is flexibility , which is required to even stay reasonably at peace in a country of such instability.
Our decision to come to Haiti in January, came when we got word , that our dear friend Susette Mannesarro was diagnosed with cancer and in need of Chemo treatment in the states. The news was shocking, as we had just been in Haiti with Bill and Sue back in Nov.
The Manesarro's have founded 2 home's for street children. Maison De Lumiere,( House of Light or Lighthouse), which now house 31 boys and 16 girls. These children all have one thing in common, they each worked the streets of Haiti, day and night, begging, in order to survive.before being rescued by this ministry.
A House of Light, is exactly what it is for these children. A place of refuge and hope. Ted & I remember when we first met the kids, a little over 3 years ago , the boys were rough, untrusting and violent. Today if you were to meet these same young men , you would probably argue the fact that they were once like that. It almost brings me to tears, when each day they greet me with a hug and kiss on the cheek.. These are the same boys that once chased Bill with a machete and locked their house parent in a room after chasing her with a knife, just few short years ago.
God has completely transformed their lives and there is no denying it.
The Manesarro's have done an incredible job , not only providing a safe place for these kids, but discipling them teaching them God's principles and above all else, loving them unconditionally. A perfect example of Christ's love for us and living proof that , love truly does cover all....
We have never felt so confident that we are walking in our purpose and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is exactly where God wants us to be. One thing we have found to be true, is when we are obeying God in what we do, it is not a sacrifice at all and the blessing is truly ours.
We continue to stay in awe of His blessings and mostly His grace over our family and this minsitry. This ministry is just another extension of our family in the Kingdom Of God. We feel honored to be positioned in a place of being a blessing to these children and in a position of recieving so much more than we could ever give.
We are trusting God, in our decision to stay , helping Bill & Susette with this ministry until they are able to return, prayerfully later this year. We are believing God will provide the way for this to happen,as there is still much uncertainty as to when they will be able to return.
We are learning to trust God in ways we never imagined, not only trusting Him with ours and the children's daily needs, but trusting Him with every minute, every breath, every decision we make..every day...He is so good! to give us all we need....
we so appreciate, your prayerful and financial support of our family.
The Hojara family
we send weekly updates,with pictures, sponsor opportunities and needs. on our website at www.heartofjonathan.com
"The call of God is essentially, an expression of His nature,when I recieve His nature, I hear His call. Service to Him is the outcome of what is fitted to my nature, it is the overflow of superbounding devotion to Him, that I may serve Him in ordinary ways of life,out of my devotion to him"
Heart of Jonathan Ministries
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
When the answer is NO...........
Sometimes I'm finding the answer has to be No.....for me probably the most difficult answer to give someone, especially when their desperate for you to have a solution to their problem. I am reminded daily that God is God and I am only man....and God IS still God , even when the answer is No...and even when everything in me wants the answer to be YES....even when it seems, impossible to say NO. He is still God......................
This week I found myself lying awake at 3 am, thinking about and seeing the faces of those that I had to say NO to. A little girl, 9 years old, who has no one to care for her while her Mom's in the hospital. A teen Mom, with a 14 month old, who is homeless with no family and for 3 weeks now, the answer has been NO. I just don't seem to have the right answer....or should I say the answer that I would prefer. What I find myself asking is, do I really believe that God is big enough for these people? do I trust him enough to care for them? am I in tune with him enough, that I give the right answer? All I know for certain is that Yes!!! God is still God and he loves these people even more than I do(which is a whole lot!!!) and Yes he is BIG enough to meet them right where they are at , even if it's not my way, I know His is best.......and am learning to trust him with evey decision, every minute of the day.....
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Werna, Johnny,Junior and Olivia
I would like to introduce Madame Werna ( my new friend) & her precious children.
We have spent many days together and cried many tears together as well.......
You may remember me writing a few weeks ago about the 10 day old baby at my gate, Olivia. Werna is Olivia's Mom, she is a single Mom with now 4 children in her care, she has given up her youngest, Olivia for adoption.
Werna has no home or family to help care for her and her children , she is a mere 27 years old and just diagnosed with HIV. The news of her disease has been difficult , we did recieve good news that her 4 other children have tested negative. Werna, as well as Olivia( with her new adoptive parents) are now in a program for HIV patients . Werna is one in many women in this situation, here in Haiti, but Werna is the one who God brought our way, I believe, not by chance........................
We at this time are helping as much as we are able , getting her to clinic and giving her a few things for her children. Here in Haiti , having HIV is very looked down upon, there are so many myths , that these people are basically outcasts. At this time Werna is unable to work and many days they are without food, unless we bring it.
We would like to find a sponsor or sponsors for this family. For a very small amount she and her children can eat 3 meals a day and have a roof over their heads.
for about $150 US per month, they could have a small room, food and also send her kids to school.
If we could get 6 people to help , it would be a $25 per month commitment that would literally change this family's life.
please pray about what your part might be. you will surely be blessed in doing it!!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
The first day that I arrived here in Haiti, as I was walking through the boy's house at M.D.L, I heard Gods voice say, I have prepared you for a time such as this. Over the last 13 days I have had to grab on to those words many times. After just 13 days here there has been many situations that have touched me beyond what words can describe. The kind of things that touch deep in our heart, like watching girls and boys from the ages of maybe 10 to18 on there faces praying with all their heart that God would heal Susette who has been like a mother to a lot of them for the last 3 years, who is now back in the states, she has be diagnosed with cancer and now going through 6 months of kemo treatments.
I believe that many of us should grab onto these words. There are many reading this that God has put a task in front of and even as hard as that task or situation may seem, by Gods grace you will finish the task God has set before you. When you think he can go no farther grab onto these words, God has prepared you for such a time as this.
My wife recently wrote a blog and her words were Abounding Grace, nothing else can describe how we see what we see, hear what we hear, and do what we do each day here in Haiti. There are just not answers, sometimes to the never ending questions we are faced with daily here, not just typical questions as nothing here seems to be typical, but many life and death questions, waiting for answers only God can give. One of our greatest challenges was last week when we were a part of telling 2 woman they were HIV positive, both in their 20's, words can not describe the look in their eyes after telling them.
When I sit here thinking of the task God has set before Lisa and I and our children it becomes very overwhelming. Each day I look at these 47 children that God loves so much and has interested us with, what an honor it is to care for and serve the ones God loves so. And at the same time we feel so inadequate, to be able to help those that God has brought before us. I grab onto those words, I have prepared you for a time such as this.
For about the last month God has had me in the book of Job , One thought came to me that I would like to share, as I was reading through it this time. God allowed many terrible things to happen to Job, he lost his family that he loved so, all his possessions and then became sick himself. As I thought about this for a moment a thought came to me, it was, if God knows everything before it even happens, then He must of known that Job would make it even before he allowed these horrible things to happen to him. Job had quite the task before him and at the end he was victorious. I believe that Job was prepared for such a time as God put before him. Also Gods word says he will never put more on us than we can handle. The problem we have sometimes is that we don't always understand that God truly does prepare us for those times that we may not want to or think we can endure. Remember God has prepared us for such a time as this.
I want to encourage everyone that might be facing that task God has set before you. Embrace the task and know by his grace you can finish the task set before you. God already knows we can do it, draw near to him and we will be victorious. AMENI just want to say Thank-you to everyone praying for us while we are here in Haiti, we can feel the prayers. Blessings TED
Monday, February 11, 2008
Nothing else can describe how we see what we see, hear what we hear and do what we do each day here in Haiti. There are just not answers, sometimes to the never ending questions we are faced with daily here , not just typical questions, as nothing here seems typical, but many life and death questions, waiting for answers, answers only God can give. This week our greatest challenge was having to tell two women they were HIV positive, both in their 20's, this was one of the most difficult things I have ever been a part of. Some days I wonder what exactly was God thinking sending me here amongst all these children with such great need. As a little girl, all I ever asked for was a baby, .WOW!!!! now here in Haiti, I could have one every day....it makes me think of the song " be careful waht you wish for , you just might get it all" boy did I.... I've been told more than once I would be the Mother to many, I guess I didn't really believe it until now.......
Monday, February 4, 2008
To give you glimpse of the desperation here in Haiti, I thought I would share a few stories of the past 5 days. Last wed . I wrote of the 10 day old baby at my gate, needing a home. Olivia is now her name, today Olivia went home with her new family here in Haiti, a missionary couple who's prayers have been answered , and a baby , God loved soooo much.....and had a plan for her before she was ever born.
My day yesterday ended with the sad other side of Olivia's story, as I walked to her Mama's home to give her an oral aids test, discovering she is HIV positive, having to tell her this disturbing news added to her already difficult circumstances as she and her other 4 children are temporarily living with strangers without anything but a small plastic bag of personal items .. We will now help her recieve treatments. please pray for Werna and her children. God does have a plan and purpose even in the midst what seems impossible...
Yesterday upon our arrival home from church we were met ,with yet another Mama and baby at our gate, a young 17 year old girl with a 14 month old little girl , stating she had no home and could we please take her baby., the baby covered with a serious skin disease, sat glaring at me with these big beautiful eyes, that even without words, were pleading for help. I honestly feel I have an autopilot GPS pointing in my direction that says "let the children come"!!! which in my heart of hearts I love, they are my passion and reason for being here, but on the other hand what shall I do with them ALL? I couldn't possibly take them all in, I can't even possibly help every one of them. Daily I find myself crying out to God on their behalf and if I were honest , I would have to say most days, I know that I know, He is here , He is Big enough for them all, but some days I struggle with my understanding of WHY Lord? why these children and these people, why is it that we are such a blessed people in every way and these people continue to suffer so greatly? but each day, right in the midst of devastation, His amazing grace comes, some how, some way and covers us all and allows us to be His hands, His feet and His voice to these people and bring His hope into their lives.I'm coming to understand more and more, It's all about giving, giving of ourselves, our time, our energy, our love, whatever it is God has blessed us with, we recieve the most of him through our giving unto others..
Today it seemed it was giving of my $$$ I started out putting money in my pocket to put fuel in our truck, before I could even get out of the gate, our fix it man, needed tap tap $ , then, oh yeah we needed drinking water, as I arrived at the boys home I'm told we have no toilet paper or soap, 30 boys are pretty stinking with either of these oh and the laundress has a tooth ache and needs $ for the Dr. we can't do too long without her, as she is our only means of clean clothes, with no washer or dryer here. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but needless to say when I went in my pocket to give Ted the fuel$$, we could only laugh, as it was really no surprise, just all part of the giving process, I suppose.
To end on a positive note... I can only say, that there is no greater joy than walking in the purpose and destiny God has for you..no matter what comes your way, He is so faithful to Give you all you need right in the moment that you need it ........
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
My day started a typical day (if there is any such thing) at 5:30 am with 30 min. to prepare something for the kids for breakfast , grab some coffee and wake the kids up by 6.
I try my best to start the day off with 30-60 minutes on the balcony looking over the city praying and talking with the Lord, once my day begins, I never know what it will bring my way. We kinda have a joke around here , when we say, well what will we be doing tomm? the truth is , we just really don't know, every day the Lord continues to remind me how very much I need him!!! it usually requires an extreme amount of flexibility and willingness to lay our plans aside.
Today would prove to be one of those days.
Wednesdays are my prenatal clinic day, the one day I spend away from the orphanges here , I look forward to seeing friends and the ladies in our program.So off we were to school at 7 , upon my return home , I was met at my gate by a woman with 3 children, not an unusual site as there is ALWAYS someone at our gate...but she caught my eye and wanted to talk, I noticed her son , who was maybe 12, was holding a very tiny newborn baby, only 10 days old, she also had a small toddler with her, obviously malnurished, lathargic and very sickly,as I rolled down my window she preceeded to tell me her problems, only able to gather she wanted me take her babies, I told her to wait while I went in to find someone who could help translate her story for me, still in my PJ's , I was able to get someone here on staff to come with me to talk with her. As I sat listening to her story, my mind became numb, not believing what I was hearing, even though I've heard many simular stories, today it just seemed to boggle mind, she shared that the Father of the two babies kicked her out, not believing the baby was his , as it was born 2 months premature, she has no means to feed clothe or care for her children and now no place to live, I sat there thinking, "Lord what in the world were you thinking" sending me here all alone, not having even a tiny clue what little ole me is going to say to this lady, I must have been a site, sitting in my PJ's on the wall outside our house pretty much daized with disbelief and here they sat waiting for my response and all I could do was tell her to please wait for me as I go inside and try to collect my thoughts, everything in me wanted to take all 3 of her children, but I knew I couldn't do that,as our homes here are now full.
My thoughts went to John & Beth our friends here , they have two children's Homes, but with the recent changes in the adoption laws, they have not recieved any new children over the past several months into their homes. So reluctantly, I took my chances and called John and to my surprise, he asked if the baby was a boy or girl, when I said a girl, he immediatly said ,"I have a home for her", a missionary couple living here in Haiti have been waiting for a newborn baby girl...Wow!!! how amazing is our God!!! he said bring her and Mom over for an interview , so we did and her new family will meet her tomm...though I was excited the baby now has someone to care for it and give it a good life, it was so bitter sweet, watching this Mama leave her baby behind with strangers, without a word or even a tear, we left for home, it was a long ride home in silence, still with no answer for her or her other children, I had to know God was in control and he would care for them, everything in me just wanted to cry, bury my head in a pillow and cry..I still don't have all the answers and I probably never will, but I do believe and trust our Father in heaven sees each and everyone of these children here and loves them more than I ever could.
That was not to be the end of my day. Now 4pm I was off to pick up kids at school , when I got a call from my friend Sheila, saying she had a flat and could I get her kids as well, having a flat myself this week , I knew it could be quite sometime for her to have help and within 15 minutes she called to say no one was able to come help her and could we come, so off we went with a truckload of kids to rescue Sheila , who just happened to be broke down right in the middle of one of the busiest roads she and another white girl, which is quite the distraction on the roads here in Haiti. So after an hour waiting on the tire to be pushed who knows how far up the road for repair we were finally heading home,now almost dark, feeling I have absolutly nothing left to give for this day,but so thankful for ALL that God allowed me to give........