Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Creating Community for YOU!

What's NEW @ WOTH:

*Book Club BLOG:
  • Starts next Monday, April 5!
  • Get the book: Cries of the Heart, by Ravi Zacharias (discounted @ the blogspot).
  • Join us with our expert moderator, Linda Swanson.

Go to the WOTH Book Club blog for all the details!

THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 3/29/10

I took the picture at the dedication of a new church building in the interior of Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). Watching these women do a joyful traditional dance, I thought of the sacrifices of the missionaries who came sixties year before, bringing the gospel to this unreached people, and how I was able to witness the fruit of their labor. The Dayak community of believers, now fully self-supported, is continuing the work of the pioneer missionaries started.

Photographer: Natalie Holsten. My husband and I are with Mission Aviation Fellowship and have been in Indonesia since 2001.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good for Your Soul: List 5 Things

Could you list 5 things that are good for your soul? In the current issue of the WOTH onlineMagazine, author Shelley Merritt listed 23 in her article, "Good for the Soul."

Here's an excerpt:

Several winters ago, we had a new puppy named Cisco. He of course needed to be taken outside every couple of hours, regardless of the weather. I remember taking that cute bundle of black fur out to our backyard at night. It was so very cold! I remember my feet crunching on the icy snow, Cisco gingerly exploring the ground, sniffing here and there. I remember every night looking up at the myriad of stars above—for some reason, the stars always seem extra bright and clear on cold winter nights. I remember feeling the frigid air fill my lungs and then seeing my breath vapor, white in the black night. It was so still, so quiet. Somehow the greatness and nearness of God seemed to be in the very air about me.

I remember thinking, This is good for the soul.

What's good for your soul? In the comment section, let's get to know one another better and list 5 things that are good for your soul in the place you are living now...

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 3/22/10

I went to Canada on a youth group trip. Every year, they shove 30-40 people on a Greyhound bus, and we drive all day, all night, and all through the next day—with a couple gas station stops and one stop at the Edmonton Mall. Once we got to the camp, everyone shared their testimonies and were challenged in their faith, physically or mentally.

There were two things that God pointed out to me on this trip. The first was that I have friends. I had never really ever connected in a youth group; so, going on a nine-day trip with people I didn’t know every well was a step out of my box. And the second thing that God showed me while I was in Canada was that through the Rocky Mountains, through the simple beauty of a flower or through the crystal aquamarine color of the sun setting over huge basin of glacier water, He showed me the true deep love He has for each and every one of us. On the way back, we stopped in Banff National Park at Lake Louise. This is one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen and I truly felt God’s love there, with all the beauty standing before me.

Photographer: Kelsey Lane, 15 year-old student from Littleton, Colorado.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Haiti: the Story Behind the Photo

Haiti will forever be a part of my life now. Living in Honduras, I started out on the trek to Haiti after the earthquake. Upon arrival in Port-au-Prince, the first thing that hit me was the sea of humanity. This little town held 4 million people. Keeping things in perspective, I am living in a country of 7 million people (so over half of the population of Honduras would be residing in the city of Port-au-Prince). We drove to our camp site, Quisqueya Christian School (QCS). We immediately found a spot on the grass, set up our tents, and got to the business of preparing ourselves for the task ahead of us.

Our first few days found us in the Diquini Refugee Camp of about 30,000 people. We worked alongside Haitian doctors and nurses. Collectively, we saw about 150 people the first two days. A Haitian physician asked our team leader if we would consider going over to the hospital to work. Our team, consisting of 4 MD’s, 4 RN’s, a Nurse Practitioner, engineers, a dentist, and various other skilled individuals, agreed. We packed up our things at QCS and brought all of our medications, supplies, tents, etc. to our new home for the week—the upstairs’ floor of the hospital.

Diquini Adventist Hospital had been built in the 70’s, but had been out of use for the past decade. Doctors from France discovered that the hospital had a few operating room suites; so it seemed like an ideal location and re-opened it right after the earthquake. Because it had been closed for so long, the patient rooms were not usable; there were few supplies and no medications.

Our first day there was indicative of what was to come. We arrived on our shift (a 16- hour night shift) and within the first 10 minutes a woman arrived and collapsed on the floor. We attended to her medically for about 45 minutes, but she passed away. About an hour later, another baby that had been delivered to a very sick mother was in respiratory distress; we worked on that baby for about an hour before we were able to get her transported to the U.S.S. Comfort, where we later learned she passed away. A few hours later, we tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate another baby. Then, another man with severe tuberculosis came in needing to be intubated and transported to a military camp.

Finally, at the end of my shift, while the physicians and nurses were in a morning devotional, a woman came in to the hospital in active labor. I was the only medical person on hand, and within 10 minutes I delivered her baby on the floor of the hospital on a mat. My eyes were opened to what this all meant.

This was desperate.

We barely had the supplies and medication we needed, but certainly not the number of staff that this situation required. However, God had placed us here at this time, in this place, and we would do the best that we could—and we did! We were able to pray and offer comfort to so many people: people lying on mats on the floor because there were no beds, people who should have been in ICU’s, people that were dying, people that came in dead.

Yet, this was not the only hospital that found itself in similar circumstances. This was the same scene in hospitals all around Port-au-Prince. We also saw people who were in mental distress. One young mother had lost three sisters, two brothers, her mother, her father, and her husband. She was left caring for her 14 year-old, her 8 year-old, and her 3 month-old baby. The vacant expression on her face showed her loss of hope. (She is the one featured in my photo for this week’s Picture Praise.) The only hope that she and all of Port-au-Prince has, is to find the hope that can be found only in Jesus Christ.

As we flew out of Haiti, I looked down on the city that is forever changed. I looked down with wonder at how this city, this country could EVER recover. I kept coming back to one thing: Only through Jesus Christ will this country find its hope again and only with His loving grace will they understand that He is the only one who gives life.

Photographer: “My name is Erin Pettengill, and my family and I have been full-time missionaries in Honduras for almost 2 years now. I’m am a registered nurse, my husband is a church planter, and my 13 year-old daughter helps with our ministry and attends a bilingual school in town.”

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Launching WOTH Book Club Blog!

Something New for You: Women of the Harvest will be launching another blog on Monday, April 5--The WOTH Book Club.

The WOTH Book Club Blog will be a place of community where women serving cross-culturally will gather to read and discuss great books--fiction and non-fiction, Christian and secular--with other cross-cultural women. Participants will be exposed to new authors, stories and concepts while reading writers who think like us and others who may disagree with us. Readers will be challenged to think, consider, and find words to respond to new thoughts, disagreeable conclusions, and age old dilemmas staged in new scenes. There will be content to wrestle with, to laugh about, to ponder, and hopefully, growth in understanding the world around us and how God would have us respond to it.

Linda Swanson will be our host and moderator.

Linda served as a cross-cultural worker for 28 years with MAF, both overseas and at headquarters. During eight of those years, she helped direct Fairhaven Ministries, a retreat center for pastors and workers. Now, Linda serves as Executive Assistant to the President and Coordinator of Communities for Link Care Center, a counseling ministry for workers and pastors in Fresno, CA. Linda’s husband, Kevin, is a pastor of a Covenant Church in Murphys, CA. Their two children are married, and they have one grandson. Linda is a speaker, writer, spiritual director and loves hiking, canoeing and learning to paint.

From Linda:
Hi to all! I would like to choose Cries of the Heart, by Ravi Zacharias for our first book. From the back cover:

*A dream job.

*Beautiful kids.

*The best marriage.

And a growing feeling of absolute emptiness...
In Cries of the Heart, Ravi Zacharias explores the inner feeling of futility that can overwhelm a human heart and help us to:

*See a reason in our suffering
*Ease our guilty consciences
*Find freedom in pleasure
*Be comforted in our loneliness
*Truly know God
*Experience an abiding faith in our daily lives

This is a book that both inspires and reassures... a search that uncovers our hidden sentiments and reveals God's continual, inescapable presence in every moment of our lives... a journey that ends in the consummate answer to the cries of the heart.

This book club offering will cover 8 weeks, with week 1 being introduction to the 7 chapters.

SPECIAL DEAL for WOTH Readers!: One of Linda's friends, Sue Richmond, owns a bookstore, Inklings Bookshop, in Yakima, Washington and is partnering with us to offer you all an opportunity to order the book at a discount.

Women are welcome to order their books at Inklings Bookshop. Sue is offering a 30% discount for the books ordered for the book club but will add the charge for shipping your book to your location (anywhere in the world!)

*To order, email sue@inklingsbookshop.com and put in the Subject line, Linda Swanson’s group. COST: $9.79 + shipping ($13.99 retail)

*You will need to include your credit card information (type, number, expiration date, security code, and billing address) as well as your shipping address.

*After she cares for your order, Sue will delete your credit card information from her email.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 3/1/10

As a nurse, I go up to small mountain villages giving disabled children physical therapy. I teach them and their families to do what they can rather than what they can’t do, to help with their daily activities. Together, we find tools and equipment in their local area. This picture was taken on Easter morning. We had just come back from the little church where there was lots of singing and celebration for “Resurrection Day.” We were treated to boiled eggs, chicken, rice and lots of sunflower seeds, even though there isn’t enough food to last through to the next harvest. I was very appreciative of all the labor it takes to get the firewood, get a bit of rice, cook it, and how none is wasted. photographer: Lynn T., RAC

What's NEW this week @ WOTH:

*Retreats: The 2010 Spring Retreat in Ghana is in full swing. Visit the Retreat Blog daily until March 8 and see what makes a WOTH Retreat so special!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...