Good Morning Brothers…(Mrs. Treestand has a story to share this morning)
Camping… I swore several years ago I would never sleep in a tent again. (never say never!) My idea of camping is a beautiful cabin in Montana next to Georgetown Lake. I enjoy being in the outdoors, but when night falls I prefer a hot shower and a cozy bed with a hot cup of coffee ready for me when I wake up. So…when my daughter asked me to go on a mission trip to Haiti I was less than excited about leaving my comforts of home.
Isaiah 66: 13 As one whom his mother comforts,
So I will comfort you;
And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
Let me tell you a little about Haiti. Haiti’s main religion is voodoo. When I looked into the eyes of the adults I saw darkness, a darkness that I had never seen before. They are a people who have seen Satan do great things and have let him rule their lives. As a result the village is full of turmoil, lude behavior, malice, strife etc. The adults laugh, but is always at someone’s expense and for them to smile at you….well, it just doesn’t happen. This was so sad to me. I was really struggling with the lack of joy I was accustomed to being around.
Then I got sick. About 5 days into the trip my stomach decided to hate me. I spent my day trying to not let anyone know how bad it hurt, my body ached from sleeping on the ground and the outhouse facility was less than desirable for an upset stomach. I began to get upset with myself for missing the comforts of home. Here I was in a village that didn’t have running water, or clean anything and I was really feeling sorry for myself. Come Saturday night, all I wanted was to speak with John, in my house, sitting on my couch, and going to sleep in my bed. So I called him. This crazy thing happened. The comfort of home entered my tent in a land far, far away. The words of encouragement from my husband, the man God gave me to share my life with, suddenly made my tent feel like home. As we hung up the phone my heart longed to continue to tell him about my day. My heart longed to hold his hand and to be close to him. The comfort of home that I missed most was my relationship with my husband.
That evening the mission team was sitting around in a circle after dark. We did this each night. First we sang songs of Praise, someone gave a devotional and we discussed the day. This was a time of joy in the camp. Telling how Jesus had moved throughout the day. Truly this was my favorite time of the day. A time when the ugly darkness of the village was hidden because the Love of Jesus was plainly present. Satan was not welcome in the group and it was obvious who our Lord and Savior was. As I sat listening to the testimonies of the day, my eyes were drawn to the heavens. As I looked at the stars, I saw Orion’s belt, three stars I could recognize since I was a child. As I sat there and stared at the stars, it hit me, I was looking at the same stars I had stared at in Kansas many miles away. God had again brought the comfort of home to the small village in Haiti. Our God is good and at that moment He comforted me by turning on a light to chase away the darkness (the same as I have done for my children when they are scared of dark) with open arms to make me feel safe and to know that He is my God.
I still don’t particularly like sleeping in a tent, or not having a hot shower before I go to bed, but the trip to Haiti taught me which “Comforts of Home” are important.
Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
The important comforts are recognizing that our Lord and Savior is the light, in a dark and weary land. He is there to protect us and calm us when it is hard to see his light. His love is greater than any voodoo spell or ritual; and most of all that He is big enough and loves us enough to give us the comforts of home when we are far away. I challenge you to join me to pray for the missionaries in Haiti. Pray that their light penetrate the darkness. Pray that they feel the comfort of a Savior that will never leave them.