Rain Clouds, Rainbows and Purpose .... all in 30 minutes!
Yesterday was one of the most perfect mornings I have ever experienced during the 30 years Bob and I have been coming to Kauai. When I woke up the skies were dark and the clouds threatened rain. But when we stay at our timeshare at The Cliffs in Princeville, I always start the day sitting in one of the wooden chairs along the bluffs to pray and just drink in God's magnificent creation.
I was the only one silly enough to brave the windy weather yesterday morning. From my front row seat on the cliff I could see the threatening clouds on my right and the beautiful blue sky on my left. As I have been doing for fifteen years, I read from My Upmost For His Highest as part of my devotions. Sometimes I think Oswald Chambers and I are related because he so often voices my own thoughts and feelings and the reading for October 11 was no different. I hate it when I am uncertain of what God is doing. I want Him to show me where He is taking me and how He is going to use me to make a difference! But so often all He says is "be still and know that I am God".
In my reading yesterday Oswald asked this question ( I am using my own words): Has God trusted you with a silence...a silence that is big with meaning?....If so, praise Him because He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible, with a silence that is not of despair, but of pleasure because He has seen that you can stand a bigger revelation. He is bringing you into the "great run of His purposes"for your life but the timing is a matter of His sovereignty.
As I sat on the cliff pondering this word of wisdom, a little bird caught my eye. It was sitting perfectly still on a spiky plant on the cliff in front of me. As I watched the wind picked up and big drops of rain began to fall. But the bird didn't move...and neither did I.
The clouds closed in around my feathered friend creating a foggy curtain behind him and as I watched something amazing started to happen. Stripes of irredescent color began forming in the grayish cloud. The colors deepened, starting to arch up and away in either direction.
As the rainbow grew and became more vibrant, I had to get out of my chair in order to capture it on my iPhone. Finally this iconic symbol of God's faithfulness reached from the top of Bali Hai on my left, (a landmark overlooking Hanalei Bay) and then arch over the ocean and cliffs to end right on the chair where I had been sitting!
Without using one word, God let me know that I can look forward to the "great run of His purposes" for me no matter how dark the storms of life may be or how silent He may seem to be! ... See MoreSee Less
A New Movement of Compassion is Launched in Rio and Sao Paulo!
Here are pictures of the second part of my trip to Brazil. We could feel the wave of compassion building in the hearts of the women we spoke to. In Sao Paulo I spoke on Friday night to launch a weekend conference on how women could help World Vision come along side a number of local ministries addressing the issues of poverty, abuse and spiritual darkness in their own back yard.
It was wonderful to see WV supporting what my father would have called the "unsung heroes of the cross"...people who are already doing amazing things to help children, women and the poor with very little help. This is how World Vision began and I am thrilled to see the circle of blessing coming back around to support this local expression of Body of Christ! ... See MoreSee Less
The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; Thou dost support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16: 5 - 6
This scripture is precious to me because it is a wonderful description of the Lord's blessings in my life. My parents did not leave us a large financial inheritance but they did leave my sister, Robin and me an amazing spiritual heritage. Since coming to World Vision 17 years ago it has been my joy and privilege to share that heritage with others in places I never imagined I would see.
After my back surgery in June, I wondered if my traveling days were over. But praise God, the answer is a resounding "No!"
Last week...just three months after my surgery... I flew to Brazil to help launch two new Women of Vision chapters. Women of Vision is a volunteer ministry of World Vision US and now WV Brazil is launching its own WOV chapters! I have always felt that speaking to women is a unique privilege because women see things through a special filter. We see the suffering of children through the eyes of mothers and daughters. We are natural "fixers and nurturers", and it has been my experience that when a group of women decide to do something, look out! There is no stopping them!
This was true in World Vision's earliest days. While my father was dodging bullets and saving babies during the Korean War, my mother, Lorraine, was at home organizing the first WV Women's Auxilary to help refugees and orphans in the simple and practical ways women understand. I was so excited when I discovered these pictures taken in the 1950's of women volunteers packing empty Christmas tins to send overseas. With their waterproof lids the tins would be perfect containers for the little things refugee woman needed to keep things dry and safe. Another picture shows women... with their husbands, who probably pitched in ...proudly displaying the tin lids that could be used as plates. These were simple things, but so appreciated after a war that left cities leveled and household items nonexistent. As I shared about Mama's vision to mobilize women to do what they could with a new generation of caring women, I realized that my WV heritage comes from TWO strong servants of God...A man of vision and a woman of prayer.
The lines have (indeed) fallen to me in pleasant places and my heritage is increasingly beautiful to me!
Click on the pictures and meet the Mulheres de Visao, the incredible women who have resolved to doing what they can to help the impoverished children of Rio and Sao Paulo, Brazil. ... See MoreSee Less
I am sitting in the airport in São Paulo waiting to board my flight home after an amazing week in Brazil. I arrived in Rio on Tuesday night and had a day of rest on Wednesday. My hotel was across from Copacabana Beach which made me yearn to walk the shore and feel the white sand in my toes. But I was good and settled for taking pictures from the hotel pool.
Rio is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its unique mountains and gem-like beaches full of bikini-clad tourists. But looking out of my window in the other side of the hotel I could see a "favela...a hillside full of shacks where the poor live, the drug dealers rule and the tourists dare not go. I visited such a place during my first trip to Brazil in 2011 and I know how bleak and hopeless the world can look to a child who can see all the blessings others have, but who knows those things are not for them.
I was in Rio and later São Paulo this trip to help World Vision Brazil launch "Mulhere de Visão" ...Women of Vision...a volunteer program that will give caring women who want God to use them to make a difference the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to bring hope and life-affirming programs to the neediest children in the poorest areas. Between the two cities, Nearly a thousand women came to hear me speak and understand how they could get involved. It was incredible to...
Oops. They are calling my flight. I will tell you more when I get home. Choa! ... See MoreSee Less
I just took my first ride in an airport wheelchair in San Diego. I felt like my mother! My porter was Peter and he came from Sudan. He knew WV and was thrilled when I told him Bob and I had been there.
Now I am in Houston waiting to take off for Rio. It was strange to fly over the city and see so many dark areas! And when I arrived, the lights had gone off in the terminal! Obviously we need to keep praying for Houston!
But my cart driver had his own electric generator! I don't think he took his foot off the accelerator more than once! My hair was blowing like I was in a wind tunnel!
That said, I cannot say how grateful I was for the ride. I would never have made it on foot!ride in a cart between gates in Houston! ... See MoreSee Less