Monthly Archives: July 2013

Spilled Gifts

I thought long about what to title this post.  I have rolled these pictures back through my mind–knowing I didn’t take a single picture of this particular event.  Thankfully, Missy Schrenker did.  Camera posed, she grabbed the shot of life that few see.

I called Mr. Bill Wester last week to ask permission to share this story–it is after all, part his.

There was a good group of us on the village trail that day.  Hot temperature, cooled only by the frequent showers from the constant clouds that hovered in the Honduran skies.  We had traveled to many houses that day, Marie Walker, our voice to the neighbors had shared her inspiring testimony with all who had ears to hear.  Her testimony will be shared in another blog story–this one is about the rice and beans.  Mostly.

Bill Wester was our “man leader”–and we were thankful to have his cheerful self with us.

Gang of excited girls and ladies that we were and ON a MISSION.  Our hearts were glad to have a part in giving food to hungry lives.  We were also glad to be able to give REAL Food–in the form of The Word.

Each of us, in turn had handed over our burden of rice and beans-each packed in 5 lb portions, to the waiting and thankful ladies.  When we got to the last house on the road–or the block–in this particular neighbor–now, don’t picture your average suburban neighborhood.  Picture instead brown clay dirt roads that have a distinct odor all their own.  Muddy valleys in the road, we step over some, go way around others.  Piles of animal dung litter the road, and that too, we go around.  (I know, you are right now covering your nose.)

As we neared the last house, a woman stepped out on her porch as Maria called a loud, Buenos!  The lady said something back as Maria began her chatter of what we were doing in her neighborhood.  GIVING gifts of food, and Jesus.

“Has someone already been to your house?”

“No…”  

“We would like to give you rice and beans.”

“Gracias!”

As we asked the crowd of missionaries, “Who has any rice and beans left”, Mr. Bill spoke up and handed over his bag of red beans.  I handed it over to Maria, who in turn, handed it over the fence to the lady–patiently waiting for her gift.

Just as Mr. Bill grabbed his bag of rice he noticed the “secure zipper seal” had become “un-secure”.  He cautioned me about it and in the transfer from his hands to mine, about 2 handfuls of rice spilled out onto the ground.

I heard his sharp intake of breath.  And his, “Oh no!”  At that moment I saw immense sadness in his eyes as realization hit–this was some of her food…now on the ground.  This was much more than dropping a piece of candy and snatching it up before the 5 second rule made it “uneatable”.  There is no 5 second rule in Honduras.  I knew what was about to happen as soon as we walked off.

Mr. Bill’s eyes filled with tears as she was handed the rice, she was cautioned about the zipper seal not working properly, and the girls were making their way onward.  As I turned to talk to Mr. Bill, I knew what was going on behind my back.  I said to whoever was listening, “don’t turn around”.  I didn’t want the lady to be embarrassed at their hunger and need–scooping up rice off of the dirt road…and Mr. Bill was in disbelief of what had just happened.

While I knew what was happening–I knew I couldn’t take a picture–and was not sure I wanted to–but I wanted the memory preserved.  I told Mr. Bill, as he was anguishing over the fact that it was “his” bag of rice, I reminded him that “these girls, and each of us, needed to see the level of desperation for food that these people have”.  As I thought later to myself, I would most likely do the very same thing were I in those circumstances.

Missy Schrenker had her camera out–and was able to snap the picture. However, the lady saw her and she stopped picking up rice immediately.  Another lady joined her in the road, and together they stood guard over the rice, lest some chicken come pecking before they could get it up.

Long after that picture embedded itself in my mind, I was praying for that event to so change the hearts of each one of us–forever.

Spilled gifts.  It made me also think of the gifts that we have–some we share with others–some we horde as if there will never be another…

The gifts I’m talking about are our talents.  The things God has gifted us with–to share with others and bring Him glory.

I’m not a surgeon…but there were surgeons there that gave their gift away to the needy.

I’m not a medical staff–of any description–but there were countless nurses, and other staff who willingly gave their gift away.  It truly IS a gift.  Not one I possess—but each of us- have gifts that God has blessed us with– Can you spill some over into the life of another today?

Once you begin…You will find you just can’t stop.

Thank you Mr. Bill Wester, for allowing me to share our story–and I do pray that we all look closely at what we’ve been given…

As my friend, Betty Shoopman says, “It’s not about me”.

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News


Coffee Anyone?

It COULD be the amount of coffee I’ve had today….

OR, it could be from the message preached last night at Grace by our Associate Pastor, Shane Martin….

OR, it could be the stirring from The Holy Spirit that I have felt for days…even a couple of weeks…

God is changing and rearranging things in my heart and life.

What’s in store???  He’s not informed me of everything…but just enough to get me so pumped up and excited.  (He–meaning God.)

I sit in my office every day…facing this spectacular picture.

 The clock is ticking.  We are running out of time–I don’t want to be found resting–but working toward the goal…toward the prize.

I want my words and actions to lead someone heavenward…not into complacently–or despondency.  

How do we do that?

By feeding first on HIS Word…before we open our mouth full of our words…

Psalms 19:14   Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

This week I’m going to share a story from the Honduras mission about a man I met–and came to really admire as I watched him and listened to him.  I shared a picture of him in the last post, Mr. Bill Wester.

You don’t want to miss this story–

Video from Cambodia trip 2012.  Watch and continue to pray for the children and families of the “Floating Village”…
 

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News

Coffee Cup Image from Coffee House Ministry Logo.


Time Well Spent

On Sunday, in Honduras, as we were taking the kids to the class rooms to begin with singing and a Bible story from Ana, I spied a trailer with a word spray painted on it…

We can’t “save” any for a rainy day…to be pulled back out and used when we are down to the wire…

We must use each minute wisely.

Make every second count.

I am big at wasting time.  I seem to have a knack at getting caught up with games or reading silly–inconsequential “stuff” on Facebook, or just “lolly-gagging” around.

I didn’t make that word up.  As a child, it was something I heard my mother say more than once–because I was “lolly-gagging”, or not staying on task.

I like to think now, that I’ve got my “eye-peeled”, so I’m focusing on more than one thing.

Over the past couple of years–I have come to the strong realization that God wants my FULL focus.

Don’t wander off.

No lolly-gaggin’.  Pay attention to details.  The work ahead requires undivided attention and a conscious effort to manage our time well.

Time spent in The Word is well spent.  Putting verses to memory, praying–praising–worshiping—HIM.  Time well spent.

When we go to South America, one of the first things I discovered–and Mike Baldree reiterated more than once–“their time is not like our time”.  Time doesn’t mean to them what it does to us.  They are not rushed.  They work through their day without a hurry.

They rest.  They pause and walk slowly.

I find it hard to adapt.   I have to mentally tell  myself that “what needs to get done, will get done before we leave”.

As a team, we all work hard–the men work a back breaking job of mixing mortar, laying bricks, building a church all day.  The women, come behind and clean the bricks, bring water (Jeff taught me how to lay bricks my first trip), and generally we work at helping them work most efficiently in the time we have there.  Making the most of every minute–and every opportunity.

The women also have the pleasure of playing with the children–and I have the joy of recording it all.  I like to try my hand at everything.  I enjoy learning–and teaching what I learn.

My focus though, when I’m on a mission trip, is to “show and tell” you what is going on.  I love keeping you informed of the happenings.  So the trip to Honduras was WAY different in the fact I could not share nightly what happened in the day.

I’ve endeavored to bring my memories back to the keyboard, and it has caused me to re-live many of those moments spent.  Thank you for your patience.  You may be ready for me to move on–but there are just a couple more things I want to share.

One of the greatest joys has been the fact that I’ve met some incredible people who live RIGHT here!  And their heart for missions beats as wildly as mine.

Mr. Bill Wester is a man with a heart for missions–and I hope to share a few moments that happened on our journey of the rice and beans mission.  It opened my eyes to more of the reality of the people…fair warning–get a box of kleenex.  Even thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News


Journey UP-HILLS

Do you see the house at the top of that hill?

It may not look like much of a hill, but bend over and pick up a 5 gallon bucket of water.  Better yet, pick up two.  One for each hand.

They came for water.  The woman and her children.

This was her every week activity.  Whenever the water truck came–she went for water.  The school is located to the left–out of sight of the picture–there’s a break in the fence that you might not see–where the path curves–near where I am standing–and the water truck is parked just inside the fence.  We had set out to walk–delivering beans and rice, but this one family had yet to get their water up the hill.

Four of our girls decided she needed help.

I was amazed.  The rest of the team had finished–the kids had dismissed for lunch–and were all walking home in the misting rain.

It had just slacked up from a good downpour.  The rain soaked, sometimes slippery ground, made it a bit more difficult.

The hill was steep.

The buckets heavy, as arms unaccustomed to such tasks strained in the journey.

They stopped mid-way and switched sides.

The water needed to get to the top of this hill.  The woman and her family needed it for survival.

LIFE.  Water giving life is what they needed and that is exactly what these girls struggled to bring.  No picnic.

Each step they took filled with determination.  There was no one standing by to help.

This is what the mother of these children did on a regular basis.  I cannot imagine.

We have–STILL–no clue how difficult things are for them.  We only participated in their lives for one week.

We went back to the comforts of the dorm–and buildings that had ceiling fans and running water.  Turn a knob and there it is.  LIFE.

How far are you and I willing to go to bring life?

Savannah, Sydney, Tracey and one of the translators had no idea what that journey would require.  From the bottom it looked tough–but doable.

Midway up–it began to feel impossible. Hands hurting–back breaking–it became apparent that it would require every single ounce of strength they had.

When the burdens were delivered–the trip back down was like a walk in the park–except for the soggy ground.  They felt light–in more ways than one.  They had been a part of giving LIFE to another.

Water.  LIFE.  And through the words and actions–they brought CHRIST.

That’s our mission.  Bring Christ to everyone we can…Every people group.  Every nation.

They made an impact.

The blisters on their hands left an impression.

One they, nor us, will ever forget.

Though the journey be hard….Though the path be steep….KEEP on climbing.

The words from the man to me on the Temple visit came back to me again.

“The view is worth it”.

Not just the scenery.  While that IS quite amazing–I’m talking about the “lives”….

We’ve not much time left.  Gear up for the climb.  It will be tough at times…but worth it when we gaze into the eyes of our Savior.  It’s all for HIM….

HE climbed a hill that is Beyond ANY description…to give US LIFE.

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News 2013.  All rights reserved.


Give Rice–Give Beans–Give A Week

You know, we encounter people all the time whose eyes light up just as ours when we talk about mission work on foreign soil.

Those same eyes usually light up when we do mission work and disaster relief work–here.

But…occasionally you will come across one who wants an explanation for “why”, and would rather offer the excuse that they see too many needs here to go across the “pond” to serve.

Funny thing that.  I rarely see them jumping on a plane to go serve.  Vacation, sure.  A week for pleasure–, as Grandbuddy would say, “you betcha”.  But to spend a week out of their comfort zone–where diseases are unknown and the common, ordinary mosquito carries more than a “bite”….well, that’s a horse of a different color.

I used to have the mindset that I was one that should “send”.  Meaning, give to help another fulfill their calling.  But then the day came when I surrendered to the call on my life–and I knew I was one picked to “go”.

No matter where–or how far.

I was amazed and proud of the medical professionals that stepped away from the comforts and safety of home to give a week.  They didn’t have to–there are plenty of things they could have done with a week off.  Yet they chose to “give”.

I was especially excited to know they would get the opportunity to give the beans and rice–and see where the people lived.  I would have loved to be able to invisibly tag along to record their comments and expressions–especially for those who had never been.  A mission like this makes an impact like nothing else in life.

The fact that Raymond Smith’s youth group chose this journey over “camp” was another intriguing moment for me on this trip.  I loved listening to the youth talk about what they had seen–and watching their faces–as they took in the tiny faces looking back at them.

Even though they aren’t “mine”, I was equally proud of those who wanted to go into the operating room and observe–as well as help out in recovery–or help clean, sort and store the medical supplies.

My help to the hospital end, began and ended at the washing, drying and folding laundry.   As Carol and Sheila, from Bonifay First–diligently worked in the laundry room every evening, Rene and I took a turn in their every day when we weren’t with the kids–or delivering rice or beans–or collapsed on the bed for a 10 minute power rest from a long trek in the rain.  Actually, I’ve never seen two women work as hard at laundry as Carol and Sheila.  The hospital laundry never ceased.  Two washers and two dryers never stopped running.

When asked the question of the week spent away working–when so much could be done in the U.S., I liked the answer of Bro. Bill Wester:  “You have 51 other weeks to serve here”.  Use those.  Serve with all you have.  I have a few comments about those who use that excuse, but I will keep them to myself.

My favorite picture from this trip.

Give a week.

It’s not a vacation–and should not be considered by you-nor anyone else as such.  It’s hard work, usually doing things you are unaccustomed to doing.  BUT it is so rewarding!

My favorite trips involve activity with children:  Honduras 2010, Mission of Mercy, now known as “One Child Matters” was my first trip.

We had a few discomfiting situations–the bus driver strike following a shooting, or stabbing from gang violence the night before was probably the biggest issue–no, strike that.  The biggest issue was the night before we left for home–and I got violently ill.  To the point of not being able to leave the bathroom.  I was one of several who got sick from something we ate.

Can I be transparent and tell you that the Devil reminded me of both of those incidents when my invitation to be a part of this trip landed in my lap?  Fiercely.  But I had vowed to follow Christ–into the unknown, or the known.  I was not the one doing the “choosing”. God was.  He is the One who called me out of my comfortable job–the security of knowing what I was going to do every day–5 days a week.  Plus benefits.

But when I said, ‘Yes’, to His beckoning voice, I found myself in the most secure Hands.  Much more than Allstate.

Each trip, God grants me the joy of looking into eyes I’ve never seen before and He gives me a gift there.

In Cambodia–it was a “wake up call”.  A clock showed up in a pair of liquid brown eyes from out of nowhere–showing me that “time was running out”.  Jeff saw it before I did.

These eyes show mercy.
I hope you see it as I did.  It amazed me once again how God works.

There are still many stories to tell, but some I am saving until after I teach on Wednesday night–because they are for my class.  Some, will most likely get told in bits and pieces along the journey–some from each mission I’ve been privileged to take, are yet to be told.

Oh friend….God is so faithful.  He GAVE His only Son so that  you and I might have life…if we so choose life over death.  Choose Him today if you don’t already have a relationship with Christ.

And hopefully, soon, He will ask you to “give a week”.

Join me again tomorrow–where I will show you more pictures…and you can tell me what YOU see….

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News