2 Haiti 4 Him

The Heckman family serving the Lord in Haiti at Emmaus Biblical Seminary

Monday, April 21, 2014

He Lives!

I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today… I KNOW that He is living…

Yesterday we celebrated Easter, just like so many of you.  But THIS year, it felt SO very different.

Being away from family and tradition, just like at Christmas time, was so strange.  I am used to being surrounded by Easter activities leading up to Sunday… and involved in Easter services all morning long and then heading off to our families' houses for meals.

But I can say that despite being away from our families, which was really hard, He has given us a family here- for which we are so grateful!  

I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, and just the time I need Him, He's always near.

Yesterday we went to Granny's church.  OH how I LOVE her church.
He was near to my heart yesterday… just the time I needed Him to be.  
Sitting in church, I felt His presence so powerfully!  

Matt was asked to preach last minute and did a GREAT job, as always.  (The picture above is of Matt and Granny). He gave us three takeaways for Easter Sunday because of Christ's resurrection:

Our lives are no longer dominated by death- but LIFE!

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He lives within MY heart.

We are no longer dominated by fear- but by JOY!

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King.

And no longer does Satan's kingdom reign-  but God's Kingdom!

The hope of ALL who seek Him, the help of ALL who find…
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart.

As we walked out of church and turned onto the dirt road in front of the church, I was reminded of Jesus' appearing to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, shortly after His resurrection.

I often think of this event in Scripture and I know that it is because of OUR road to Emmaus that began with our first trip to Haiti 3 years ago this month (and our new life in Haiti that began 8 months ago tomorrow, by the way!)…

As He walked that road to Emmaus with the disciples, even though they were ignorant of the fact that it was Him speaking to them, He reminded them of His faithfulness, of His deity, of His power… and then, through the breaking of bread, their eyes were opened to His presence with them.

He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.

 My desire is to walk the Emmaus road- daily- but not in ignorance like the disciples did, but with full awareness- reflecting on His presence in my life, on His faithfulness, on His pouring out of His body and blood for ME! And like the disciples, I want my heart to burn within me as He talks to me on the road- daily!  (Luke 24:32) We can only feel that through an intimate relationship with Him.    

You ask me how I know He lives?  He lives within my heart.

After an amazing church experience, we went to the pool and enjoyed some great fellowship and relaxation together!  It was definitely the FIRST time we swam in 90 degree weather on Easter Sunday- for sure! 

After a few hours at the pool, we went home and Skyped with family- which is always SO nice!  SO thankful for being able to connect, ESPECIALLY on holidays!

Before we sat down to Easter dinner, we had an Egg Hunt- which is always so much fun, no matter how old you are!

We sat down to a WONDERFUL ham dinner at the Ayars house- with amazing desserts and GREAT friends! We started our meal singing He Lives together (which is why I felt the need to include that song in my post-  it is SUCH a good song- and such a great reminder of why we celebrate Easter!), followed by an Easter devotional (Thank you Stacey for putting all of that together for us!)

I am continually reminded of God's goodness in my life and in the lives of others!  

In all the world around me I see His loving care...
None other is so loving, so good and kind

I am so thankful for the celebration of Easter and for a day set aside to give thanks for His sinless life on earth, for His sacrificial death for us, and for His resurrection that enables us to have eternal hope!

He lives, He lives...

Let us continue to live in this reality

beyond our Easter celebrations- 


Christ Jesus lives today!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Take me, Break me, Make me

On Sunday we decided to hike up to Coup A David for church, to visit our dear friend Enick and to see how the road project was coming along.  Our friend and fellow missionary Steve Macinnis was preaching and Brett, our field director, was translating and the Weavers came along with us too! We knew it would make for a great day...

But to say it was great would be an understatement! It was an awesome day!

Whenever we have the opportunity to go into the countryside of Haiti I am always in awe of God and the beauty of His creation that surrounds me.  Haiti is breathtaking!

I love watching our kids hike this mountain and joining in their excitement as they experience new and exciting things here in Haiti…  seeing God in fresh ways, being immersed into a new culture, exploring His beauty in a different country than what they have known.  I am so thankful that God has called, not only Phil and me, but our children too… and I KNOW that God is using each moment to shape them into the vessels He desires to use. 

Because of the rain, the path was especially muddy and slippery this time (which is truly a blessing!  we have NEEDED rain!)… As I stopped to wash the caked up mud off my shoes I noticed huge blisters on my feet from the walk.  And as the water watched my feet clean I could feel the sting as it washed the mud off my feet too…

But as soon as I caught a glimpse of this beautiful church I was re-reminded of why it is worth every blister or scrape or slip in the mud!  Coup A David is an amazing church, filled with God's Spirit and so many who have been delivered from darkness!

Steve Macinnis preached a powerful message, using the story of David and Bathsheba.  He made three key points in his message.

When we become followers of Christ we are agreeing to 3 things.

Take me  (Pran 'm in Creole)

For Christ to take over our lives! A relationship with Jesus is to yield our plans and our desires to His plans and desires for our lives.  We must allow Him to have complete control trusting that what He wants to do in our lives is always for good.

Break me (Kraze 'm)

Second, we must let Christ break us. There are habits, sins, hang-ups that keep us from following Him wholeheartedly.  Entering into a life-giving relationship with Christ is to allow Him to break down our selfish walls, to shatter our sinful desires and then to pick up the brokenness of our lives and to

Make me (Fè 'm)

Thirdly, we must give His Spirit permission to make us into who He wants us to be. To mold us and form us into the people of character that can be most effective for His Kingdom.

And this is the order He MUST do it in.  Until we make the decision to allow Him to take our lives, He cannot make us into His vessels.  And until He breaks us of our own plans, we cannot be made into the people He desires us to be in order to fulfill His plans.  

It was a beautiful and powerful message.  A beautiful and powerful word for MY life and for MY heart.  I need CONSTANT reminders that my life is not my own.  Those selfish desires sneak up on  me so quickly… the desire to do it all on my own in order to "control"things.

Even the journey up to Coup A David was a great example of this truth in my life.  I made the conscious decision to take that hike up to church that morning.  And along the way, I experienced difficulties- slippery paths, blistered feet, hot sun, thorns catching my clothes… hard times that help to break me of my own will and dependance on my own strength… and sitting in that church service gave me a renewed desire to allow Christ to truly make me into a person that is wholly HIS. 

All that in one morning.  God is so good! 

And I can think of no better way to end a service than to have communion together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  To be reminded that Jesus Himself was broken so that God's purposes could be done on this earth.  And that because of His brokenness, I can be in right standing with a Holy God.

I love to see the pure joy on Enick's face as he minsters to the people in his congregation.  Watching him pour out his life for them is so humbling and empowering. (Enick is the one in the brown suit, smiling from ear to ear :)

On the hike back, a child from the church led us a different way back…

on the new road that is being built to the church.  The progress is unbelievable!

(In the picture above, you may be able to see a team of guys working on the road…  they are so empowered by this project, it is SO cool!)

Seeing the amount of rock and dirt that has been dug out is amazing!  The picture above shows how deep they had to dig to get a level path… crazy.

The road project is almost complete.  And what a blessing it already is to the people of Coup A David!!!

On the hike back,  Jake and Alaina Bundy joined us- which was great for the kids.  They had a blast with them, as always! Isn't that background absolutely beautiful?!

Seeing all of this, and experiencing all that I experienced on Sunday reminds me, once again, of the mission that God has called ALL of us too.

His desire is to take us, break us, and make us into people who are living sacrifices for Him.  Giving God permission to take our lives can be so difficult, being broken certainly doesn't "feel" good, being made, formed and shaped, into something new can be uncomfortable… but it IS what is best for us and we can trust that it is, most importantly, what is best for His Kingdom.  

It is a journey that Jesus desires to take all of us on if we are willing.  And the joy that comes when we are in fellowship with Him makes everything that we experience worthwhile. It is a joy and a peace that surpasses all human understanding. 

As we approach Easter week,  may we be reminded of the life that Christ lived for us and the death that  He experienced for us.  May we not get so caught up in OUR plans that we miss out on HIS.

Remembering His words in the garden….

"Not my will, but Yours be done."