Friday, September 28, 2012

The Widow's Mite

“And He [Jesus] looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” Luke 21:1-4
I was reminded earlier this week of this passage. My little brother came up to me one afternoon and handed me a Ziploc bag with a bright orange sticky-note on it. The note said “Here is some moneY for the OrPHAnAGe.” [sic.] Inside the bag were four crumpled dollar bills. This same little brother, every morning at breakfast, asks if he can pray for the orphanage.
His gift humbled me because it was unexpected. He is very careful about what he spends his money on, and he often spends it on gifts for others. He gave what he could and didn’t worry that $4 is almost nothing compared to the $70,000 needed to build an orphanage. He gave what he had.
When we were in Haiti, I was struck by the generosity of the Haitian people. Despite the fact that they have virtually nothing, they offered us what they had. They invited us into their homes. They greeted us with smiles. They spent their days cooking meals for us in the hot outdoor kitchen. Someone even sacrificed their fatted pig for our dinner one evening! In that case, they were literally giving the food off of their table, all they had.
How often do I think I’m being generous by throwing a $20 bill into the offering plate? The story in Luke shows us that the dollar amount has nothing to do with it. Our generosity is not measured by a dollar amount. That is so hard for us to wrap our American-minds around! Generosity is measured by our heart. Do I give until it hurts? Am I giving to the point where others would call my actions reckless? Am I truly offering all I have to the Lord?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Own Little World

You all are probably getting tired of me posting songs on here, but God uses music to speak to me a lot. In fact, I was going to become a music teacher before this whole become-a-missionary-to-the-children-of-Haiti-before-I-graduate-high-school-plan. I still love music and God may still weave teaching it into my future.
Have you ever listened to a song dozens of times, and then something changes and when you hear the song again, it takes on a whole new meaning for you? That has happened to me with several songs since I returned from Haiti.
I was skimming through music on my MP3 player the other night, and came across “My Own Little World” by Matthew West. I’ve listened to that song so many times I could sing it in my sleep. But when I listened to it again, I froze. The lyrics of the song were talking about me this time. It took going to Haiti to make me realize that. The song describes me to a T. I was living in my own little world for far too long. I am so thankful that God threw open the gates to my little world, through little Valencia. My life will never be the same.
In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I've never gone hungry, always felt safe
I’ve got some money in my pocket shoes on my feet
In my own little world
Population me
I try to stay awake through Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate but I never give 'til it hurts
And I turn off the news when I don't like what I see
Yeah, it's easy to do when it's
Population me
What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose
I could be living right now?
Outside my own little world
Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me
--Go here to read the full lyrics to “My Own Little World” by Matthew West

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, I was showing the photo book I had made of our trip to Haiti to a little girl I know. She came to the picture of a little baby with hydrocephalus. She quickly slammed the book shut and said in a sad voice, “That’s disturbing! Her head is so big.”
I thought about what she said for awhile. My initial reaction was that she shouldn’t have reacted that way. That precious baby girl can’t help what she was born with. Why should that disturb my friend?
But as I thought about it more, I started to think that maybe seeing that kind of suffering should disturb us. Here is the definition of disturb: To break up or destroy the tranquility or settled state of; to trouble emotionally or mentally; upset; to interfere with; interrupt.”
After reading that definition, I believe we all need to be disturbed more often. We have numbed ourselves to the pain and suffering going on in our world. We need to be disturbed out of our day-dream. We need to be disturbed and distraught when we see an innocent child dying of a treatable disease.
But most importantly we need to be disturbed to action. We can’t sit around and feel sorry for the world. We have to DO something about it. I had built up so many barriers around my heart so that I wouldn’t be disturbed by the suffering around me. But God broke down those barriers, strike by strike.
What about you? Are you willing to be disturbed? And will you take action when you are disturbed?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Love Come to Life

The chorus of this song has become a bit of an anthem for me lately. It really sums up the cry of my heart. I want God to break my heart, move my feet, and give me a measure of HIS love for HIS children.
I've been restless on the inside
Wondering about this heart of mine
I've been desperately trying to find
A way to prove that I'm still alive
Has the love I speak so loudly of quietly grown cold?
Has my life been an empty voice?
What I say needs to be seen
I need to step out and make the choice
To let go of everything
Would You reignite this heart spark here in the dark?
Bring Your love to life inside of me
Why don't You break my heart 'til it moves my hands and feet
For the hopeless and the broken
For the ones that don't know that You love them
Bring Your love to life inside of me
A generation You're calling out
Living everything that we sing about
A revelation right here and now
Of love beyond a shadow of a doubt
Love that's greater than our own
Won't remain unknown, when You...
Bring Your love to life inside of me
Why don't You break my heart 'til it moves my hands and feet
For the hopeless and the broken
For the ones that don't know that You love them
Bring Your love to life inside of me
Love come to life
Love come to life
Bring love to life inside of me

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jehovah Jireh: God Our Provider

God continues to remind me that He is the One in control of the Hope Hill Orphanage Project, not me. Whenever I begin to doubt His provision, He sends me another reminder as if to slap me on the wrist and say “Excuse me? I AM GOD!!! I will take care of this!”
Last weekend, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to get a response from the letters I had sent out. I kept thinking of the $70,000 and what a big number it appears to be. We returned home from a trip to Pennsylvania late Sunday evening. As I was going through the stack of mail, I found a letter from a good family friend. I opened the letter to find a note of encouragement and support.
I looked at the sponsorship card, and did a double-take when I saw the amount of money this person had given as a one-time gift. I quickly pulled out the check to look at the amount again. I was floored. This person had given a HUGE donation to the project that I was not expecting at all! God once again proved that He is the One who will provide for the orphans in Haiti, not Bianca. I’m just one of the tools He has chosen to use.
Every day I am awed by the fact that He has chosen me to do this. Sometimes I ask “Why me?” I will never have the answer to that question. Some days that “Why me?” is more of a complaint. This project is overwhelming for a girl who hasn’t even graduated from high school yet. Other days that “Why me?” is more of a realization that I don’t deserve this. Out of all the 6+ billion people in the world, He gave this burden to me. He bestowed His saving grace on me when I had rejected Him. I don’t deserve any of the blessings He has given me. The responsibility of this project is great, but the privilege of being used by God is even greater. I’m so thankful that He is Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider! He is sovereign and in control of everything. Beni swa Letènèl!

Monday, September 10, 2012


“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”
—Flannery O’Connor

Truth: Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness. 1

Truth: Over 173,000 children in Haiti live as restaveks, otherwise known as child slaves.2

Truth: This plate of rice and beans is the only meal these children will eat today.

Truth: This 3-month-old baby will die from hydrocephalus if no one helps her.

Truth: This Haitian man is one of millions who live in spiritual (and in his case, physical) shackles because of Voodoo. 3

Truth: This is dinner.

Truth: I’ve seen walk-in closets bigger than this single Mom’s one-room house. She raises her three children in this single room, the only portion of her original house that didn’t collapse during the 2010 earthquake.

Truth: More than 80% of the world’s population live on less than $10 a day. 4 That’s not even enough to buy 2 specialty coffees at Starbucks.

Truth: There are over 143 million orphans in our world today. 5

Truth hurts. Some days, I am overwhelmed by the needs in our world. As I sit here in an air-conditioned house, with a full stomach, having taken a shower in clean water this morning, over 100 children have died because of preventable diseases. By the end of the day, more than 4,000 children will have died due to water-borne diseases.
Even though I can’t stomach that fact, that doesn’t change that it’s the truth. I can choose to ignore the truth. Or I can embrace the truths found in God’s word that tell me He is in control (Jeremiah 29:11), that He cares for every living thing on this earth (Luke 12:6-7), and that He will give me the strength to do what He has called me to do (Philippians 4:13.)
The truth hurts, but I can’t ignore it any longer. What about you? Will you choose to ignore the truth because you can’t stomach it? Or are you willing to experience the pain that comes with opening your eyes to see the truth? And are you willing to let that pain spur you on to action?

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Sponsorship!

Yesterday I received a phone call about someone interested in sponsoring the orphanage project! This person is giving very generously towards the project, and I’m so excited to have that first commitment!
Just the day before this sponsorship came through, I had confessed to Mom that I was a little disappointed. I had received my first commitment card back, and the person had committed to pray but hadn’t been able to help financially. I told Mom that it felt as though I was amassing an army of cheerleaders when there was no one willing to play in the game. Mom reminded me that prayer is and must be the foundation of any work for the Lord.
I was a bit frustrated, but God is always faithful. He has reminded me over and over again that this is HIS project, not mine. He will provide if this is truly His will!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

While I'm Waiting

This song has been on my heart a lot lately. There has been a lot of waiting involved with this process. Waiting for people to get back to me, waiting to hear responses to my letters, waiting to return to Haiti. Some days I simply feel like I will explode from my own impatience.
Isaiah 40:31 says, But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (ESV) No matter how difficult the waiting is, I can’t waste my time. I need to serve Him while I wait, and take every step in confident obedience because I KNOW this is what He has called me to do.
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy, no
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord
--“While I’m Waiting” written and sung by John Waller

Monday, September 3, 2012

God's Math

310 address labels
155 letter-sized envelopes (hand-addressed)
155 check-sized envelopes
155 sponsorship cards (check-sized)
155 double sided copies of a 1,090 word letter
155 hand signatures
I hope the Lord multiples the above equation into $70,000!