Plane Tickets Are Expensive But God is Good

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In less than a month, 4/5th of my family will be in Haiti. Yowzers. I’m excited, and I know this is what God has for us this summer, but I’ve also been  a bit stressed out and nervous.

One of the biggest stressors was plane tickets. Seriously, the prices constantly change! In fact at one point, I found some within the price range we were hoping for, but I stupidly decided to check another search engine just to be sure this was the best price. When I went back 3 minutes later to put the original tickets in my cart, the price had increased by $400 PER TICKET! What the What??

Needless to say, this piece of the mission trip puzzle was a weight I carried for quite a while.

When we were about 60 days out from our trip and all the plane tickets were a good $200 more a piece than I wanted to spend, I sent a text to 2 of my close friends and asked if they would pray that God would provide tickets within the range I was hoping for or that He would just allow me to be okay with spending more money than we’d planned.

In my head, I know that everything I have is God’s anyway, so if He wants me to take a bunch of moola out of savings and push back the next home improvement project for a couple years, I should be okay with that.

(But my house needs lots of improvements. And selfishly, I don’t want to put off fixing my bathroom for another year or two. It’s very possible that Corey is going to fall through the floor by the shower one of these days, and I have run into walls and stubbed my toes on many middle-of -the-night occasions on my way to the toilet in my twilight zone bathroom. . . you can read a bit about our housing adventures here.)

The day after I texted my friends, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning. 4:00 a.m. to be exact. I could not fall back to sleep so what did I do? I searched for plane tickets. At 4:30 a.m. I found tickets at the price point I wanted for same day travel (lots of tickets to Haiti require long overnight layovers in airports).

And I bought them.

And you know what? Since that time I’ve checked on prices just for fun, and they are never that low.

And that, my friends, is God taking care of His girl.

It’s still not cheap to take 4 Harms people to Haiti, but I know God’s got us. I know this is what we are supposed to do. And I am so excited to serve him and see Him work in our lives.

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Uncertainty

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Sometimes I just want a blueprint from Heaven.

I want to ask God a question and I want his answer to be –

Well, my dear sweet Kimberly, what I have in store for you is to do this specific thing, on this specific date at this specific time. It is going to cost this specific amount of money which I will be providing by way of such and such, and it will be a blessing to these specific people.

Tell me you know what I’m talking about. I’m kind of going crazy with uncertainty here.

We have gotten requests for help from various people in various countries. Some with a sense of urgency, some just letting me know they could use our support.

There’s a lot of need out there. But mom and I went into this with a heart for the people of Haiti and that is still where we have our deepest conviction and connection.

I want to do with this ministry what God wants me to do, but right now I don’t know exactly what that’s supposed to look like.

Would you pray with with me (and mom) as we start this new year that God would clearly direct us in the way he wants us to serve him?

I don’t doubt God or his provision, but sometimes I do doubt my ability to discern the best yes among all of the possibilities.

Isaiah 40:10 (You are) my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. 

The Upper Room Devotion and Blog Post

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I am absolutely honored to have had one of my devotions published at The Upper Room yesterday. The devotion was written a couple years ago, but the point is still the same. If you just do the little thing that God is asking you to do, he will show you the next thing. After a while you will look back and be amazed at what he has done, step-by-step, little-by-little through you.

Hundreds of Dresses Devotion

I was asked by The Upper Room earlier this summer to write a blog post to go along with the devotion as sort of a follow-up. I was thrilled to do that too. And I’m excited to respond to the people who read the devotion and contacted me because they want to get involved in the ministry 🙂

It’s Not About the Dresses Blog Post

Livesay Haiti Weblog – Our Eyes are Open, But Do We See?

Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken some risks and lost than to have done nothing and succeeded at it. -erwin lutzer

I love the quote that graces the homepage of the Livesay family blog. I love the family’s passion for Christ and for the people of Haiti. I am amazed at the way they chose to give up this American life I’m living to plant roots in the dusty soil of Haiti: middle class comfort for life among the poverty stricken. And I am inspired to be willing to love like they do, even when the way God is asking me to love his people is uncomfortable.

I have been reading this blog for quite a while and want to introduce our 500 Dresses readers to this Jesus-loving family and their work in Haiti. The following is the start of yesterday’s post at livesayhaiti.  Take the time to read it and spend some time on their blog. I am positive you will be inspired, and if you are like me, maybe a little convicted.

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 photo from http://www.livesayhaiti.com/

Our Eyes Are Open, But Do We See?

I learned a while back that kids that grow up abroad can grow up with an entirely different experience than their parents.  They can and do observe and participate in the culture in their own separate and unique ways.

An expat friend of ours tells a story of teaching a class at a school where many wealthy kids attend. He asks the class, “What is it you would like to be able to see or do in your life?”  The high-school kids talk and name a few things. One boy says, “I would really like to visit a poor country some day.”

The school he attends where this question was posed, is located in Port au Prince, Haiti.

That student wants to visit a poor country.

*        *         *

Our son Isaac is many things.  He is an optimist on steroids and cotton candy on a sunny day at Disney World. When the clouds do roll in, his clouds drop gumdrops instead of raindrops and it only serves to make him even cheerier…

Click on the link to find the rest of this story.

Livesay Haiti Weblog

From Huxley to Grimes to Kampala to Iganga

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photo from http://www.ugandavillageproject.org/

I’m eagerly anticipating some photos from Uganda, but while I wait I think this excerpt from an email from Florence is definitely worth sharing.

Praise be to the living God . I am so glad to inform you that last evening at around 4:00 pm, I was so honored to meet sister Amy Koester and I received the suitcase full of the beautiful dresses, shorts and the sewing materials. [I regard this as precious hearts from Iowa!!]  Thank you very much my dear sister…
I was so excited to learn from Amy that it didn’t cost her a penny to transport the suitcase from USA to Watoto Church Kampala!! What a blessing!! As well it costed me nothing to transport it from Kampala up to Iganga !! God is so good He has done us much good.
I haven’t spoken to Amy yet, but if this email is correct, she was able to take the extra piece of luggage free of charge. Our first estimate when mom and I started researching sending some items to Uganda was $850! (I talk a little about that in this post: The Girl in the Purple Dress.)

After seeing how this shipment played out, saying God is good feels like such an understatement.

I Am Not Enough

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I am not enough

To undo my mistakes, to answer my own prayers

To make myself compassionate when I simply don’t care.

To give joyfully each time, to love those I don’t like,

To succeed without pride, to submit without a fight.

I am not enough

To seize every moment, to savor every gift

To put playtime above laundry on my to-do list.

To ease the worries that find their way inside.

To overcome the insecurities I so like to hide.

I am  not enough

But I know the One who is.

The One who

Forgives my mistakes and answers my prayers

Fills my heart with compassion that was not before there.

Who loves the unlovable, Epitomizes joy.

Submitted in humility to come to earth as a boy.

The One who

Never misses a moment, nor overlooks a gift

Who gives undivided attention to every petition I lift.

Who exchanges my worry for calm, my insecurity for peace.

Whose unconditional love will not ever cease.

I am not enough, but I know the one who is.

I wrote this last fall and ran across it this morning in the midst of my need to be reminded that even when I feel like I am  stuck in a funk, God is enough.  He is always enough. Whether our struggle is in deciding which road to go down, how to make it to the end of the road we are on or simply traveling down the path with the right attitude, God is enough.

I needed the reminder and thought someone else out there might need the reminder too.

God Never Wastes Obedience

Why I have been given an opportunity to befriend and offer support to a woman and her church in Iganga, Uganda (a place I will likely never go and a friend I will likely never meet) I don’t know.

But I do know that when God leads you to do something, and you do it,  no matter how small the request, your obedience can affect others in ways you may not even be able to imagine.

Sometimes God gives me a glimpse into the way something relatively small in the whole scheme of my life’s activities and responsibilities makes a big difference to someone else. He doesn’t have to, but he does. And every time he does, I feel loved. Like he is reaching out and saying, “Look what I can do with your little bit.” And it inspires me to look for more little bits  to give.

This little bit happened to be 500 Dresses cash donation wire and a suitcase.

The suitcase was donated by a generous woman doing her little bit.

It was filled with dresses, shorts and sewing supplies donated by others doing their little bit.

And it’s being delivered by another generous woman doing her little bit.

It’s just a lot of little bits of generosity to us, but a display of Christ’s love to Florence, her church and community.

Thank you God for using this email message from Florence to give me a picture of the great things you can do with my little bit. Continue to make us all aware the little bits you have for us to do. Amen

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Thank you very much for  the much efforts, love and prayers you have put together to send us that lovely suitcase. To you it is a suitcase full of dresses, shorts etc. but to us, it is a suitcase full of love and hearts!! Thank you very very much!!

I am looking forward with excitement to receiving the first sewing machine for our vocational institution!! It is a great thing and a mark in it’s history! Some time God spoke to me about it and here it is I can see a cloud like a man’s hand but behind it is a heavy down pour!

500 Dresses Guest Post at Felicia Alvarez

I am honored to have Felicia Alvarez post a sweet sweet God-story over at her blog today. Some of you know the story, but it’s one I love to share because it was 20 years in the making and such an incredible gift from God on our Haiti trip last year. Reading it may just make you want to sponsor a child (which you can do by clicking on the Mission to Haiti link on the sidebar.)

 

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A Story of Obedience and A Boy

(I met Felicia a couple years ago at a conference in Chicago. She’s a beautiful woman inside and out.)