When I think back on this years trip I think about miracles! I think about all the things big and small that have their origin in the supernatural. We so often think that a miracle is only when something happens big and instantaneous right in front of us. Suddenly the supernatural breaks through and someone is healed! Well, after this trip I think so differently about what God is doing, his incredible hand in the mundane things, the little miracles that build and build until someone who could never have had a house made of concrete and steel is resting under their roof while the storm rages outside. I think about the little acts of obedience and faith, the trusting and the moving that brought all of us together for those two weeks, I think about how God is always working, and there is so much beauty to see, if we only had the eyes to see it. Honestly, it makes me think that if we focused correctly we could see miracles in progress every day.
We landed on the Island and spent the next three days working harder than I have ever worked on a mission trip in my life. I am so proud of the team that went, these young adults and teenagers worked tirelessly moving stone and dirt, mixing and shoveling concrete, and reflecting God in their attitudes and love! It was hot and humid and wonderful.
Day 4 we went to Westhaven, an orphanage for the handicapped, and when we left one of the kids said that it was like heaven! I was so blessed by that perspective, it is a hard place to go. She said 'everyone accepts you there and doesn't care how you look or act, they are genuine.' It makes me smile thinking about it!
We enjoyed a small break from the work on the weekend and then were back at it on Monday, which is what my note bellow is about. Tuesday and Wednesday I had the privilege of working along side my cousin Sami in Flankers. We did some carpentry for a couple of people who needed a hand. We built a table and bench and a counter, most of it without a tape measure or square... this is Jamaica mon!
Thursday we got to see the roof poured on the house just before rain hit and then stopped while we dedicated the house and then came back. We had no water at Teamwork (where we stay on the island) so to have a shower in the rain was another amazing gift from God! The last couple of days were nice and relaxing with most of the ministry happening on a relational level. Saturday we got to go cliff jumping! Sunday we had the joy of seeing one of our dear Jamaican friends, Sunshine, get baptized!
Monday came and home we went! Being back has been great, but there is always some nostalgia when you leave a place you love. I'm really glad to be home with my kids, who are back in school, and with my baby who just grows and grows. I'm so proud of my wife, she is so strong and perfect for me! I am in awe of how she cares for the family while I am away. This time I planned a special surprise for her everyday I was gone as a small way to say thank you!
I have left the note I wrote bellow and under that are links to all my pictures! Thanks for being a part of this Miracle! I couldn't do this without your prayers and support, I'm so thankful for you and your partnering with me!
The Musings of a Fool...
1 Cor 1:27
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world to shame the strong"
When I see Jesus...
Rippled muscle nesting gently behind smooth skin, a lion majestic and strong, a warrior with a sharpended sword, and arms used to battle, a saviour whose eyes sparkle with joy and love, lips that speak truth that cuts deep, and yet are gentle enought to kiss a babies cheeck. I see the one I need, the one who loves me, and the one I give myself to.
My body was stiff from working, legs aching, my back was shaped like an "S" and my heart was grieving yet somehow hopeful. I cried out for a miracle and begged for mercy, "who am I, and how can I be that if I can't do what I feel I should?" I resigned myself to be grateful for whatever fell from the masters table, but I hoped for much.
Monday broke forth, sun blazing through the windows and what wasn't was, the weakness melted away under the warmth of the rays that illuminated my room and strength rested there. The chance to leave fear behind and in its place to put everything I had into the dirt, cement, and grime that was the job site.
A shovel was my weapon that day, and my strength flowed from deep inside. Bucket after bucket fell to my hand. The day waned but my resolve only grew. A pile disappeared and then the cement came to me. Every shovel full sent pain shooting through my body, and that pain fueled another stabbing of the shovel deep into the cement.
"You ain't so bad! I'll take everything you have!" Then He showed me how he had come to me as a friend, and the lover of my soul. He came and answered my prayer. He gave me the strength to leave it all and serve Him! He didn't have to, but it was personal, it was love, it was intimate. "Caleb this is between you and me, you can keep going until the job is done, my strength is made perfect in your weakness."
I rested deeply that night, my joy complete, the next day came and the pain returned, so did a smile, I was part of a beautiful miracle, and I knew that my wonderful savior would sustain me and I'm still smiling.
On the day that wouldn't end, and the piles of dirt and cement that seemed to never end, I held church, I worshiped a God who looked at what wasn't and made it something, who used me and many like me, those who were willing to trust and obey and in so doing found that God is faithful. I worshiped without music or song, I worshiped deep in my heart with a shovel and covered in dirt and sweat, I worshiped because my heart was overflowing with joy! As I write my eyes are flowing with tears of gratitude!
We need to look at our God and see the great I Am who can do anything and not look at the world and its troubles until he has strengthened us for the tasks he has given us. Our joy flows from his love that he pours out so freely. We must not live our lives being sad and discouraged.
The surest mark of a Christian is...
If you want to support what I do a little or a lot, on a one time basis (for a mission trip) or on a recurring basis, click on the tab "Supporting the Work" at the top of the page and search for Caleb and Diane Robbins. Diane is my beautiful wife and the mother of my precious children Creed 7, Asher 5, Liam 2, Echo already in heaven and Bella, getting bigger all the time.