Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Love is Marching and I'm Following

My eyes and ears were opened last week. I saw and heard Jesus.

Cardboard houses.


Blue, tattered tarps used as roofs.


A cerulean sea.


Tears wetting little faces that peaked around doors and watched me.


Tiny brown hands lifted high, clinging to me.


I learned that the poverty we see on television, the homeless, the orphaned, the widowed are not government 'problems'. They are a mission field for churches. Not churches, The Church. The Body of Christ.

The church sends people. She sends 'the called'.

"I'm not called to go there. I'm not equipped. I have my job, my kids, my parents, my house, my car to worry about. Someone else will go."

No, that someone is you. God commands it . I saw Jesus, I heard Him. He is every person that has ever needed help, love, healing (Matthew 25:40). We are called to action.

"He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing." Deuteronomy 10:18
 "Thus says the LORD, 'Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.'"  Jeremiah 22:3
 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’ But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry." Zechariah 7:9-12
I learned that compassion is not feeling badly. When Jesus had compassion, he went, he suffered with them, he healed them and raised them up.

I learned that I have this deep, God-given desire in my heart to get down on my hands and knees and love a person exactly where they are at. My heart is breaking -- breaking -- for the orphans that tugged on my clothes in Haiti, for the man on the street with one leg and a crutch -- watching cars race past, for the kids in New Orleans whose parents don't come home until midnight. I learned that this desire won't, can't and should not stop when I 'leave' this harvest in New Orleans. I need people to know that there is suffering all over the world. They need to go. We need to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Which brings me to the next step of my journey and my decision to stay on with TouchGlobal. I am commanded by God to use my talents, abilities and resources for His glory. I am still going to college and moving to Missouri in the fall, but I'll write stories for the ministry from a distance. This is one way I can use words to bring to light the desperate needs of people in crisis and poverty.

Because I am doing this, I need to continue to raise support so that I can travel for the ministry and take pictures and write down what I see.

Thank you for your prayers and support throughout this past year. Please pray about partnering with me, to let God's people know that they also need to step up and take action when they see something that breaks His heart.
"And when our hearts begin to break along with His, this world will change."
-"Love is Marching", Barlowgirl 

-Chelsea Buffington

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Travelling Summary

Hey y'all!!
I'm back from Haiti and Colorado and done with Challenge! Wow, what a crazy two weeks, but I loved every minute of it :) Thank you for the prayers that kept me going. I'm still feeling energized for my last 4 weeks in New Orleans!
Smoke rising out of the canyon. All the trees in front are burnt.

Colorado was a great experience. It was a quick, 14-hour trip but I learned a lot about our ministry and why we do what we do. The people I met there were incredible, the way they trusted God even without knowing if their houses were still standing. I hope I have that kind of faith! Please continue to pray for them and read the story I wrote for EFCA after coming back from CO. I was extremely impacted by my time there.

Jess and Liz and I at Challenge. I met them at our
awesome Haiti experience!

Challenge was just as awesome. I think I thrive on youth, or maybe I'm just subconsciously missing my youth group days as well. But being surrounded by over 5300 teens and lifting high the name of Jesus corporately was something I never experienced at their age. Plus, I was able to meet some of our Haiti staff before I even got to Haiti, practically live at the New Orleans convention center, and spend almost every waking moment with Katie Hooks.
Anika and I. This little girl attached herself to me. So cute!

And last, but not least, Haiti was incredible. At Challenge we set up an entire exhibition hall to look like Haiti. While I think we did a great job, it's nothing like experiencing it in person. If you saw our Love Moves Haiti exhibit and were impacted, go to Haiti. You will fall in love just like I did. What a beautiful country with an ongoing list of problems. Please, pray for Haiti.

Next week, my blog will be about the new direction I'm headed. Sorry for missing a week, but please keep checking back!

Chelsea :)