The Family

The Family
Justice, Logan, Jacy Klaire, Joy, Josie Kate, Luke, Megan, Judah, Kerry, Jaxon

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Mom's Answered Prayer

Whenever anyone asks us what our biggest prayer request or concern is during this transition time there is no hesitation. The hardest part of our calling is the fact that our older children will not be going with us initially- so it seems at the moment. One night as Joy and I were getting ready for bed, we were praying and talking and God revealed to us that if we knew exactly how it was going to work out with the kids or if we thought WE could take care of it, we would not be trusting Him. We decided then that we would leave it in God's hands and believe by faith that by the time He had us leave here, the situation with each of our children would be EXACTLY what God wanted it to be and that it would be the very BEST for each of them. Faith is living like it's SO, when it ain't SO, because God said SO! That's not good grammar but it's good theology! We surrendered our expectations to the Lord and have had peace believing He would align things in His due time.

In the last week we have seen God really working to make that come to pass. A few weeks ago I started a Bible study with Logan (our 18 year old who has been struggling to find direction)and Phillip(a young guy that has joined our family during the last year as we try to help him find God's plan for his life) and several of their friends. The study is on God's purpose for our lives and why it is important to find it.

This past week God opened the door for a tremendous opportunity for Logan and Phillip both. They are applying to go to Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) International. If accepted, they will spend 3 months in California learning about how to hear from God and find His desire for their lives. They will also learn about missions worldwide and how they fit in to what God is doing. They will then spend 2 months abroad using what they have learned to minister on the mission field.

YWAM uses a young person's passions and interests to help draw them into a deeper walk with God and reach a specific people group or culture. Logan and Phillip are both into board sports (skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding) and YWAM uses those passions to reach others with the same passions. On their DTS they will learn how to reach surfers and the those in the surf culture around the world for Christ.

It is a great opportunity and something they are both very excited about. We are very excited as well because it will help them to see why we are so sold out to missions as they grow in an understanding of God's heart for the world. YWAM has one of the most effective ministries in all of Haiti and we will hopefully have many opportunities in the years to come to work with them. It is awesome how God works.

Joy is almost as excited as Logan and Phillip about the opportunity. There is nothing a Christian parent wants more than to see their children growing in Christ. There is really nothing we want more as missionaries than to see our children developing a heart for missions.

We ask that you please pray for their acceptance into the program. The classes start January 4th and so we would have to get them there and that is just around the corner. Also pray because they have to raise $3500 for the 3 months of school, which includes all living expenses, and then about $3000 for the 2 months on the mission field. That seems impossible in just 5 weeks but with prayer we know if it is God's plan for them to go it will not be an issue. We are all looking at what else we have to sell to go towards it too. If you need a Kabota tractor let me know LOL!

Thank you all so much for your love. Any of you that know Joy know that this is the most important issue in her heart at the moment. We believe God opened this door and will arrange all circumstances necessary to make it happen.

You can check out the school at the following sites. We will keep you updated.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Thanksgiving Thought

This is the picture of the day on USA Today's website. It is of a 4 year old little girl in Haiti that is being weighed at a Doctors Without Borders medical clinic. Click Here to read the entire story.

The article tells about the condition of many in Haiti since the flooding and now the food shortages in some areas. Doctors Without Borders says that in the clinic in PAP where this child is, they have had 2 dozen children die in the last 2 weeks of malnutrition.

In a season of Thanksgiving feasting it seems that somehow we should be more broken over the people that will eat less this month than most of us will eat on Thanksgiving Day alone. We really do have more to be thankful for than we could ever imagine. Maybe this Christmas some of you could choose to do what Joy and I did 2 years ago. In December of 2006 I took a trip to Haiti right before Christmas. We met with a family that has 4 children living in the home and the father had left to go to the DR to try to find work. That left the mom alone to try to provide for her family. The children were extremely malnourished and unhealthy. I could not come back and spend hundreds of dollars on stuff that we do not need and will probably seldom ever use. Joy and I decided to not give each other anything for Christmas and instead use the money we would have spent and support that family every month.

The next time I went to see the family, you could see a marked difference in the kids. Their hair was growing in better, their bellies were not as distended and misshapen. You could see the health in their eyes. The mother cried as she thanked me for saving their family and helping during that tough time. We have supported that family ever since and we plan to continue supporting them. There is nothing I need or even want that can compare to the food we are able to buy every month and the hope we are able to give through such a small gift.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bob Benfield Reports on Latest Trip

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I want to start by saying that this update to Kerry's BLOG has been a long time coming. I am just getting back to the routine of life as we know it in America. I still dream about the people in Haiti and how they are struggling to survive every single day. The sights, sounds, and smells are still fresh in my mind as I often close my eyes and am right back there. This was my first trip to Haiti, but I can promise you, just as I promised the men, women, and children in each church I spoke in, this will NOT be my last trip.
From 1979 to 1986 I had the opportunity to travel all over the world as a Medical Diver in the United States Navy. Prior to this trip, I had been to 32 foreign countries. Haiti made 33. I can honestly tell you, I have never seen poverty to the extent that I saw during this trip.
One thing that truly amazes me, is the love that I felt with the men I went with. Kerry, Tracy, and Toby constantly showed genuine Christ like love and compassion not only towards me but to everyone they came in contact with. When I look at Pastor Caesar, an awesome man of God, I think of 1 Chronicles 4:10, "And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested." As Pastor Caesar and Kerry stood in Kerry's living room watching the TV in horror, as the hurricanes ripped through Haiti leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless, the Lord spoke to them in a mighty way. Again the faith of these two men astound me. 1 Chronicles 4:10 shows where Pastor Caesar's heart was. He was seeking Gods face in hopes that God would still bless him and bring more Haitian people to trust Him as their Lord and Savior, to enlarge his coast. To Pastor Caesar and Kerry, it wasn't a matter of asking God if they could help, it was a matter of getting out of Gods way so He could help and get the details worked out. It was awesome to watch God at work providing more than anyone could have ever expected or even imagined. To God be the glory because He is worthy.
When Kerry called me and asked if it was possible for me to take off from work and go with them, I can't tell you the honor and pride I felt when I asked my wife Shelly what she thought about me going to Haiti. She said "you mean your bags aren't packed yet?" I knew that work would not be a problem either. My boss, Clayton Todd is a wonderful man of God who loves the Lord in a way that makes me envious. His response was much like Shelly's. So it was set. I was on the list to go. Then through the endless giving of so many of you, God was evident once again.
After we had all of the bags packed, our human nature kicked in and Satan tried to tell us it couldn't be done... but we were bathed in prayer by people all over the world, and let me tell you about the power of prayer. We went through customs and had our bags checked without even so much as second glance from the authorities here in the US or in Haiti. Again. praise His holy name.
Getting off the plane in Miami to catch another plane to take us to Porta Prince, so many things could and probably should have gone wrong. But He had everything under control. Micah 7:7 tells us "Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me." It still blows my mind to see how we have blinders on and see tunnel vision when God see the big picture from the beginning. I love the last part of the verse, my God will hear me...
Once we arrived in Haiti, God was just getting warmed up. We met with our driver from the House of Bread who took us by there first and then on to Saint Marc to Pastor Caesar's house. We didn't waste any time... We started packing the bags for distribution because we were going to give food to two separate churches the next morning. I want to say to you reading this BLOG, I know that you yourself couldn't go, but you were there through us. We were able to provide TO them through your generous gifts and prayers. You were a huge part of this trip. In Matthew 6:19-20, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: Every life we touched was a prayer answered and YOU who gave by giving money or who gave by being on your knees and keeping us in continuous prayer, had just as much in this trip as we did.
The distributions went great and we were able to give the Haitian people food for their stomachs as well as spiritual food for their hearts. It was said that we provided a "Blessing from the Blesser" I just want to say for the record, I was the one who was Blessed. Words that I am typing now cannot express the true feeling of how I felt.
On the last day of our stay at Pastor Caesar's house, our bags were packed and we were just about ready to leave to go back to the House of Bread to spend the last night before going to the airport the next morning. As we were standing in the court yard at Pastor Caesar's, A young girl that works for Pastor, came over to where I was standing, she had a small bowel of water and a small brush. She got on her hands and knees and began scrubbing my tennis shoes. Shortly after that, she was joined by yet another girl who had some type powder that looked to be similar to AJAX or Comet. The second girl would sprinkle the powder over my shoes as the first girl would scrub them with a brush. How selfish am I? That was TRUE SERVANTHOOD
displayed before my very eyes. I am so unworthy. God truly broke my prideful heart that day in the courtyard of Pastor Caesar's', by working through two beautiful souls that had NO OTHER desire but to serve Him with all of their hearts. As I stood there with uncontrollable tears pouring down my face, while these two young ladies cleaned my dirty, worn out shoes, I thought of the parallel, isn't that just like Jesus Christ... only He can take an old dirty worn out soul and make it clean and new. Lesson learned...
If you have never had the opportunity to go on a mission trip, I urge you to get your passport ready. Your life will NEVER be the same.

In His grip,

Bob Benfield
Titus 3:5