Just Me Going to Nepal

The plan is to travel to Nepal on Thursday May 21st. The tickets need to be booked today. I go with great trepidation – as I always do. I also go with conviction to help hurting people, as I always do.

I can’t not go. 

I am told we will be airlifted by helicopter to the hospital that is treating the most recent earthquake victims. Wow. That’s a new one for me!

We almost experienced a helicopter with Samaritan’s Purse in Haiti in 2010, but then they decided not send Dave and I during the restlessness of the elections. We were compelled to go, so he and I went on our own, aiding and training over 250 pastors and leaders, and the “international arm” of Compassionate Reach was born. (Actually Hesed Hope at that time.)

We may be “trekking in” to remote areas as well. At 56 and out of shape, that is REALLY intimidating! Bring snacks in case we don’t have food for a day or so. Hmm, I have my emergency supplies.

We haven’t had the finances for David  to travel with me since then. I miss my partner. He brings a sense of safety when there is none. He calms me when I am worried. He is my support as I support others.

People love to say God doesn’t “call the equipped, he equips the called,” but I am not so sure I agree with that. If I wasn’t equipped both with some limited medical/ childbirth training, and especially as a chaplain with a background in pscyh and trauma, I wouldn’t find much of a reason to go. Even with that training, I always feel far from “equipped” to step into total destruction and overwhelming pain.

Nepal 1

I do however feel called. God always shows up on behalf of suffering. His creation. 

The losses in my life, and in particular the loss of a child in traumatic circumstances have given me empathy. Empathy is found in 2 Cor. 1:3-5, 

 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. (Emphasis mine)

The majority of Nepalese is Hindu and I read they are skeptical of Christians. I don’t go with an agenda to “convert” it’s not my style, nor do I think it was Jesus style either. People are skittish; they are traumatized and emotionally and cognitively impaired. They NEED practical help.

They need LOVE. 

My only agenda is to love on people with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, who makes the love of God in Christ known to humanity. I will bandage wounds, help laboring women, and facilitate the healing of some hearts.

I go to love God’s creation and maybe they will wonder about the light shining in me, revealing my Hope. 

Jesus is so gentle and loving with hurting people – we see that time and again in the Christian scriptures. He was “moved with compassion” and healed “all who were sick.” That is what made his love known throughout. This is what the Kingdom of God ‘with us” is all about.

The Good Samaritan is a stark reminder that all of the “religion” in the world is worthless without love in action.

NEPAL Children

I need funds to go – and I am quickly running out of time. I need some new ministry partners.

Will you consider becoming one? 

I work 100% volunteer  – with a burning passion to help. No middle man in this ministry, no fear of your donation not going directly towards relief.

Please consider making a tax deductible donation through http://www.compassoinatereach.org

I also started a Go Fund Me. When I reach $500 it will be in their search engine. Not before. You can donate there as well.

I don’t usually ask for financial partners, but without you, I can’t do what I do. 

Thank you for partnering with me for Nepal!

http://www.gofundme.com/u5qh5ww

You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter. i will do my best to keep updates, and will surely send one out when I get back.

If you are medically trained or a trauma chaplain and would like to join a team in the future, we can make that happen. Maybe you are empty-nesters wondering what to do to help – we can train you for that too. 

A Letter to the Pastors, Priests, & Churches: Six Ways You Can Love on Mother’s Day

Dear Pastors and Churches,

Mother’s Day is here, and with it social media is filled with happy slogans revealing flowery images. Mothers are amazing, sacrificial women, who deserved to be honored for their contributions to the advancement of society, and to God’s Kingdom; but there is also a lack of sensitivity to women who will not be recognized on Sunday. Women whose emotions vary from happy, to bittersweet, to deep feelings of sadness.

IMG_8001

I would like to encourage God’s people to be aware of, and to recognize, SIX groups of women who may be sitting in your pews on Sunday and feeling grieved, or left out: as well as to provide you with several ways to include them in your celebration. 

  1. Mothers of children who have died. I have eight beautiful children and eleven grandchildren who fill my life with love, but every Mother’s Day is a stark reminder of my son who is missing. It has been twenty five years since Michaiah died, but every Mother’s Day there is one less place setting, one less piece of dessert, and one less hug to warm my heart.

In my work as an international disaster chaplain, I have met people who have lost several children – sometimes their entire family. For them, Mother’s Day is stricken with memories of loss. 

June 2014 Micaiah J Grubb 426

(It doesn’t matter how long it has been – the death of our child goes against everything that is good and right in our world. Depending upon when or how the child died, Mother’s Day will often bring about increased feelings of loss, and symptoms of grief and depression.

  1. Women without children. About 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. I have spoken to women who stay home from church on Mother’s Day rather than be exposed to “feelings of inadequacy.” The flowers, plants, or trinkets that are given out, as well as the recognition and applause, is a stab in the heart to those who are left out of the celebration for reasons beyond their control. Words of “encouragement” such as “God will give you a baby,” or “Relax and it will happen” are awkward reminders of how ill equipped people are to respond in a helpful manner.
  2. Iphone 279Women who have miscarried. This is one of the most unrecognized groups of women in the church. Well-meaning people again make ill-placed statements such as, “You can have another baby,” or “You have two children already,” undermining the loss of the baby. Mother’s Day is not only a reminder of their babies that died, but also of their unrecognized grief, and the lack of support that has been offered to them.
  3. Women who have given up children for adoption. As the mother of an adopted child, I thank my son’s birth mother for the wonderful gift of life she gave Samuel (Pictured below, on the day we arrived home from Kazakhstan). I don’t know if she grieves on Mother’s Day or not, but I have counseled mothers who do. I also know that Sam’s mom chose to carry him, birth him, and do what was in his best interest with hope for a brighter future. For many mothers who have given up their children to adoption, it is the ultimate sacrifice, and one in which they will feel the pain of the choice for a lifetime.
  4. SAM First home

    Post-abortive women. I am a post-abortive woman. You may think why should we acknowledge mothers who took the lives or our own children?  We have children with the Lord. We are forgiven. Many churches and church goers still hold in contempt the choice to terminate a pregnancy, while the women who had abortions live with post-abortion trauma, guilt, regrets, and an inability to accept God’s forgiveness, and forgive themselves. Mother’s Day is the perfect day to reach out to these hurting women and encourage them of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. Remind them that their babies are with God, and they will see them again.

  5. Women (and men) whose moms, have died. My mother died thirteen years ago and I miss her, as countless of others do as well. Whether we had a good relationship or one begging for improvement, Mother’s Day is reminder of what was lost, or never gained. For those who are experiencing the recent loss of a mother, it can be a particularly difficult time.  (There are also men who are mourning the loss of their wives – mothers of their young children who they are now forced to raise alone.) 

What you can do:

  1. If your church has mothers come to the front or stand up for recognition, considering having them stay where they are. When a childless woman is left sitting with the men or children, it reinforces their loss and makes them stand apart from the other mothers and women.
  2. When you give our flowers, plants or other trinkets, considering giving them to all of the women in your church, and not just those you know to have given birth, or adopted.
  3. Acknowledge the loss of children to accidents, illness, miscarriages, stillbirth or abortion. Offer a prayer of support for the mothers who are hurting. A moment of silent memory for those who have gone before us gives everyone a chance to feel included, and affirmed in our grief.
  4. Consider planting a tree, flowers, or dedicate a mother appropriate wall-hanging for those who have lost children, or are childless.
  5. Have a memory jar, cross, or other location, where notes can be placed inside or tacked up, to remember a loved one, offer up words of love, or give to God the pain of loss, or childlessness.
  6. Educate the church. This begins by simply acknowledging these losses as I have suggested here. You can also supply resources for the church to become better educated in grief and loss, or by training as provided by organizations such as mine. ( http://www.compassionatereach.org )

A heart is given to all women who “mother.” They willingly and repeatedly sacrifice themselves to care for their children, even when those children may only attend their church, be their students, neighbors, or friends. Mothers give up their food when their children are hungry, their sleep when their children are sick, and their physical comforts when their children may be better served.

day 2.5

Mothers lay down their lives.

Let’s not forget all women whose hearts are given in love this Mother’s Day, and honor them with our actions.

In Genuine Love,

Jamie Grubb – A Mother

The Heartbeat of God

Listening. Yearning. Longing. We strain to hear the heartbeat of God.

Thump-thump…thump-thump…thump-thump…thump-thump…

It’s a vibrant sound that reminds us we are alive; a movement in our souls that goes far beyond “we are okay”, to we are thriving.

Played in harmony, the melody reaches to the places where only One can hear it. 

clouds

There are so many distractions in our lives today to keep us from hearing, let alone moving. Though we may discern the vibrations at times, truly listening seems beyond our grasp. Just out of reach

The distractions of the young vary from electronic devices that ping notices of instant messages to the adrenalin of gaming. Distractions that keep adrenalin pumping, and hearts racing. Distractions that keep the heartbeat of God hidden beneath the loud pumping of their own.

Pain is the greatest distraction as our heart beats with the deafening sounds of “what if?” Every year we grow older gives us the “what if’s” of life.

Some are by choice and some are by circumstance, but none are a surprise to God. Though our hearts may race with the fears of future problems, God’s heart beats with the peace of His will.

Regrets drown out the quiet whispers of God calling us into His rest

Fear prevents us from climbing into Abba’s lap where we can hear the beat, and feel the pulse.

Twenty -Four 1

Thump-thump… thump-thump…thump-thump…”You are mine.”  Thump-thump…thump-thump…thump-thump… “I adore you.”  Thump-thump…thump-thump…thump,thump...Trust me.”

The steady beat of God’s heart reassures us of who we are.

The steady beat reassures us of who He is. 

It is only when we stop moving that we can learn to listen; we hear the sound of Holy beating and move in the direction of Perfect love. We learn to listen in the silent places between our own longings and His grace.

Listening takes practice. It takes humility. We learn to read HIs Holy words with the innocence of a child. We draw each picture written fresh with new colors, asking the Abba, Daddy, to tell us what the picture looks like.

We learn to listen to the voices of others, not handing out thoughts and preconceived notions or ideologies, but actively seeking to understand their views, their opinions, and their stories; and in doing so we hear the beat of humanity in the lives of God’s creation.

Thump-thump… thump-thump…thump-thump… “I love them.” Thump-thump…thump-thump…thump-thump…”They are mine.”  Thump-thump…thump-thump…thump-thump… “Love them for me.”

River

The heart beat of God always moves in a rhythm of love. It never moves in the direction of personal gains, church gains, business gains, ministry gains, or financial gains. It never moves in a way that is controlling or abusive, but tender and full of kindness. It never moves in mandates or mantras, but in questions and freedom. 

Listening frees us to understand that’s it’s alright not to have all of the answers, but the journey lies in the questions. Listening frees us to live quietly in places of suffering, knowing that God’s presence in the dark places defies explanation. Listening frees us to breath in the essence of the moment, sweet with the fragrance of now. Now is safe. The past is gone, the future will come soon enough, but the heartbeat of God is moment by moment, and breath by breath. 

The heartbeat of God is a dance of love between the Creator, and His creation. It is the dance of heaven and earth, conjoined in a perfect harmony that flows with waves of grace. 

Thump-thump…thump-thump…thump-thump… “I Am here.”  Thump-thump…thump-thump…thump-thump...

He is whispering. Are you trusting?

He is leading. Are you listening?