New Home, Bright Future

Soraya is one of the very special women in Finding Hope’s Beading Program.

She joined in July 2014 and has been an essential part of our team ever since. Her beads are gorgeous, thoughtfully and painstakingly made, and show so much potential for being some of the best we have!

Today I sat down with Soraya and had a little conversation with her about money and how she has financially benefited from the program.

She started by excitedly telling me about the house she and her husband are building in a small lot across the street from where they are currently living.
Where they live right now is a tiny little shack made out of sticks and tin roofing with a dirt floor. They are squatters, although the term is used a lot more loosely here. She says she hates the feeling of being unsure whether the owner of the land is going to come one day and tell them to leave.

Soraya and her husband Osman have 3 sweet children who come to our Sunday School – Aymar, Astrid, and Osman Jr. Their little family is so important to them and they want to have a place to raise their kids while feeling safe and secure.
The Beading Program is a great fit for Soraya as she can work on her bracelets while taking care of the home, her kids, and the small pulperia (convenience store) they run out of their house.
As she’s received money for her bracelets, Soraya has been putting aside a small amount every payment to put towards the costs of building the new house. Every time her husband brings home his pay and gives her money to buy food and necessities, she buys what she needs and puts another small amount aside towards the house.
It’s hard to explain the rarity of this to people back at home. We’re used to our savings accounts, 401Ks, budgets, and investments. Most people here are living from check to check, using whatever they’ve earned that month to pay back the debts they’ve accumulated while waiting for the money. There’s no real conception of saving, of budgeting your money, or even of making worthwhile investments.

It was so refreshing to talk with Soraya and see her using the money she makes from the bracelets to invest in her and her family’s future. From what she shared with me, it is apparent that she truly appreciates the value of the money she and her husband work so very hard to earn. Soraya makes smart choices and has sound judgment.
Her husband brought up the idea of taking a loan out at the bank to help with the building costs so they could finish the house sooner. This is a trap so many people fall into here, banks and businesses and retailers all offering such low monthly payments you can’t help but believe you’re getting an amazing deal. Then, when you don’t budget your money right, or you lose your job, or you use the money to take your child to the hospital, the bills started getting higher, the payments pile up, and you lose what you’ve been working so hard to get.
Soraya told her husband that as much as she wanted the house finished as soon as possible, she just couldn’t let the bank own her new house before she got a chance to make a life in it.

“Day by day we’re struggling to build this house, but it’s all worth it. Once it’s finished it will be completely ours…that’s a feeling we haven’t had yet but we can’t wait to experience!”

I hope this is an inspiration to you as you support me, my ministry…when you buy a bracelet and see the picture of the woman who lovingly crafted your piece…
Lives are being changed! The future is becoming brighter for so many of the women and their beautiful, growing families.

I am so grateful to every single kind heart who has shown interest in Finding Hope’s ministry and believes in the work we are doing here in El Porvenir.

Please consider contributing to the last $600 we need to finish a campaign to build a roof over the Beading Workshop in the Women and Children’s Center. If you support financially, please share the campaign with your friends and family! Thanks in advance!

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Where’s The Line?

I’m curious to get the opinion of other missionaries in foreign countries. Or really anyone, but I think that certain group of people will understand a little better this whole thought process.

***

As we all know, moving to a different country and settling into a new lifestyle brings BIG changes. You’re adapting to a different culture, learning a new language, and meeting tons of people with their own attitudes and ideas.

The biggest change is learning how some things that work in the US (or wherever you’re from), things you’ve used your entire life…they may not be what’s best for the new culture you’re living in!
This is a very important lesson to learn, and crucial if you’re earnestly seeking to integrate yourself into your new environment.

When it comes to ministry, I really believe in partnering with local churches and missions – learning from them and using their influence in the area to introduce yourself into the community. I just think it’s so essential to glean wisdom from local pastors, leaders, and church members about how this particular culture views Christianity, missionaries, worship, evangelism….and where they stand as far as rules and boundaries.

Now, hang on with me as I go on a little tangent:

I am 100% on board and completely agree with the opinion that, once we make the decision to use our lives to glorify God, we give up certain aspects of our personal pleasure. Life isn’t about ME ME ME anymore. God wants joy to fill my soul and for me to take pleasure in the world He’s created for me, but He is also sure of the fact that He is the provider of that joy. I can pour out all day long, give everything I have, choose compassion over being right…I can do all these things through Christ who strengthens me. He is the secret to being content. There is a lot of selfishness that needs to be sacrificed if I want to experience true joy. I need to give up temporary happiness to settle into the contentedness of true joy that is found in God alone.

That all being said, there are certain things that bring me happiness that I don’t personally feel are wrong. For example, after moving to Central America, I found out that I LOVE, but I mean absolutely LOVE Latin dancing. It’s a great challenge, good exercise, and it’s SO. MUCH. FUN. Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Lambada…I want to learn it all!

However, in the majority of churches and Christian communities here, dancing (unless it’s Praise/Worship dance) is a sin.

Katlyn and I have made a lot of compromises here in Porvenir in regards to our personal lives. Since we are starting a brand new Christian ministry, we want to make sure we get off on the right foot in this town. We want respect and credibility, and that comes with the people here seeing with their own eyes that we are being good examples and being who we say we are.
We know that when we chose this direction for our lives, that meant giving up a lot of our right to doing what we want, when we want, how we want.
In this particular culture, it means no drinking, no dancing, no secular music, and paying close attention to the way we dress, among a few other things.
Our image is one of the biggest tools we have to incite partnership, help, and support for our ministry.

I’m not going to lie, it is HARD sometimes, and we are by no means perfect. There are things we are used to being acceptable in the States that just are not and have never been here in Honduras.

However, the RULES and REGULATIONS in the churches here are sometimes waaayyy out there. Not to mention that, basically, if you commit any of these “sins”, you’re not actually a Christian, and many times you’re shunned in your church. Guidelines that the Lord put in place to help us experience the goodness of a pure and holy life have turned into heavy, heavy chains that weigh many people down. These chains scare off a good amount of people who really need a Savior that they can trust implicitly and who will love them unconditionally. They make good people feel like failures, and turn kind people into judgmental pharisees with hearts of stone.

This is a whole other issue that desperately needs prayer and change, but that’s another topic for another day.

What I am trying to get at is that there are positives and negatives to every church and every culture’s individual views on Christianity. So where do we as missionaries in a different culture draw the line between:

- respecting and learning from this new culture’s Christian community while also maintaining a good image so that we have credibility in our ministry.

AND,

- speaking our minds about our personal beliefs, trying to fight against the chains of legalism.
Compassionately sharing our hearts and what the Lord has taught us about His grace and mercy.
Doing things that may be against the “rules” but is something you don’t feel personally convicted by and isn’t a sin in the Bible, to try and promote freedom in the Lord.

Will it make a difference even if you have all the right scriptures and proof to prove your point?
Is it worth it to shut up about your personal beliefs if it means the churches respecting you more?
When is it wise to pick and choose battles?

I know there is a happy medium out there.
Like I said, Katlyn and I have been trying to be really cautious in our actions and words, and have chosen to give some things up in order to stop gossip and be respected.
Sometimes it drives me crazy when I want to explain stuff like….how music for me is a spiritual thing, whether it’s blatantly talking about the Lord or not.

I hope I’m somewhat clearly getting across this conflict I’ve been feeling in my heart lately.

I truly am content here, I love this life, but every big change takes getting used to, it doesn’t happen overnight, and I don’t think I will understand everything even after years of living here.
I’m just praying for wisdom for each day that comes.
What can I do in each moment so that my life is a good example of a great God?

I think there is only so much that one person can do about their image until they need to step back and say, “Okay God, you take it from here.”
Or maybe our hands should’ve been open the whole time.

All I know is that God has been preparing my heart for this my entire life, and He’s been preparing the hearts of the people we’ll come into contact with this ministry for their entire lives. He’s planned this all from the beginning of time, and He’ll see it all through to completion.
I can have complete and total faith that it’s in His hands, and He’ll guide every step as we go.
Please be praying for us that we’ll have open eyes and ears to the wisdom He wants to give us in all the decisions we make in our personal lives and in the creation of Finding Hope.

So, prayer would be lovely, but like I said, I would really love to hear y’all’s opinions on all of this! Sorry as always for my ramble-y thoughts and the jumbled way it all comes out.

Got any verses that talk about any of this? Anything the Lord’s putting on your heart to share?
Please comment or send me an e-mail at haillekrieg@gmail.com

Thanks for taking the time to read and spend a few minutes in the mind of an over-thinking, recovering people-pleaser who is Haille Krieg.

Much love!!

SUPPORT  FINDING HOPE, CLICK HERE

Subscribe to Haille’s NEW Honduras e-mail updates

Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes

Falling into the Depths, into Infinity

The thing about love, or any other feeling really…

If you’ve never experienced it, you don’t understand it.

There are complexities that you can’t even begin to know to include in your expectations.

There are depths,
OH THE DEPTHS.

There are layers….so many layers.

The changes of the heart,
The countless emotions.

***

My understanding of God started so simply, as all great loves do.

He was righteous, powerful, mighty, just, loving…

There were ways to include Him in my life, to let Him be a part of my human experience.

There was my everyday God, the knowledge of something greater above me, around me, inside me. Something looking out for my good and holding my life in His hands.
I was aware of His presence.

I also had a God who touched me at times, squeezed my heart a little tighter than I was used to. This brought tears sometimes, an emotional tearing down of self-built walls.
Spiritual highs…as they like to say at Bible camp.

There were the two experiences.
The two sides of God.
The two levels I could feel.

But there had to be more to be felt.

As I spent time intentionally inviting the Spirit to come and show me the Father’s heart, the undoing began.

I thought He was a finite God…I thought He could be contained in the walls of my understanding.

I never knew I could be loved in so many ways, forms, and fashions.
I never knew I could be so excited to see what new way the Lord was going to show me His heart.

The experiences that I have been opening myself up to lately have been absolutely rocking my world. Shaking the very earth beneath my feet.

I’m almost a little ashamed to say I’m just now realizing how much I don’t understand the infiniteness of God’s love.
How very simple.
How very quaint.

The deepness of ABBA is immense.
I feel like I could drown in it.
And I think that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

I’m working on taking down the barriers of my expectations of God, the things holding me back from letting Him be infinite, and letting Him in His timing show me each layer.

He is vast, and large, and impossible to contain.

My union with Him is the greatest, most marvelous treasure I’ve ever wanted and had as my own.

***

The dream of my heart that I’ve been praying over these past few months is to become a person Pure of Heart.
I want to naturally want things of the Lord.
I want it to be easy to want to be a genuinely good person.

And I think,
the way that God is transforming me, little piece by little piece,
is by covering me in His bigness.
Overcoming me with His presence.
Opening my mind to the infinite.
Guiding me into a place of losing myself for all that He is.

Oh, the Wonder of it all.

hallelujah.

I’ve been warned against the “Health and Wealth” gospel so many times.

Basically, that just because I live a holy life and do the right things,  it doesn’t mean that everything will work out for me and be great.

I’ve tried to be really cautious against unconsciously living with this mindset – expecting things to be perfect once I change my life and stop sinning in the areas where I’m weak.

So I have this in my mind, and sometimes I want to test myself with it. Like, I want to do the right thing, and have none of my problems change, and see if I can stand it…see if my faith falters or stands strong.

Sometimes, I find myself far from the Lord, or giving into some weakness, or I haven’t spent intentional time seeking His guidance and being in His presence. Once I get it back together and find myself on the right path again, I almost always end up with some real, material, visible blessings.

It’s actually kind of crazy. I haven’t really understood it until now.

It made me think that maybe the Health and Wealth thing wasn’t so far off.

BUT.
This morning.
Jesus really spoke to my heart about my awareness of His favor.

I think…
What my individual, personal issue is…
Is that during these times that I’m not intentionally spending time to soak, soar, and seek in and with the Holy Spirit…when I’m not consciously in communion with my Abba…
I am not aware of His CONTINUAL favor and blessings in my life.

Once I get straight with Him, I see so much clearer the areas where He is touching my life.

It’s not that the blessings come only when I’m seeking Him,
They are always there, I’m just not looking for them or seeing them.

Does that kind of make sense?

In short, I am an oblivious human being. I need to constantly be in communication and relationship with Jesus to have His eyes.
His eyes that are going to show me His new mercies, grace, love gifts, presence, beauty, and power that are all present in every day of my life.

Lesson learned?
I need more Jesus.
Always.
Forever.

Wishing peace, love, and adventures in your lives, Friends.
HAILLE OUT

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This revelation came while I was spending time listening to the entirety of Steffany Gretzinger’s new album The Undoing. She is my musical soulmate, saying every unspoken word that’s in my heart with musicality that is straight from the heavens. She writes music and worships in every single way that I would want to. 
Take an hour out of your day to just revel in the beauty of the Lord with this album as your soundtrack. Watch as the Lord’s favor surrounds you and breathes new life into your day. It is vulnerable, intimate, and breathtaking. Consider buying it and supporting this amazing artist!
And listen to it HERE.

SUPPORT  FINDING HOPE, CLICK HERE

Subscribe to Haille’s NEW Honduras e-mail updates

Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes

 

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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Heading into month 3 of living here in El Porvenir, I am getting a more of a feel for this town and starting to look for ways that God wants to use Finding Hope here in this community. Since Katlyn has been here for so long, she has lots of great relationships and friendships that I get to be a part of and share in. Our focus is mostly with women, so we get to hear many stories of their lives and individual situations.

I love them. I love each and every one of their precious hearts and beautiful faces. They are full of life and love, beauty and pain, light and darkness, and so many unique character qualities and traits. Having an opportunity to provide for their families by making and selling bracelets through Finding Hope is giving them power and control over their lives to make choices and decisions, and this gives them a small sense of freedom. It’s an amazing thing to see, and I attribute most of it to the dream the Lord placed on Katlyn’s heart to help these women in a real and effective way.

Since I moved here, Katlyn and I have been discussing and dreaming up ways to make a positive impact on this community once the Women and Children’s Center is built. We are so blessed that God has given us very similar hearts for Central America and desires and hopes that line up almost exactly. As I’ve mentioned before, once the Center is built, we will have facilities for teaching the beading and bracelet-making, sewing classes, women’s bible studies, a feeding center, a daycare, and whatever else the Lord puts on our hearts. We believe this will be a great outreach to the community, a place to connect and do life together, somewhere safe and trustworthy.

We’re making some serious headway with construction, having just finished the bathrooms and getting ready to pour floors in, and hopefully having 3 rooms built by November. Even though it’s not finished, we’ve been praying for something bigger.

See, a lot of conversations we have with women here about their lives are very similar – they got pregnant at an early age, if the guy didn’t run away they moved in with him, he started abusing them, they can’t leave because they don’t have work and can’t find it without skills, and that’s what life is. It’s accepted and women settle for being under-valued, under-appreciated, lonely, and abused.
We were talking to one woman this past week who was telling us her story, which was very much like ones we’ve heard before, and she summed it up for all the women we’ve listened to with this phrase:
“So, this is how my life is now. It’s complicated.”

It broke my heart. She is unhappy with the man she’s living with right now, for valid reasons, but she couldn’t leave him even if she wanted to. She has 2 young children – 2 years and 1 month old – and doesn’t live anywhere near to her immediate family. She can’t get work anywhere to provide for her kids if she wanted to move out, and she wouldn’t be able to leave with such a small children at home anyway.
We can spend all day talking to her about how she should just press on, that things will work out eventually, that we’re praying for her, that we’ll come visit as often as we can…but the truth is, I’m not completely sure that her situation will change. We can disciple her and give her the hope of Jesus and his grace and forgiveness, but her husband might continue to abuse her.

We want to be able to do something bigger and more meaningful than just talk.

Our dream for Finding Hope is to be able to build a second floor onto the Center for women and children in abusive and dangerous situations. We want to make a safe place for them to feel secure and loved, a place where they can get on their feet and figure out the next steps.

It’s a big dream! We’re not even finished with the first floor, but we want to start praying about how powerfully God can use this building. There are so many logistics to think about and money to raise, and we realize it’s probably a ways into the future.
But we want to ask every person who reads this blog, thinks about Finding Hope, prays for our lives and this town, and is involved in any way to join us in dreaming more HOPE into El Porvenir.

And during the process of building everything, making new connections, and raising funds, please be thinking about and praying for these women who don’t have any other option but to settle.
They are real women with real stories and real lives. Mothers, sisters, wives, aunts, and daughters who are strong, powerful, influential, who love fiercely and live with passion.

“Speak out on behalf of those who have no voice,
and defend all those who have been passed over.
Open your mouth, judge fairly,
and stand up for the rights of the 
afflicted and poor.”

Proverbs 31:8-9

SUPPORT  FINDING HOPE, CLICK HERE

Subscribe to Haille’s NEW Honduras e-mail updates

Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes

The Feels/Los Sentimientos

Hey friends!

Just wanted to send out a little note to say that I am safe and extremely happy in El Porvenir, Honduras.

Hopefully, you received my email update…if not, sign up HERE! The email updates are different than blog updates since they are more facts, prayer requests, praises, and ministry updates. My blog will be more of a place for me to go into depth about things that are on my heart, what I’m learning, and to verbally process.

With that being said, here are the feels for moving to a different country:

I feel so much peace. This was such a perfect decision and completely divine and sovereign. Katlyn and I talked just today about how everything worked out so well for both of us that we experienced big changes. I moved down here and she moved out of the volunteer house where she’s lived in and out for the past 4 years.

We are both sure that God has something really exciting planned for our lives and Finding Hope. There’s something about just trusting a God who is trustWORTHY to take care of your life. A peace that passes understanding, something we have asked for and received.

***

Life is really beautiful here. It’s a very very different atmosphere than what I’m used to, but wonderful in its own way. It makes me uncomfortable sometimes, but content in so many other ways.

I love living right on the beach and being in that Central American, no-schedule, living every moment as it passes kind of life.

I’m working on not having expectations and not living for other peoples’ opinions.

I’m letting Jesus work on my soul, setting it free and shaping it to bring glory to His name.

It’s all about deep breaths, letting go, and holding every moment valuable.

Yes, I sound like a cheap self-help book, but you gotta do what works, right?

***

I am meeting so MANY lovely people. Men, women, young adults, children, and babies from all backgrounds and locations.

Honduras is a little different from Nicaragua…the people are a little shyer, more guarded, polite, but just as loving and welcoming.

Almost everyone uses the formal “usted”, which takes getting used to. I’m used to complete strangers using “vos” with me.

I’m missing Nica and mi gente, but open to the formation of relationships that are just as meaningful and fulfilling.

***

Everything is still so new, so I’m still taking it all in, but I can’t wait to dive in deep with y’all and share my journey.

Thanks as always for reading and caring about my life here in Porvenir.

As always, please contact me with any questions or encouragement that you have.

GO ON AN ADVENTURE!

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Babies that received a bathroom through Honduras Child Alliance, an organization that we partner with.

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My new living space.

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Streets of Porvenir.

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Life without a washing machine is actually a lot of fun!

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Team Finding Hope!

 

Subscribe to Haille’s NEW Honduras e-mail updates

Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes

When Helping Hurts

I finished reading the book “When Helping Hurts” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert for the second time and wrote a little essay about the thoughts and findings I have gathered about it and my new perception of poverty alleviation.

This book has taught me so much and I really recommend it to anyone involved in ministry, especially ministry to the materially poor.

I would love for you guys to know where I stand in the fight against poverty, how I am learning the best strategies to alleviate it, and my beliefs on where I can be making a change, starting with myself.

*******

As Christians, we are called to preach the Good News to all the world as Jesus did. His ministry of traveling and preaching wherever He went changed thousands of lives, and continues to do so as we take on the responsibility of making sure every person knows the name of the Almighty God. People need the salvation of Jesus. We are lost in this world, deprived of hope, endlessly searching to find our worth in possessions, money, and power, all because we are born needing a Savior to give us direction. The sin in this world has made economic, social, religious, and political systems corrupt and unfair, leading to people who are not only broken in their relationships with Jesus, but also materially poor.

We call this poverty, but in reality, poverty means that an individual is poor in one, several, or all 4 key relationships in their life. The relationships are with God, with Self, with Others, and with the Rest of Creation. All humans struggle with these relationships on some level, but since our culture’s definition of poverty is that a person has little to no material possessions, we look down on those who have none and see ourselves in a higher standing than them. When we decide that we want to minister “to” or “for” these so-called poverty-stricken people, we are providing an excellent example of poverty of being. Our god-complex makes us believe we have the correct knowledge and tools to “fix” the materially poor’s problems, and we end up ignoring the assets and talents they have to change their situations, which leads to poverty of community. We think we are helping, but we are really hurting our fellow human beings, systematically destroying each of their important relationships that would lead to a fuller relationship with God.

“When Helping Hurts” defines poverty alleviation as the ministry of reconciliation: moving people closer to glorifying God by living in right relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation. If we want to help with this ministry, we must recognize our own brokenness, and seek forgiveness and reconciliation for the problems in our own lives. In addition, we must realize that since the problems from poverty go beyond the material dimension, the solutions must go beyond material as well. Ministry to the materially poor to learn about restoration together needs to be very relational – focusing on the process, not the product. The ministry should also evaluate whether the focus should be on relief, restoration, or development. We can genuinely hurt a community when we apply relief to a situation that really needs development. The process should be about empowering people with God’s nature and all that they were created to be instead of enabling them by doing everything for them or telling them our perceptions of what they should do. The point is not to be leaning on our own understanding, but depending on God to fulfill every need in a person’s life and identifying the assets that a person has to glorify Him in every aspect of their existence.

The book cautions strongly against Paternalism: Do not do things for people that they can do themselves. It is important to start any ministry by evaluating the assets of a group or community instead of their needs. Then we can ask what their opinions are on what needs there are in the community and how they can use their gifts and talents to change things for the positive. To achieve strong development, it is essential that local churches and organizations are deeply involved and have a say in any changes that are made. Their knowledge of the culture and community help with depth and insight that an unfamiliar person wouldn’t understand. Similarly, working together creates a bigger and more successful impact since we all have different gifts and abilities and can minister to a greater variety of needs when we are joined together in unity.

We must be open to different cultural traditions and ways of life. A person cannot enter into a development situation with a “blueprint” of a process that has worked in the past or in a different country or community. Humans are multi-faceted, different in many ways, and extremely unique, so the process of development must be individual as well. However, something that must accompany every situation is participation. A community must be involved with development from the very beginning so that they can grow in their identity of Christ that empowers them to be good stewards of their lives. Since this is process-based ministry, it takes time. We must not be consumed with making a product or having expectations of what success is. The Lord is sovereign, and the more we work toward healing our broken relationships with His help, the more we will see the way He views success.

In all of our efforts to help with poverty alleviation, we must recognize our own brokenness, and be willing to speak vulnerably about our own faults and the way God is healing us. We must strongly emphasize and truly believe that we are all created equal in the eyes of the Lord, and our goal should be to grow in community with other broken people and learn from the words of God together. It is essential to seek God’s will for others, not what we think is the best method to solve problems. As we follow Jesus and selflessly work to see the good God has created in people, we will start to view them as He does: His beautiful creations made in His own image, sent to earth to glorify Him in all that we do.

 

The Fight Against Acceptable Selfishness

Why can’t we all just build other humans up in encouragement?

I find myself constantly being hurt and hurting other people because I’m putting pride first and not opening my mind to understanding an entire situation.

Our culture constantly pushes a message of acceptable selfishness at us, and we’re patted on the back and supported when we follow through.

When did being a Christian and selfishness every become okay?
If you claim to follow Christ and use your life as an example of his love, why is it justifiable to defend yourself using harsh words and tearing someone else down?
When did ME become so important?

I find myself disliking social media sites more and more as people use them to just spew their opinions and feelings regardless of the effect they have on other people. 
We’re studying a book called “Gods at War” by Kyle Idleman in my small group at church, and one of the points we discussed last week was that whatever you’re going to for comfort before God is an idol. 
Wherever you go to find acceptance and justification before God is an idol.

I understand the need to vent, to verbally process, to find someone who supports your feelings…but if we are going to post these things on the internet for all to see, to find acceptance and comfort, it is wrong.
These statements are made lacking kindness and gentleness, wisdom and discernment. 
If we are hurt, or feel uncomfortable, have confusion or strong feelings, that is important. It’s important to be aware of who we are and what we are feeling. 
But those are things to take to the Lord. They are not to be blindly thrown into the opinion sea of our friends and strangers.
If we are seeking what the Lord wants from us and who He has made us to be, we should be turning to Him for answers and comfort in frustrating and confusing times.

Not only should we first be looking to ourselves in this aspect of our faith, but I think we should take care to be conscious of other people who are generously sharing their strong opinions.

One thing I’ve noticed a lot on social media sites is passive aggressiveness. On Twitter it’s called “sub-tweeting” when you post a vague or pointed tweet about “someone” without actually mentioning them. I’ve seen it everywhere else as well.
Why is okay to let everyone in on someone else’s dirty laundry, or some private conflict you have with them? 
The Bible is very clear on how we’re to deal with conflict, and that is to confront that person alone, in honor and grace.
There is a definite way to receive peace and healing in conflict, but you will never achieve that by opening up a situation to the general public. Do you honestly think their opinion is going to be better than God’s?

I honestly have seen much of this and end up sub-consciously choosing a side. If one of my friends has posted something about how another person has wronged them, I’m much more likely to agree with my friend and tell them they were right, WITHOUT knowing the whole situation. That person’s post then gets flooded with likes and comments agreeing with their horror in someone having offended them.

Where is the forgiveness in all this?
How does the “other guy” feel in this situation?

I can tell you having experienced this personally that having several strangers form an incorrect and jaded opinion of you is as hurtful as hurtful gets. You don’t even have a chance to prove them wrong.

I’m not writing any of this to condemn, I am only hoping to convict those of you who truly want more Jesus in your life and to be His hands and feet in this world.

I am so tired of people being hurt.
I’m tired of us caring so much about being right that we trample other beautiful humans over in the process.
I am sad that forgiveness doesn’t reign supreme and isn’t ranked higher than selfishness.

Can we all try to put down pride and entitlement in place of love?
Can we try to follow Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:21-22?
“Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.'”

I am praying that God makes me selfless.
I guess He’s going about it in a really practical learning lesson.
So…I think change is going to come when you decide to pray dangerous prayers.
Dangerous prayers to me turn into hard, uncomfortable real life chances to practice the characteristics we want to have.
Something I’ve always found to be proven true is that you always come out stronger for it.
Endurance and perseverance build character, which builds hope.
If you are a person who puts their hope in a day when all will be right and the faithful will be honored, you will be a light in a world that darkens every day.

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Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes

Thoughts on Leadership

These last couple years have held some of the biggest trust lessons I’ve ever grown from.

God is constantly teaching me to not need a reason or explanation…but just to trust Him implicitly. If He says go, I go. If He says stay, I stay. It’s all about the obedience aspect.

One way that He is helping me understand my relationship with Him is by putting leaders in my life and asking me to serve them with my whole heart and with a joyful spirit.

To be completely honest, I have always struggled with authority figures. I have always had this pride that makes me think that I am right, and that I know best.

After making several mistakes where I have really disregarded authority and blamed them for so many of my own problems, God broke down that barrier in a very painful way.

 

I have been on both sides of leadership. Surprisingly, I like being on the servant side a lot more.

See, being a leader requires that you have a very heavy responsibility.

People – real live humans – depend on you. You answer to their problems, their issues, their ugliness, their beauty, their hearts. And it’s HARD. You will always have someone who doubts you, disapproves of your actions/life, or openly mocks you.

 

If there is one thing I could share that you would remember, it is this:
Encourage your leaders, and give them a break!

 

Hebrews 13:17 (ESV) says,

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

 

There is no advantage to us tearing down our leaders and talking badly about them behind their backs. Does that encourage them to lead us better and with more joy and patience?

Truly good leaders answer to God, and God alone. They are not here to be all that you want them to be. If God has trusted them with leadership, He trusts their judgment and discernment.

 

One example I have is of two women that I love and adore with all my heart. Their names are Lisa and Cadence, and they work in Nicaragua as missionaries, heading up a student sponsorship program.

Since I lived with them for more than a year, I saw all the hard work they put into their job and how little they are recognized for it. Lisa and Cadence work long, sometimes 14-hour days, tirelessly speaking with families, writing sponsor updates, handing out school supplies, having hard conversations with kids, tutoring kids, and pouring their hearts out to the community. They have put their lives into this program and setting up the poverty-stricken communities of Candelaria, Santa Matilde, Nuevo Amanecer, and La Isla for success by putting their children in school and promoting education.

The communities have a great love for these two women, and show their gratitude in so many beautiful ways. However, I have seen the ugly side of people as well when they feel as though they know best how sponsorship money should be used.
If they put themselves in Lisa’s and Cadence’s shoes, they would not want the load of work, the ungratefulness, the responsibility, and the long hours.
Even after being lied to, shouted at, dead-tired, and also, I will add, raising financial support to do what they do, these women continue to build and grow this program because they have had a calling to this ministry.
And I know they forget all of the negativity when they get to make those visits to tell a child and their family that they’ve received a sponsor. I’ve been on those visits, and I feel like crying every time I see it happen. The JOY that flows when you tell someone that a person from thousands of miles away saw their picture on the internet and saw something special that they just HAD to support…it is magnificently beautiful.

 

It is incredible how much someone believing in you can do to your self-esteem. When someone believes in you, your soul gets set on fire and you believe that anything is possible. That you can change the world. That God isn’t crazy in His love for you and hope for the best for your life.

 

We as humans are better as a team than a single individual.

 

The Lord already holds leaders to a high standard and they answer to Him.

Our job as servants and followers, members of an organization or congregation is to SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE.

 

Instead of criticizing your leader, encourage them in love. You probably have no idea the amount of work and responsibility they have. You probably don’t know how many people want to talk to them and give their opinion.

 

Spread peace.

Be kind.

Love with your whole heart.

 

Follow Lisa and Cadence’s blogs:

Lisa – http://lisasmith.myadventures.org/

Cadence – http://cadencesnyder.wordpress.com/

 

Sponsor a student through Educate Nica for $25 a month:

http://educatenica.org/

pensamientos.

I always want to blog only when I have something to talk about.
But I’m finding that I really need to just start writing, writing about something, nothing, anything…whatever will start the creativity.

So.
I guess I’ll talk a little bit about the things I’ve been thinking about lately.

  • Love. The lack thereof.
    I find it hard to describe my depression when I see relationships that are killing the souls of two people. I saw it so much in Nicaragua. I feel like there is just no heart connection. People get together because of attraction, or because they’re having a baby together, or because they need someone to provide for them.
    Fidelity was not even a concept to be grasped.
    My heart ached especially for the women, who are used and abused, expected everything of and given nothing.
    Countless times, after saying I’d rather just stay single than be with a man who cheats on me, I was told it was non-existent. That I was crazy thinking that and that I would never find anyone like that.
    How tragic to grow up knowing that’s what you have to look forward to.

    But is it really any better here in the States?
    There is just so much STUFF here that takes the place of time you could be spending with your love.
    And here, I’ve seen so much dissatisfaction. So much giving up after it gets hard. Because “you come first, you are your first priority.”

    So I guess I’m seeing the two extremes, women who are so selfless they let everyone take advantage of it and get trampled to pieces, and women who are so selfish, it’s not worth it to them to fight for hard things.

    Honestly, it makes me cringe to think of committing my life to one single thing. And if it’s just going to be one of these unhappy places, why?

  • Commitment.
    Jesus is teaching me a lot about committing to one single thing and not forgetting about it or leaving it behind as I experience new things every day.
    Specifically in my relationship with Him.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to love Him and praise Him in new ways with every sunrise.
    I know that this is such a mindset of youth, but I wonder if I will ever get bored of it and how I will ever keep things full of passion and life.
    I depend on myself so much in all relationships to be the do-er, to make sure that things aren’t getting dull. It’s stressful.

    He keeps reminding me to shut off my mind and just look with baby eyes at His creation and the little blessings He brings to my hands. He wants to fan the flame of my faith without doing the easy thing and just giving me the black and white truth.
    I think it delights Him when I figure it out on my own and take time to discover His majesty and intricate nature.

  • Faith. Hope.
    “Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.” - Hebrews 11:1

    It is so easy for me to view hardships and difficult times, depression and anxiety, fears…to see them as punishment for my unwilling heart. I believe I am suffering because I’m not good enough and I’m not doing it right.

    “I will erase their sins and wicked acts out of My memory as though they had never existed.
    When there is forgiveness such as this, there is no longer any need to make an offering for sin.” - Hebrews 10:16-17

    Because of the new covenant, I am set free to accept forgiveness for what I’ve done and hope for a better future. I do not need to feel punished, because that’s not the reality of what’s happening.
    I don’t want to be stuck in one moment, feeling sorry for myself and inflicting damage to my soul out of shame. I want to have faith and hope that the reason I’m passing through hard times is because the Lord is shaping me, growing me, teaching me how to be more like Him.
    He is teaching me to be selfless, to obey Him and authority, and to believe in hope, believe that all things happen for a reason, and believe that things can change.

  • Being me.
    Just because everyone around me thinks a certain way, feels a certain way, and acts a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s right. It doesn’t mean I can’t have hope or love unconditionally because no one else does.
    (I have met and have in my life truly lovely people who are different, who give me hope for a beautiful world. I am merely talking about my feelings on the general population)
    Even if I knew no one who believed the same things as I do, that wouldn’t stop me from feeling how I feel.
    I may not know as much about the Bible and faith and God as someone who’s been to seminary. But I know that Jesus has been the one steady, constant truth in my life.
    I know every time I’ve trusted Him, He’s come through.
    I know when I’ve had no one who loves me, He has.
    I know when I gave everything up to follow His calling, He responded with peace in my soul.
    I know every time I’ve poured out what I’ve felt was the last drop of love in my heart, He refilled me with abundance.

    The older you get, the more people doubt you. It’s hard to not look at people and wonder why they’re not doing what you’re doing.
    I’m trying really hard not to have that kind of view and egotism.
    I love how we’re all different, I embrace the different feels and sentiments and characters and talents.
    So I’m praying that God would show me how we all work together, instead of worrying that people are doing things “right”.

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