An online bulletin board of "Fireside International"

"Fireside International" is a media production company established for the sole purpose of coming alongside pre-existing ministries and organizations to create documentary, narrative, and educational films which will serve to directly improve the quality of life for those who are poor and in need. Through corporate, individual, and alternative funding sources, "Fireside International" commits to providing those whom we serve... "the highest possible quality at the lowest possible cost."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Please Pray for Haiti

"Jeanne Hits."
This post is devoid of any news related to the journey that Adrian and I are presently taking. Instead, we have opted to take this opportunity to appeal to the better angels of your nature. If you haven't heard, Haiti has recently been hit hard by one of this summer's awful hurricanes, Jeanne. So far, the death toll in Haiti has reached 1000 and may continue to rise.

If you've been to Haiti, it is no surprise how this could happen. We beg of you, please pray for the people of Haiti during the days to come. Pray without ceasing. It is the least we can do. It is also the most we can do.

Thank you for your willingness to plead the cause of the poor to Jesus Christ.

In Christ's Service,
Luke and Adrian Renner

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Home from Haiti

"Home again."
Well, we are finally home and we had a wonderful time! From the rich conversations with Phil and Bettie Snyder to the quiet solitude of the Caribbean washing up onto a pebble beach, it was a much-needed trip. Adrian particularly enjoyed the hissing sound the foam would make as it siphoned through the stones. The further the waves washed ashore, the louder the hiss. It was beautiful.

In the same fashion, the Haitian people were beautiful as ever.

"Trapped In Paradise Lost."
At one time in history, the island of Hispaniola (of which Haiti is a part) was known as the "Pearl of the Antilles" for its tremendous beauty and lush provisions in the way of natural resources and wealth. It was the prize of the Caribbean; a true island paradise.

Today, the country of Haiti (which makes up roughly the western half of the island) is the poorest country in this hemisphere of our planet. Furthermore, the lack of drinkable water in Haiti has been reported as being second to no other country on the entire planet. It is an ecological disaster; the kind of place that every environmentalist has nightmares about and every anarchist (out of self preservation) must ignore. In nearly every respect, it is a glimpse of Hell on earth.

"It stands to reason."
Haiti is the sort of place where Jesus might be found; somewhere out there on the naked mountains, walking barefoot along the rocky wash-outs, in the 100 plus degree heat. The nearest drip of an air conditioner vent, the chill of potable ice, and the comfort of a full stomach are far from these hills. The land is fierce. The life is unforgiving and the word "difficult" is comical in comparison to the reality of Haiti's challenges and pain. Brown water (riddled with parasites, human excrement, and stagnant chemicals), malaria-ridden mosquitoes, and the snares of thorny brush only add insult to injury in this place. It is a country which boasts every human rights violation known to man. Unfit for a prison. Unacceptable conditions for prisoners of war. And yet it remains, an unturned stone. It is a wound that the world willfully ignores, a festering infection we have somehow come to accept as tolerable.

"Follow The Leader."
How can we knowingly exist where Christ would not? How can we ignore his footprints or where they lead? The pull of comfort makes it easier for sure; especially when we see what thorn bush His tracks disappear behind or what darkened corner blends them into shadow.

The details are still faint on most days. We exist on a "need to know" basis and what we "need to know" often falls shy of what we wish we knew. But one thing has become clearer and more undeniable to us as we step out onto this limb; where He goes is where we must follow. If that's Kansas, then fine. If that's Haiti, then fine. It doesn't really matter. In the end, to obey is better than sacrifice.

"Where we stand."
While hurricane Frances managed to cripple the entire state of Florida and lengthened our recent visit to Haiti by a couple of days, we did finally make it back to American soil. However, spiritually speaking, we are still in a holding pattern, "circling the field" right at this very moment. There is a strong sense of leading that compels us to move forward but we are all the while attempting to abstain from rash or hurried decisions. We have a pretty good idea of what lies ahead but do not wish to conjure up any selfish agenda or a timing that is not of Christ. Suffice it to say though, we are CLOSE.

"Where we kneel."
Our prayer is that we will be faithful to Christ. We are confident that He is faithful to us. He always has been and we believe that He forever will be. So our only real fear is that we would fall short of complete obedience to Him or into complacency somewhere along the way. As you pray for us, please ask the Lord to continue to make His will crystal clear to us and to give us the strength to do away with our selfish tendencies and to be obedient. That is of paramount importance to us.

The only other thing that we continue to seek the Lord about is that those who are supposed to assist us in this endeavor would likewise find the strength to obey His leading when it comes. Undoubtedly, given the need for equipment and resources, we are fully aware that God will supply many of those things through the obedient support of others. If the challenge for those folks is anywhere near the challenge we have faced, obedience will be hard. We have found that, as servants of Christ (no longer bound to our own agenda), it can at times be extremely painful to do His full will. Pray that others who are to play some part in this outreach will have the strength to obey His leading.

"More to come..."
Please check back in the next few days for an announcement concerning our next move. The Lord may have us in for quite an adventure. We will see. In the meantime, if you feel like dropping us an E-mail or simply wish to respond to what we are saying, we invite that as well.

Stay tuned!

In Christ's Service,
Luke and Adrian Renner

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