Thursday, August 27, 2009

Please Pray for the Caynor Family!

Rick and Lisa Caynor are ABWE missionaries to Thailand. Lisa grew up in the same church Jim and I grew up in, and her parents still attend that church. We've gotten to know this wonderful family while they've been able to be home the past few years, and we were stunned to come across urgent prayer request posting by ABWE tonight. Please join us in praying for Rick and Lisa, their children, their family, and that God will be glorified through this event.


Thailand — An ABWE missionary family was in a car accident, August 27, in Thailand, resulting in multiple injuries.

Lisa, Kristen and Ricky Caynor, wife and children of ABWE missionary Rick Caynor, were in a single car accident that occurred on Thursday afternoon as Lisa and the kids were traveling to Huahin for work on a visa extension. Lisa had to swerve to avoid a motorcycle that abruptly slowed and turned. Her vehicle crashed into a concrete highway divider. First responders transported children Kristen and Ricky to a hospital in Petchaburi and Lisa to another hospital in Huahin.

Lisa is comatose (an examination of her injuries did not reveal any spinal or neck injuries; no cuts; no breaks). A CT scan revealed no bleeding on Lisa’s brain. The doctors have elicited some responsiveness from Lisa. Kristen suffered a broken ankle and a fractured tailbone. Ricky sustained cracked ribs and a bump on his head. He has a big seatbelt bruise across his chest and abdomen.

Please join us in thanking the Lord for delivering them through the serious accident and for providing emergency care at a provincial hospital. After being stabilized, Lisa was transported three hours north to the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok where she will receive excellent medical care.

We praise the Lord for assembling an on-sight support system for the Caynor family prior to the accident. Ken & Alice Cole (our team leader is a medical doctor) returned to Thailand from a year of furlough ministry less than 24-hours before the accident. Lisa’s cousin, Lori together with her husband Tim and nephew Micah, are in Thailand visiting them. They are missionaries in Kuwait. They have been helping Rick cover the needs at the two hospitals where his wife and teenage kids are being treated. The Caynors’ Thai ministry partners in Cha-am have also been a comfort and help to Rick during the emergency.

Thanks for praying for Lisa’s parents too. The McNallys reside in Pasco, WA.

Please join us in praying for this family.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Haiti 2009: HE is the refiner.

My father sent me a forward today that encouraged me very much. This surprises me for two reasons: a) my father never sends out forwards and b) I never read them. After the past month Jim and I have had, I shouldn't be surprised anymore at the lack of normal behavior I am exhibiting!

Malachi 3:3 says: "He is the refiner and purifier of silver". The forward my father sent me talked about the process of purifying silver, and how the silversmith must sit holding the silver in the hottest part of the flame, never taking his eyes off it until it is perfectly pure - when he can see his own reflection in it.

I love how God communicates to us through His creation. In everything from intricate design of a flower to the care of a potter handling clay to the intimacy of marriage we learn more about God's character and heart. In everything I do and see, God is present, revealing more of Himself to me; I simply have to remember to look for it.

I haven't yet been able to sit down and articulate the whole of my experience in Haiti, but to briefly summarize, it was a period of refining and purification in my life. Between the illness, the overwhelming heat, the challenges with our youth... let's just say this experience was the most challenging one Jim and I have had yet in youth ministry. I left the United States with the flu and returned with a parasite. I spent the first few days in Haiti sick in bed (which has to be one of the worst places in the world to be sick!), and last night I was sent home from work with abdominal cramping, nausea, and blacking-out every time I stand up. As for work, I had barely enough vacation time to take the time to go to Haiti, and I've had to take even more time off with being sick. The issues with our youth pushed both Jim and I to our limits as we were forced to spend the whole trip (including the final hours driving back to the Tri-Cities) policing behavior.

In spite of the many frustrations, illness, exhaustion, mental and emotional struggles we faced on this trip, we were privileged to see and experience God in a new way. One of the experiences that struck me was truly seeing God as our only hope through the eyes of the Haitian believers. Their country is devastated and corrupt, they have no money, no possessions and no hope of bettering their situation. Their life expectancy is mid-50's at best. They have no physical comforts to speak of, and can not even eat their own food or drink their own water. These people have nothing to look forward to in this world. For them, Jesus IS their one Treasure and their only Hope, and they truly know what it is to long for Heaven. Many times, as I was watching the wonder and beauty of this truth, the words Jesus spoke to the church at Laodicea came to mind as I thought of how unfortunate we in America are, in comparisons with these Haitians. We have our every need and desire met, and every creature comfort we can imagine, and yet spiritually we are poorer than the poorest Haitian believer. For the majority of us, we will never get the privilege of truly experiencing Jesus as our only hope because we have so many other things to place our hope in.

God has allowed me to see new facets of His character this trip, including His mercy, patience and grace, and He is still showing me new things about Himself even after returning to the States. What an awesome God we serve, that He has done so much for us and yet He continues to sit in front of the hot flames, never taking His eyes off of us, until we are made perfect in His image. Thank you, Jesus, for continuing to refine and purify me!

Jim and I would also like to extend our gratitude to everyone who supported us, both financially and through your prayers. We felt the full weight of those prayers in Haiti through the many trying experiences we faced, and it encouraged us both so much!

I promise this is not the last post about our trip to Haiti. I plan on posting more in-depth details of what we did, including pictures, in the near future. Stay tuned!