Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ring the bell

We have a small pewter bell at Casa LAMB, courtesy of a team member here very early on.  It is used to call the teams to meals, team meetings and to devotions.  It is lovely and earsplitting.  I tease the teams that we use that bell because the sound motivates people to get downstairs as fast as possible to make it stop!  It totally works.

We have another bell, also beautiful, donated by a family who loves LAMB.  It is the large bronze bell in the bell tower at the chapel in SBV.  This bell rings with a resonance that calls your heart first and then your feet.  I love to hear the bell ringing on a Sunday morning calling the children to worship.  The bell sound is rapidly followed by the sound of children coming up the hill to church.  Some are giggling and horsing around on their way, some are singing, some are helping the younger children, some are walking purposefully to praise God.   Bells are an integral part of the mission team experience here at LAMB.

I have been thinking of something else the last few days.  The first rector I had when we moved to Atlanta was Fr. Hendree Harrison, now at home with the Lord.  He always used to tell us, "Christianity isn't for sissies!"   This was his exhortation when times were tough, when following Christ was hard, when we didn't want to do God's will.  Don't we all secretly, deep down, want following Christ to be all hearts and flowers?  Only Christmas and Easter morning?   If we are honest, how many of us would rather skip Good Friday?  By this I mean the Good Fridays of our spiritual journeys.  We pray to be spared from trials and tribulations, heartbreak and sacrifice, and tough choices that challenge our faith.

As we know, Easter doesn't happen without Good Friday.  We must soldier through the desert, those dark and difficult times that try our faith, that drain our strength, that frighten us, that seem impossible.  Hendree was right -- Christianity isn't for sissies.  LAMB needs non-sissies right now, immediately.  We are in a desert caused by rising expenses (increase in minimum wage, sharply rising food and fuel prices) and reduced donations.  Last week, the leadership team had to break hearts - their own, those of the 9 people laid off, the hearts of the rest of the staff who miss our colleagues, and most wrenchingly, the hearts of the children in SBV who have experienced yet another loss as several of their caretakers had to leave them.

It is time for all of us who love LAMB to ring the bell.  To call new people to serve God by supporting LAMB.  You choose which bell to ring, the pewter one heard by the people around you or the bronze bell heard throughout the community.   What LAMB needs most of all is more people like you.  People who love LAMB, who pray for LAMB, and who support LAMB.  We need people to make monthly commitments, of any size.  As Pastor Bob explained to his team the other night, 350 people giving $20 a month would close the financial gap.  Please help us ring the bell and close the gap with monthly sponsors.  I know that takes many people out of their comfort zone.  But, onward Christian soldiers!   Tell everyone you know about how God works miracles every day here in Honduras.  Invite people to become part of that miracle!

Ring the bell!