Off the grid

June 30, 2014

IMG_0420The Shockey family is in between seasons of life for the next few weeks.  Check back here after July 11th for some pictures of our adventures and our new home!

 

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Testing the EyeFi

July 6, 2011

We got an EyeFi today so I can transfer photos to the iPod and update the blog without a PC. Here’s a test photo of Jenny in the living room.

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he already knows

January 25, 2011

Matthew 26:75

It struck me this morning as I was reading the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus already knew Peter would deny him.   I mean, we all “know” that, but I’d always focused on Peter and his experience, rather than Jesus.   What would it be like to live with the knowledge that at your darkest moment, one of your best friends would deny you?   Just Jesus knew when Peter would mess up, he also knows when we’re going to mess up.   It make my mind swim a little.

every sin over the 33 years of my life; Jesus saw it coming.   Every time I said “I’ll never do that again” or “I’ll be nicer next time” he knew that I wouldn’t be.  In the same way he knows the things I’ll do tomorrow, and next week, and even when I’m 80.   Every denial in word, thought, or deed; he knows.

And yet, he loves me.

What a wonderful God we serve.

Its a small world

April 26, 2010

I spent this morning in my office at Jennings Chapel.  I am in a small rural community and yet amazed by the size of the world God has blessed me to live in.  I spent this morning reading part of Nicky Gumbel’s book, Heart of Revival.  He mentions Isaiah 49:4, “what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”  While at first glance this may seem a prosperity gospel moment, what Gumbel does with it is amazing.  He reminded me that wherever I am, my reward is not in my hands, its in God’s.  I think as a pastor I am often tempted to create my own reward.  I look for greater attendance, more relevant worship, and the salvation of people who don’t know God.  But in reality, all God asks is obedience where he has put me.  The “reward” is up to him.  What if I’m missing the reward God has because I’m looking for my own idea of what God “should” be doing?   And so I’m looking around…  Today I sit across from cows and horses, yet I have friends from Ohio in my home.  I prayed for a man in New Jersy.  I planned for the visit of friends from Korea.  I spoke with a woman in DE, and prayed for people in Haiti.  I checked the facebook of friends serving in Louisiana and thought what a wonderful small world God has blessed me with.   What a rich reward God has given me from his hand!  I am blessed to serve as a servant of Christ!

Back in rhythm

March 23, 2010

I’ve found adjusting to being home particularly challenging after this trip.  Perhaps its because I had a full calendar when I came back and didn’t give myself a day to adjust and process.   I feel like I was still processing on Sunday morning while I was preaching.  I suppose I’m still processing now.   I mean here I sit, with my DD coffee, my laptop, wireless internet, and any food I want at my fingertips.   we live the lives of the rich.

Today at least I have begun to return to some semblance of normalcy.  I read John 12 & 13 today, and am amazed at the love Jesus has for the people who would betray him.  We’re singing this song in the spring cantata at church which basically says that Jesus grew the tree that he would ultimately die upon.  Kind of a cool thought when you think about it.   God, fully knowing what would happen, created Judas, created Pilate, created Rome, or maybe “allowed” for them to be created.  How great his love for us must be to allow broken people like us to have a chance at salvation.

Home 3-16-2010

March 17, 2010

I’m in the air, somewhere between Miami and DC, watching the flashing
light on the wing and listening to music. It’s been a crazy week and
I have mixed emotions as i’m heading home. Tomorrow will be a normal
day, breakfast with my kids, a couple of church meetings, and youth
group; but all the while in dirty streets around Haiti children will
wake up and search for food or handouts. I don’t think I have culture
shock as much as i am grieving for those who I’m leaving behind.

Many of the Haitian translators asked me when I’d be back; which was a
hard question to answer. Do I want to go back? Am I called there?
Could my family minister there? My church?

I’m also thinking and reflecting on the state of my spirit through
this experience. I think perhaps “humbled” would be the best word
for it. Humbled by the amazing people I worked with, humbled by how
God has worked through Gale and PID, humbled by people who praise
Jesus every day for life and it’s blessings even after all they have
lost.

I think I will be more thankful, less paranoid about sickness, and may
even wake up earlier. Who knew i could do 6am every day? I’ve also
thought about how much I dig the fact that Jesus is global 🙂 I have
missed the international piece of my faith and the committment to
helping the poorest of the poor. I need to do something like this
every year.

Thanks to those of you who have followed my trip this week and prayed
for me. I have enjoyed blogging and plan to continue as I return
home. Email me your blogs so I can follow you too! Also, my team
members are involved in some cool stuff. Check out mandihoops.com and
look for Brian Orr’s book on amazon. I’ll be putting up photos soon!

B

Today was my last full day in Haiti and I have a mix of emotions. On one hand I am definately ready to return home, but on another I am so wanting to stay and help. 

Today was a good day.  I only saw one person for counseling, but I did a number of other odd jobs which helped take some stress off of Gale.  Pray for our team as they fly home tomorrow… Thomas goes at 9am, Ashley, Brian and Evan @ noon, and Victoria and I fly out at 4pm.

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Haiti Day 6

March 14, 2010

Today we had a day off.  I can’t tell you  how much I love the team I’m with. They are fantastic people and really committed to helping those in need. 

We woke up late this morning and traveled to AChaia for church and a day at the beach.  Church was long but full of celebration and joy.  It inspires me to see such faith among such poverty. 

After church we went to the the Wahoo Beach Club for lunch and swimming.  It was weird to be in such a “wealthy” place after seeing such poverty.  The crowd was mostly international, and lounged on the beach sipping drinks and laughing.  I guess after being in such devastation its a good thing to let go and relax.  I can’t imagine the stress some of these people have been under who have been here for a month or more.  Food was good, ocean was amazing!  The water was really salty and boyant.  You could basically float with no effort at all.. I almost fell asleep!   Evan talked me into a swim and Victoria joined us.  we swam down the beach toward the next building which appeared to be a local public beach.  We felt more comfortable there, but on the way I got stung by a jellyfish! Ack!  I have hives all over my back and legs, but I’ll take that over the stomach bug anyday 🙂

Tomorrow is our last real day of work. Pray that God would continue to use us and keep us strong.

b

Haiti – Day 5

March 13, 2010

Today was a little different for me.   In many ways I feel like I didn’t do too much.  I went back to the Blanchard clinic, but most of the people who were supposed to come back for counselling didn’t show up.  Of the two I did have, one was a mother who I had to explain that her daughter had CP and would never get “better” as she understood it.  not fun.   I encouraged her that God would be with her and that her daughter was a gift from him.  I also encouraged her that she was doing great and that her daughter would need her to continue to help her.  then I held the baby and prayed over her.  It was soooo hard.

Other than that, I spent my time making water, lunch, doing odd jobs, checking on our sick doctor (we think with a stomach virus…), and practicing my creole. 

We closed the clinic early today and took a drive through downtown Port-au-prince.  the areas we saw were some of the worst hit by the earthquake.  There were multi-level buildings that had turned into pancakes, a large cathedral that had crumbled leaving only the large circular stained glass window, and we saw the HUGE palace which had also collapsed.  I am amazed at the luxury of the palace given the extreme poverty that surrounds it.  It just doesn’t fit.  

Tents were set up everywhere downtown, tucked between rubble as well as crammed into rows with hundreds more.   At one of the sites we saw people lined up watiting for water.  I just can’t even imagine what life must be like here.

We had pizza for dinner tonight.  It was really good.  It still feels odd to eat when so many around us go without.  Evan and I took a walk around the neighborhood, to get a feel for things.  We ended up talking to two guys in spanish, one of whom had lost his dad.  There is not a life in Haiti that remains untouched from the devastation. 

Tomorrow is a day off and we’ll be traveling to the beach.  It will be nice to have some time to reflect. 

b

Haiti – Day 4

March 13, 2010

Today I returned to the Merlin medical clinic to work with the Haitian staff.  Basically they wanted me to meet with everyone (though of course I didn’t even come close) and to check in with them to see how they were doing after the earthquake.  Most of the people working at this hospital had also lost homes, jobs, and family members as well. 

It was interesting to have the opportunity to speak with them and to hear their stories.  Almost all had decided that in order to cope with the horrible devestation they had seen they would try to give back and help those who were hurting.   Some had sent families away and were living here alone, others were working to provide for their family.  Again I was impressed by the level of spirituality of the people I talked to.  They were so grateful to be alive.  When I spoke with Gale about this later in the day she told me how a few weeks ago the government declared 3 days of pray for the nation.  All of the businesses closed and everyone filled the churches in the town. They celebrated that God had saved them. They sang hymns and praised God for his protection.   They were given permission to be happy and thankful.  I think that this attitude of thankfulness is now a part of the culture. Its amazing.

Before  I left the Merlin hospital I went and checked on a number of patients I had seen before.  I was encouraged to see some of them up and moving and hoped that our time together had been helpful.  I also spent some time with a young girl who had lost her leg the night before.  It was hard to listen to  her talk about how her dreams didn’t matter anymore because she had no leg.   I encouraged her and prayed with her, then found another patient who had lost her leg several weeks ago who agreed to check in on her.   please pray that God would give her a new hope in life.

The other interesting thing that happened was that we took part of the medical team into one of the ten villages.  Sinc eI wasn’t a doctor, I watched the truck, and was soon surrounded by 20 haitian kids who didn’t understand that I didn’t speak creole.  Eventually we settled on taking photos with my camera and they laughed and laughed.  I had a few sandwichs in my bad which I divided between them, I figure one bite of food is better than non.  The kids here are very resiliant and it was fun to be with them.

b