27 February 2010

Haiti Day 6

It's raining in Haiti. I can't stop thinking about all the children that are sleeping outside in the rain. I want so badly to have shelter for all the people that we come across. We have had three translators working with us this week and non of them have water proof shelter. We were able today to give a tent to one of them and will have another one in a tent at the end of our time here.

We still have not received the tents we were told we would have, but we did get thirty tarps from Samaritans Purse. They were also able to give us the contact numbers to several other organizations that will be able to help us in the future. We will be able to put some great stuff together for our return trip. We have also made many local contacts, which will help us a great deal.

Today was day two of our clinic. We saw around 250 people in six hours. I had the opportunity today to go tent to tent and door to door to talk with people and let them know that we were here and what we are doing. I had the opportunity to pray with people for comfort, strength, healing, and provision. Most of the people we talked to were Christians.

We skipped breakfast this morning so we could leave early but our Tap Tap broke down and we had to get a new one. Our old one came back this afternoon, then broke while we were on the road back to camp. Our driver ran out and had another one within twenty minutes so we were able to make it home in time for dinner. It was a true Haiti experience that I don't think I wan to experience again.

Tomorrow is busy again, we are speaking at a local church in the morning, running another clinic in the afternoon, taking supplies to a couple orphanages after that, then packing to leave on Monday. I don't want to leave, but I know it will create an opportunity to do better ministry the next time we come. Until tomorrow night, God Bless.

26 February 2010

Haiti Day 5

Today was a long and hot day. We held a medical clinic in a small tent city near where we are staying. We saw 200 people in our clinic today. It was a loud, hot, high paced day. We ended up one translater short so my guy was moved into a more needed spot which prevented me from walking through the tent city and talking to the people. I still tried to communicate, but when all you can say is "what is your name?" "my name is Scott" "Hello" "Thank you" and "smile" it limits the communication. Most of the people we saw were children who had fevers, were dehydrated, and malnourished. It was sad to here the medical team telling mother after mother to feed their children regularly, or to give them bottled water, and to feed themselves so they would have breast milk to feed their babies. I can't get over the lack of knowledge of basic life skills or the lack of resources to keep a community relatively healthy. I have been totally spoiled by my middle class suburbia mentality.

I have been in third world countries before, but never anything like this. I have never seen this much poverty with my own eyes. I can honestly say that I will never look at world poverty the same again. The need is so overwhelming that it can cause us to want to just give up and go home, but in the end that is not an option. There is no way we could leave without doing EVERYTHING we can to help. That is why getting tents is such a high priority. When you look at where the people are sleeping it breaks your heart, but when you see the children living the same way it rips your heart to pieces. The photo above on the right is of a woman who recently had a stroke. This was the first medical treatment she has received. The bed she is sitting on is the same bed she sleeps in. Notice the mattress, it is a piece of memory foam, that's it. The picture below on the left is of a pair of bunk beds that the children sleep on. No protection what so ever. There is a building on the property, but it was damaged in the quake and continues to sustain damage with each aftershock. The locals will not sleep inside for fear of "the big one!" Every time the earth shakes they wonder if this is it. With rainy season around the corner it makes it difficult. On one hand they want stay dry, but on the other, they are willing to live outside in the rain if it means they will live. Time is running out for the Haitian people to have a dry place to live.

We have been promised a bunch of blankets, food, and fifty tents. We have also obtained an old wheelchair for the lady in the picture above so she can move around a bit easier. Our goal this weekend is to get tents to the twelve orphanages that we visited, distribute the food we have received, and get the wheel chair to the woman who needs it. We are expecting a big turn out for the medical clinic tomorrow. Please be praying for our team and the people we are working with, along with the numerous humanitarian workers we are camped with here in Haiti. I will be returning Monday, but only in body. I can't imagine I will ever leave this place in my heart. I will be back and will make a difference, that I can promise you.

25 February 2010

Haiti Day 3 & 4

Yesterday was intensely hot. It seemed like such a long day. We only went to three orphanages instead of our scheduled five. It was the first time that we drove through some of the hardest hit areas. The destruction is unbelievable. Words cannot describe what we drove through and what we saw. I can’t wait to get pictures posted.
One orphanage we went to had a three story building that collapsed. The miraculous part is that the kids where in the building when it came down and not one of them was seriously injured. Three hours later, we were told, "the earth brought forth water.” They had started to set up in an outside concrete courtyard area when suddenly the well started to push water out. In a matter of minutes they were flooded and had to move everything to the mountains. They eventually moved back, but after the overnight earthquakes of this past week they decided to move to the mountains again. They have little to no water proof shelter when the rains come. My heart is broken at the thought of these beautiful kids living and sleeping in the rain. It will be hard, even with tents, but it big step that needs to take place. If you had seen these kids and heard their story I promise you that you would have done everything in your power to help them. We spent an hour there delivering food and teaching the kids how to play “Duck, Duck,Goose”. This is only one of the many stories that we have been a part of this week.
Today was the hardest day yet. Emotionally it hurt. We went to an orphanage that was is good condition and seemed to have things under hand. The hardest thing for them is that every building in their place has to be torn down and rebuilt. They all sustained some kind of damage in the quake. Even though they were in better shape than most, they still need a lot of help. They feed forty neighborhood kids along with the fifty they have in the orphanage. These kids are so amazing. They run around laughing and smiling. They love to be hugged and held. The hardest part was when we had to leave.
The next place we went to was the hardest for most of us. We had to drive through a river to get to the orphanage. When I say river I really mean a swift moving stream that was about ten feet wide. No bridge, just water running over the road. Our tap-tap driver was a bit apprehensive about driving through it, but in the end, he gave in and drove through. They had beds, cots, and bunk beds sitting outside with no shelter at all. There was an elderly woman who recently had a stroke and had not yet received any medical attention. As the medical personal took care of her and a few of the children we hung out with the older boys and kicked a flat basketball around like a soccer ball. The orphanage backs up to an ice factory with a river running between the two properties. The river looks like a trash dump with a stream of water running down the middle of it. They just seem to through all of their  trash over the fence and into the river. It's hard to describe how it makes me feel to see that people live like this. When we left it was clear to me that we had to work harder on getting these tents. We are also looking for a wheel chair for the woman who had a stroke so she can at least get around better than before. It is a difficult situation, but it will get better.
Tomorrow will prove to be a productive day. We are looking for our tents, as well as getting our hands on some blankets and a wheel chair. We are also getting some blue tarp from Samaritans Purse so we can put some tarps up to help with some kind of shelter. We still have more orphanages to visit and hope to have a clinic going Sunday afternoon in a local tent city. Please be praying for everything to line up by the time we leave, that we will have shelter, medical supplies, and food to all that we have on our list. Hopefully our internet will continue to work so I can update tomorrow. Until then, God Bless!

23 February 2010

Haiti Day 2

Last night was a bit on the interesting side, at least that's what I heard this morning. We had two earthquakes in the middle of the night. Apparently dogs were barking and children were screaming. Our team is sleeping in tents right next to where the children in the orphanage sleep and somehow I managed to sleep right through all of it. I didn't hear a thing until the morning when I saw all the children and their caregivers sleeping under the big mango tree out in front of the building. Everybody here was alright. Apparently I was REALLY tired and not even two earthquakes could wake me up!

Today was a good day. We spent the day taking food and medical supplies to five orphanages. We were able to hug and love some little ones along the way. We also had a chance to hear the stories of many of the people who run the orphanages. We met a baby girl who was born the day of the earthquake and saw a pair of twins born just days after. To see these children and how they have to live is heart breaking. It makes it hard to leave soon. We have many pictures, and even some video, but will probably wait to post it until we return.

The hardest thing about today was seeing the children that live at the orphanage were we are staying. They were all children that were hurt during the earthquake. They had casts and braces on different parts of their bodies. They really seemed to like us being around though. We could tell by the huge smiles they all seemed to have on their faces as we hung out with them. It really makes me think about what I consider a rough time  in my life.

We drove through some very hard hit areas today. Haiti has always been a dirty, trashed out place, but the impact of this earthquake has made things worse. Many people just seem to wonder around during the day and find any place they can to sleep at night. Tent cities are full of people sleeping under ripped tarps, sheets, and blankets, non of which are waterproof. Nobody will sleep inside, and the few who venture in at night are quickly run out with after shocks. There is a heaviness of fear and uncertainty about Haiti. They are a resilient people, but you can see they have taken a heavy hit in their armor. The locals that we have talked to share their fear openly. The director of one of the orphanages told us today he was uncertain about moving the children into buildings because they say there will likely be another big quake. This has struck fear in the Haitian people and makes me wonder if they will ever let life get back to normal.

On a lighter note, every night the children where we stay, and their caregivers, go into one of the buildings and sing songs and praise God. It is such a huge comfort for me to be around while they are singing. There is such a peace that comes over this place while they sing. I know that the Bible tells us to praise God in ALL situations, and it's easy to talk about, but how many of us could honestly say that we could do that. I know it is hard for me and I have never faced anything like this. To see the people's spirits so high is a huge boost in our spirits. It shows that even with the fear that they live with right now, they are sure of better things to come.

The biggest needs we saw today, outside of food, water, and medical supplies, was shelter. There is a huge need for dry shelter with the upcoming rainy season. Our interpreter is sleeping outside because the "steelers", or thieves, came and stole everything they had. They have one tent, but it is too small for everyone to sleep in. He just bought a house, but they were told they could not sleep in it. We committed to get him dry shelter before we leave.

Right Side Up Ministries is working hard to be a part of the solution to this problem. We have the ability and desire to get the tents out to the people, but we lack a connection to supply them. We are working on lining everything up for  another visit this month. We will be back in the U.S. on March 1st and we will begin to raise awareness, as well as finances, to make this next trip possible.

It is late and my eyes are getting heavy so it is time to say good night. Thank you again to all who made this trip possible. With your support we were able to touch the lives of hundreds of orphans today.

22 February 2010

Haiti Day 1

Tonight will be short. I am completely exhausted. It has been a long 36 hours of packing, travel, setting up camp, and now writing this. We arrived without a glitch. The airport was a bit of a mad house, but those familiar with Haiti say it has always been that way. We loaded all our belongings and ourselves into these small, beat up, little pickups and drove to the camp we are staying in. As we drove through town you couldn't help but notice the devastation all around. I am told that some of this has always been that way, but some has not. We drove by two tent cities on the way, one looking upscale, with nice matching quonset hut looking tents, and the other, just a sea of sheets and tarps tied together in a makeshift, patch quilt looking manner. As we drove on further we saw a water distribution spot where hundreds of people where grabbing and fighting over cases of water. Not long after that we turned down a road, labeled such only because that is its intended use, and came back to the compound we are staying in. Yes I said compound, complete with armed guards and all. We unloaded our stuff, set up our tents, ate dinner, and then went to our first daily meeting. We talked a little about what we would be doing and what we could expect out of the week. Now I am struggling to keep my eyes open as I write this, just waiting until things calm down enough so I can sleep without being woke up. The sounds of the night are those such as a 5 ton military truck just pulled into our compound to unload a shipment of water that just arrived in port and a building full of people singing and worshiping God as loudly as they please. Not complaining, just sharing. I love to hear them singing and to see a huge truck full of water is an exciting sight as well. That's about it for today. Tomorrow starts early as we head into some orphanages to bring food, supplies, and the love of Jesus to the Haitian people. Until tomorrow night, Be blessed and thank God for the comfort and security from which you are able to read this from. Don't forget to pray for the people of Haiti and our team of eight. We have a busy week ahead and can't wait to see how it goes.

20 February 2010

Thoughts on My Trip to Haiti Pt. 3

It is now less than 48 hours until we fly out for Haiti. It is hard to describe how it feels to finally be heading out. All the anticipation is coming to a head as we head out for Florida tomorrow night.

I really have no idea what to expect when I get there. I have heard numerous other people say the same thing just before they went. This is a tragedy that is unprecidented in my eyes. I have never even thought of going into a situation like this. To be honest, even after it first happened it never crossed my mind to go. That's usually how this stuff works for me. I watch, with everybody else, the devastation of natural disasters and think, "how sad", then I turn the TV off and go about my life.

This disaster was no different. In fact, I had a friend contact me shortly after and ask if I was going because they felt a need to give. I told them no and redirected them to other organizations that I knew that were doing stuff there. A few days later, while watching more news footage, I heard the call to go. From that day until now I haven't stopped thinking about or working toward this trip.

I heard so many people say not to go. I heard all the reasons under the sun, but when God calls it's time to go. That is what we are doing. We have a three man team going with Right Side Up Ministries. We are meeting another team of six members from Tim Williams Healing Hands International Ministries in Florida. We will be working with orphanages, bring them food and supplies. We will also be a part of a small medical team that will be helping those with medical needs. What else are you doing you ask? I have no idea. This is what I know and what we are working to make happen.

What to expect! I keep asking myself this, what can I expect? My mind races to find a scenario that I can relate with so I know what to expect. I can't! I've been to Mississippi after Katrina, Texas after Ike, and Atlanta after the floods, but nothing seems to compare to 212,000 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. Nothing seems to compare to make shift tent cities with 70+ thousand people living under tarps during rainy season. I am convinced that nothing can fully prepare us for the devastation we will see. The only comfort that I have is that God is in control. He knows what we are going to do, what we are going to see, and what we are going to say. He has prepared us before hand for such a moment as this. Our job is to trust Him, spend time with Him, and let Him direct our steps on this trip.

We are working hard to prepare in every way we can by getting passports, shots, rain gear, and tents. We are doing what we can to prepare spiritually by getting in the Word, praying and spending time with God. We are doing what we can to prepare mentally by learning as much as we can about the situation and what to expect, learning a little about the culture, etc. All this preparation so that we can go. So that we can be a part of a healing process instead of just watching it on TV or the internet. All this to help a people that most of us never thought twice about before January 12th, 2010.

All this preparation will mean nothing if we don't do one important thing, go! So tomorrow night we go, Monday we arrive, and next week we do. God is good and He loves the Haitian people and we are going there to show them just how much He does. We are going to show them that they are not in this alone and that we are committed to see them through every step of the way. We are going to be the hands and feet of God and to live out the Biblical church, to bring the Gospel to the world, and to bring hope and healing to a scared and hurting people.

We still need 32 people to give $50.00 to help get us there. We are going with or without it, but could really use your help to reach our goal. If you would like to help us go to Haiti you can click the DONATE button below. A donation of any size will be a huge help!

Online donations are NOT tax deductible at this time!
For more info or for a tax deductible donation please visit the RSUM page.

12 February 2010

Thoughts on My Trip to Haiti Pt. 2

Here are some new thoughts on Haiti and the upcoming trip that Right Side Up Ministries is taking there.

Good things have happened in the last 24 hours. I have made a contact and found a place to stay. We will be able to eat and sleep here. I am also waiting on confirmation for a travel partner to go along on the trip. We will be taking food and supplies to orphanages. We will also be with a small medical team, so there will be some medical stuff involved. This is a huge answer to prayer.

Next on the agenda, finalize the team list, buy tickets, and get everything in order to go. We have several needs for this trip to be a success.

1) We need reliable communication, which means a new cell phone and an international plan. 
2) We also need a new tent, one that is more waterproof than the one I currently own. (The tent will stay in Haiti when we leave.)
3) Finish up with vaccinations. OUCH!
4) Finances to bring us over the top so we can leave some for the locals to continue the work when we leave.
5) A strong prayer team to lift us up each and every day! (MOST IMPORTANT!)
6) People that will commit to help us get the word out about the trip via facebook, twitter, myspace, or any other social media site. Just briefly tell people what is going on with a link to http://www.rightsideupministries.org.

Thank you for all of your help. More details to come in the next few days. We are working on a prayer page on facebook and an email prayer team. If you would like to help us with any of the above list then visit the Right Side Up Ministries website for more info on how to help. To be a part of the email prayer team or if you have any questions email me at scott@rightsideupministries.org.

I have to say that the reality of this trip is starting to sink in. I remember driving to the Mississippi Gulf Coast just days after hurricane Katrina thinking to myself, "What have I gotten myself into?" Just this morning I had the same thought about Haiti, "What have I gotten myself into?" I can feel the butterflies in my stomach starting to reproduce like rabbits, skipping the coccoon, larva phase and jumping straight into flight. I wouldn't call it fear, just a healthy concern for the unknown. Any time you put yourself out there to follow God's lead, your comfort zone will melt away to a life stretching experience. I look forward to being stretched outside my comfort zone. Growth is not a painless process, especially when it comes to spiritual maturity, but thank God that He is able to lead us into ALL truth and use us to the farthest extent of our potential.

When was the last time that God asked you outside of your comfort zone? Are you willing to be stretched?

If you would like to help us go to Haiti you can click the DONATE button below

Online donations are NOT tax deductible at this time!
For more info or for a tax deductible donation please visit the RSUM page.

06 February 2010

Thoughts on My Trip to Haiti

"Don't go to Haiti! Unless you have a search and rescue or medical background, your only going to be in the way." I have heard this said in one way or another for weeks now. People who know more about what's going on are telling me to stay home. "You'll only be a hindrance." This is what one person said. So, what should I do?

I believe very strongly that I can, and will, have a huge impact in Haiti. Why? Because I know when God wants me to do something, and I know He wants me to do this. Thank God the Bible says that we aren't to walk by what we see, but by faith. I know this is the right thing to do.

I know that many people have made some huge mistakes recently in Haiti, especially when it comes to the children and the orphanages. I realize that, with good intentions, some have made mistakes that have put them in legal situations. It proves that heart intention doesn't always equal good results. So, as I prepare to go to Haiti in just a few short weeks, I am, to say the least, a little nervous.

At this point I have not been able to nail down any solid connections. I have to trust God in this and make plans anyway, knowing that I could very well end up alone in a foreign country. I have to prepare for the craziest, knowing that in the end, God will show up big and amazing things will happen. A huge part of living by faith is just trusting that God can do it. I think so often this is overlooked by those of us you walk our lives by faith. Sure, we trust God, but human nature takes over and we want physical proof before we act. I am guilty of it as much as anyone. For me to really walk out this faith thing I have to trust God on ALL levels. I have to know that He is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do.

So, in closing Haiti looks like this. 1) I have no solid connections, YET! 2) I don't have all the finances to go, YET! 3) I don't have a travel partner, YET!. 4) I don't know what God has in store for this trip, YET! What I do know is that people in Haiti need the love of Jesus. They need a hope bigger than they can see and God is able to make all grace abound toward the people of Haiti. He just needs those who are willing to be His hands and feet.

With all that said, I am still going. I am still going to make a difference and I am still absolutely, with out a doubt sure that this is God's plan for me. I will find an organization to work with, which may happen today, or may not happen until I am in country. Either way it is on me to make the next move and I am willing to do it without knowing the next step.

Isaiah 6:8 "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'"

What are you willing to do for God without knowing the next step? Are you willing to go? Will you do it even if He doesn't tell you the next step until your foot hits the ground.

If you would like to help us go to Haiti you can click the DONATE button below

Online donations are NOT tax deductible at this time!
For more info or for a tax deductible donation please visit the RSUM page.

04 February 2010

Spiritual Lessons Learned From Skateboarding Part 1

I started skateboarding the summer before my senior year of high school. The summer after I graduated from high school is when I really got hooked. I skated everyday. I built my own mini park that we would move in and out of the street I lived on. I got my brother and any other friend I could into it. In less that two months I had convinced friends to buy boards and learn with me. We rented every video we could from Lee's Sporting Goods and completely immersed ourselves into the scene. I was so hooked that when it came time for me to go into the military the following winter I actually considered not going because I couldn't skate while I was in. Honestly, the only reason I went was because when I had visited a Marine Corps base in Okinawa, Japan while in high school I saw an eight foot half pipe on the base. I was convinced that one day I was going to skate with Tony Hawk, Steve Cabellero, and Christian Hosoi. I was also convinced that going in the military wasn't going to stop this plan. Reality hit a little over a year later when I arrived in Okinawa Japan and found out that as a service member I was NOT allowed to skate the half pipes on ANY of the military bases on the island. Bummer #1! With my heart crushed I gave up skating and the dream of fame and fortune.

Years later, after starting a similar trek in snowboarding, with grandiose ideas of fame and fortune, summers became unbearable. Their was nothing to do in the off season. So, through a brief stint with rollerblading, which I am NOT proud of, I started skating again. Suddenly my dreams came rushing back to me. This time, however, age was not on my side.Pain and injury took longer to heal, real life got in the way, and, all in all, I just plain STUNK! Heartbroken again! Bummer #2!

With the sliver of hope left in my heart, one night we started filming ourselves riding various spots. Excited to see how much like the pros I looked, we raced home, put the tape in the VCR, you remember those, right? As the tape started, anticipation climaxed. To my utter despair, however, I looked nothing like the pros. In fact, I looked nothing like a skater at all. I looked more like a disaster on a plank. Heart CRUSHED! Bummer #3!

Here I thought I was a pretty good skater. I thought, even though I couldn't go huge, I had style. It turns out, not so much. Not only did I find out that I had no style, but I also lacked the slightest shred of talent. What a gut busting night that really turned out to be. I never took skating serious again.

The reason I mention this heartbreaking, tragic story with you is because a few years later, while reminiscing about the past desires to succeed at skating, God showed me an important lesson that I have never forgotten.He taught me about humility, ironically, through humiliation. He taught me to not think higher of myself than I should. He taught me to not let pride build up in an unhealthy way. He taught me to not think of myself so highly that I begin to be filled with pride and put myself on a pedestal.

After years of being a Christian it is easy to forget that I am not perfect. Just because I have overcome many obstacles in my life does not mean that I have the right to put myself on a spiritual pedestal. I am not as good as I think I am. I have to remember that no matter how long I have been at this, there is always something more to learn. No matter how GOOD I think I am, if I saw a video of my life it wouldn't be any better than that skate video I watched of myself. I may truly think I am right on track, but the truth is, I am probably missing some important elements, keys to my success. Thank God His grace covers those moments, but that is only through my willingness to be humble and to know that on my own I can do NOTHING!

I have big dreams in life. I have a huge vision for ministry that I am not able to succeed at on my own. If I had given skateboarding to God from the beginning maybe things would be different. Truth is, I'm not willing to make that mistake in life. I don't want to be sitting around wondering what could have been. Success will come, but only through a commitment to God and His plan for my life. It will only come through a humble approach in life, knowing that I am no better than anybody else on this earth.

I have since met Tony Hawk and am convinced, because of their connection with Christian skateboarding, I will soon meet Christian Hosoi and Steve Cabellero. God is good. He can, and still will, use my love of skateboarding for His glory. How? I'm not really sure, but I can imagine that it will be big.

What are some big dreams you have in life? Have you ever caught yourself on the  "spiritual pedestal" in life?

Remember, Right Side Up Ministries is leaving soon for Haiti. We cannot do this without your help! If you would like to help simply click the DONATE button on the right or visit us on the web at www.rightsideupministries.org.

02 February 2010

Spiritual Lessons Learned From Eating Out

"Tip? You mean I have to tip for that crappy service? I don't think so. Not a chance."

I use to say that all the time. I use to base my tip on whether or not I received "tip worthy" service. I felt justified in this because, after all, this is a performance based industry, the service industry that is. For years this was my standard, you want a tip, you serve me like nobody else ever has. One day I experienced something that forever changed my though process. What was it, you ask? I'll get to that, but first I want to tell you a little story.

I have these friends that are interns at an organization that I use to be an intern at. They are great guys, young and energetic, and really have a desire to serve God. The other night we went to eat at a large national chain restaurant. We had a great time, but the service was, well, less than stellar. In fact, it was the worst service I have ever seen at this particular chain. If you've ever been in this situation you know that when service is bad you start looking deeper into other areas for problems. You start pointing out the littlest of offenses, things that would otherwise be overlooked. The napkin didn't completely cover the fork, the glass of  ice water wasn't full enough, the bathroom is too dark, and WHO THE HECK picked this carpet? This only leads to more dissatisfaction and more frustration. Soon crazy thoughts start to enter your head like, could I get away with not paying? We ordered our food, but should we just leave? Who do I send a comment card to? Which car in the parking lot is my waiter driving, I'll show them?At this point you wonder how anything good can come out of this experience.

To be honest, most of the time I wouldn't think twice about anything good and just walk out irritated. Last night, however, was a different story. There is something about hanging out with these guys that makes me want to be on my best behavior, spiritually speaking. I don't know if it is my age or what, but I just can't help but turn moments like this into teachable moments. How old of me, right? Maybe it is just a fatherly...um...brotherly instinct. Call it what you will, but I was determined to use this evil from Satan for good.

As we sat at the table waiting, and waiting, and waiting for our checks to come the conversation turned to whether or not some of us were going to leave a tip. I really think there are justifiable moments for some of us not to leave a tip. For me, however, I cannot do that.  My thoughts went to the time God taught me about the tip. How He had drawn a parallel between wait staff earning, or deserving, a tip and us earning, or deserving, salvation. Once the line was drawn there was no turning back for me. I realized that if God would forgive me and give me the free gift of salvation, even though I didn't deserve it, then surely I could give a good tip to someone who didn't deserve it. So I settled in my heart that no matter how horrible the service is, I will always leave a GOOD tip. It's not easy, but I am determined to succeed at this. After all, these people pay their bills with this money. It's not like they're pulling down six digits waiting tables. Besides, I don't know what their day, week, month, year, or life has looked like. Maybe they have a really good reason why things went the way they did with me.Who am I to judge? I am, by no means, perfect!

As I thought about this I decided to share it with the group. I'm not certain, but I think someone may have changed their tip amount. Even if nobody did, it's not on me, I did my part. The cats out of the bag now. Once you hear, your now accountable for. Not saying this is Biblical truth or just a heart conviction on my part, but it seems to fit all criteria for a Biblical truth. What do you think? So, next time your out to eat and your getting bad service see if you are able to handle it the same way again. Check inside yourself to see of there is something you can do in this situation to bring a little joy into the life of another human being. Most people who work in the service industry know when they haven't earned a tip, so show them otherwise. Show them that you are willing to show them grace just as God has shown it to you. You never know where the starting point for change in someones life will come from, maybe it's you.

Have you ever stiffed a waiter/ waitress? What was your worst experience with service?

Don't forget, Right Side Up Ministries is going to Haiti. There is still time for you to get involved. Click the DONATE button on the right or visit the RSUM website for more info.

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