Sep 172014
 

We are an impatient society.   I don’t want to check Facebook when I get home, I want to check it now.   Or at the next stop light or while waiting at McDonalds.

I don’t want to plan and wait and organize and think.   I want to come up with an idea and do it now.

I don’t want to save up money, I want to buy it now……

But then it comes to the big issues:

  • Why is there cancer?
  • Why is there poverty?
  • Why is there evil?
  • Why is there malnutrition?
  • Why does greed sneak its way into places it shouldn’t be?

And why are there no easy or quick answers to those questions?

And those are just some of the places where we ask, we wonder and we don’t know.

And then David, in Psalm 62:5, gives us a possible answer to that.

He says, “ God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as he says.”   (The Message)

God is the one and only.   Not our work, not our organizations, not our mission trips.   God is the one and only.

It’s not us who are going to solve the poverty problem.   God, the one and only, will use man to solve the poverty problem.

It’s not us who are going to bring justice to all of the oppressed.   It’s God, the one and only, who will use man to bring justice to the world.

It’s not us who are going to combat evil, malnutrition, greed and corruption.   It’s God, the one and only, who will solve those problems and will most likely use his people to do so.

 

And then the second part, the Why and the corresponding “When?”

Why, God?   Why do You allow these things?   And when are You going to make all things new?

We see so many things that aren’t right in this world.   So many things that hurt, that injure, that leave scars and we wonder, “Why God?”

And we acknowledge that God has a plan, He has a long term plan but we question the timing.

King David has an answer,  “God is the one and only, He’s everything I need, so I’ll wait as long as He says.”

I’ll wait as long as He says – even if that means a 50 year old father of 2 dies from cancer.

I’ll wait as long as He says – even if that means that children suffer longer than I’d like.

I’ll wait as long as He says – even if that means that corrupt people remain in positions of power.

I’ll wait as long as He says – even if I don’t want to.

 

But I’ll also realize that God intends to use His people to fulfill His purposes.

So I’ll say, “Here I am, use me.”

Use me – when you want.

Use me – how you want.

I’ll wait for You.

 

God’s plan is supreme because He’s the one and only.

We need to wait for Him.   And while we wait, we need to work for Him.

And only Him.

 

Because He’s the one and only.

 

TJV

Jul 082014
 

One of the goals of The Vulnerable Project is to support the people who are working with vulnerable children and their families through prayer.    As part of that, once a month, we’ll be publishing a “collective” of prayer requests of organizations in Haiti who need prayer support.

Do you work for an organization that supports vulnerable families?   Would you like to be included?

Go to http://thevulnerableproject.org/do-you-work-in-haiti/ and sign up.   No cost, no obligation and no spam.

The first monthly prayer letter is going to go  out next week Monday, so if you want prayer requests included, I need you to get them to me by Monday morning, July 14 at 8:30 AM Eastern Standard Time.

E-mail them to me at tom@thevulnerableproject.org.

Thanks!

Tom Vanderwell

Jun 052014
 

I’ve had some people ask me, why don’t you have very many  pictures on the website?   You know, the adorable malnourished children that make everyone want to give money?

There are a couple of reasons:

  • because, contrary to the blog that I ran in my prior position, this site has a different focus.   Currently the focus of The Vulnerable Project is developing the business side of helping.   “Business side of helping?”   Doesn’t that sound cold?   No, it doesn’t.   In reality what that means is that we’re focusing on  creating jobs so that children can stay off the pages of orphanage blogs.   We’re helping grow markets so that children do not have to leave their parents because they can’t afford to feed them.   Eventually, we’ll show you more pictures of the efforts of those efforts, but the focus is on avoiding kids getting into the situation where their pictures would show up that way.
  • As we kick off the focused prayer ministry portion of The Vulnerable project, there will be, at times, pictures that accompany the prayer ministry portion of things.    Those will be pictures of people in need, of children who are struggling, of specific efforts that need prayer.
  • Once the Vulnerable Project Grant Program gets underway, there will be pictures of the projects that we’re hoping to fund and projects that have been completed.

So, there will be pictures but, given the fact that The Vulnerable Project’s focus is different than a typical orphan care organization, the amount and type of pictures will be different.

I hope that makes sense and thank you for your support of our efforts!

Tom Vanderwell
tom@thevulnerableproject.org

May 222014
 

To me, it is nothing short of amazing how, when a group of God’s people rallied in prayer behind Frentz and Mallery, the situation calmed down.   Coincidence?   Nah, don’t even try it.

So the initial crisis is passed, that’s awesome.

But are the problems solved?   No, they aren’t.  

I’ve said many times, in the first world, Satan uses complacency, greed, materialism, technology, time, sports and the pursuit of leisure to drive a wedge in between people and the God who loves us.

In the 3rd world, Satan uses violence, poverty, disease, hunger, malnutrition, unemployment, voodoo and other very outright and bold tools to drive a wedge between people and the God who loves them.

So what do we do about it?

I’m working on some ideas.  Ideas that will:

  • Create a greater connection between people in the first world and those in the third world who are struggling.
  • Create a greater awareness of the fact that many bad things aren’t just bad things that happen, but are truly acts of the devil attempting to sabotage God’s people.
  • Use prayer and a network of prayer warriors to fight this battle on a higher level.

Stay tuned, pray that God opens the right doors and the right tools and I hope you’ll consider joining me as we work to use prayer to change things in Haiti and elsewhere.

God can do it, He wants to hear from His people, so let’s tell him.

Thanks for praying,

Tom

May 222014
 

A couple of hours later, Mallery posted this on the Facebook page:

Thank you for every prayer that has already been spoken! The work crew made it safely back from lunch break. Frentz was able to speak with the tap tap driver who was beat up pretty badly by several men on the work crew. (Those members of the crew were immediately fired and have gone home.) Frentz and the tap tap driver had a calm talk, and we are praying the peace will continue. We have offered to fix his truck even though he ran into the parked vehicle. The tap tap driver has two children and a wife and he says he completely forgot about them as his anger raged and he tried to kill one of our workers. He admitted to the police that he was going to kill the man. He also says he is a Christian. The men did not try to enter our property, but we are most concerned for our construction crew and staff members as they walk to and from work over the next few days. May the Holy Spirit bring peace to all of the hearts and minds involved. Our neighbors have been knocking and very concerned about violence on our street. We are in a safe area and our neighbors care to keep it that way. We appreciate every prayer. We are feeling their effects already. Mesi Anpil!

About 10:00 last night, Mallery wrote this:

All the kids have been tucked into bed and are fast asleep. We are so thankful that the older children were in school when the fighting took place and the babies were too young to realize there was anything violent happening. So far the night has been quiet. Your prayers are heard. We did not hear of any incidents as our staff members left work. We will be up praying at 6:00am as they make their way back to Hope House. (Shifts start at 7:00am) Our hearts are calm tonight knowing of your love and prayers. Thank you.

About 7:00 tonight, Mallery wrote this:

Thank you! Thank you! We have had a much calmer day. This morning all of the workers made it without any violence on the street. In the middle of the night the tap tap driver called Frentz and said he was in so much pain he couldn’t even close his eyes. We gave him 500 Haitian dollars to go to a doctor this morning. We don’t think he will be eager to start another fight anytime soon. And the men who were fighting and fired from their job are also feeling the “pain” over their loss of employment. Violence does not reap steady income. We are thankful to have people like you who love and care about us and HFAP. Your prayers gave us peace and comfort. We know the Lord used this scary situation to bring His people to their knees and converse with Him. The Lord is so good to hear our prayers. Even though this prayer vigil is over, please continue to pray! We have many staff and friends sick with Chickungunya. It is a horrible virus and has been called the “bone crusher”. Continue to pray for peace on the streets and in the hearts and minds of the Haitian people. We send you our biggest hugs and most sincere thanks! Mesi Anpil!

Your prayers are heard.

Your prayers are heard.

Your prayers gave us peace and comfort.

We know the Lord used this scary situation to bring His people to their knees and converse with Him.

Oh and did I mention, Your prayers are heard?

May 222014
 

Because this is rather lengthy, I’ve broken it down into three parts.   All three parts will be published tonight.

Yesterday, I had a very urgent conversation with Mallery Neptune.   Mallery is the director of the Haiti Foundation Against Poverty and a very good friend of mine.   They were in the middle of a very volatile situation right outside of their facilities and needed a lot of prayer and needed it very quickly.    She asked me to help and of course I did.    It’s not an exaggeration to say that lives were at stake.

She and I quickly determined that the easiest way to rally a lot of prayer quickly was through Facebook.   I bet Mark Zuckerberg didn’t think of that when he built Facebook but it’s a great tool for that.

So, I set up a 24 hour prayer vigil event on Facebook.   The goal was to have three to five people praying for the situation at the Hope House for the next 24 hours.   This is what I wrote on Facebook to describe the situation:

Mallery and Frentz Neptune and their staff and kids are involved in a very violent and dangerous situation. There was a traffic accident outside their location between a tap tap and their construction manager’s truck (the tap tap was at fault) that very quickly escalated into a full blown riot with guns, attacks with shovels, rocks and more. One person is in the hospital, shots were fired in an effort to keep an innocent man from being decapitated by a shovel.

Mallery and Frentz are very concerned that the tap tap driver, who already went and got reinforcements is going to come back with even more reinforcements and that the Hope House staff (and the construction crew) would be risking their lives to step outside the walls.

Will you join us in a 24 hour prayer vigil for Mallery, Frentz, Jayvan, the kids at Hope House, the staff, the construction crew and anyone else that is there?

Specifically, please pray for:
1. Calm hearts and minds for Mallery and Frentz and their staff and kids.
2. Safety for all.
3. That the peace of Christ would overcome the attackers and they would be deterred from any further violence.
4. That Satan would stop his attack on God’s people in Haiti and that God’s will will be known and prevail.

We’d like to have a minimum of 3 to 5 people praying every moment of the next 24 hours. I’m working on an official online sign up sheet, but for now, we’d like you to do two things:
1. Accept the invitation to the event and then comment on the time slot (or slots) you’d like to take. For simplicity sake, all times listed will be Eastern time.
2. Invite all of your Facebook friends to join us in this prayer effort.

There are lives at stake, there is a huge emotional toll that is at stake. Thank you for being willing to help.
Tom Vanderwell (a friend of Mallery and Frentz and a supporter of their work)

I commented to Mallery that they were in the middle of a very fierce spiritual battle and that we’d rally the “troops” to help them fight off the attacks of the devil.

Go read part #2 for what happened next.

Tom