Do you all know that I’ve had over 1700 hits to my blog in the past 2 weeks. Seriously. Yesterday alone I had over 250 hits between the time I posted that update about a certain event and 11:59pm.

Usually I have about 25-40 visits per day. That’s generally my average. I’m really not all that important on the world wide web. You know – there are over 60 million blogs … and growing … on the information superhighway? And I’m just not all that important in the grand scheme of things!

I know why I am having so much traffic. And I know who is doing most of the visiting/monitoring. And really, I don’t care. I think it’s interesting mostly. (I was a sociology geek in college so this kind of stuff always interests me – why groups of people react to different stimuli!) But I was talking to God about it today and I said, “You know – I just really don’t get it. Aren’t there more important things than MY blog for some folks to worry with? I’d like to move forward, like You said, but how?” That was my prayer. Really – yesterday evening just between 5pm and 7pm, I had 45 hits to my blog. Most of them coming to my blog directly from a link in their email account. (Yes, I can tell.) It was obvious that people were getting here because someone had emailed a link to them.

So. Anyway. I’m going to break from that and move on to a different topic and then I’ll come back to that.

A few minutes ago, I clicked over to Pastor Pete’s website to see what’s brewing over there today and the first post is about a center in Haiti that is is on the brink of closing. Literally. They are in desperate need of funding.

And do you know who the Lord brought to mind when I saw the image on Pete’s site? This is so very random that I know that this was only from God.

Shelby Kennedy. Now there’s a few ironies here which I won’t go into, but I am aware of them. Some of you will know what I mean when you click on her website and start exploring. Others won’t have a clue and that’s OK – all that means is that you don’t really need to worry about the irony in my life. God just likes to deal with me using Irony and Satire. We have a little ongoing joke about this – God and I do. Anyway – back to Shelby.

For those that don’t know – Shelby Kennedy was an acquaintance. She and her family sat either in front of us or behind us at church when we were all worshiping together back in the day. All….15?? or so of the Kennedy clan? (I honestly can’t remember how many people are in their family.) But I do know that Shelby had a God given love for the Haitians. I didn’t know her well – in fact, we only spoke to each other a handful of times during the several years we were at the same church – and usually over silly things like how cute Hannah’s infant clothing was, or if I needed any help with the babies during church – or stuff like that. She really did have a heart for ministry and she served wherever God called her. But, though I didn’t know her well, I knew that she had a heart for Haiti. For some reason I remember this distinctly about Shelby. I believe the family even adopted a sibling group from Haiti. Of course I could be mistaken. It has been several years since I’ve even thought about the Kennedy family.

Shelby was 22 when she died after a tremendous battle with a very rare and very aggressive cancer that seemingly came out of no where. Her death rocked our little community to the core because – really – people like Shelby don’t “deserve” cancer. (Is that even a fair thing to say?)

What does Shelby Kennedy have to do with Pete’s Post and my blog traffic and God’s sense of irony?

A lot of the people who are lurking here also knew Shelby. Some of them were really close to her and her family. And a lot of those people have money. Some of them have lots of money. A lot of those people are in ministries of their own, actually. And some of them just have very successful businesses.

So I’m dedicating this post to Shelby Kennedy. Someone I didn’t really know but I had a lot of respect for and always thought it would have been nice to get to know her. She seemed real. Which IS a very rare character quality in most people, Christians included. I think this campaign would have touched her heart.

So, if you are here – and you knew Shelby – and you loved her and all that was important to her – why not click over to Aaron Ivey’s blog and get caught up on the Real Hope for Haiti Campaign and see if some Godly fruit can come from the 1700+ hits that have blessed my site meter for the past 2 weeks.

From Aaron Ivey’s Blog – who is the Missionary who is hosting the Real Hope for Haiti Campaign

all week we’ve been talking about the fact that Real Hope For Haiti is in desperate need of people to help support the work, before the doors have to close. People like Bennet would be out of a job, there would be no finances to continue supporting him and his family. it’s not like the USA, Bennet can’t just easily go out an get another job. his life-line and source of income, along with all the employees, is the mission in Cazale.

here is a letter he wrote for us to read this week:

I am Joseph Bennet Delice. I’ve worked in the Clinic in Cazale since June 2006. I am 32 years old and have been married since 2001. I have three children. I live in Cazale with my family.

My work in the clinic is to do Christian education, pray with patients, give them advice, talk to them about their problems, tutor kids in the 1st – 3rd grades, and help out however I can in the clinic. This works help me alot with my family to give them food and things they need. It helps me to support my church and the community development group. It also helps me to be able to help others like my brother and sister. I get payed around $130 per month.

I wish that you do no get discouraged in this work that you are doing for my country and my people because it is God that will repay all things to you.

Thank You, Bennet

the employees at the mission make around $130 a month. let’s put this in perspective. to you and me, this doesn’t seem like much income. In Haiti, the average person makes less than $400 a year, that’s nearly a dollar a day. Real Hope For Haiti is actually paying their employees about four times what the national average is. Furthermore, these employees are not just “hired-hands,” they are a vital part of the ministry and team at the mission.

to keep this mission open, they need more monthly contributions. look at it this way…for $130 a month, you are employing and empowering a Haitian to be a leader in their community. you are giving them a job, income, and hope for their family to survive. i realize not everyone has an extra $130 every month. we’re all filling the pinch of rising fuel prices, food, etc etc. but we can do something.

jamie and i (not patting ourselves on the back) just cancelled our cable and our YMCA membership. our personal conviction was, why spend money on a building we rarely go to, and why continue to shell out $100 on cable television? are there better things we could be doing with our money? embarrassingly, that all added up to around $130 a month, the monthly salary of a loving Haitian father and husband. now, we’re able to give more to Real Hope For Haiti.

Also – if you think you can’t do much – here is another graphic from Aaron’s blog that can put some things into perspective for you.

What can you do? What can you do for Haiti? What can you do out of your love for Shelby?

And thank you, God, for answering my prayer about using the traffic for something that brings fruit to Your kingdom!