Monday, May 21, 2012

Countdown to Haiti - 5 Days

After months of early mornings, trip logistics, prayer, and team bonding, we have almost reached the finish line. During that time, our leaders have encouraged us to prepare in several ways - mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally. Haiti isn't a walk in the park. It has "challenge" written all over it.

As we have reached single digits, 2 verses have run through my mind over and over. In the Shema in the Old Testament, it says, "Love the Lord you God with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength."(Deut. 6:5) In Colorado, I memorized these words in English...and in Hebrew. In Jesus' day, Jews would say this every morning before starting their day and every evening as they ended it. In Luke 10:27, Jesus adds another element to this trio...your mind. 

As I count down the days until we board the plane for this tiny country, I want to share with you ways the Lord is working in me to prepare to serve in Haiti. Today's focus?


I've spent the last year researching and studying Haiti, and a book has since been born from that research. In the process, I fell in love with a people I've never met and a place I've never seen. Our team leaders have cautioned us that the mentality in Haiti is "hurry up and wait." Over the past weeks, I've attempted to smother expecatations of what I will see, hear, and do.

But my heart is expectant.

These people have nothing, yet they know how to survive. They've suffered more than I could ever imagine, yet there is a rememnant that gives credit to the Lord for the little they have. Despite chaos, there is always hope. My heart is expectant that these people will someday embrace that hope, that they will taste it in a real way, and that the mentality of their culture to run to voodoo when God works too slowly will change.

I have no illusions that this can be done in a week. I know we aren't superheroes who will swoop in and miraculously set things right. I do know that we serve a God who is in control and who loves these people. I do know while we are there, we can make a difference in one life and that person can touch someone else who touches someone else who touches someone else.

These short term mission trips aren't about gratifying ourselves, though you inescapably grow through the process. They are about helping to change one life. They are about helping the missionaries down there have grown weary. They are about meeting a need. They are about pointing to a God who holds the Haitians in His hand. He is the Haitian God as much as He is the American God. There is no partiality with Him, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

I pray for our team as we prepare, that our hearts will be expectant and watchful for the life we can touch, the kids we can love on, and hope that someday this whole country will see a God who loves them.

The last part of that verse in Luke is the reason we go to Haiti... the reason I believe God can and will do big things. "Love your neighbor as yourself." It's time to be His hands and feet. It's time to show His love.

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