Wow! The more I am in Haiti, the more Haiti is a mystery to me. She is beautiful yet ugly. She is difficult yet simple. She is revealing yet deceptive. She is strong yet so very weak. She proclaims Christ in so many ways yet lives not for Him in so many other ways. So, she is a mystery to me. I am certainly a foreigner in this land and I realize that I will never fully understand this country. But, that’s probably what a foreigner says who lives in the United States. We too are probably a great mystery to so many.
Well, my time here has reflected both extremes that I just mentioned. I have seen the beauty and the ugly, both in the sights and in the people. But, I serve a living God who is always good, always beautiful, always faithful, and always true, therefore our work here is done unto the Lord and we thank Him for the opportunity to proclaim His name.
Here’s a short, but such sad story that gives a picture of some of the ugliness that we are often up against: A mission that we know well here in Haiti was in Port au Prince last month and they came across a group of about 30 orphaned children living in the most deplorable conditions one could imagine. They were all living under a ripped up tarp and sleeping on the dirt floor. This mission, who cares for orphaned children, were so burdened for these kids that they immediately rented a house in Port au Prince (though that is not where their base is even located) and started working like crazy to get the house in order so that they could take these kids in and give them life. Well, they found out that a woman was supposedly in charge of these kids, so they contacted her to find out if she would allow these kids to be brought into this home where they would be well cared for. They arranged a meeting, and when the woman showed up, she brought with her the 9 members of her board that she had formed along with her attorney. She stated that the only way that she would allow the kids to go was if this mission hired all of her board members as house staff as well as herself! Sadly, the mission was not in a place to do that and they also saw that these women did not care at all for these orphaned children, but were rather simply looking to make a profit from their suffering. The mission had to decline the offer and these kids today still live in those deplorable conditions under the tarp. The mission will keep the house in Port au Prince and ask the Lord to lead them to other orphaned children that can indeed be rescued. What a sad story. This just goes to show how wicked a person’s heart can be without Christ.
But, with Christ, there is great hope!
Just as there are many sad stories that deal with people trying to control things for their own gain, so too are countless stories of people selflessly giving themselves away in order to help save the lives of many who are suffering. We are partnering with such a person. His name is Josue and he is the Director of a school that he started in order to help educate children so that they can have possibility for a future. His desire is for all the kids to come to school even if they can’t pay for the tuition and the books. He tries as best as he can to seek out support so that the teachers can be paid since many of the children are not able to pay tuition which prevents him from being able to pay the teachers. He is a Godly man who loves the Lord and wants to teach the children about Christ. We have started up a feeding program for his school where we are now able to feed over 170 children daily. We just had a meeting with him yesterday in which we talked about starting up an after school program which would focus on bible study and Christian discipleship. He welcomed such a program. We are also trying to get some of the children sponsored there who are in the greatest need. We have a mission team coming in December that will focus much on Josue’s school. We will be giving out Christmas gifts to all the children. We will have a teacher’s workshop. We will help either build a wall for the school or a depot so that he can store all the food for the feeding program. And we will just continue to spread the fragrance of Christ. So, you see, there is good in Haiti as well as evil…just like anywhere. Please pray for this school. The name of the school is “Good Shepherd School”.
I will post more later about my time here in Haiti and the good things that the Lord is doing. We certainly have our challenges here, but we have our joys and victories as well. I just wanted to share those two stories to give an example of both.
I was asking the Lord yesterday, “Lord, is it just Haiti? Or is it just missions in general?” And then I was reminded of many verses in the bible that reflect the struggle that those who proclaim Christ will have, and I came to the quick conclusion. Its not just Haiti, its the life of a missionary. There is much heartache and struggle in seeking to advance the kingdom of God. There will be setbacks all the time. There will be people, even Christians, that vehemently oppose you and try to control you. There will be persecution. There will be doubts. There will be pain. And yes, by the grace of God, there will be fruit. There will be joy. There will be new lives brought into the Kingdom. There will be people set free.
But I don’t hang my hopes on either of those things. They may come and they may go. But one thing is sure for those that proclaim the good news throughout the earth – there will come a day where we will hear the words of our blessed Savior, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” And there will be a crown that awaits us. And when we are given that crown, we shall not desire that it ever touches a hair on our head, but rather we shall gladly lay it down before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Yes, that is what I hang my hope upon. That is what keeps me persevering. O the joy of knowing Him and serving Him!