“What am I doing here?” “How in the world can I make a difference in this country that is so foreign to me in every sense of the word?” “Should I just pack it up and go back home?” Yes, these were the questions ringing through my mind as I made the drive from Port au Prince to Jacmel when I first arrived. To save you the suspense or the worry, I did not remain in that state of mind for more than the first day. But this is truly what I was feeling. I know that some of this was totally spiritual warfare. It happens often on the mission field. But beyond that, this was happening because this is Haiti.
Haiti will do that to a person. I mean, the more that my feet are on Haitian soil, the more I realize that I will never understand Haiti. She is a mysterious puzzle. She is very complicated. Yet, she is somehow beautiful. It’s a mystery. And so, as I am driving through the tent cities in Port au Prince, and passing through the outskirts that are filled with broken buildings, markets set up around mud puddles, and then up over the mountains where things appear to be more simple yet still carry a myriad of rules and method that I am not yet privy to, I was simply overwhelmed and felt completely inadequate. I spent the whole drive just thinking about Haiti and wondering what in the world I was doing there.
This was good though for a couple of reasons. One is that it completely humbles me….to the core of my being. Therefore, when the Lord does show up and use me for His glory, I know that I cannot take one ounce of credit in thinking that it was me that somehow made something good happen. I realize that I am nothing, have nothing, and can do absolutely nothing without Him. And so it was good for me to be so overwhelmed upon arrival. It prepared me for the Lord’s use. It was also good that I felt like that because it keeps me thinking all the time about how BEST to reach the Haitian people with the love and truth of Jesus Christ. And the more that I am in Haiti, the more I realize that my initial thought or vision for doing this needs to change. The days of me thinking that I’m going to be the one preaching the gospel to a gathering of Haitian people under a palm tree and then discipling them each day thereafter have kind of gone out the window. Yes, I know the Lord will still use me to share the gospel and will use me to help disciple young believers. But what I am starting to see is that the real impact for the gospel will be made from a Haitian to a Haitian, not so much an American to a Haitian. I mean, Haitians know Haitians. It sounds silly but it is so true. I as an American will never FULLY understand the mind of a Haitian. That is just the way it is. Therefore perhaps the best way for us to make an impact for the gospel in Haiti is to invest ourselves in Haitian leaders and help equip them and support them to be able to be on the front lines effectively reaching their own people with the truth of Jesus. I will elaborate at a later time about all of this. But, like I said, the drive humbled me in so many ways and made me continue to think constantly of how we are BEST going to make an impact in this country for the glory of God.
Being humbled is the best because then when you see God show up and work through you in significant ways, you simply lift your hands up and glorify His name. And that’s what the rest of the trip was about…seeing Him do great things and simply giving Him all the glory! More to come…but now I have to hop a plane back to the states.