Archive for July, 2012

07-29-12 John 15:1-14

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Haiti reflections

Image

As I sit at my desk today, it is hard to believe that 72 hours ago I was in the country of Haiti.  As is typical with most participants of short term mission trips, it will take me a while to process everything that I experienced during our week in the Port-Au-Prince.  For today, I have a couple quick reflections on my observations of the physical and spiritual conditions in Haiti.

1) The physical poverty.  I was prepared to see poverty, and we indeed saw it everywhere we looked.  We knew that there was over 40% unemployment in Haiti before we went, but it sunk in when we saw hundreds (if not thousands) of people sitting outside of their homes with not much to do.  When we asked Haitians what we could pray for, often it was for employment.  You couldn’t imagine living in the homes that the Haitians live in.  Often the bathroom is a whole in the ground crawling with cockroaches.  The roof is a tarp from US Aid or Samaritan’s Purse.  The walls are pieces of scrap metal.  Most do not have electricity, and if they do you never know when it will be on.  Since the entire country of Haiti is poor, there is very little the government can do for the people.  Most ‘roads’ are just paths of dirt and rocks.  There is no trash pick up, so most trash ends up on the streets for the goats and dogs to eat.  Resources are incredibly limited which means that progress takes a long time.  There is certainly hope for the country of Haiti, but my eyes were certainly opened to the depth of the poverty.

2) The spiritual wealth.  I had expected spiritual poverty, but instead found spiritual wealth.  The people of Haiti understand their need for God unlike anything else I have ever seen.  They are desperate for him.  Often when we asked what could make Haiti better, their response was for more people to turn to God.  I’m not kidding, everyone that we talked to on the streets were interested in having a conversation about God and welcomed our prayers in Jesus’ name.  We witnessed men of the church on their knees praying, singing, and weeping an hour before the church service.  We were awoken every morning at 5:00 a.m. by a man walking the streets shouting at the top of his lungs, telling people to wake up and go to the church to pray.  There were multiple church services going on every night of the week.  One service went from 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. next to the place we stayed.  It was not uncommon to see “Merci Jesus” or “Merci Senior” on the front of a public transportation bus.  The spiritual reality is much more recognized in the country of Haiti than it is in the country of the U.S.

May we learn from the Haitian believers, and be more desperate for Him.

Blessings,

Josh

Leave a Comment

07-22-12 John 8:1-11

Leave a Comment

7-15-12 Genesis 21:8-21

Leave a Comment

On the eve of traveling to Haiti

Tomorrow (yikes – tomorrow!) our journey to Haiti begins. We don’t fly until Sunday, but we will gather tomorrow evening and head toward our airport hotel.  Twelve folks from our church and another 20 from churches in the U.S. will all converge to serve in Haiti through Adventures in Missions.

A few thoughts:

1.  I will always believe in taking advantage of these opportunities.  You can debate the merits of sending 12 people who have raised a total just shy of $20,000 or just sending the money.  I think the bottom line is that churches sending these groups must know that the personal growth of the people going IS a legitimate motive and outcome of a missions trip.  Doing ministry in a foreign land can accomplish the two fold purpose of accomplishing God’s purposes but also enlarging the perspective of the people participating.

2. I am afraid.  What?  Doesn’t the Bible say “fear not” a whole bunch of time?  Well sure it does.  I’m not afraid that something bad will happen or I won’t be able to endure any trial that comes.  I’m not afraid I or anyone else on the team has made the wrong decision.  I’m not afraid in that sense.  Be assured I won’t be curled up with my blankey in a fetal position.  I’ve traveled before and know I can adjust and adapt.  Why the fear then?  The unknown.  It’s a healthy fear, knowing God can turn that little bit of anxiety into trust.

3. If this life I lose.  Our unofficial theme song for our group is “I Will Follow” by Chris Tomlin.  One of the lines in the chorus is “if this life I lose . . . I will follow.” Intense, right?  Yes!  But it’s true.  It’s the ultimate statement that I am surrendered wholly to God’s purposes.  Matthew 10:28: Do not be afraid of the one who can kill the body and soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  This is the kind of strong surrender that is not only required for short term traveling, but for daily living as well.

Be challenged.  Grow.  Pray!

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

Leave a Comment

07-08-12 Mark 9:33-37

Leave a Comment

07-01-12 Mark 9:14-32

Leave a Comment