We are humbled where we stand here, looking out from this mansion on the thousands of homes made of tarp. We are humbled as we fill our water bottles endlessly in the 90 something degree heat and watch mothers make their children share a small pouch of water that they will have for the whole day. We are humbled as with the knowledge that our three meals for the day are already provided for, while families go a day or maybe a few without eating, and feel hopeless because they cannot fill their children’s stomachs. We are humbled, with shoes on our feet, at the babies who walk over the sharp rocky paths with ease, because they have never known shoes. We are humbled as we wash our 5th, 6th, 7th outfit for the week, while others wash their only set of clothes every single day. We are humbled as we dream of California burritos and french fries and salad and ice cream, and realize that most people here eat the same food every single day- that we are blessed with different tastes and flavors.
We are humbled and convicted of our indulgence, of our gluttony, of our lust for things. We are humbled and convicted that those who have food here, and know the Lord, thank Him wholeheartedly and relentlessly, with prayer and song, almost every night with their community of believers; while we say a two minute prayer and scarf it all down.
I was also convicted of my relationship with Christ; about the time I spend, or didn’t spend with Him. During this time of fasting from my husband, I miss him so much; I crave his attention and affection, our conversations, and simply our sweet alone time. I am here in Haiti, holding and loving on all these children, showing and telling of the love of Christ, more devoted to the Word than ever- yet I had not been spending any intimate time with Jesus. I was doing it all for His name, for His glory, praying for His Spirit to guide us, praying in groups, but I was forgetting that I had a bridegroom, a Beloved who longs to just be with us in our quiet place. I had forgotten and neglected the one whom I was doing all of this for. In the morning, just to get on your knees as the sun comes up and remember Him, acknowledge Him, the One we bow down to, makes all the doing so much richer. To just quiet myself, to be still and know that He is God...
My heart has been encouraged by the living saints, the young zealous believers who give their lives up to be true disciples; devoted to learning the instruction of God and sharing the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus with others. My heart is encouraged by these men and women who are constant in ministry; some organized, and some not- some just a spontaneous part of their lives like moments of prayer with strangers or a song of praise and rejoicing during one of the long walks to a tent city. My heart is encouraged to see brothers and sisters who live in community, with little privacy, but so much love, sharing, encouragement, accountability and learning and serving together. This place is like living in the book of Acts.
It is obviously harder, and so against American culture to live this way. I think of the possibility of this lifestyle at home and think of how our hearts and souls would flourish in it. But then I think of how I would love to have my own home with my own family, to have my husband all to myself, to eat whatever I wanted to eat and wear whatever I wanted to because I had not lent any of my clothes out to my sisters. I thought of doing all the dishes for everyone, cooking for everyone, the massive amounts of laundry and the financial distribution. But these things are a small cost compared to the gain of having a spiritually flourishing soul. In reality, maybe we will live and raise our family with a few other brothers and sisters in Christ in the house. Maybe we won’t. But either way, that shouldn’t hold us back from helping even our neighbors. It shouldn’t hold us back from sharing chores, from sharing meals with those we know, and those we dont. It shouldn’t hold us back from and openness and hospitality of inviting those who need to be loved to come and share in the love of our home.
God has also placed a new layer of peace on my heart about the future. It is not for me to know now. And although my flesh still wants to know when and where and how we will live after this semester, my heart has a deeper trust and awe of God that He knows all the plans and has already laid it out for us. This trip has brought me excitement in the mystery.
Lord thank you so much for our time here, and for the next 5 days. There have certainly been times where I wanted things from home, but God YOU bless me with a love that is far more fulfilling. Thank you for the abundance of fellowship and friendship here. Thank you for each face that we've encountered. Thank you for feeding us. Thank you for water. Thank you for shelter. You are so good to us. I adore you.
I ask for endurance for the last couple days here, that you would guide us and teach us more, that you would help us to love like You.