Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Haiti Aftermath: Break My Heart for What Breaks Yours.
(this rock is at home in my kitchen now, as a reminder of what the Lord did in and through us in Haiti. It was a gift from Casey on our free day and he put much effort into haggling for it so it is extra special)
I signed up for my Haiti trip in December of 2011. I had already decided that 2012 would be the year for experiences and the year to crush all my excuses. As my relationship with the Lord was growing and stretching me I boldly prayed that the Lord would break my heart for what breaks his as I prepared, planned, and visited Haiti.
Bare with me as I try to explain that while the orphans, the poor, and the unbelieving people in Haiti did tug at my heart strings, I was surprised by some of what the Lord really brought to mind for me while I was there. We arose at 4:30 every morning to have quiet times scattered around the house. These were some of the best mornings I've spent with the Lord in my 21 years of faith. I would fly back to Haiti to sit in that screened in room and experience the Lord like that every morning if I could. I wanted to give you a little taste of what the Lord was stirring in my heart all week. I'm about to get more than a little vulnerable with you all here as I bare a bit of my soul...
I want to share with you a morning exerpt from my journal that I wrote as I was praying through my thoughts from Haiti:
1 Corinthians 3 v. 19 - For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight.
I have pursued earthly wisdom hard this year. Finances, real estate, leadership...but for what gain? So that I can use this 'wisdom' to further myself or the Kingdom?
Motives. That's what is all comes back to right? Do I work hard to be praised or as an act of praise to God? Do I seek wisdom to further myself or to build the church?
Matthew 6:21 - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
...where is mine?
Mark 8:36 - 'What good is it for man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?'
This looks different from Haiti. We in America have gained so much of the world, haven't we? Wealth, food, education, a civilized society. But we have lost souls. God is no longer who we trust and we've tried to eliminate the need for Him.
In some ways they (Haitians) have a better shot than we do. Also reminds me of the verse about the rich man...because we are so rich compared to them. And we are so prideful as a country.
More than feeling sorry for people who live differently than I do, I was struck by how challenged I feel about my own life. I was born into a life of priviledge. If you're from the United States, whether you know it or not, so were you. Many of our homeless people in America have more than communities within Haiti. If that doesn't humble you, I don't know what will.
I didn't come away from my time in Haiti feeling guilty for my lifestyle or for what the Lord has blessed me with. I expected I might. What I came away with is the idea that we as American Christians are lazy. As our group studied the fundamentals of Christianity - studying the word, memorizing, tithing, serving, missions I was struck by how few Christians practice even a few of these. How many mornings do we make excuses not to read our bibles (I'm too tired, I need to work out, I have to get the kids ready for school...)? How many times do we say 'I will pray for you' and not? How many times do we think we have better things to spend our money on that our tithes or than offering extra to support someone who's needs are greater than our own? How many times are we too busy to serve?
I felt inspired by the their love for the Lord. Their overwelming desire to see their people know and love the Lord challenged me. I recognize that I don't always feel a sense of desperation to share the gospel. That I've become lax, as I enjoy that my family is all saved...but what about my friends? How many opportunities have I missed in an attempt not to offend someone? The Christian's in Haiti are bold in their faith and I hope that what I have learned from them will carry over into my life here in the states.
I went to Haiti to serve. I served hard, everyday. What surprised me was how renewed I felt by that. I woke up at 4:30 every morning, but never once was I tired. We worked construction all day in the heat and even though a had a few cranky, sweaty, hungry moments - I had a blast. It has never felt so good to just plug in and serve as needed. What I desire now is to work towards a lifestyle of service. What does it look like for me to live serving my fellow believers and my unbelieving friends and neighbors the way I so willingly and lovingly served the people of Haiti?
I have much left to muscle through. Perhaps I came back from Haiti with more questions than answers. I certainly didn't come back patting myself on the back and I don't want any of that from those I share with. For every step I've taken, I realize how many more I have. I am humbled and brilliantly joyful in all the Lord is showing me.
I am committed to spending time with the Lord first thing every morning. I've been setting my coffee pot at night and waking up to a cup of coffee and time with my Savior and I have never felt more excited to be awake and reading at the crack of dawn. I have committed to pray for every member of my team. It's time to be 'all in'. It's time to throw caution to the wind. It's time to get my head in the game, make some sacrifices, and take my faith to the next level.
Know that as you all were here thinking and praying for me I was praying for you too. I spent time in my prayers in Haiti praying for every reader of this blog and every person who comes here. I desire that my Savior would be yours and that we would serve God together. I won't apologize for trying to pray each of you into the Kingdom because I'd love to spend eternity with you. Know that I care about you all and I have prayed that I would be able to share wisdom with you here.
This is not a Christian blog but it IS a blog about a Christian. I hope that I will always be bold in sharing my faith and my struggles with you here.