Wednesday, January 16, 2013


13. That is the number of this team. 13 varying personalities. Each needful and necessary. Often we are prone to reject those who push our buttons, disturb our routine, and upset the balance of our lives. Haiti has modified me on this, it has tempered me. I love personality. Each person brings unique flavor to life. God will change people's hearts, He will modify behavior, He will never change personalities. He has created each one for a specific purpose. As we travel to Haiti with these teams of wonderful people, my heart has grown in affection for each one. The refining fires of Haiti certainly are used to mine the gold in each of us, but there are aspects that are already brilliant, rich, and mature given by the Almighty Creator. I have been blessed to witness this on every trip. Everyone has expectations of how they hope to perform, all fail at some level or another, and often we beat ourselves down for such failure. There is no reason to though, everything God uses for our good, even our failures become places of rich growth. I have found this true in ministry and life. This trip was an explosion of talent and personality. Each one, Ray, Deloris, Brandon, Neil, Bob, Ethan, Stephen, Rick, Karen, Kelly, Krystle and Beth had delightful, shining moments. As we readied to leave Miami this evening, Neil splashed us again with his amusing take on life and filled us with a small burst of refreshing laughter. Sunday morning Rick and Krystle moved the church family with inspirational messages of hope and love. Deloris and Beth make every child who encounters them know they are loved. Bob, our resident 'baby whisperer' has arms that every baby seems to feel right at home in. Ray's drive to complete his projects is unparalleled, Ethan brings unique genius, Stephen brought ministerial experience, and Brandon brought unrelenting tenacity. Kelly has come into his own as my righthand man, getting the entire project wired for electricity, working ferociously behind the scenes, he gets things moving for me. These are just to name a few. Skill sets on teams is one thing, the loaded gun of personality is the greater force to be reckoned with. I'm afraid our efforts will never amount to much as efforts go, but our willingness to love one another and put God's love on display, that may be the richest gift our teams give to Haiti. As Beth was touching up my hair this morning on the front porch of the house, she commenced to bend over and give me a kiss, I kissed her back, there are not a lot of moments for loving exchanges between us in Haiti. As would be the case, madam Robert doing laundry outside witnessed us through the iron gateway, and gave out an exclamation of delight. As fate would have it, she was one of the women who had participated in the 'Apple's of Gold' ministry this year, was at the celebration Saturday night where I spoke on the marriage relationship between husband and wife, and also who had stood and encouraged the women at their last meeting with Beth and Deloris to bring their husbands because she would have brought hers if he were not in the States. She witnessed our words in action, and her heart responded. To bring Christ to Haiti is to bring truth in action. The people have embraced this about our teams, and as such have proven the value of multiple personalities. Do we bring challenges to each other, yes. But if we allow it, we also bring polish and greatness to each other as well. God knew what He was doing with each personality build. Would that we could put our faith into action with each other, the universe would shake with the power of that movement! I am so thankful for this team blend this trip. The circumstances of our lives will now unknit us from each other as we step back into our American routines, time and distance and responsibility will estrange us as it always does, but for this moment, God put this forcefield of 13 together, activated us, deployed us, mobilized us, and the mission objective was reached. I am certain tonight without each and every one it would not, could not have happened. God bless this team, and may He bless you as well!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I could not resist going to your blog tonight as I have every night of the last week, even though I knew you had landed safely in Miami and were headed for Real Beds in Detroit....... This entry was especially meaningful to me. When I looked at the photo of all of you which Ethan emailed, I thought: here are very sturdy, very deeply rooted, and kind people, and this blog, "Personality" confirms my feelings about the photo. For myself, only knowing and loving Ethan since he was born, I am so very grateful you all found each other with such a variety of talents and such a power of the spirit..... Most of all tonight, I feel thankful pastor for your tireless and faithful blog entries each night. Sometimes it was clear your lids were heavy and the hour was late, but you gave those of us who cared but stayed behind, such a gift. You provided to us a witness and an insight into each and all of you, but also into the Haiti you had traveled with such determination and worked so tirelessly to help. Your thoughts each night, pastor, were a blessing to me and I am sure to everyone who read them. You were indeed a faithful steward and we owe much to you. We pray for you all as you return to your lives and yet feel that a part of your hearts remain with those who seem so different from us and yet such brethren in our common faith and humanity. May the Lord Bless you all as you return to your lives, again forever changed, but the same in your faith and the wonders you have shared. Mary-Claire Barton