Saturday, October 29, 2016
I fight callouses. Heart callouses. I don't know how many times I have been to Haiti now. I've seen a lot. At this point in my life I have ripped open hundreds of thousands of water wells to repair and restore multitudes of families with substantial water supplies and pressure. There is little now I haven't seen. Or so we tend to think. As my son and I stood next to each other for about an hour taking in the long night service which starts at 9:00 pm Friday night and goes until 8:00 am Saturday morning, he said to me its amazing how much callouses grow in your heart in one year, and how quickly these trips tear them away. I pray they do keep ripped away in my life. We are ridden, even beaten by our time strapped schedules. I carved out 9 days for Haiti and then set my schedule in motion. We had a timeline for each day... I knew better... but you know us Americans. Unfortunately Haiti cares not for my scheduling plight, ignores my tidy calendar, throws away my timeline, and frowns at neatness of any shape or form. You wonder that you could ever grow accustomed to such a thing, that you could actually accept it as routine. But take it from one who knows, it's true. And then there's the really unexpected turns. Like today a man named Arcene walked into the house and climbed the stairs. As I saw his face emerging I remember a request he had from the night before. I grabbed our translator and said lets go talk out on the front porch, apparently Arcene wanted to express 'thanks'. Arcene stopped me and the translator and said 'no, I want the whole family.' I thought it a bit strange, but then lots of strange things happen to me in Haiti. Once we were gathered on the porch, Arcene stated he wanted to say 'thank you', something God had been telling him for a while. Then he began tracing through the years of our ministry and how each of us had played central roles in saving his life, his family and giving him such great hope. He went on to describe how he sees us as a true family and wants to have his family become that way. We stood there and wept as we realized how all the seemingly unnoticed and unmarked moments of ministry had swept him and his family from darkness to radiant light. It was hard to take, even as I tap along on my keyboard there's a tenderness in my heart from the tearing away of the callouses. When we tapped the resource talent that is Arcene, he was not in church. One of the first children we took into the orphanage was a niece of his named Liline who was in terrible circumstances. Little did we know the journey we had embarked on with this family. He noted moments of impact with each of us from specific times and years, he meant to leave no details out. He ended by telling us our greatest work for his country still lies ahead. I had so many things to do today, and suddenly nothing else mattered. These trips have always been about the power of relationship. I have always criticized short-term missions trips in my youth, with little regret I acknowledge now how wrong I was. God still uses the power of people with people to impact and change lives. Arcene told us today if we would never have come, if he had never met us, he would not be the changed man he is today. What do you do with that? It's time to start planning our next trip. Blessings from St. Marc tonight!
Posted by Pastor at 1:16 AM